From The Agent’s Desk: How to Edit!

From The Agent’s Desk:
How to Edit!

I was having a conversation with my author, Shanna, the other day, and she was reading a post about editing and what to do once you’ve finished your first manuscript. Of course, she then goes on a clarifying rant about how it’s not just editing, but HOW to edit that took her a while to understand. Being the English person I am, I completely didn’t understand this for a minute and spent some time just sitting and thinking about it. I turned back to her, now realizing that editing and writing doesn’t come naturally for most people and immediately said, “THIS is something I can write about!”

So, here I am, and here you are reading this, hoping to better your editing skills. No pressure, right?! I’m better at teaching than I am at small talk, so let’s just get right to it!

Editing is so much about knowing your character, your story, and your voice, and most importantly, your weaknesses. Most people can’t identify their weaknesses until they have someone else point it out for them, and even then, writing is so subjective that another’s opinion doesn’t always help you with your own story and voice. There are times it’s even taken people years for someone to say “hey, you’re doing this wrong” in order for things to finally click into place.

The guidelines below are to help you identify weaknesses in your work and other people’s work. They’re not cure-alls, and they are most definitely not an instantaneous fix, but they will help you learn and recognize what’s most needed in your work when you’re so used to your voice that you can’t separate yourself from your manuscript. I highly advise multiple beta readers and critique partners in addition to these editing techniques, as all of these experiences help you to become a better writer! So, read on, my dear writers, and please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

1. Repetition of Words

This is a huge one I see constantly during line edits. If you’re repeating words, it needs to be purposeful and part of your voice/character’s voice. It should be a catchphrase or related to an emotion. However, repeating words for readers means that you’re losing your reader’s interest quickly. They’re reading your story because it’s something different, so you need to GIVE them something different in each line. Each line, paragraph, page, chapter, etc., should be ADDING to their experience as readers and moving them along at a nice pace. It’s all purposeful, and repetition of words is one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make.

In addition to this, there are probably a couple thousand words in your manuscript that you don’t even need in the vein of “that”, “very”, “just”, “softly” and many more. DELETE these words. They’re some of the most common words in the English language and they do nothing to further your manuscript and your writing.

I highly suggest going to Diana Urban’s post here, where she lists 43 words that you should be able to cut from your manuscript immediately. Open it, read it, look for them, and delete them!

2. Sentence Structure Variation

Speaking of words, sentence structure variation is my biggest pet peeve. This is especially difficult for people writing in first person because you’re somewhat limited, and then your sentences come out with “I ran to the mall. I bought that shirt I had wanted for so long. I had finally fulfilled my dream of owning the blue shirt. All my hard work paid off.”

Almost every single sentence we write naturally comes out as noun, verb, prepositional phrase, and so on and so forth. It turns into an extremely boring read, and if you do your research, you’ll find that the best writers are MASTERS of varying their sentence structure, including fragments, slang, and conjunctions in order to make reading flow nicely for today’s readers.

The only reason you should be repeating your sentence structure is to make an emphasis. If you want emphasis on a certain feeling, emotion, point, etc., it’s possible to repeat that sentence structure, but don’t over use it. If you must repeat your sentence structure for emphasis, stick to two sentences, as it’s enough for your brain to recognize it, but not enough for your readers to become bored of your writing.

In addition, my best advice for this is to STUDY some of your favorite writers in the age range and genre you’re writing in. Read their work and take notes. Some of your favorite sentences, paragraphs, and quotes, how are they written? What about it draws your attention? Where is the emphasis in the sentence and how are the sentences around it written to set up for your favorite lines?

3. Expository Language

One of the best ways to identify expository language is to go through your manuscript piece by piece and continue to ask yourself if your world building and narration is coming from your character or YOU! Is there a 3rd person narrator that just seems to pop up at the precise time needed to describe grandma’s wallpaper in the afternoon light? Is your narrator giving away secrets to your book before they actually happen, or after the fact? Is your reader being filled in to background information from this narrator, because they need to know the information but haven’t received it through action or dialogue yet?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you’re including expository language where it doesn’t need to be. Even in adult manuscripts, it should be your characters voice coming through to build the world and emotions involved. It should be your character’s voice and dialogue cluing your readers in to past events and other’s feelings. You don’t need the extra narrator and descriptions. Take them all out and find a way to bring your back story, emotions, and world building in through dialogue, actions, and inner voice.

This is the classic “show, don’t tell” response that many people receive. Be aware of this, because if you master the practice of showing, rather than telling, effectively getting rid of your expository language, you have improved your writing ability ten fold!

4. Dialogue as a Purpose

I read a tweet from Writer’s Digest the other day, quoting Jordan Rosenfeld saying “Dialogue should serve a purpose, and that purpose should not be to reveal something obvious.”

How many of you state the obvious in your manuscripts? Do you clue the reader in with actions and dialogue, and then have your characters state what the reader should already know? TAKE IT OUT! It doesn’t need to be there. There is so much story to tell just in the look in someones eyes, body language, actions, and even inner voice. Why does your character need to say it?

