Book Update

It’s been a little while since I’ve done an update on what’s happening in my world of writing. There’s a lot going which is fabulous and I really hope 2015 is my year!

As I’ve posted before, Edge of Tomorrow will be released next month by Soul Mate Publishing. It’s currently in the second round of edits and I hope I get this back from my editor soon so I can finalize it and get the book prepared for release day!

I haven’t mentioned anything yet, however I am in talks of doing a book signing for To Lean on Falling Men with a local book store Blue House Books in my area next month. Blue House Books does amazing things for the community and an excellent cause to be involved in. I am petrified by the thought of doing a signing but very excited to meet everyone. I’ve always wanted to do a signing. I’ll keep everyone updated on the official date once I get copies of the book from my publisher.

And lastly, my WW2 HF Unspoken has been finally sold! As some of you may know, writing this novel was one of the toughest and biggest challenges for me and it’s truly been a labour of love and tears.

After 12 months of writing, 3 months of betas and 2 months of submitting, Unspoken has been sold to Blue Tulip Publishing. I signed the contract today and sent all my other little bits off, so I’m very excited to get the ball rolling.

So far, 2015 is looking to be an exciting and fulfilling year for my writing. I hope things get bigger and better from here on!

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Cover Reveal!

EdgeOfTomorrow200

Here it is! This is the cover for my dystopian Edge of Tomorrow. It will be released by Soul Mate Publishing in April 2015. To read the synopsis, head over to the Books page.

What are book advances?

cashBook advances. The word gets thrown around a lot in the publishing world. As a new author or a seasoned one, you have most likely heard fellow authors discuss their advance from they’re publisher.

Some publishers offer advances to their authors, some do not. These can range from $30 – $20,000 depending on the author and if their agented or not.

So what are advances? Advances are based on the number of copies the publisher thinks the book might sell upon release. If it’s a potentially big book they’ll increase their marketing budget to help ensure that the sales are high.

An advance is a payment against royalties. If the publisher thinks your book will sell 10,000 copies they’ll work out how much that means in royalties, so that amount will be your advance. Then you’ll not receive any further payments until your book has sold those 10,000 copies, as you’ve already been paid for them.

If your book sells more copies you’ll start receiving royalty cheques: they’re usually paid twice a year by the bigger publishers who focus on print sales. Publishers who focus on ebook sales predominantly pay them more frequently, such as quarterly.

If your book sells fewer than those 10,000 copies you’ll not receive any royalty payments–but you won’t have to pay back any of your advance. Good, reputable publishers won’t require you to do this.

The start of my writing career

We all started writing one day – whether it was a hobby or to vent some frustrations. I started my writing career young. The earliest memory I have is penning a story about a fairy. It was about 4 sentences long but that’s where my love for the written word birthed.

At school, I used to love creative writing classes and can recall an English class where the teacher asked to think of a story and to ensure we filled out the ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ and ‘end’ forms provided. I had so many stories in my head I didn’t know where to begin.

Believe it or not, I credit the Backstreet Boys on giving me my creative voice. When I was about 12, I started writing a book, about a girl who met the group when they got lost and appeared on her front door. In my mind, if I wrote about it, it would happen!

This story ended up becoming a series. I wrote 5 of these novels where the main character Joelle, grew up and married Nick Carter. I was a kid, okay!

I handwrote these books in binders and kept them hidden in my closest. No one ever read them. I threw them out when I moved out of home in 2005 and I cringe at the thought if anyone came across them. If I never saw the Backstreet Boys on TV back in 1997, would I be writing today?

After that, my writing bloomed. When I was in high school, I wrote a fan fiction X Files book and a Saving Private Ryan clone called Resistance to Fear. I loved to write. After school, I would fight my sister on the computer and write my novels. I would save them on my floppy disks and keep them somewhere safe.

