What You Should Know About Self-Publishing

By Anna Parsons

So you finished writing your book and want to publish it—great! Completing a manuscript is an accomplishment you should be proud of. The next step is deciding how to pursue publication.

The-Shack-Hardcover-Front-CoverOne mistake authors can make is to self-publish a book with the intention of “really” publishing it later on with a traditional publishing company. The problem with this is that self-publishing is a legitimate form of publication, and many agents and publishers will not take on previously published manuscripts. The main reason for this is that if a book is available to the public and is not already selling thousands of copies, it indicates to publishers that there may not be a market for the book or that the author will not be able to help them sell it. There are, of course, exceptions where agents seek out self-published books or these books are picked up by traditional publishers (such as The Shack, Eragon, or Fifty Shades of Grey). But these exceptions are just that—special cases that aren’t the norm, and books that make the transition are usually self-published successes in which the author has invested a great deal of time and money. Continue reading

Building Your Author Platform

Contrary to popular belief, building your author platform is not the same thing as marketing. It’s all about networking and creating a community of people who believe in the same things your book is saying. If you were to write a young adult contemporary romance, your community might contain young adults with a belief in love at first sight or a weakness for a good ol’ fashioned love story, publishing professionals who specialize in young adult romances, and other authors in the same genre. Continue reading

Six Tips for World Building in Your Fantasy Novel

If you’re a writer of fantasy, you know that world building can make or break your story. Oh, it can be so much fun to create an entirely new world from scratch or just modify an existing world with elements from your imagination. YA fantasy author, Amber Mitchell is a pro at world building and wants to share some of her favorite tips with you! Continue reading

What to Write When You Don’t Know What to Write

One of the biggest issues writers seem to face is writer’s block. Everything might be going great; words are just flowing through your fingertips and onto the screen (or paper, if that’s what you prefer), when suddenly your muse abandons you like the power in your house during a storm. What was once so clear is suddenly a pitch-black room where your toe keeps finding every piece of furniture, and you can’t find the flashlight. Little did you know, the repeated toe stubbing caused the flashlight to fall from the table and roll under the couch. Of course. It is the luck of many a person and figuratively thousands and thousands of writers. Don’t despair in your dark room though! The power will come back on at some point! But do you really want to wait? Continue reading

What Are Agents Really Looking for in Partials and Fulls?

Lots of writers ask why agents bother asking for a partial manuscript. After all, what can agents really find in those fifty pages? Wouldn’t it save a lot of time if agents just asked for the full?

Short answer? No. Not at all. Aside from just saving a lot of time, agents are also looking to see if they want to read more of your work. It’s much easier to give an interesting idea a fair shot when agents know they are only going to be committed to a shorter read. You’ve piqued the interest of the agent in your original query and now they want to see what else you’ve got.

Unfortunately, this seems to lead to heated debates with writers questioning whether or not agents can glean enough of the story to decide whether it’s good or not with only fifty pages. Continue reading

Amber Mitchell Discusses Her Journey To Becoming A Published Author

Today we’re talking with Amber Mitchell about her journey to publishing her first novel, Garden of Thorns, hitting shelves on March 6, 2017. Amber graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She currently lives in a small town in Florida with her husband Brian and their four cats. Continue reading