In addition, if your character does need to say it and tell another character about something, you need to make sure that all of your characters actions support that statement and how they’re feeling about it, without fully giving the idea away. Every single word in your manuscript serves a purpose, and if you find dialogue that doesn’t serve a purpose, is placed in there as a useless filler, is put in there to make a reader laugh, is stating the obvious or repeating something the reader already knows, take it out. It doesn’t need to be there, and I can assure you that your manuscript and writing skills will be stronger by learning to connect the two dots around it without needless dialogue.

What are your characters really trying to say? How else can they express this? Is the reader already aware of what needs to be said?

 

5. Realistic Dialogue

This gets many, many people rejections from my query box. If you have a contemporary novel and you’re not using contractions (can’t, won’t, didn’t, etc.) than you need to start using them. You should be writing dialogue and voice the same way you speak. We, as most humans, speak in slang, and to have your character not speak in slang means that you’re character isn’t realistic or relatable.

This isn’t to say that if you’re writing a historic novel, your characters can’t speak in proper, older English. Or maybe your manuscript takes place in another country where the language is broken from another character’s point of view, so you need to write your dialogue with an accent (but not too much, as it still needs to be readable!). Write it how you would hear it and understand it. Write your dialogue with thought and precision. Going back to your dialogue should be purposeful, so should every single word in your dialogue be purposefully written to be fluent, relatable, realistic, and readable.

Small tip: If you’re writing in an accent or inserting another language into your manuscript, let your readers imagination work FOR you, not against you. Your readers will naturally highlight the accent and will hear it in their minds, even if it’s lessened to a point of understanding. You don’t want your reader overworking themselves trying to figure out what your dialogue actually says in the accent. You need a comfortable in between to let your reader’s minds wander and help you. Saying a few words in another language that your readers may not understand can also help to bring a sense of culture to your manuscript. You don’t have to have them always explain these words, either. If you give enough context clues in your manuscript by having other characters react to their words or respond to them, your reader should be able to figure it out without much help. If they really want to know what the word is, it means they’re invested and they’ll look it up.

A few questions for your as you go through your manuscript: Is this how I or my character would say this line? If they’re speaking differently than the other characters, is there a reason for it? Is my accent so overdone that my readers can’t understand what the character is really trying to say? Are they speaking in slang and fragments like I do? What slang and fragments would have been used by my character during this time period?

6. Realistic Character Actions

This will be explained more in my next post about larger ideas, but it’s important to take note of this while addressing your dialogue as well. As writers, we have a tendency to insert random dialogue or plot points that don’t actually make sense to our readers, but they make sense in our heads. Because we plan all of this out and think to ourselves, “YES! My problems are solved! I know how to make my story work!” When in fact, you’re just confusing your reader by finding the easiest way out, rather than making your actions, dialogue, and voice realistic.

This is tough because sometimes it takes another person to point out the unrealistic adventures we put our characters through, but it can be spotted with time and care. My best advice is to list out your characters and physically write down keywords and information about them. You want to put down adjectives to describe them, and thoroughly understand how they would probably react to different situations, including what would drive that reaction. Make your list, and use it to help go through your manuscript piece by piece.

On a smaller scale, this will help you determine whether your dialogue is natural. If you have a character that’s freaking out and screaming, upset because her husband cheated on her, but the keywords you have for her are introverted, shy, dependent, etc., she wouldn’t be yelling at him. She’d probably be sitting there crying, thinking to herself what she’s going to do now and whether or not she can forgive him. And if she does leave him, what is driving that motivation and how can you make it apparent to your readers?

When your readers don’t know your characters’ drives, as well as the how and why to what they’re saying and how they’re feeling, they can’t relate to your characters, and your writing begins to feel unnatural. This is where you lose your readers because we can’t connect to your characters on an emotional level.

In addition to this, I highly, HIGHLY recommend people watching. If you know some people who are introverted or extroverted, or maybe you based your characters determination off someone, it never hurts to ask them questions about what they think they would do in certain situations. Or maybe you just want to observe them in real life, interacting with their friends. Take notes of how people respond to different situations, act things out with your friends, ask them questions. It may feel odd at first, but the more responses you receive, the better understanding you will have for your characters.

Go through your plot points and dialogue with the list and research you created. Are your characters acting naturally according to your list? Are they reacting in a way that feels true to them, rather than to you? Are they speaking in a way that feels true to their core drives? What small body instances of body language can you place into your manuscript to make these characters and their reactions feel real and alive?

7. Passive Voice

Most people I tell this to don’t understand how to recognize passive voice, and rather than going into too much detail, I’m going to send you all to Grammarly with a fun way of identifying it. Go read up on Rebecca Johnson and Kimberly Joki’s fun way of identifying and replacing passive voice here.

Folks, Passive voice is BAD. We don’t want passive voice, as it makes for boring sentences and a not-so-active character, as well as a not-so-involved reader. You can even tell in the sentences that Kimberly uses as examples: one sentence is obviously more interesting and engaging than the other. This is because of the noun and subject placement. Make sure that your characters are actively participating in their own stories!

8. Pacing

Last, but definitely not least, a small section of pacing. Again, this is another topic that I will touch on more in my next blog post about larger editing techniques, but this is important in your first pages, so I wanted to touch on it a bit here.

