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Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have debut author Laura Wolfe here to share about her YA mystery TRAIL OF SECRETS. It sounds like a fantastic mystery with high stakes.

Here's the Back Cover Blurb:

Spending three weeks of her summer at the elite Foxwoode Riding Academy in northern Michigan should have been one of the happiest times of sixteen year-old Brynlei’s life. But from the moment Brynlei arrives at Foxwoode, she can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched. Then she hears the story of a girl who vanished on a trail ride four years earlier. While the other girls laugh over the story of the dead girl who haunts Foxwoode, Brynlei senses that the girl—or her ghost—may be lurking in the shadows.

Brynlei’s quest to reveal the truth interferes with her plan to keep her head down and win Foxwoode’s coveted “Top Rider” award. To make things worse, someone discovers Brynlei’s search for answers and will go to any length to stop her. As Brynlei begins to unravel the facts surrounding the missing girl’s disappearance, she is faced with an impossible choice. Will she protect a valuable secret? Or save a life?

Now here's Laura!

Small Press Publishing: What to Expect

Small presses can open doors for authors who may not otherwise find a home for their books. For anyone considering publication by a small press, here are a few things I've learned from working with Fire and Ice YA, the small press that recently published my young adult mystery, Trail of Secrets:

* Expect to receive personal attention from a small press

Editors at small presses will likely consult with their authors every step of the way. Prior to the publication of Trail of Secrets, I worked with a cover designer to create a cover that matched my vision and I retained the power to veto edits with which I disagreed. Even months later, all of my questions and concerns are answered directly by the owners of the company. With a small press I feel like an important member of the team, rather than just another number.

* Expect to become a part of the small press "family"

One of the best things about working with a small press is getting to know other authors published by the same press. The authors I've met through Fire and Ice are now some of my biggest supporters. Small presses can make it easy for authors to connect through Facebook groups, twitter lists, and blog opportunities. Additionally, small presses are loyal to their authors. They want to see authors succeed and grow. Once an author is published by a small press, that press is much more likely to publish other manuscripts the author submits to them in the future.

* Don't expect books published by a small press to be on the shelves at Barnes & Noble

…Or any other bookstore for that matter. The same goes for libraries. Many small presses publish
print books only "on-demand", meaning the books cannot be ordered in bulk and held in a distribution warehouse. While small press authors should contact independent bookstores and libraries to try to get their books on the shelves, they should also be realistic about the limited shelf space for print-on-demand books and the amount of time it takes to sell books to individual stores.

* Don't expect a small press to do any marketing

Any marketing a small press does for their authors should be considered a gift. Other than Fire and Ice posting the cover of Trail of Secrets on their website and sending out a few tweets, I've done all of the marketing for my book. On the positive side, I've learned a TON in the last two months about how to promote my book. I now know how to create a book trailer. I'm confident approaching bookstores and libraries. I'm becoming a #twitter expert. This is knowledge I'll be able to utilize for future book releases.

I urge aspiring authors to consider the benefits and drawbacks before publishing with a small press. For me, working with a small pres has been a positive experience!

Thanks for the great advice, Laura. You can find Laura at:

Trail of Secrets Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Trail-Secrets-Laura-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B0140IYJTU
Trail of Secrets Barnes & Noble.com link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trail-of-secrets-laura-wolfe/1122541114
Trail of Secrets Smashwords link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/569829
Author website: http://www.AuthorLauraWolfe.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraCWolfe
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraWolfe
Blog: http://WritingwithLaura.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1908042.Laura_Wolfe

Author Bio: Laura Wolfe is a lover of animals and nature. When she is not writing, she can be found playing games with her highly-energetic kids, riding horses, growing vegetables in her garden, or spoiling her rescue dog. She lives in her home state of Michigan with her husband, son, and daughter. She holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from DePaul University. In addition to Trail of Secrets, Laura's writing has been published in multiple magazines, including Practical Horseman. Her picture book, Henrietta's Hoof Polish, is forthcoming from another small press—Guardian Angel Publishing.

Laura generously donated a copy of TRAIL OF SECRETS for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through November 28thIf your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is for US.

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday  I have a guest post by Kim Briggs and a giveaway of her NA thriller AND THEN HE.

The following Monday I have a guest post by Dorine White and a giveaway of a book in her MG fantasy Cleopatra's Legacy series.

Hope to see you on Monday!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love your last name, Laura!

Small presses might not get your book in a bookstore, but that's not as important as it used to be anyway. Plus you're not just a number to them.

Christine Rains said...

Congrats to Laura! There are pros and cons to publishing any way. I do like small presses myself. The personal attention is worth it!

Karen Lange said...

It's great to meet Laura! Wishing her well with the book. Looks like a winner. Appreciate the insight into small presses.

Thanks for hosting today, Natalie! I'll pass on the giveaway this time around. Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Congrats Laura! I'm going to pass this post and insight along to a friend of mine who recently published small press. Best of luck to you! Your book sounds tense - very intriguing!

Kristin Lenz said...

Congrats again, Laura!

Heather said...

Congrats Laura, your book looks and sounds fantastic! I love and share your outlook on small presses (and not just because I work for one ;). I've seen them land authors agents and bigger and better deals for future books so I'm a huge believer! Now off to buy that book...

Joanne R. Fritz said...

What an intriguing plot. And it's rare to find YA novels about horseback riding. Wish this had been around when I still worked at an indie bookstore.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I really like being with a small press because there is personal attention. I'm fortunate mine also does some marketing.

Cherie Reich said...

That's a really pretty cover. Congrats, Laura! I've worked with a few small presses. Some I'd recommend. Others, not quite as much. Of course, there are pros and cons with any way a person publishes.

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats to Laura - sounds like a great book!
Some of the small presses sound like terrific groups to work with!

Penny said...

Cool cover! Horses and mystery are a great combination!

KB/KIM said...

Your post on Small Presses is so helpful! Thanks!

Julia said...

Though not published as of yet, I, too, appreciate small presses for their hand-written rejections-- makes me feel closer to my dream. Thanks for the informational post.

Morgyn said...

Trail ride? I'm in, Laura! And congratulations!

Rosi said...

Oh, gosh, I don't need another book but I can't resist this one. Please include me in the drawing. This sounds so good. Thanks for this very informative interview.

Danielle H. said...

I love mysteries and horses and you've put them together in this exciting book. Thanks for the post and chance to win. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/dhammelef/status/666698916629352449

Unknown said...

I would love to read this book. I always love a good mystery.

Linda Romer said...

Trail of secrets sounds great ♡ love the cover. Thank you

Crystal Collier said...

Ooh! I LOVE that concept. The book sounds fabulous. I totally need a book-reading retreat so I can consume books like this without distraction. =)

M Pax said...

There aren't many bookstores left these days. It's always creepy when you think someone is watching you. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Mysterious story line. I'm pleased to meet Laura. I agree on all points about the small press experience.

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks for the giveaway, and it sounds like a great book! Good info on small presses, too. I'll keep this info in mind!

bison61 said...

thanks this book sounds wonderful

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Unknown said...

I was so horse crazy when I was younger! I read every book with horses in it I could get my hands on. Laura's book sounds great! Wishing her much success! :)

DMS said...

Wonderful to learn about Laura and her book. I have always been a huge fan of horses, so I am definitely curious about Trail of Secrets. I also learned a lot about what it is like to publish with a small press. Very informative. Thanks! Wishing Laura the best of luck!

Sydney said...

Wow, great advice! Very informative. Thank you!

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