Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In which I go into cheerleader mode

Okay--don't go into shock, but I actually have a proper blog post for you guys today!

(well, I hope it's proper. I feel like I'm getting rusty at this whole blogging thing--but THAT is a topic for another day).

I've recently heard a number of people all say the same thing, and I'm betting it's something that some of you might be feeling as well. And it's something that makes me so sad to hear--even though I understand why they might feel it--because it's simply NOT true, and I hate to see anyone get down on themselves when what they're going through is totally normal. So I thought it was high time I clear the cobwebs and dust bunnies off this blog and step into cheerleader mode.

This is probably the point where I should tell you what it is we're even talking about (again, going back to the whole rusty-at-blogging thing...)


So basically, I've had a ton of friends say something along the lines of....

"I feel like a fraud."

And I realize that needs a little context, so let me explain. The people telling me this are all fellow writers. They're active in the blogosphere and writing forums and various social media outlets. They go to writer's conferences and trade shows and author signings. Most importantly, they read, read, read and write, write, write and revise, revise, revise. And they've been doing all of this for years.

Basically, they're checking off every box on the Things You Should Do If You're Trying To Get Published list. And yet, for whatever reason, they haven't sold a book yet. Maybe they're also still looking for an agent.

And because of that--and because they're so active in the writing community--they feel like a fraud. Like there's some ticking clock determining how long they're allowed to be "aspiring" before they must cross over to "published", and any second someone is going to realize they still don't have a book deal and show them to the door. 

I remember feeling the same way when I was struggling to get published. I worked with my agent for more than a year before selling a book, and I used to dread the inevitable moment when a fellow writer would ask me, "What do you write?" because then I'd have to tell them I'm not published yet and they'd of course immediately be disappointed in me and not want to talk to me anymore because I was a big old fraud.

But here's the thing: I wasn't a fraud

I was just on my journey to publication--and every single writer's journey is different. 

And I know you've probably heard that a billion times before, and that it's not all that comforting when your journey has you knee deep in the muck and mire of rejections, meanwhile tons of people you know are skipping past you to Published Authorville. I know it's frustrating and heartbreaking and how easy it is to worry that you're just not good enough and it's never going to happen and maybe you should just give up. And I remember projecting those feelings on everyone else and assuming they were all thinking: go away little wannabe, you're not one of us

But here's the other thing: No one thinks you're a fraud.

Those of us who are published remember very clearly how hard it is to get published (we all have our own war stories, trust me). And honestly, every day this business is getting tougher and tougher to break into, so those of you working at it right now have it even worse than we did. We also know how much timing and luck can play into getting an agent or a book deal, and that whether you have one is NOT a reflection of your talent. All it means is that you're still on your journey, and we are here to cheer you on as you get there.

I know that doesn't change anything, or make the discouraging part of the publishing journey any easier. But please, PLEASE don't tell yourself that you're a fraud. You are NOT a fraud. The only differences between a published author and an aspiring writer are time and perseverance. Be patient, don't give up, and you WILL get there.

And in the meantime: CUPCAKES! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy KEEPER-Paperback-Day--AND AN EXILE ARC (plus swag) GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!

There's a reason I've had "Paperback writer" stuck in my head all week--and not just because it's so darn catchy. (For those who don't know what I'm talking about, educate yourselves HERE)

As of today--I NOW OFFICIALLY AM ONE!!!!!!

(Well, maybe not *technically*--since I believe the actual definition of a "paperback writer" applies to authors whose books come out only in paperback. BUT IT'S CLOSE ENOUGH, OKAY???) :)

Which is my nerdy, roundabout way of saying...

*herald trumpets blast*


I realize KEEPER has already been out in the world for about ten months now (wow, where does time go?) so this may feel like old news. But I gotta say, I'm almost more excited about this than I was on the hardcover release day.

Growing up, my family lived on a VERY tight budget. And since I cranked through books like nobody's business, paperbacks were pretty much my lifesaver (paperbacks and libraries. I would've been lost without both). So it makes me VERY happy to finally have a paperback version of KEEPER out there in the world, to make it a little easier on families like mine.

Even better: it only costs $6.99.

Even, EVEN better, they're just as shiny and gorgeous as the hardcovers--same gloss and everything:

Even, EVEN, EVEN better, it has this at the end:

Even, EVEN, EVEN, EVEN better, I'm having a contest to celebrate--and I'm giving away one of these:

plus TWENTY FIVE of these:

There. aren't. Enough. Exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To enter, make sure you fill out the form below by 11:59pm PDT on 8/18/13. I won't have time to post winners (or contact the losers) so you'll know you won if the prize shows up in your mailbox--like a fun little surprise!!!! (And I'll let you know once they've been sent so you know to keep an eye out). International entries welcome!

Usually I like to keep my giveaways nice and simple. But since I know there's quite a lot of you hoping to win this ARC, I thought it was only fair to give you guys a few chances to get extra entries, and then it's up to you if you want to bother taking advantage of it. 

All the instructions are in the form below (and if you can't access the form for some reason, you can find it HERE). Just fill it out to enter.
And.... go!

Contest form removed since the contest is now closed.
Thanks to all who entered!