Pacing is difficult, and it’s most difficult because you, as the writer, know everything there is to know about your story. You know the backgrounds, stories, action, etc., that everyone else may not know yet. Being all knowledgeable makes writing at a good pace difficult because most of the time, you either want to slow down and get to the gritty part of your characters’ emotions, or you want to bring on the action and the tension.

The best way I know how to double check your pacing is by literally doing a chapter and plot diagram outline.

This is a great example of a plot diagram! Make sure your story and tension follows this arc. This is even simplified and comes with boxes you can easily fill in on your own to determine if your climax, conflict, rising action, etc., are in the right place for your manuscript.

Chapter outlines are done differently by every person, but I highly suggest that you get as specific as possible in your chapter outlines. These outlines are what will enable you to pick out your greatest moments of tension, emotion, and forward movement. What I would do as a writer is actually go through your character outline and highlight the chapters or instances where you are building tension and asking questions. Then go through and star, or maybe highlight in a different color, where you slow down and get to the emotional turmoil and character development. And finally, go through and highlight your scenes of action (especially for high fantasy and heavy action stories!).

Are your colors/markers cyclic? Are they spread out? Are they consistent throughout the entirety of your manuscript? Do they coincide with the plot diagram?

Side note: pacing is VERY IMPORTANT in your beginning pages, so make sure you take note of how much background information you’re showing your reader, what emotions you’re showing your reader and how much these emotions pull you in. Take into consideration all of the above elements, and send your beginning out to beta readers and CP’s in order to make sure that you’re starting in just the right place. Beginnings are so difficult to get the pacing just right, so make sure you get other opinions!


The guidelines above are smaller details to take notice of in the brunt of your manuscript, and I will be sure to post a more general “How to Edit” post that deals with pacing, plot, characters, conflict, etc. to cover the more general ideas that will be needed to help with large edits on your manuscript. The edits above, however, can be especially useful in line edits and your first few pages. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, tips, etc., in the comments below! I’m sure other readers and writers will get even more value from your ideas and experiences, should you choose to share them with us. =)

I’d also love your feedback! Was this helpful? What else would you like to know about editing? What worked for you and what didn’t work for you?

Thank you all for your time, and best of luck in your writing adventures!

kellysig

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Team Gryffindor Welcome Post! (Plus my sign-up Post)

 

HELLO and WELCOME my fellow Team Gryffindors! (If you are not team Gryffindor, that is ok! Welcome to you as well!) As Head Girl of the Gryffindor house for this challenge I want to take a moment to let you know I am here for any questions you may have, concerns that pop up, or if you just want a fellow Harry Potter fan to chat with! Also as Head Girl, I will be the Gryffindor’s host to turn in all points to on November 12th!

If you are interested  and have not yet signed up, feel free to head over to my other post and get all the info! Here is a link.

JUST A LITTLE ABOUT ME:

My name is Lauren. *waves* I am a book dragon, coffee drinker, somewhat artist, photographer, sometimes gamer, all time dreamer, hopeful writer, and Harry Potter fanatic! I mainly read Fantasy, but will read pretty much anything. I’m beyond excited to have everyone join us for this reading challenge! When Alex told me this idea in September, I knew it was going to be amazing! We are lucky to have Kelsey and Erica join us! This is my first time co-hosting a reading challenge, and I can’t think of a better challenge to start with! If you ever want to chat, you can find me on Twitter: @Betweendpages or Instagram: Between_D_Pages.

HOUSE CUP CHALLENGE:

I may be a co-host and Head Girl, but I can’t pass up on this fun! So to join in I’m going to add my sign-up post here!

Name: Lauren @BetweenDpages
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor!
Wand Type: Laurel Wood and Dragon Heartstring
Pet: I wish I could take my dog Luna (yes, she is named after Luna Lovegood!) But apparently witches never seem to have dogs, and I’m allergic to cats so I’m going with OWL!
Favorite Subject: Transfiguration! (I actually had a hard time picking between Trans and Charms! But Transfiguration seems like it would be a little more fun to learn!)
Favorite Professor: Professor McGonagall. (It was between her and Lupin! I love them both so much, but McGonagall’s sass won over Lupin’s sweetness!)

ACCIO BOOKS!

Coming up with a TBR for anything is actually kind of hard for me. I am a big mood reader, so picking books in advance can be tricky. I also added an additional challenge to myself by trying to only pick books I owned.  BUT I DID IT!! To try and give myself a little room to work with I picked books for the main challenge, plus a book for every bonus challenge! I seriously doubt I will get them all read during this challenge, but at least I have a plan!

