Tips for YA Lit: What Are Indie Publishers? Part 2

A few blogs ago, I defined indie publishers (click here), but to sum it up, they are not the Big 5 powerhouses or their imprints, but smaller independent presses and there are loads of them. It's important to look at every avenue for publication to see your options as a writer. Indie presses are a great way to get traditionally published, often without needing an agent.

Here's a few reasons why I think they've become popular:

Digital book sales and print-on-demand offers from companies makes it a lucrative business in that the publishers don't spend a lot of money on the printing part of the process (the author spends none). I believe the reader pays for the printing in the price of the book and yet these books are still priced the same or lower than self-published print books. They can choose specific niches that are in demand--romance, speculative, dystopian, etc. They can be selective in only taking the genres they want. This is great for genre specific authors.This …

Romance Book Review: A Seer's Daughter

*Warning: I'm branching off into different novels now and then to break things up. This review is on a novel intended for adult readers.

Adorably sensual and full of tension, heartbreak, and political upheavals, A Seer's Daughter, by B.C. Marine, is a refreshing must-read fantasy romance novel.
A servant girl and a defiant prince both are gifted with the same power to heal others through a kiss. Their friendship is frowned upon, a romance—forbidden. Odelia soon learns not all is as it seems in her past, the future her father predicts more daunting, and her friendship with the prince is at an impasse. Prince Kennard isn't the typical obedient son he should be, fighting his father in every aspect, particularly in marriage. Soon Kennard learns he must choose between his family and the woman he loves, while Odelia must carve the right path into the future so both she and Kennard survive. Enter in a shape-shifting tyrannical king, an overbearingly charismatic Queen, lots of meddl…

YA Book Review: The Memory Visit

The Memory Visit, by Jenny Lynn Lambert, is a thought-provoking, fast paced page turner that leaves the reader wanting more.

The novel centers around Rain, a seventeen-year-old girl looking for answers about a memory of her brother dying. In NorCoast, our seemingly post-apocalyptic future which is low on water, one can venture to the past to relive memories as a way to escape the troubles of the present. Only when Rain tries to find answers about her brother, she picks up a thread of the past involving conspiracy, her brother's murder, and more sinister plots. Through her trips to the past, Rain learns she's a Mark, a person who can actually change a memory and therefore alter the past up to the moment she went back (her present). In multiple attempts to save her brother, and multiple threads of possible lives, Rain comes to learn that the people behind it all won't stop until she's dead and that she and Evin, no matter what thread they appear in, are linked by more t…

Publishing Tips: What Are Indie Publishers? Part 1

Recently, I went on Twitter and posed a question about indie publishers to the #WritingCommunity which is made up of aspiring, self-published, and traditionally published writers. As we are a procrastinating bunch, playing online instead of writing, responses are usually immediate. However, my question of "What is your perception of indie publishers?" met with resounding crickets (even after a retweet). I see all these aspiring authors stressing out about trying to query agents and wondered through this silence if they believe it is the only way. In the beginning, I did. I though it was agent or self publishing, but there is something wonderfully in between: indie pubs.

So let's tackle this elusive "indie" term. Most people heard the term "indie" applied to actors who work for small, independent film companies, or authors who represent the self-published industry. But what is an indie publisher? When we apply the term to them it is kind of self-explan…

YA Book Review: Red Queen

Red Queen is a nail-biting tale of intrigue, mystery, and betrayals. Amazingly written, Victoria Aveyard spins an exciting tale of fabulous characters in a world so different, yet so very like our own.

Red Queen follows the happenstance journey of Mare Barrow, a poor red-blooded thief, from the Stilts where she fears conscription (draft for the army) to the palace of silver-blooded nobility where she must playact to survive and betrayals are a given. In a world divided by blood--Reds are mere human, while Silvers are like supernatural gods--Mare has no place. She is not all she seems to be but bleeds red with powers of a Silver. To hide this "flaw," she is forced into a fabricated role of a lost noble and engaged to one prince (Maven) while battling feelings over the other prince who got her into this predicament (Cal). Throughout all this, the Reds are rising in a rebellion that will forever change the land as they know it, a good thing for the suppressed Reds but not necess…

Tales in Publishing: The Dreaded Pitch

When you talk to authors, it seems like there's something they dread most: writing any kind of synopsis. A synopsis is difficult. How do you condense an entire book into a paragraph effectively? The thing they seem to hate as much as synopsis crafting is the pitch. If you think condensing a full-length book to a paragraph is hard, trying condensing it down to a sentence.
What is a pitch? In writing, an elevator pitch is a very short blurb, usually a sentence or two that answers an important question: what is your book about? It must capture the premise, give us a feel for the novel such as main characters, point of view, genre--whatever the most important and obvious selling point of the novel hinges on. The pitch is intended to sell your book in a very short span. They can be used at conferences where agents will give you one minute to sell them your book, the beginning of query letters as a hook to get the agent reading, on online pitch days where agents favorite pitches to ask f…

YA Book Review: Starstruck

Starstruck, by Brenda Hiatt, struck me as interesting with its stellar plot and premise and character development. But I just couldn't fully board the series' ship due to the eye-rolling-weak female protagonist that never grows from her experiences.

The story starts off with Marsha Truitt (known as M), the pimply, bespectacled, insecure nerd of the school lusting after the new drop-dead gorgeous, quarterback Rigel Stuart. Although Rigel seems out of her league and her nemesis/bully Trina has set her cap on him, Rigel chooses M. To both of their surprise, their connection is electric--literally. This bond they form, her sight suddenly becoming 20/20, and her acne clearing up, not mention how they accidentally zap a bully, all make M press him for answers. Those answers are way too difficult to swallow, though, since he professes to be a martian and then drops the bombshell that she's the martian princess. It takes some convincing but once she's on board, she realizes th…