CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

THE LIGHTHOUSE BETWEEN THE WORLDS through November 24th
THE PROPHET CALLS through November 24th
Gratitude Giveaway Hop through November 30th

Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Weronika Janczuk Agent Spotlight Interview on 11/26

JUST COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN GIVEAWAY HOP



Happy Saturday Everyone! Today I'm excited to be participating in the Just Couldn't Put It Down Giveaway Hop hosted by StuckinBooks. Hope you're getting lots of fun time to read this summer. I am!

I hope you find a book you like for yourself, a family member, or a friend in the choices offered. Don’t see a book you like? You can win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card instead. I hope you'll all enter to win a book or gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone.

So here are your choices. I've got a combination of MG and YA books that I hope you're looking forward to reading. If you want an earlier book in any of these series, you can pick that instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book here. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads.

 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower anyway you want and leave a comment through July 14th telling me the book you want to win or if you want to win the Gift Card instead. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the 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. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome as long as The Book Depository ships to you for free.

Here's what's coming up (FYI I'm on my summer schedule.):

Tuesday, July 3rd I have an interview with debut author Cindy Baldwin and a giveaway of her MG WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW and my IWSG post

Monday, July 9th I have an interview with debut author Bree Barton and a giveaway of her YA HEART OF THORNS

Saturday, July 14th I'm participating in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop.

Monday, July 23rd I have an interview with debut author K.A. Reynolds and a giveaway of her MG fantasy THE LAND OF YESTERDAY

Hope to see you on Tuesday!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:























AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH COLLEEN OEFELEIN AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY


Today I’m thrilled to have agent Colleen Oefelein here. She is an associate literary agent at The JenniferDe Chiara Literary Agency

Hi­ Colleen! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Colleen:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for having me in the agent spotlight. I’m a fairly new agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency (since February 2018), and I’m actively and very excitedly building my list. Prior to working with New York’s Jennifer De Chiara, I was an associate agent, agent assistant, and PR manager with Inklings Literary Agency, which was where I began my publishing career as an intern several years ago. Prior to that, I was an Air Force officer and engineer working space launch. I hold a BS from Penn State in Chemical Engineering with a focus in Biotechnology, and I also hold a BS in German. As a published YA author, I can greatly appreciate the journey to publication and always look for opportunities to mentor pre-published authors. As an agent, I host several online and conference workshops such as Rejection Correction, Pitch Perfect, “Reel” Inspiration, and Undreary Your Query. I’ve recently signed my first clients to the agency and am preparing their manuscripts for submission.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency is a New York City-based full-service literary agency founded in 2001 and named one of the top 25 literary agencies in the country by Writer’s Digest. The agency represents children’s literature for all ages – picture books and middle-grade and young adult novels – but also represents high-quality adult fiction and non-fiction in a wide range of genres. JDLA is proud to represent illustrators, as well as screenwriters for both television and film, including Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writers and illustrators. What sets JDLA apart from other agencies is our holistic approach to managing every aspect of an author’s career to make the most of their project's potential.
  • A designated Foreign Rights team, with co-agents in every country and an established presence at Book Expo and book fairs throughout the world.
  • A designated Film/TV/Media agent based in Hollywood.
  • An affiliated Presentation Service and Media trainer to help authors communicate with clarity, precision, and greater impact.
  • An affiliated Speakers Services agent who coordinates booking speaking engagements.
  • Strong affiliations with top merchandising agents to handle merchandising opportunities as they arise.
JDLA is truly a full-service literary agency, and we regularly help our authors in everything from creating book ideas to editing and promoting their books. We are proud to represent established authors and help advance their careers, but we are committed to discovering talented new writers and making their literary dreams a reality.

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

I represent authors of picture books, middle grade, young adult, and adult books in a range of genres:
Picture Book: I’m looking for fun, funny, adventurous, or touching stories with that magical mix of novel simplicity and a surprise ending that will have my 6-year-old asking to read over and over. My favorites are The Kissing Hand, The Good for Nothing Button, Parts, the There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a... series, the Llama Llama series, and the Pigeon series.
Middle Grade: I’m looking for mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, low fantasy, paranormal, all with a thread of subtle or not-so-subtle humor.
Young Adult and Adult:  In general, send me unusual re-tellings and heart-rending love stories, harsh and sobering contemporary, romantic suspense, romance in all subgenres (except erotic), mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, comedy, low fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and anything fast-paced.

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

In general I love to see anything high-concept, fast-paced, and in deep POV.