I don’t have these in any order, so I’m just going to list the 7 books I picked for my main challenge:

Year One-Year Seven:

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition
-Dead House
-The Girl Who Drank The Moon
-The Darkest Part of the Forest
-Heart of Betrayal
-Anna and the French Kiss
-This Song Will Save Your Life

Bonus Challenges:

Gryffindor: Read a book with an epic hero/heroine (HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hufflepuff: Read a book that contains a strong friendship (HP and the Goblet of Fire)
Ravenclaw: Read a book that revolves around a mystery (The Killing Jar)
Slytherin: Read a book set in a dystopian world (Never Fade)
AstronomyClass: Read a book set in outer space (These Broken Stars)
Care of Magical Creatures: Read a book that features an animal or magical/mythical creature (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)
Tri-Wizard Tournament: Read a book that includes a competition (Caraval)
Occlumency: Read a book about a character with magical abilities or superpowers (Fate of Flames)
Death Eater: Read a book told from the POV of a villain (Vicious)
Platform 9 3/4: Read a book that features travel (Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour)
Time Turner: Read a book set in the future or past (Ready, Player, One)
Fantastic Beasts: Read a spin-off to a beloved series (Fairest)
Dumbledore’s Army: Buddy-read a book with a friend or group (The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and Uprooted)
A LITTLE STUCK?
Picking books can be a little difficult so here are a few I would recommend if you have not already read them!
-Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
-A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
-Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
-The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
-My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
-The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
-Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
-Air Awakens by Elise Kova
-Hounded by Devin Hearne
-When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandy Menon
There is also a list on Bustle for Gryffindor reads. They also have the other houses which might give you ideas. You can go here for that list!
Just a reminder:
Sign-ups close Saturday night, October 14th. Make sure to have your post linked with one of the host before Saturday night! If you are not a blogger, please be sure to complete your sign-up Twitter post, Instagram post, or Youtube video!
There will be a kick-off Twitter chat Sunday, October 15th @8:00p.m. EST! Please try to join us if you can! This is a great time to meet fellow challengers and get to know everyone who is participating! The hosts will also be taking time during the chat to answer questions you may have!
We are excited to have you and hope to see you all at the chat Sunday!
laurensig

Reading Challenge Sign Up!

WELCOME TO THE HOUSE CUP READING CHALLENGE!!! My fellow co-hosts, Alex of Book Daisy Reviews, Kelsey of Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf, and Erica of Escape Under the Cover, are excited to invite our fellow book readers and Harry Potter fans on an adventure as we tackle our TBRs! Now let’s get to the fun part…

WHAT IS THE HOUSE CUP READING CHALLENGE?

The House Cup Reading Challenge runs from Sunday, October 15, to Sunday, November 12. During this challenge, you will progress from a first-year to seventh-year Hogwarts student by completing seven books on your TBR list. In addition to the main challenge, you will have opportunities to earn even more points by participating in the themed bonus challenges and tweeting with the challenge hashtag on Twitter. But more on that later!

HOW THE CHALLENGE WORKS

First, you’ll need to choose your Hogwarts house. During the challenge, you’ll not only be earning points for yourself but for your Hogwarts house as well. At the end of the challenge, each reader should report their points to their house’s Head Girl:
Gryffindor: Lauren @BetweenDPages
Hufflepuff: Kelsey @Kelsenator
Ravenclaw: Alex @booksydaisy
Slytherin: Erica @slychica08
Here’s how we’re determining the winners:
 4 Individual House Winners
One winner will be chosen from each of the four Hogwarts houses. The person who earns the most points for their house will receive:
$5 Starbucks gift card and some HP-themed goodies (stickers, bookmarks, etc.)
1 House Cup Grand Prize Winner
Here’s where the House Cup challenge really comes into play! At the end of the challenge, we will randomly select one grand prize winner from the Hogwarts houses with the most points overall. This lucky winner will receive:
A Harry Potter Funko Pop figure and a $25 giftcard to Barnes and Noble
**In the case of an international winner, that person will receive an e-gift card to The Book Depository.** 
**PLEASE NOTE: Because we will need winners to provide us with their addresses in order to send out the prizes, you must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win.**

Challenge Events

To kick off the challenge, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat starting at 8:00 p.m. EST to give everybody a chance to introduce themselves, talk about the competition, and answer some Harry Potter trivia questions. Be sure to follow along with the #housecupreadingchallenge hashtag.
At the end of the challenge, we’ll also be hosting a watch-along of one of the Harry Potter movies (to be decided via Twitter poll). We’ll have more details about this as we get closer to the end of the challenge.

CHALLENGE CATAGORIES AND POINT BREAKDOWN

Main Challenge (20 points each)

Not everyone likes to be confined to a specific category, so we’ve decided that all books for the main challenge are reader’s choice. This means you can pick any book off your TBR list to count toward the main challenge!
First Year: reader’s choice
Second Year: reader’s choice
Third Year: reader’s choice
Fourth Year: reader’s choice
Fifth Year: reader’s choice
Sixth Year: reader’s choice
Seventh Year: reader’s choice

Bonus Challenges (10 points each)

For those who like categories to help narrow down their reading choices, here are thirteen bonus challenges to choose from. However, books you read for the bonus challenges cannot count toward the main challenge! For example,  if you pick The Hunger Games for the Slytherin bonus challenge (read a dystopian book), you cannot also count it toward your second-year challenge.
Gryffindor: Read a book with an epic hero/heroine
Hufflepuff: Read a book that contains a strong friendship
Ravenclaw: Read a book that revolves around a mystery
Slytherin: Read a book set in a dystopian world
AstronomyClass: Read a book set in outer space
Care of Magical Creatures: Read a book that features an animal or magical/mythical creature
Tri-Wizard Tournament: Read a book that includes a competition
Occlumency: Read a book about a character with magical abilities or superpowers
Death Eater: Read a book told from the POV of a villain
Platform 9 3/4: Read a book that features travel
Time Turner: Read a book set in the future or past
Fantastic Beasts: Read a spin-off to a beloved series
Dumbledore’s Army: Buddy-read a book with a friend or group
Social Media Bonus Points
Use the hashtag #housecupreadingchallenge on Twitter to earn 1 point per tweet (limited to 20 points total).

