|Credit to Cellar_Door_Films WANA Commons|
This week, I want to talk about an 18 year old who just signed a six-figure publishing deal (yes, it's a vampire story), but first ...
New Adult Twitter Chat (#NALitChat) Update
Many of you know that I host a weekly Twitter chat, but there are some new folks following this blog so I thought I'd share a quick update...
For the uninitiated, New Adult is a category of literature aimed at the 18-26 year old demographic. The themes and characters tend to fall into that focus as well. Basically, if you're a fan of YA lit, and wondered 'what comes next?', you simply have to come hang with us. We do talk about a range of writing and reading related 'things', not just New Adult, so I think there's a little bit of something for everyone. (And all are certainly welcome.)
If you're feeling a bit naughty, this is the month to join in as we're starting our 'Risky Business' series in which we'll be chatting about sex in New Adult lit, taboos in New Adult lit, and much more steamy goodness. All from a writing and reading perspective. To take part in the chat, just jump on the Twitters every Thursday night @ 9 PM EST and use the #NALitChat hashtag in your Tweets.
For more info on the chat, check out the NA Lit Chat blog, complete with fancy calendar, HERE.
This Week's Good News!
Speaking of steamy, check the cover for this fabulous upcoming New Adult release!
I think my author-pal Carrie Butler is going to set the reading world (as well as a few eyeballs...) on fire when Strength debuts next March! Don't believe me? Check this epic blurb:
"When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.
Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…
Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.
They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart."
Epic, right? You'll want to stalk Carrie to stay up on the Strength release shenanigans I'm sure she has planned, and you can find all of the details HERE.
My own good news!
So, I somewhat stealthily added my book, Blood Fugue, to Goodreads recently. I did so to allow the folks who have received arcs to be able to review it in advance of release (later this month), and planned to officially announce that it was up when I posted about the epic launch blogfest I'm planning (in the coming days).
Well, I got my first review and decided to break out the announcement early. Why? Because the review was awesome! lol Super-duper-awesome author-blogger Eve (aka - The Desert Rocks), and recipient of a Blood Fugue arc, gave it five stars! You can read her full review HERE, and be sure to give her blog a follow. She's an absolute blast, and now on my holiday shopping list. :-)
Also, if you'd like to add Blood Fugue to your Goodreads list (and jockey for position on my holiday shopping list), you can check out the official listing HERE.
Don't Get Mad, Get Writing
An author I follow on Facebook posted this article about an 18 year old girl who recently signed a big book deal with a BIG publisher. She didn't share it as good news ...
The author who shared the story is, like 99.9% of published authors, solidly mid-list. Which is to say she has had to scrap for every ounce of respect, every smidgen of publicity, and every last cent given to her by the book publishing world. She works her tail off, and hopes each book she puts out moves enough copies to get her next story published, much less six-figures. As I said, that's life for most authors.
I LOVE her books, by the way. They are unique, and beautiful--truly nothing else quite like them. That I've read, at least.
And I'll say this: Indignation over a fledgling adult, much less author, having an agent FIND HER, and getting a big contract for writing ANOTHER Twilight-inspired spinoff is certainly understandable, and probably justified. It's hard to process how one person can bust their ass for years--trying to get an agent, trying to write something good, trying to write something marketable, etc.--and not achieve the success of a first-time teenage author.
However, there is something the young woman in the article got right that I think many established (and otherwise) authors aren't figuring out: she wrote stories, and she shared them. From the age of 15, she was uploading chapters to various social writing sites. She eventually got enough exposure that an agent took notice.
Now, I don't think I need to write another 'publishing has changed' post today. I think what I need to tell you is this: If people aren't reading your words, it's your fault.
Go ahead, get pissed at me. Throw stuff. Quit following me... on second thought, let's not be hasty. You can stomp your foot, maybe even curse me under your breath, but you should keep following. I'll say something you'll like soon enough.
So if it's your fault, how can you fix it? Simple!
- You need an idea for a story.
- You need to learn how to write.
- You need to get better at writing.
- And you need to be willing to put it out there.
These steps apply to EVERYONE. You want to go the traditional route with an agent, etc.? Great! Start getting your work out there. You want to be independent and do your own thing? Great! Start getting your work out there.
The lesson is this: There isn't an established author-process anymore, other than writing something awesome and fighting like hell to get it in front of readers.
A couple of suggestions, if I may. 1) If your goal is to get a novel represented by a literary agent, and one day see your book in a real book store, write other stuff on the side and put it out there. 2) If you aren't sure what publishing direction you want to go in, write a bunch of stuff, and put some of it out there.
Note: This isn't me advocating throwing poop on the wall to see what sticks. Your dry runs are best kept in house, even now. You put out something before it's ready--before you're ready--and the cold Web-world will strike you down with a fiery vengeance. Besides, you owe it to your readers to be the best you can be, at whatever stage.
I'm simply advocating action. As silly as it sounds, the modern writer must write! We are in a content driven age. People want to read about everything, and they want to read about it now. That's truth.
So the next time you read about some 'instant' publishing success story--or other affront to how you believe things are supposed to work--don't get mad, get writing.