Friday, July 31, 2015

Discussion Post: Will you always self-publish or have you considered traditional publishing?


Today's topic is all about the future of our publishing careers. Will we always only self-pub, or do some of us have dreams of traditional publishing? Read on to find out!



Molli

Like Marie said, traditional publishing was, at one point, the only avenue I thought about. Before I started blogging in 2011, I honestly didn't even know what self-publishing WAS, so when I thought of that far-off book I wanted to write, I never considered anything BUT trad publishing. Then I began my blog, met authors and bloggers, and started learning so much.

By the time my first book was about halfway done, I knew I was self-pubbing it. It's technically New Adult, but it's a very different New Adult than some of the titles that quickly became "mainstream NA." I knew I had something to offer, a great story and characters, and *I* wanted to be the one in control behind the scenes.

That being said, I do hope to publish several YA novels eventually, and for those, I'm strongly considering seeking a more traditional publishing route, when the time comes.


Marie

Since writing professionally has been my lifelong dream, I always assumed I’d eventually be traditionally published, because that’s all there was. When I discovered self-publishing, I knew it was a great option for me, for so many reasons. I didn’t go into it lightly or blindly - I spent months researching before I made the decision. I suppose there’s a hope in the back of my mind that an agent or publisher will still ‘discover’ me one day and want to acquire rights to my books or have me write something new for them, but I have no plans to seek that out any time soon. I like the freedom and control of self-publishing. As great as it would be to have a whole team behind me and to have some of the financial burden lifted, I’m not sure the trade-off is worth it at this point. I wouldn’t say no if the right offer came along, but for now I’m happy with what I’m doing.


Lilly

I am absolutely planning on traditional publishing! It used to be one of those pipe dreams, but I've discovered recently how much easier it has gotten for writers/authors to submit manuscripts to publishers without an agent. The prospects are much better than they used to be. It feels like it would be worth giving a shot, and even if the book doesn't get picked up by a publisher, I still have the option to self-publish.

I have a list of writing goals and it includes publishing a book through a traditional publisher. There are three publishers I would absolutely love to write for and it's my aim to submit to them over the next few years. There's just something about the idea of seeing a book you've written on book store shelves. I'm really hoping to get the chance soon. In fact, I'm currently working on a couple ideas I'd like to submit to traditional publishers in the near future. In the meantime, I'm still planning on self-publishing as much as I possibly can.