HOW TO SIGN UP

Think you’re ready to take on the House Cup Reading Challenge? Awesome! To sign up, grab your house badge below, create a sign-up post on your blog with your challenge TBR list and, if you want, your answers to the questionnaire below. Once you’ve made your post, be sure to link it back to us using the Inlinkz widget below (or on any of my fellow co-hosts’ blogs). We await your owl no later than October 14! 😉 Happy reading!

HOGWARTS STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE

Name:
Hogwarts House:
Wand Type:
Pet:
Favorite Subject:
Favorite Professor:

HOUSE BADGES

 

 

We can’t wait to see you on October 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST for the challenge kick-off Twitter chat!


JANE UNLIMITED Blog Tour

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Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Jane, Unlimited blog tour! I am so excited to be a part of this as I am a huge Kristin Cashore fan!!! In this “Choose Your Own Adventure” -esque book, there are 5 different scenarios and we get follow Jane on each path.  I’ve attempted to do my best in providing a mood board for each one.

THE MISSING MASTERPIECE

STORY 1

LIES WITHOUT BORDERS

story 2

IN WHICH SOMEONE LOSES A SOUL

story 3

JANE, UNLIMITED

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THE STRAYHOUND, THE GIRL AND THE PAINTING

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janecoverJANE, UNLIMITED

The highly anticipated standalone from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm series—a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository


kristinAbout Kristin

Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Her epic fantasy novels set in the Graceling Realm–GracelingFire, and Bitterblue–have won many awards and much high praise, including picks as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors Choice, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. In addition, Graceling was shortlisted for the William C. Morris Debut Award and Fire is an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner.

GIVEAWAY LEGAL

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 11, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 9, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 11, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

SCHEDULE:
 
Week One:
September 11 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style Files
September 11 – The Bookiemoji – Review
September 12 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist
September 12 – Wandering Bark Books – Review
September 13 – Sarcasm & Lemons – Umbrellas Jane Would Make for YA Characters
September 13 – Arctic Books – Review
September 14 – Book Nerd Addicts – Review
September 14 – In Wonderland
September 15 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
September 15 – My Friends are Fiction – Promo
 
Week Two:
September 18 – YA Bibliophile – Review
September 18 – Across the Words – Umbrellas, A History
September 19 – The Eater of Books! – Mood Board
September 19 – NovelKnight
September 20 – Great Imaginations – Review
September 20 – The Wednesday Blog for Books – Review
September 21 – Icey BooksJane, Unlimited Quote Candy
September 21 – A Page With a View – Favorite Quotes
September 22 – A Thousand Books to Read – Review
September 22 – BookCrushin – Review
 
Week Three:
September 25 – Teen Librarian Toolbox
September 25 – The Young Folks – 10 Reasons to Read Jane, Unlimited
September 26 – Live Love Read – A Mood Board for Every Story
September 26 – No BS Book Reviews – Review
September 27Andi’s ABCs
September 27The Novel Hermit
September 28Paper Trail YA – Review
September 28Swoony Boys PodcastJane, Unlimited Fan Cast
September 29I Am A Reader
September 29Fiction Fare – Review
 
Week Four:
October 2Don’t Fold the Page
October 2Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Characters & Tea
October 3MuggleNet – Review
October 3Xpresso Reads – Top 10 Awesome Umbrellas
October 4The Book Wars – Review
October 4Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
October 5Mundie Moms – Review
October 5YA Romantics – Review & Quiz
October 6Bookworm Everlasting – Book Photography
October 6Here’s to Happy Endings – Bookish Style Board

 

WARCROSS Blog Tour: Event Recap & Dream Cast

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I’m so excited to be a part of the Warcross blog tour! I was so excited to find out Marie Lu was coming to Wellesley Books this month that I thought I’d do a recap of the book event I attended last night and a little dream casting.

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The one time I wish I owned Snapchat

I was thrilled to find out local author, Malinda Lo would be joining Marie Lu at Wellesley Books last night.  It was probably the first time I’d ever got to attend a book event where both authors were Chinese and I think that is what made it extra special.

Both Marie and Malinda’s latest books are so vastly different than their previous titles, it was fascinating to learn why they chose tell that particular story.  Marie stated amid writing The Rose Societ, which happens to be her darkest story written, she began to feel the effects of her story and wanted to write something happier.  Warcross was her “Happy Story”, which Malinda immediately questioned.  We learn right from the beginning Emika is still coping with a big loss in her life.

Malinda Lo decided to write A Line in the Dark after a conversation with her editor about reading The Secret Place (?) by Tana French.  It was then she thought about writing a mystery. Marie and Malinda came up with the comp “Gone Girl meets Mean Girls”.

