Tales in Publishing: Query example

I'm sharing my successful query to others in hopes it exemplifies what to do and helps other authors craft their own. Queries are one of the most difficult things for an author to do. From trying to sell yourself to buttering up the recipient, by far the hardest part is to condense your book baby down to blurbs.

For those who are brand new to the scene, if you want to go the more traditional route of publishing (not self-publishing), you usually will need to send a query letter off to publishers and/or agents to get their attention in hopes they'll read your entire manuscript, love it, and represent you. Sounds pretty simple, but there's a format to follow, expectations, and things you should do to to increase your chances. The letter itself is in blue and the explanations are in red.

Dear AGENT'S NAME (unless they specify not to send it to one person),

What happens if bees go extinct? In the not so distant future, scientifically modified Emlyn and Ace find themselves th…

Birth Announcement: It's a Book! World, meet Apidae

I am overjoyed to bring to you my debut novel, Apidae, which was released November 30th. You can purchase a digital version here and a print version here.

First, the best feeling ever--okay, well the second best since the first is getting your novel accepted for publication--is seeing the cover. I try not to have any expectations about the cover and refuse to let myself picture it. I trust in those who the experts, the graphic designers. I have a feeling, I'd accept any cover as long as it wasn't cheesy, but when I opened the mockup of my novel, Jay Aheer (Evernight Teen Publishing's graphic designer) did not disappoint. I absolutely love the cover. The hint of characters at the bottom is just what I wanted since it still allows the readers to picture the characters how they see them. The warm color palate and the hint of the background alludes to the setting of a pivotal scene (no spoilers). I love the font which is very computer-like which is fitting as part of the story…

YA Book Review: Truth in Lies (The Generators Book 2)

Truth in Lies in the second installment of Jennifer DiGiovanni's The Generators series and is an interesting page-turner that propels the plot forward in unpredictable ways. Review to the first novel can be found here.

In this novel, Cara Scotto and Alex DeMarsh's relationship deepens, while Nate and her become fast friends as he tries to help her control her powers to hide the truth from others. Despite wanting to live a normal life, they fear an old enemy striking again. Alex must come to terms with the idea of eliminating the threat and possibly taking over the underground network of supernaturals if he and Cara want a chance at a happily ever after. As they plan out their future together, these threats come back to haunt them. Will Alex's over protectiveness and impeccable plans protect Cara or will she have to hold her own against their enemies?

For starters, book two is just as well told as book one and is in fact a perfect page turning sequel that left me wanting mo…

Tales in Publishing: The #PitMad Path

Since my first novel was picked up through a Twitter book pitch day, and I'd also sent out queries to a second novel that went unanswered, I thought, "Why not give it another try?" So one morning when I saw another Twitter pitching "party" in my feed, I went for it. This one was called #pitmad which is a day authors can pitch their completed novels to agents and publishers in 140 words or less. If they like it, you send them your query. You also rewteet to help fellow authors out so they'll be seen more.

I got so involved with retweeting for other authors, the day shot by. I was kind of disappointed by midday when only one "agent" liked my novel. When I clicked on this person, I found out they were "helping" people self-publish, meaning a vanity press. Vanity presses are companies that take unsuspecting authors' money with promises of helping them get their books published, when in the end the author spends sometimes thousands of dol…

Tips for YA Lit: The Romance Bit

Recently, I came across the article "10 Couples That Hurt YA Movies (And 10 That Saved them)," by Screen Rant, and as the title suggests it talks about the best and worst couples in YA movies. Since a lot of the movies were book adaptations, I thought this would be cool to explore what works for romance in YA books.

Please Don't: Have an unhealthy relationship--you know, don't make one person in the couple be domineering, controlling, backstabbing, or just an awful human being. Screen Rant uses Bella and Edward (as I have in previous posts) and Katniss and Gale as prime examples. These guys were frankly awful to the girls. I mean Edward controls Bella's every move, and Gale pretty much kills Katniss's sister. Not healthy!Make them too opposite--the age old "opposites attract" can only go so far. When two people are so different that no common ground exists at all, we have trouble as readers figuring out why they ever got together and don't buy int…

YA Book Review: Insidious: An Urban Fantasy Romance by Victoria Evers

Recently, I purchased Insidious: An Urban Fantasy Romance (The Marked Mage Chronicles, Book 1), by Victoria Evers, due to the low Kindle price. For the price, it was a steal. Overall, an enjoyable and creative story, but it had some hitches preventing a 5/5 star status.
This story is told by Kat who's expected to be a perfect country-club teenage girl for her extremely superficial and unloving parents who expect total obedience. She's in a fatal accident but somehow survives with a quick recovery. Soon things start getting crazy and she is opened to a world of magicians, hell hounds, reapers, and an array of demons. The only person who can help her is the guy she loathes, Reese Blackburn, who ends up educating her about this world along with her ex and his father. Only these strange tattoos show up on her arm which Reese informs her are like a target for everyone in their world--good and evil--to eliminate her. As they try to figure out what her tattoo means, hide what she is f…

Tips for YA Lit: The Juggling Act

A long time ago, before I revamped this blog, I wrote about how it is difficult to write on top of being
a mother and a full-time career. It's a topic I see often floating around on social media and websites. I feel a lot of us in these modern times are forced--or perhaps choose--to wear so many hats (or roles) in life that it becomes a juggling act, one difficult to handle.

I am a mother. For instance, I have been interrupted by my one child five times before I got to this line. I may only have one, but as a special needs child who is extremely hyper, sometimes it feels like two kids and an animal wrapped up in one little body (like a young child-teenager-Tigger combination). People lament over how hard a stay-at-home mom life can be and I agree until I remember I do that AND more.

I'm a professor. Technically a Lecturer of English, but not many non academics know what that means. I'm a almost-professor, a step lower. but not the bottom. I absolutely love teaching college l…