I was naive to the publishing industry and didn’t even consider publishing my books until further in life.  Back then, I thought it was normal to pay to have your book published. (More on that later)

Once I had established a bit of a writing bug, I penned a book called Giblin the Conquerer. It was a sci-fi/fantasy novel, inspired by Emily Rhoda’s Rowan of Rin series. I don’t recall how long it took me to write but I was so proud of it when I completed it. I’ve since lost the manuscript. I had printed it out and misplaced the floppy disk so I have no idea where it is!

My writing halted for a little while when I finished high school in 2003. After that, my next big project was ‘All She ever Wanted.’ At the time in my life, I had moved away from home to live in Sydney and start an actual career. I wrote any chance I got – on my lunch break, at home after dinner, on the weekend. It took me 12 months to finish it – with a 6 month gap in between. I found what ‘writer’s block’ truly meant.

When I was satisfied it was finished, I asked a work colleague at the time about publishing my book. She suggested a vanity publisher her sister had used. Back then, I had no idea paying to have your book published wasn’t ‘normal’. It cost me $2200 at the time and it felt good to have the book in my hands. It was released in 2008. A copy was sent to the National Library and I even got an interview on SWR FM.

I  was now a published author and very proud of my accomplishments. During this time, I penned another novel, The Guardian, which never got finished. Looking back on it, it could have become a good piece, but I lost my passion for it and my writing waned again.

I took another ‘break’ and began researching my novel ‘Darkness before Dawn‘ in 2011. I had such a big lapse in writing, I had no idea how long it would take me to finish it. After a year of researching, writing, beta reading, revising and editing, it was ready to go in 2012. This novel was truly a challenge for me, but I loved every minute of it. The first draft is so different to the version that got published that it really showed me how much I matured as a writer and a person. However I cringe at my earlier work!

Since that moment, writing has become a staple in my life. I have since published 4 books traditionally, with another to be released in 2015. I look forward to the next ten years in my writing career and where it will lead me!

I would love to know your writing journey. Please comment in the section below.

Earthwalker Is Now In Print!

Earthwalker

I received news from my publisher Earthwalker is now available in print on Amazon. I can’t wait to get my own copies! Nothing beats having your own book in your hands.

It can be purchased here for $10.99.

My historical fiction Darkness before Dawn is for sale for print or ebook.

Christmas Submissions

christmas-tree-isolated Christmas isn’t far along and its usually the time when many companies begin the ritual of shutting down for the holidays. What about book publishers?

From my personal experience, I’ve witnessed publishers shut down a week or so before Xmas and don’t open again until late January. It’s a frustrating time for an author because you’ve spent many months (or years) refining your work, you submit and then you have to wait 6-12 weeks for a response.

There is never a good or perfect time to submit. The market is fickle and publishers are looking for more niche novels. You can submit on Xmas Day or Easter but expect the waiting or rejections.

However, as I say that, I’ve noticed that times have changed. Many publishers and agents are opening for longer or keeping their submissions open during the holidays. As past experience suggests, submitting during the holidays is like throwing your work into a black hole. I’ve sent many, many submissions over Christmas and never heard anything from them. They could’ve rejected it or it could have been lost in the mass of emails. I think its the latter.

I’m ready to begin querying my WIP however this time of year has hindered my plans. If I submit now, will the agent or publisher remember my work in the new year? I’ve asked many authors the same question: when to submit?

The large majority say whats the harm in doing it now? The publisher or agent may even take your work home with them and read it over the holidays. I like to think that may be the truth, but I want my work to be fresh in their minds.

After receiving new feedback from a beta reader, I’ve decided to query agents for now, though won’t submit full manuscripts to publishers until the book is completely finished. It won’t be sold until the new year but I’ve accepted to wait until 2015.

I guess I think this way because I’ve put so much work and effort into this novel that I’m super excited to get it out there. But excitement can wait. There’s no point putting out a half finished work that will most likely get rejected.

Waiting is hard. Will you submit during the holidays or wait until people return to work? I’ll love to hear your thoughts.