When asked about setting the book in Tokyo, Marie explained she did visit Tokoyo last year to do some “research” and eat her way through Japan with fellow author Amie Kaufman. Originally Marie wrote Warcross from the perspective of a girl who was from Tokyo, but felt she wasn’t qualified to write it that way.  Instead Marie chose to write Emika’s experience going from New York to Tokoyo as a tourist, just like she had.

Both ladies have different approaches to drafting a new book.  For Malinda, she often starts off not knowing what she’s doing, but after working with the idea, she eventually figures it out.  Marie on the other hand is a pantser and wants to be an outliner, so she tries to write an outline for every book. However she always gets off track, but not so much because she still follows the major plot points.

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For Marie and Malinda, Warcross and A Line in the Dark is the first time either of them feature a Chinese American main character.  Throughout their careers both women have been inching forward to put Asian characters in their books.  Though why did it take so long to write a Chinese American character?

They began to explain that many years ago, in the industry publishers would could only pick 1 story featuring a POC and 1 LGBTQ story.  So at the beginning Marie felt that she had to make a choice between getting her career off the ground with no POCs or risk not getting a book deal if she had an Asian MC.  At the time when she made this decision not to feature a POC, it was a way of protecting herself. She did wish she were a little braver and took the risk.

As for Malinda, she wrote all of her books for herself, so all of her characters were queer women. However she also chose not to feature a POC because she felt like she couldn’t add more her queer characters. Although she didn’t want to narrow her audience by making Ash queer and Asian, in Malinda’s mind Ash was Asian it just wasn’t on the page. As for Huntress, with the story inspired by Asian culture, Malinda wove in details that hinted to the characters being Asian, but doesn’t explicitly say it.

 

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I am so glad I was able to attended the amazing event at Wellesley books!! Both Marie and Malinda are so inspirational! I need more events like theirs honestly.


Dreamcast

Switching gears for a little dream casting! The only reason why I started to agonize for HOURS deciding who would portray Emika and Hideo was the fact I had an actor in mind as I read about Emika’s father… OF ALL PEOPLE!  I also came up with an actor for Asher and then I realized it’s super late and I need to go to bed.

 

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Ellen Wong as Emika
Lucas Till as Asher
Jun Matsumoto as Hideo
Godfrey Gao as Emika’s Dad


9780399547966

Warcross by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 12, 2017

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


223095_lu_marie(1)About Marie Lu

Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and one Pembroke Welsh corgi.


Giveaway

Thanks to Penguin Random House, you can enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS prize set (including hardcover of Warcross, shirt, keychain, and postcard). (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 4, 2017 and 12:00 AM on September 29, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ENTER HERE!

 

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

September 4 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Review
September 5 – Bookiemoji – Book Photography
September 6 – Fiction Fare – Review
September 7 – BookCrushin – Review
September 8 – The Fandom – Author Q&A
September 11 – Lost in Lit – Book Photography
September 12 – Alexa Loves Books – Author Guest Post | Marie’s Favorite Video Games
September 13 – Little Lillie Reads – Review
September 14 – YA Wednesdays
September 15 – Live Love Read
September 18 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – 5 Reasons to Read Warcross
September 19 – The Young Folks – Review
September 20 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
September 21 – Arctic Books – Warcross Mood Board
September 22 – Book Nerd Addicts – Author Q&A
September 25 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A + Event Recap
September 26 –Mundie Moms – Favorite Quotes
September 27 – YA Bibliophile – Review
September 28 – Icey Books – Warcross Quote Candy
September 29 – Super Space Chick – Review & Favorite Video Games

 

MelissaSig

Zodiac Books: Black Moon

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Only TWO more weeks until Thirteen Rising is released!! Has everyone been following along with the #ZodiacBooks ReReadathon?  Today I’ll be doing a fun post for the third book in the series Black Moon!

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One final secret stands between Rho and the enemy. But will the devastating truth destroy her first?

Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared.

But Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. And looming over all are the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago but is now appearing to Rho in the stars.

When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the Galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. And what she uncovers sheds light on the truth—but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world.


I was planning to do a cover outfit, but I could not decide on a dress. There are so many fantastic choices I thought I’d let readers decide for me.  We’ll be have a “dress off”!

Zuhair Murad – Fall 2015 Couture Collection

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First up we have this stunning galaxy dress by Zuhair Murad. I love how the sequins make waves along the skirt reminiscent of House Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

 

Marchesa 2011

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Next up is this gorgeous black ball gown with gold sequence worn by Olivia Wilde at the Golden Globes. It kinda looks like a has star exploded.

 

Elie Saab Fall 2015

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Here we have a more subtle navy gown by Elie Saab that has POCKETS! All hail Elie Saab!

 

So now do you guys see how this is so freaking hard to choose? I’d like you to cast your votes on the dress you think works for the cover. Feel free to link to some other choices in the comments below!

 

BONUS

Dresses for the Zodiac signs shown on the cover of Black Moon!

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This Zuhair Murad Fall 2015 was made for House Pisces! The bodice reminds me of fish scales or fish nets and there’s a lot of silver sequence which is the house color.