Jessica

Years ago when the only option was traditional publishing, that's all I ever thought about doing. The prospect seemed daunting, though. Query letters and printing manuscripts was too much for my teenage self to consider, not to mention staying up to date on which publishing houses to submit to that were currently accepting queries from unagented writers. I put the possibility aside and figured maybe someday I would be able to do it. Then self-publishing came around (the ebook kind). With this new development also came new options from traditional publishers. Many jumped on the ebook craze and most of them began accepting emailed submissions instead of paper. Now that this has changed and submission guidelines are available online, the possibilities for me are much better. I've definitely been thinking about submitting a novel to a traditional publisher at some point in the future, but I know I still want to self-publish, too. One of my books is a novella that's part of a series I plan to continue, so I at least have that to do as an indie author!


~~~~~



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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Guest Post: Patricia Josephine on Divine Inspiration


Please welcome Patricia Josephine back to The Authorteers! She visited us in April after the release of the the first book in her Path of Angels series, Michael, and she's here now to share another post for the release of the fourth and final book in the series, Gabriel. Authorteer Marie had the pleasure of beta reading all four books in the series, and she highly recommends them, especially if you enjoy books with diverse characters! You can read more about the Path of Angels series on Patricia's blog here.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Divine Inspiration by Patricia Josephine

When I wrote Path of Angels, I did it all in one go. One part after the other. The story came easy and I only had a few scenes that were completely rewritten or deleted. But the thing is, I can’t remember the inspiration. I wrote it back in 2011, but I can’t say time has worn my memory because I can recall the inspiration behind every other story idea I’ve written.


Being Human was inspired by the book Thirsty’s dark ending.

Snapshots was a scene that didn’t even make it into the story.

My alien abduction story was a “What if aliens kidnapped people and turned them into aliens vampires and werewolves? Wouldn’t that be an awesome twist on the myths?” idea.

My very first story idea was from a dream (this one will never see the light of day. So many plot holes. It may as well be cheese!).

It’s annoying I can’t remember. I’m curious as to what got the cogs moving in my brain. The muse is of no help. She just grins and shrugs. I imagine she’s plotting her next slew of ideas to pile on me while I’m in the shower. She often ambushes me there and I have yet to acquire Aqua Notes. Bedtime is her next favorite time. She’s especially apt at getting me when I’m feeling too lazy to write it down. Doesn’t she know by now I won’t remember in the morning? Have mercy! Then again, she’s a bit evil. I imagine her sneaking up behind me like a ninja and just whacking me on the head.

BAM! Story idea! Get writing.

I suppose I could get cheesy and say it was divine inspiration. The book is full of angels. My four bird boys (as Zephyr likes to call them) were whispering in my ear and I had no choice but to listen. Although, I can only take so much of Joe’s joking. One day, I’m going to let Gabriel tape his mouth shut, tie him up and throw him in a closet. Nothing Michael or Zade say will stop it. 

{Add to GoodReads ~ Buy on Amazon}
The end is in sight.

To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.

Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.
The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.
 photo PatriciaLynneAuthorwithbook.jpg
Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne. 

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who. 

Follow Patricia on Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Website | Wattpad
Thanks for sharing, Patricia! Happy release week to Path of Angels: Gabriel, and congratulations on an amazing series!
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Playlist for Unexpected by Lilly Avalon


Hello lovely people! Lilly Avalon here with a playlist for my latest release, Unexpected.

I've always had trouble putting together playlists for my stories. There have been certain songs that go well with what I'm working on, but it usually never exceeded more than 3 or 4 songs. So whenever I was asked to possibly do a playlist post, I would have to decline because I had nothing!

When I started writing Unexpected, music ended up being a huge part of the story. Ryan, our wonderful hero, plays guitar in a band with his brother and a friend. As I wrote, songs kept coming to mind that felt like they belonged with the book--whether as a song Ryan's band would play or a song that has the right feel for Alina and Ryan's relationship. I have a nice Spotify playlist going that I listened to frequently while writing and revising. And here it is!


Playlist for Unexpected

(All songs linked to music video or lyric video on YouTube)


~~~~~


Unexpected 
by Lilly Avalon
Ever had one of those days? Alina Lyons is having one. Everything keeps falling apart and going wrong. Just when she thinks it couldn't get worse, it does. After a case of mistaken identity and a broken heart, she finds herself questioning the things she thought she knew. She wonders who she can turn to or trust anymore.

An unlikely bond with her former best friend's ex, Ryan Wilcox, sends her life in a new direction. He offers her a place to stay while she gets her life back on track. His friendship is exactly what she's been missing—what she's been needing. Alina's never felt this alive. As time goes by, the dynamic of their relationship becomes more than either of them expected. A few innocent kisses could lead them in a new direction, but are they prepared for what's on the other side?

Only one way to find out.
Add Unexpected to your shelf on Goodreads!
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Smashwords |



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's release day for Unexpected by Lilly Avalon! + Giveaway


Yayyyyyy!!! It's release day for Unexpected!

I'm extremely excited (like times ten) to share the release of my latest novel with you today. Unexpected is one of those books that took me some time to complete. It was started last year, but the first draft didn't get completed until May of this year. Despite the long road, I'm so glad to be here today and can't wait for you to read Alina and Ryan's story!



Unexpected by Lilly Avalon
Ever had one of those days? Alina Lyons is having one. Everything keeps falling apart and going wrong. Just when she thinks it couldn't get worse, it does. After a case of mistaken identity and a broken heart, she finds herself questioning the things she thought she knew. She wonders who she can turn to or trust anymore.

An unlikely bond with her former best friend's ex, Ryan Wilcox, sends her life in a new direction. He offers her a place to stay while she gets her life back on track. His friendship is exactly what she's been missing—what she's been needing. Alina's never felt this alive. As time goes by, the dynamic of their relationship becomes more than either of them expected. A few innocent kisses could lead them in a new direction, but are they prepared for what's on the other side?

