Thursday, July 24, 2014

Publishing Journey Week 3--Help us with our Query!

Hi fellow writers!

Well it came. The third rejection. 

So there was that. Here is the actual rejection letter:

Thank you for your query.  Unfortunately we do not think the project is right for us. 
We receive so many queries that it is not possible to reply in detail on an individual basis.  We appreciate your writing and wish you success in your publishing career.
Sarah Yake, Literary Agent
Frances Collin, Literary Agent

Ouch. The burn. So final.
In light of that, we can now say we have had 3 rejections to our 3 queries, and that tells me that if no one has had interest in at least reading more, that our query needs work. With Lunula I at least had publishers and agents asking to see more material based on the query. If they aren't asking, then our query isn't intriguing enough.

So I'm going to put it out here and ask you to tell us what you think. What part of our query needs adjusting?

 Dear Ms. Yake,
We have co-authored an 80,000 word YA supernatural novel, titled Plane Walker, which will appeal to teenagers, new adults, and adults alike with its fast pace and unique narrative. It is the first book in a planned series. 
Jack has always known there was something different about his sister Morgan, as if she belonged to another world. Then he sees a shadowed creature in his college apartment, and when it follows Jack home, the secrets of Morgan's hidden life are revealed. Not only can his sister see spirits and the planes they walk, but Jack discovers his own ability to cross over into the spirit realms. What he finds in their depths is a dangerous battle that extends from the highest spirit planes down to a castle in Europe, where a family with its own supernatural legacy has hid for centuries. Is it a coincidence that Morgan's new friends, twin brothers Nicolas and Roman, happen to belong to that secretive family? They are all part of a mystery that could change the war between heaven and Hell.
Alyssa Auch has published two YA fantasy novels; Lunula with Malachite Press and Inito. Lunula has won awards such as Indie Book of the Day, and Blogger Book Fair Reader's Choice Award in both Fantasy and Action/Adventure categories. She has a Bachelor's in Professional Studies with a minor in English from Brigham Young University Idaho. She and her husband have three children, and live in Pennsylvania.
Eileen Sharp self-published Certainty, a YA paranormal romance. She has also self-published a YA Fantasy, The Unspeller and the Book of Days. She studied Journalism at Brigham Young University Idaho. She is married to Richard Sharp, and they have four children, one of which is Alyssa Auch.
Blending the voices of a seventeen-year-old girl and her twenty-year-old brother, Plane Walker brings the reader on a thrilling journey told from both perspectives. It was an amazing experience for both of us to write one book, and we are confident that our writing styles add a new flavor to the paranormal book world.
We would be happy to send part or all of the completed, fully edited manuscript for review upon request. Thank you for taking the time to consider our work, and we look forward to hearing from you soon. 
Eileen Sharp
Alyssa Auch
So what do you think? What should we tweak here? Leave your opinions in the comments!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We Can Do It! Publishing Journey Week 2

I had a cold this week. And unlike most mothers, who pull up their bootstraps and SALLY FORTH, I'm actually more like a man. I lay on the couch, surrounded by crumpled tissues, bemoaning my bad luck and asking the nearest person to bring my will because I obviously don't have much time left on the Earth. It's pretty pathetic, actually.

So that's my excuse for lazy blogging.

But I pulled it together and made a fun video for you! This time its with my co-author since our projects are being done together anyway. Also, my videos keep getting more elaborate every time. Not sure if its because I know the program better or I'm bored with my own videos...

Either way, I'll type it all out down here for those of you who prefer to get the info without

In this update, my co-author (Mom) and I gave a brief update on Plane Walker, which we have stalled in editing because, frankly, its too boring. We're tired of looking at it. We're pretty sure that if we get a request to see the full manuscript, we'll just spend a day going, "AHHHHHHH!!!" and finish the last little edits in a handful of hours. It's pretty much fully polished. Just little things to quick smooth over that we don't feel like doing.

2 Queries were sent. Both Rejected

1 additional query I sent this week to Frances Collin Literary Agency.

I'll keep you updated on when I get a response from them, and we'll keep sending out queries because that, at least, is quite polished. Maybe I should share the query letter? It's a thought.

As for the Super Secret Project--the one we were using the "Pixar Method" for--we hit a wall with our super detailed planning.

Here's the thing with trying to plan out every minute detail. We did our darnest, but honestly, we didn't have a good feel for the characters. So what we discovered, if you're trying to fully plan a book ahead of time, it's nigh impossible to know HOW your characters are going to react to conflict if you haven't actually written them yet. So we got about half way before we decided to start writing and see how things go.

My mom is writing the first chapter. I'm watching Youtube videos.

So there you have it! Seriously though, our video is worth peeking at. I'm a writer, so I like my writing to know...entertaining. But the vlog is fun, too. So at least watch the bloopers. :)

In the video we had a little debate, and I want your thoughts:

Is it harder to write beginnings or endings?

What's your experience? Let me know in the comments, and have a fantastic week!  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Can We Do It? Publishing Journey Week 1...and Some Guy's Abs

 Hello there everyone!

I hope your Fourth of July weekend was fun and patriotic. 'MERICA.

This week I've made a video! But don't worry; if you don't feel like watching my face I am typing it up here for you. Although you'll miss the abs without the video. And the bloopers at the end. I love bloopers.

So basically, because I'm starting at square one with finding an agent for Plane Walker, I thought it might be (mildly?) interesting if I shared my journey and everything with you all. Lunula was picked up by a publisher once already, and Plane Walker is a dang good book. So my hopes for finding an agent are, at this early stage, high-ish. I'd really like to see that happen! I think an agent would be good for this work in particular, as its not something I'm keen to self-publish, and I'd like to see what markets to can be thrown into.

Week 1 of Publishing Plane Walker!

1.) It's fully written.

2.) It's in the last editing phase with a couple copy editors going through it.

3.) One query has been sent to Trident Media Group. It's been about a month and no response, so I'm thinking that's a bust. REJECTION.

It's okay. We authors have to handle it.

Moving on to Untitled Romance Novel. This is something I'm in the middle of writing, but I'm going to use it like a guinea pig for this blog. I'd like to make a post in the near future where I try out a bunch of different book plotting methods. Crazy ones like story boards and playdough. Then I'll take pictures and report back to you on what I thought.

Sounds interesting, right? Should be fun. If you think of any you want me to try, say so in the comments so I can add it to my list!

Last, but not least, you should really skip to like the middle of the video for this bit. I'm sharing my SUPER SECRET UNTITLED PROJECT with you. My co-author (*cough cough* mom) and I have just started the planning phase, but we're utilizing some cool planning methods I thought would be better captured on film than described.

And then there's that guy's abs. Don't forget the abs.

Okay, okay, fine if you REALLY don't want to watch the video, here is the system in a nutshell. We have one notebook with all the detailed information like characters (personalities, ticks, background, notable facts, pictures, etc.) and a colored tab to represent each of them. And then place holders for each "chapter" so that we can write the chapters in rough draft form to start out with. To aid us in that, we also have a macro timeline so that we can write down big events so the little ones all line up and make sense. For all those random scenes we come up with while driving or doing the dishes? We have a wall of notecards--color coded of course--that we use to roughly line up sequence of events so they find a home in the overall plot.

Genius, right? It's going really well. We learned from doing Plane Walker, that the more detailed you are in plotting it all out ahead of time, the easier its going to be on both writers.

So there you have it. What are you working on right now? Share a link to your blog or website so I can visit you and say hello, too!