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This gown designed by Fausto Sarli for his Spring/Summer 2011 collection is definitely  House Aquarius who’s color is aqua. Though an air element, I chose this oceanic dress because Aquarius is the water carrier.


GIVEAWAY LEGAL COPY: 


Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on August 7, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about September 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ENTER GIVEAWAY

ARC Review: Miles Morales

32793053 Title: Miles Morales
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Marvel Press
Pages: 272
Release Date: 8/1/2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary: “Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.


I will be honest, when they announced a novelization about Black Widow, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon and read it.  Not that I don’t love Black Widow, but I just didn’t see the appeal.  We already had great films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, why do we need books?  Apparently this is a thing that’s been happening for years. Anyway it wasn’t until publishers announced Wonder Woman did I become interested because it was going to be written by favorite author. I hadn’t even heard about Spider-Man becoming a book until Mashable revealed the cover and holy cow! What a cover! My immediate thought was, “Who the hell is Miles Morales?”

I am not into comics whatsoever, so my only exposure is through the films, and then I go look it up like most non-comic people.  So of course I looked up how Miles took over as Spider-Man. Let’s just say I was very very happy.

I was lucky enough to snag an early copy at BookExpo from Disney. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I never read a book by Jason Reynolds, but I know of his books, especially Ghost, since I gifted it one year to a family friend who loves sports novels.  All I let myself know about Miles was that he is a half black, half Puerto Rican high school kid living in New York, and why he took over for Peter Parker. I didn’t read too much about Miles because I didn’t want to ruin the first time experience.

It’s so refreshing to learn about another Spider-Man!!! I really got fed up with Hollywood “rebooting” Spider-Man three times.  I haven’t seen Spider-Man Homecoming, I wasn’t a fan of the character in Captain American Civil War.

What I liked about this book was how Miles portrayed as a “regular” kid. He’s trying to discover who he is, balance school and come to grips with his newly found powers. I also loved seeing the relationship between Miles and his best friend Ganke, who is Asian. HI. YES! POCs front and center! I also appreciated reading about the relationship between Miles and his parents. [Yay YA parents who are Alive!]  One thing that surprised me was Miles’ web shooters. Since I don’t know a ton about him, I’ll probably have to look it up. Not gonna lie, I feel like it’s a better origin story than Peter Parker.  Sorry guys!

The one thing that didn’t click with me was the villain of the story. Not so much what it represented and the significance of it, but more the white cat part of it. I can’t explain why the white cat bothers me without spoilers. Maybe I am just weird or I need to re-read it again. Or I could find Jason at the Boston Teen Author Festival and ask…. Anyway the other thing I disliked was IT NEEDED TO BE LONGER!!!!! I feel like Jason barely scratched the surface and I hope there will be a sequel or two.

Anyway if you haven’t read Miles Morales, you need to add it to your ever growing TBR pile NOW!

5-stars

MelissaSig

#PlayWarcross + GIVEAWAY

9780399547966.jpgFor the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Play Warcross | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository


Want a chance to play?

You can by building your own WARCROSS team.
WARCROSS teams are made up of five members:
  • Team Captain
  • The Architect
  • The Thief
  • The Shield
  • The Fighter
Build your own teams from your favorite YA characters or other fictional characters and then Tag 5 friends to play along too! Be sure to use #PlayWarcross when you share your post!!

Team Captain

I think Nikolai Lanstov from the Grisha trilogy would make for a good team captain. He does play well with others.

The Architect

Without a doubt this job is for Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series. Though I think Nikolai will bug Annabeth, since he can be so much like Percy. Maybe worse.

The Thief

I feel like everyone is going to pick this character but for thief I am going with my girl Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows.

The Shield

I am picking Vida from The Darkest Minds who uses telekinesis. She would be able to deflect things coming toward her.


(Art by Taratjah)

The Fighter

There are so many good fighters to choose from, but I am going to have to go with Aeduan from Truthwitch series! Nikolai would probably also piss Aeduan off from time to time.

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(Artwork by Victoria Quezada)

 

TAGGING: MC @ Blame it on the Books | Karina @ A Reader Under the Sea | Jen @ Library of a Book Witch| Dana @ DanaSquare | Kelly @ See Kelly Tse


The Game Begins:

September 12, 2017

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Don’t miss your chance to receive this exclusive short story!!

How to Enter

1. Pre-order your copy of WARCROSS from any store
2. Snap a photo or screenshot of your receipt
3. Fill out the form and upload your receipt

223095_lu_marie(1)About Marie Lu

Marie Lu is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy and The Young Elites trilogy. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY LEGAL:
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of five (5) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley set (including galley, shirt, keychain, and postcard) or to be one (1) of ten (10) second place prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley (ARV: $0.00 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 31th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

 

Thanks to Chelsea Fought and Penguin Young Readers for putting this together!!

MelissaSig

Musings of Nic Stone

eternaldreamers

Get Out Of The Way
By Nic Stone

I didn’t think I could write fiction.

“I’m not creative or imaginative enough,” I said. “To come up with a whole story? What would I even write about? There’s just no way.”