Only one way to find out.
Add Unexpected to your shelf on Goodreads!
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Smashwords |


Advanced Praise

"This was the first novel that I had read from Lilly Avalon, and it was phenomenal. I loved her writing style, and the storyline and characters she created were extraordinary." ~Julia from The Perks of Being a Bibliophile (read full review here)

"Sweet, passionate and endearing, I was more than happy to let Ryan be my book boyfriend for the evening." ~Heather at Obsessed with Myshelf (read full review here)

"I found Ms. Avalon’s writing to be refreshing, humorous, entertaining, and thoughtful, with just enough delightfully sensual teases and steamy scenes sprinkled throughout to keep my heart and respiration rates up." ~Empress DJ at Books and Bindings (read full review here)

"Fans of friends to lovers stories will love this as much as I did. Not only do we get the story of friends becoming more, we get to see the characters becoming friends in the first place. It made for a fantastic book!" ~Sabrina at Escaping Into Books (read full review here)

Excerpt

An hour and a half later, our set is over. Even though I love performing, the anxiety from being onstage can really drain me. I always breathe a sigh of relief the second I get back on level ground. Once I get a beer in me, I'll feel even more relaxed.

I head over to the bar expecting to see Alina sitting in the same spot she's occupied the whole night, but she's not there. I frown, but signal a bartender and ask him to bring me a beer. I scan the room, hoping she's nearby.

As soon as I have my hands on the beer, I'm about to stand to go back to Phil and Brent when a couple of girls block me. “Hi there,” I say with a smile.

The girl on the right says, “You were amazing up there.”

“Yeah, you guys have a wonderful sound,” the other one chimes in.

“Well, thank you.”

“Can we buy you a drink?” the first girl asks, giving me the hopeful head tilt.

Before I can respond, Alina shows up at my side holding a drink. “Hey sweetness,” she says, leaning in to press a kiss to my lips. I don't even miss a beat. Parting my lips just enough to make it look like a real kiss, I cup her cheek with my free hand. She pulls back with a contented smile. “You wanna grab a booth?”

“Of course,” I respond as I stand up. “Excuse me, ladies. My girl and I have something to celebrate tonight.”

The girls glance at each other, then watch with blank expressions as I lead Alina with a hand on the small of her back over to the last empty booth. I whisper into her ear, “Nice save. It's a burden to be the only straight man in the band.”

She lets out a snort as she slides into the booth. “Oh please. It's such a burden when girls are falling at your feet.”

“It is when you're not interested in any of them.” And the one you want is only pretending to be your girlfriend.




Exclusive Authorteers Giveaway

Win a swag pack, including a signed postcard of Unexpected! Open international. :)

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Song of the Moment -- Jessica's Pick


Song of the Moment is a new feature on The Authorteers where we each take turns sharing one of the songs inspiring us lately.

Jessica's latest inspiration......


"Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears



I've always had a special love for this song. And Tears For Fears in general, but that's a story for another day. But this song... I swear, I get goosebumps every time I hear it. If it comes on the radio, I will pause and get a slow grin on my face. And if I hear it at work and I'm alone? Totally singing along. That's actually what brought this song back around into my current playlist. I started listening to the New Wave Eighties radio on Pandora while at work and periodically this song will come on, along with other songs by Tears For Fears (and several great eighties songs).

"Head Over Heels" isn't specific to any works-in-progress for me. It just hit me recently how much it feels like a perfect song to put on a "writing" playlist for background music. I don't always listen to specific songs while I write, but there are some I love to listen to while writing. There's something about it that strikes me--the lyrics, the story in the lyrics, the high falsettos, the piano... it all creates this lovely atmosphere I could climb into and get in the zone.

Favorite lines from the song...

"You keep your distance with a system of touch
And gentle persuasion
I'm lost in admiration, could I need you this much"

~*~

What's your song of the moment? Anything in particular on repeat recently? Something inspiring your latest work-in-progress?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Guest Post and Video: Submitting a manuscript to a romance publisher by Stefanie London


Please join me in welcoming Stefanie London back on The Authorteers! She's here today to share with us something special that she's been doing lately: YouTube videos on writing and publishing.


