Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Confession Time

I have not been writing my query letters. I know. If you don't write a letter, you can NOT get published. There is zero chance (if you've decided on my route). If you do write the letter, you may get rejected (most likely will) but there's still that chance.

I have a ton of great excuses, though. Want to hear them?
  • I just gave my book to another friend and am waiting on feedback from her.
  • Work has been insane the past two/three weeks. (It really has).
  • I'm editing another book and don't want to stop to write query letters. My writing time is limited, you know?
  • I'm trying to learn Spanish. (I'm using, and I really recommend it. It's awesome AND it's free!)
  • (Here's where my excuses start to get really lame): I have so much housework to do!
  • I have to build my social networks (really, I've become a Tumblr addict).
  • Um. I'm watching this new show that I think will give me some insight into my key audience (and it's really fun to watch).
Rejection sucks. Unfortunately, we all have to suck it up and take it sometimes, but I don't think it's wrong to take a tiny, little break from it now and then. But, eventually, if you want to get anywhere, you've GOT to get back to it.  Soon. I promise. Soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Traditional vs. Self-Publishing

This is me. I am kinda weird.


Why I'd like to Publish through the Traditional Route (Assuming they let me):


Wow. There has been so much written on this topic, and some people get really nasty about it.

I highly recommend some of the articles published on Nathan Bransford's blog about the topic. He's gone over it quite a few times. And there are other great sources of information out there. I recommend doing some real research before you decide either way.

My thoughts:
I've been writing for several years now. I've never gotten anything published. (I don't write short stories, only novel length books, so, for me, it's all or nothing.) To me, it's still worth it to keep trying the traditional route. You see, no matter how much I polish my books, I KNOW they could be better. And somewhere inside of me exists a dream that I will be the next big thing. To even have a shot at that, I'd really like to work with a professional editor and literary agent who can both help steer me in the right direction. So here's my list of why I'd like to go the traditional route:
  • I want to work with an editor (and possibly an editorial literary agent).
  • I'd like to have a beautiful, professional cover.
  • I'd love a title from someone who's (hopefully) better at naming books than me (it's one of my weaknesses).
  • I would like my book to be able to be reviewed by respected journals like Publisher's Weekly and the School Library Journal.
  • I'd like a shot at getting my book advertised, although I know traditional publishing can be very unhelpful in that respect. 
  • I also have a dream of holding a copy of my book in my hands, and I am WAY too cheap to pay to get it published myself.
  • Also, I just don't have the distribution sources that a traditional publisher does. I have a new blog and a few friends, and I just think I can reach more people through the traditional means.
So that is why, for now, no matter how many discouraging query letters I get back, I will continue to polish and re-write and send out letters and hope for the best.

*Nathan Bransford has lots of wonderful information for writers on his blog. He was a literary agent and is now a published, MG author. There is also a very friendly community on his blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where I'm At

I look like an idiot, but that's part of the fun of life.


Where I'm at with my Writing

So, I've written a few books. I even tried to get one published, but after about 15 query letters I decided it wasn't quite the right book for me and rather than re-write it, I moved on to another book because I liked the plot of my new book better.

Now, I'm on the fourth (4th!!) draft of an upper MG (middle grade) book. I had put out a few query letters when I was on the third draft, but then I decided I'd have another go at editing it. I just re-re-wrote the first chapter two days ago (since the first 10 or so pages are key to getting an agent's interest). The first chapter is probably on it's 20th revision at least (I've completely lost count).

So, now I have to get my shit together and get out some query letters.

I just recently sent out a query letter to an agency I really, really wanted to work with, but I got one of those "no answer means no" answers.  Hence the re-write of the first chapter.

I am also editing another book I've been working on and hoping for the best.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How I Got Started Writing

This is me. (Hi.)

I'm going to tell you all the story of how I started writing.

I've always read (and read and read) books, but I came to writing rather late in life. I was in grad school writing my thesis (for a science) and inhaling romances. The thesis was getting to me, and I just wanted a story (ok, so more like a bucket-load of stories) with a nice, happy ending.

Now, some romances are extremely moving, well plotted, and well written books. Some are not. I'd just finished a series of not. In fact, I'd just finished a series of tear-out-your-hair, these-books-are-so-offensive-to-women romances. I decided I could do better.

And that was how I started writing.

I wrote two romances before I gravitated back toward my first love in books: YA fantasy.
Some romance authors can create original, moving, interesting books within the confines of boy meets girl, boy and girl have problems, boy and girl live happily ever after. I cannot.
Plus, I love inventing my own worlds. I can daydream about what I want in my world for days on end.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why Write a Blog?


Alright, so I tried this blogging thing before and did not keep up with it, but this time I have new purpose:
This blog is to tell all of you about my writing and my attempts to get published.
I've also been researching  all this writing stuff for a few years now, and I do have some helpful info and a few helpful resources for any newcomers to the field.

*Disclaimer: I will not bore any of you with my actual writing. I'm sticking to the starving artist story. (Except I have a real, paid job too and am not starving at all-but I do admire all you real starving artists out there. I'm just glad I'm not one.)