In YA, I badly want a Faust retelling, and a retelling of a more obscure fable, fairy tale, or lesser-known cultural myth. Also in YA, a mystery/suspense/thriller based on or inspired by the David Grunwald murder (one that smartly navigates the culture of teen cannabis use and violence). I’d also love to see a suspense or thriller that involves identity policing. In YA SciFi, urban fantasy, or dystopian, a story that calls to mind THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN;

 In MG and YA, I’d love to see a non-didactic, fresh perspective from a main character who struggles to fit in to or feels ostracized from his/her marginalized community;

In MG, YA, or Adult:  anything by or based on an Alaska Native POV; and a thriller or mystery involving painted rocks.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

At the moment, I’m not interested nonfiction, literary fiction, atmospheric novels, westerns, vampires, werewolves, faeries, dragons, politics, video games, or shifter romance.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

The author-agency relationship is first and foremost a business relationship with the express intent of selling a literary work. However, publishing a book is a life’s dream, and oftentimes there’s a lot of emotion involved (for agents too). For me, this is a career-long commitment, and so I take some time to get to know an author’s personality in real life and on social media, and I like to discuss the author’s career goals, share editing suggestions, and/or bounce story ideas to determine if this is an author-agent relationship that could work long term.

When it comes to finding a book I want to represent, I’m pragmatic. Is the book currently marketable, and am I enthusiastic enough about it to make the sale? Those are the two questions on my mind. If my answer is yes to both, I get to know the author. :-)

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

I would consider myself an editorial agent. For debut authors, my process is this: prior to offering representation, I ask the author how willing they’d be to make any big-picture edits I’d like to see. Once we’ve signed the contract, I email the author a list of big-picture editing suggestions (which we’d have already discussed), which may be plot tweaks, sub plot tweaks, and/or character edits. Once the big-picture edits are finished, I read the MS again and highlight any remaining story issues. Following that comes line editing.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

Before submitting their query, authors should read my bio and list of genres I accept at https://www.jdlit.com/colleen-oefelein and if they think I may be the right agent for them, they should send their query, synopsis, first 10 pages, and a one-sentence pitch to me through Query Manager, which is an online form located here: http://QueryMe.Online/colleenoefelein

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

In general, I dislike a query that’s arrogant, wordy, or convoluted. Though I’m not a query snob, I do like a query letter that’s fairly formulaic:

  1. An intro with the title, readership (picture book, middle grade, young adult, or adult), the genre, and the word count rounded to the nearest thousand.
  2. An opening hook that either teases me with a one-sentence plot summary, meaningful comp titles, or a nugget of character irony that makes me want to jump straight to the pages.
  3. A 3-5 sentence plot summary. This should be concise, voicey, and it should not give away the ending, but rather tease with cliffhanger that makes me want to speed-read the synopsis.
  4. A 1-3 sentence bio is nice but not required.
Openings: I don’t like a bored main character in an opening. A bored main character makes me a bored reader. In addition, I don’t like an opening sentence that describes the weather unless the weather is about to cause some shenanigans. Info dumps and passive voice are also things I skip over in an opening.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

For queries, my response time is 6 weeks. If an author doesn’t receive a response from me within 6 weeks, they can consider it a pass. However, I try to answer all queries. 
For requested pages, my normal response time is 12 weeks.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

Yes, I’m open to both, though books by authors who have self-published may be a harder sale to a big publisher. I need to feel extra enthusiastic about those, because if the sales numbers for those self-published books aren’t high, it will be challenging to garner an offer for that author’s other work. 
My advice to authors is to consider their career objectives prior to self-publishing. If an author wants to be published traditionally, I recommend publishing traditionally first.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

As long as editors prioritize agent-submitted work over author-submitted work, and as long as authors seek assistance in contract negotiations and sub-rights sales, I don’t see the role of literary agents changing significantly.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I recently signed three new clients to The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency: Tia Barber is a fresh voice in swoon-worthy and page-turning paranormal and mob romance, Kelly Hopkins is a #TeenPit co-founder, a #PitchWars mentor, and a prolific author of gritty and fearless YA, and Marina Anisimova, a genius picture book author, is an immigrant who navigates the absurdity of stereotypes through forest animal humor.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

A Journey To Publication by Colleen Oefelein: http://www.cmmccoy.com/blog/a-journey-to-publication/

Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

Before submitting their query, authors should read my bio and list of genres I accept at https://www.jdlit.com/colleen-oefelein and if they think I may be the right agent for them, they should send their query, synopsis, first 10 pages, and a one-sentence pitch to me through Query Manager, which is an online form located here: http://QueryMe.Online/colleenoefelein

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?

My best piece of advice to authors is this: Don’t quit.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Colleen.