Submitting a manuscript to a romance publisher


A huge thanks to the Authorteers for having me on the blog today!
A while ago I decided to bite the bullet and do something that I’d been thinking about for some time. I started filming myself talking about books, writing, publishing and being an author. Sitting down to film makes me feel like I’m chatting with a friend the same as it would be if they were at my dining table, having a coffee with me. It’s relaxed, it’s personal and I feel like it allows me to connect with people in a way that’s different to the written word.
My aim is to create a space where people can learn, discuss and grow. Most importantly, my hope is that my viewers will feel like they’re part of a community when they come to my channel. Writing can be a very solitary activity at times and I want to put a bit of the social element back into being a writer.
The video I’m sharing with you today is all about submitting a manuscript to a romance publisher. I talk about the different ways that you can go about doing this, what you need to provide and how to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
I hope you find it useful and if you want to see more, don’t forget to click through and hit that subscribe button. Give me a thumbs up if you like the video, because that helps me to know what you guys like and what I should talk about more.
I’m curious, have you ever submitted to a publisher before? Are you in the process of doing it now? What do you think would make it easier to get your manuscript to an editor?

I’d love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment here or on the video. I look forward to chatting with you again soon!






Your videos are great, Stefanie!
Thanks for telling us more about them!


About the Author
Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Her favourite activity was going shopping with her Nan during school holidays, where she would sit on the floor of the bookstore with her little sister and painstakingly select the books to spend her allowance on. Thankfully, Nan was a very patient woman.

Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.

Now she lives in Toronto with her very own hero and enough books to sink a ship. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, French perfume, high heels and zombie movies. Recently she gave up her day job to write sexy, contemporary romance stories and she couldn’t be happier.
Stefanie's latest release is
A Kiss In Kite Harbor:
Twelve years ago they shared a life-changing kiss…

Now she’s coming back for more…

When successful plus size model, Shelby Jenkins, is forced to return to her hometown of Kite Harbor, Maine, she must face her past demons. But asking for help doesn’t come naturally and it’s doubly hard when she needs it from the boy who broke her heart. Now he’s all grown up and is more tempting than a double fudge sundae with a cherry on top.

Nate Ritter loves being a teacher in the small town where he grew up. When the woman who stole his teenage heart returns, he’ll do anything to prove he’s no longer the insecure boy who betrayed her. As long as he makes sure he doesn’t fall for Shelby since she has a big, exciting life waiting for her back in the city.

Can his shot at redemption be enough to convince her to stay?

A Kiss In Kite Harbor is available exclusively
on the boxed set Small Town Summer:


GoodreadsAmazonB&N |



Don't forget to leave a comment below if you have an answer to Stefanie's questions--or if you have any questions for Stefanie. She'd be glad to answer them for you!

And don't forget to subscribe to her channel to keep receiving all the amazing information!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Teaser Tuesday -- Lilly Avalon


This week for Teaser Tuesday on The Authorteers, I'm sharing a teaser for my upcoming new adult novel, Unexpected. It will be released in one week (cue squeals) and I can't wait for you to read Alina and Ryan's story.




Unexpected 
by Lilly Avalon
Ever had one of those days? Alina Lyons is having one. Everything keeps falling apart and going wrong. Just when she thinks it couldn't get worse, it does. After a case of mistaken identity and a broken heart, she finds herself questioning the things she thought she knew. She wonders who she can turn to or trust anymore.

An unlikely bond with her former best friend's ex, Ryan Wilcox, sends her life in a new direction. He offers her a place to stay while she gets her life back on track. His friendship is exactly what she's been missing—what she's been needing. Alina's never felt this alive. As time goes by, the dynamic of their relationship becomes more than either of them expected. A few innocent kisses could lead them in a new direction, but are they prepared for what's on the other side?

Only one way to find out.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Discussion Post: To Market or Not to Market


Today's post is all about marketing. How we do it, what's worked for us, and what hasn't. We'll debunk some myths, share some marketing horror stories, and hopefully leave y'all with some good information.



Molli

Oh marketing, you are (sometimes) the bane of my existence. I love getting inside of it and seeing what works and what doesn't, but sometimes that "what doesn't" part can be extremely frustrating. Luckily in the last year or so, I've gotten a bit of a better handle on some things I KNOW will work, and I've weeded out what doesn't work (for me.) 

The best marketing tool I've used is a Goodreads giveaway. People LOVE getting physical copies of books, and they especially love winning a *signed* book. I did a giveaway for my first book, and something like 1,000 people added it to their TBR shelves. Will all of those people read it? Nope. BUT, people got excited to add it, and some of those folks might, which could result in sales. 