The truth is I was scared. People who looked like me didn’t populate bestseller or required reading lists. They weren’t even in the books I read. Not in a way I could identify with at least. I wasn’t an escaped slave or a person deemed stupid because I spoke broken English or a guy falsely accused of a horrible crime (and then killed for it).

I was a book-loving black girl with a thirst for adventure who loved to tromp through the woods. That girl didn’t exist in books. So I didn’t think she could.

And since the story I knew best was my own, but my own clearly wasn’t what anyone wanted to read, I didn’t think I could write fiction. I couldn’t imagine being a little white kid slaying a dragon and saving the world–so I wasn’t imaginative enough. I couldn’t create a world where people like me didn’t actually exist–so I wasn’t creative enough.

But then something happened: the more I read, the emptier I felt. I could no longer ignore the lack of people who looked and lived like ME in the stuff I was reading.

And there WAS a story building in my bones, itching to get out. About a brown girl saving the day. I tried to ignore it, but the plot points and dialogue kept coming and coming. The story wouldn’t leave me alone.

So I decided to give it a shot. Put words, ideas, mental images to paper. Turns out I’d been wrong about myself. I COULD write fiction. I WAS– AM–imaginative enough, creative enough.

I just needed to get out of my own way.

Maybe you do, too.


13525503About Nic Stone

Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.

You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her husband and sons on most social media platforms

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


24974996.jpgDear Martin

Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository


Huge THANK YOU to Nic for getting this post in to us while on deadline! Your experience and encouragement to other writers is inspiring. We have all felt like we could not do something, when in actuality we can if we have more faith in ourselves.

As always, thank you to everyone who has participated in this feature! Your words and advice are always appreciated and we love you all for helping us.

We hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!

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Musings of Maggie Ann Martin

eternaldreamers

5 Easy Ways to Build Your Author Platform
By Maggie Ann Martin

So. You’ve been told that building your author platform is important. But you have no idea where to start. I’m here to tell you that it’s not as daunting or scary as it might seem! Here are five easy ways to build a community around you and your book.

1. Create a book blog

I actually can’t stress this one enough. Sparking conversations about books within the genre you are writing is an amazing way to understand what your potential readers enjoy, and connect with them over mutually favorite books.

2. Join Twitter chats. Frequently.

There seems to be a new literary Twitter chat going on every day now. Find one that is relevant to readers or writers in your genre, and make your voice heard. Keep up with the connections that you’ve made during the Twitter chat by following them and adding them to Lists.

3. Curate Twitter Lists

I firmly stand behind the idea that Twitter Lists are the most beautiful and glorious feature that Twitter has to offer. Lists allow you to monitor conversations happening by a certain group of people. So, you could create a Twitter List of people who participated in a chat you were a part of, or you could start a list of potential agents that you’re interested in submitting to. Carve out a specific amount of time a week that you would go on and interact with people on these lists to keep up with these connections.

My Lists right now are: Bloggers, BookTubers, Bookstagramers, Agents, 2017 Debuts, Authors, and then various pitch competition lists. Some of these lists are public, but most of them are private lists that only I can see.  

4. Participate in a pitch competition

There are so many incredible authors being matched with agents every day through Twitter pitch competitions. Not only are they an awesome opportunity to get in front of reputable agents, but you’ll make loads of connections with other authors submitting their work for consideration. Some of my favorite pitch competitions that I’ve participated in are #PitchWars, #PitMad, and Sun vs. Snow (and there are SO MANY MORE).

5. Give something back to the community

If you’re really wanting to get engrained in a community, the best way to get to know fellow bloggers and authors is to host an event. This could be your own Twitter chat, a blog series (i.e. I hosted a blog series called Book Madness, which is basically March Madness for book characters), or buddy read with a group of people. So much of your support comes from online writing friends that you’ve met through any of the above ways.

And you don’t have to do all of these things at once! You won’t be able to build your entire author platform in one night. Gradually build up your participation within your writing community as you see fit, and as you have the time for.


MaggieAnnMartin2About Maggie Ann

Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads Facebook


TheBigFColorAbout THE BIG F

Danielle effed up. Big time.
Danielle’s plans for the future were pretty easy to figure out… until she failed senior English and her single college application was denied. Suddenly she’s in hot water with very few options, because honestly who applies to a safety school when their mom is a semi-famous “college psychic”?!

Determined to get her life back on track, Danielle enrolls in her hometown community college with a plan: pass her English class and get back into Ohio State and her mother’s good graces. Romance isn’t on her radar… until she reconnects with her childhood crush and golden-boy-next-door, Luke.

Between family drama, first love and finding her own way, Danielle can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. Thankfully she has her friendship with the snarky and frustratingly attractive Porter, her coworker at the campus bookstore, to push her to experience new things and help keep her afloat.One thing’s for sure: This time, failure’s not an option.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | Book DepositoryIndie Bound


Thank you Maggie for compiling a quick list of suggestions for new authors! It can get overwhelming when you’re first starting out. We know our readers appreciate the time you took to share your experiences!

As always, thank you to everyone who has participated in this feature! Your words and advice are always happily devoured, and we love you all for helping us.

We hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!

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