The worst marketing I did was Facebook ads. They aren't bad per se, but you have to be careful with them. Facebook ads are a process. You want to look at who you're marketing TO (you can filter to several countries, loads of them, or just one), what age groups you want to reach, what keywords to use, and most importantly, how much money you're willing to spend. You can have a Facebook ad with lots of results without breaking the bank, but you want to target it to a call to action (ex: Buy my book!) on release day or a $0.99 promo, etc. Marketing those ads just to get page likes will result in empty likes, people who never interact with your page. 

So, there are definite pros and cons to marketing. I think another thing I've learned is just to be genuine in your marketing on social media, too. Twitter is my home base, where I spend and invest the most of my time, and zero money. I have a wonderful following there, filled with bright, funny, passionate people. I rely on word of mouth there for sales, and only promote occasionally, like on release days, cover reveal days, etc. 


Marie

I've tried dozens of different marketing techniques over the last 3+ years. I think that's the beauty of being self-published: you're free to get creative and try as many different things as you want, including adjusting the price of your book. It would be great to have a marketing team and even some of the expense covered so it's not all out of pocket, but there have been things I've tried that I knew I wouldn't have had the freedom to do if I wasn't self-published. 

I've done several blog tours and book blitzes, and have had varying degrees of success. Blitzes are great in a way because it gets your book a lot of attention, and it's good for things like increasing followers and adds on GoodReads, but that only goes so far, especially since I'd rather make connections with people than gain a ton of followers who won't ever interact with me. The tour that worked best for me was the 'reviews only' tour I did for my fourth book, Waiting for the Storm. Several dozen bloggers received a free copy of the book and posted an honest review on their tour date. It got me a ton of reviews (ranging in star ratings, which was good), and I think people would rather buy a book that's been 'recommended' by a blogger (or even that a blogger hated but was honest about why they hated it, and those things happen to be things that a particular reader likes, so they give it a chance) rather than just seeing the cover, reading the synopsis, and maybe looking at a teaser and a bunch of links. Something else that has worked with varying degrees of success are anniversary sales. I usually reduce the price of my books on their publication anniversary for a few days or a week.

New things I plan to try for my next release, Something in the Air: paid Facebook ads and maybe even blog ads, and a block of time on NetGalley. I haven't tried many new things with marketing lately, so I think it's time to branch out and start adding to my list of what works and what doesn't!


Lilly

I've tried a few different advertising routes. I invested a little bit into several Facebook ads. The one worked well for getting my official Facebook page a ton of likes, but it didn't do much else. Others that were for specific posts (for a new release/sale) didn't boost my sales any more than usual. Those ads, in my opinion, can be hit or miss. It all depends on whether you've got the right hook to draw people in.

I have had several release blitzes and blog tours for my books, all of which were a great benefit. You can only spread the word so much on Facebook, Twitter, and your blog--it definitely helps when you have hundreds of other blogs posting about your book. Even if you don't get an immediate sale from someone, they might recognize your name later and give you a chance on your next book.

The one thing that really made the difference for me was NetGalley. Several tour and promo companies (like the one with Patchwork Press) have what's called a NetGalley Co-Op. What you do is pay for a certain number of months to have your book listed on NetGalley. I put two of my books up last fall, each book was available for one month. There were lots of requests and I got a decent number of reviews from it. I also had several readers send me messages asking me to set up a street team. Thanks to them, Lilly's Lovelies was started on Facebook! NetGalley can be an exceptional way to market your book.


Jessica

I haven't done too much in the way of marketing for my books. With my first book, I put together my own blog tour by emailing a bunch of blogger friends who hosted me on their blogs for spotlights and interviews. A couple months after the release, I paid for a three day blitz to see if I could get the word out further for my book. I sold a few extra copies than usual, but nothing to write home about. I paid for ad space on a blog for a week for my second published book during release week, so I can't say for sure how much that impacted my sales, but I think that it helped a little bit because I read a comment somewhere from someone saying they saw the ad and it piqued their interest.

One thing that was very useful for me was taking part in a 99 cent sale along with a bunch of other authors. It definitely boosted my sales and got my books in the hands of more people. And what was nice about that one was that it was absolutely free! There need to be more of those out there, let me tell you.





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