­Colleen is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through July 14th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

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 an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

AGENT ADRIANN RANTA ZURHELLAN AND DIANE MAGRAS GUEST POST W/ QUERY CRITIQUE AND THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have debut author Diane Magras and her agent Adriann Ranta Zurhellan here with a guest post to celebrate the release of Diane's MG Medieval adventure THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER that released in March. I've heard great things about it.

Here's a description from Goodreads:

A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home.

One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.

Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family’s past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they’ll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who’s become her friend.

Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father’s daughter or is it time to become her own legend?

Now here are Diane & Adriann interviewing each other!

Questions for Adriann:

DM: People always ask authors how they first became writers. And so I’d love to ask you, as an author’s champion and defender whose work seems incredibly complicated (even more so now that I’ve worked with you for a while!) how you became an agent. What was the path that you followed, and what made you know that this was the role for you in the publishing industry?

ARZ: Out of college, my first job was at The Editorial Department, a freelance editorial company based in Tucson, AZ. My job was running the “ezine”—which is now called a blog—that interviewed agents, editors, and authors with questions that might be interesting to aspiring authors who wanted to break into the industry. Eventually I decided I wanted to do that instead of interview people who did that, and moved to New York.

I actually fell into agenting through an assistant position, which is embarrassing because my grandmother is a children’s book agent, my grand-uncle is a literary agent, my aunt used to be an editor, and my mom packaged books. But I had no idea what agents did until I was doing it.

Now a question for you: When did you first start writing, and when did you understand you wanted to write for the public instead of just for yourself? How are those two styles different for you?

DM: I’ve always told stories, but I wrote my first novel (it was 150 pages, I believe) when I was 14
years old. I wrote for years with a faint dream of writing for the public, but I never really tried until around 2007. I had a brief maternity leave from work when my son was born, and I decided to use that time to start a novel. (I actually did write a draft: I write quickly, and my son took long naps.) This was when I first starting thinking about writing for publication. It took me about eight years to really understand what that meant, what the publishing industry was like, what I wanted to write, and to learn to revise. That’s the biggest difference: When I wrote for myself, I didn’t think about revision or know how to critically read my own work. Once I figured how to do that, I discovered one of the most rewarding parts of writing: finding the true depth of the story and watching the unfolding of characters.

Once I understood what revision could do for a novel and combined that with the kind of novel that I wanted most to write (an action-packed medieval adventure starring a girl), I came up with the draft of THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER with which I queried you.

You’re very kind to querying writers in that you answer all your queries. That’s generous, and not something every agent does these days. I assume, though, that there are times when you read just the query or the first page and set a project aside. What makes you keep reading?

ARZ: I heard an agent describe reading queries as “channel surfing” once, and I think that’s an apt comparison. I receive about 75-100 queries per week, and when you’re reading such a large quantity of writing samples, you have to get fast at knowing what you want. I look for quality writing, great voice, an author who knows the category he/she is writing into, previous publications, or some other indication of seriousness about the business of writing.

Agents are really good at understanding what’s saleable about any concept, which is sometimes different from things that we simply like. Writers who understand what makes readers perk up at their book concept have the savvy to integrate this into their pitch somehow, and understand a query letter is a sales document, not simply a synopsis of a book.

I understand querying agents is daunting—what was that experience like for you? How many agents did you query over what period of time? Did you get editorial feedback between drafts (like I sent you) from others?

DM: I’d queried two other novels before THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER with no success, but learned a process: to query in batches of five. Each time I’d receive a rejection, I’d send out a new batch or two or three, and when I had five rejections, I’d make sure five more queries were out. (That kept me hopeful.) I researched agents based on books they’d represented, what they seemed like on social media, and anything I could find (interviews like this on Literary Rambles helped a lot!). So that experience helped me approach THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER with a strategy. As it turned out, I didn’t need to do all that much querying for this book; you were in my first five. I received feedback from you and from one other agent in that first batch, and held off on querying until I’d rewritten the book based on suggestions from you both. Then I sent the draft back to both of you, as well as to a new batch of five, just to have things moving. I think I’d sent queries to about fifteen agents by the time you emailed me about a phone call. And after our call, I knew that I wanted you as my agent. The whole thing, from my first query to my rewrite to your offer, took four and a half months.

While we’re talking about queries, what made you request THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER, and what prompted your offer?

ARZ: I reread your query to answer this question and still think it’s an awesome pitch! I loved that you personalized your opening paragraph with my interest in “strong female protagonists,” which piqued my interest, and I wanted to learn more about “medieval middle grade,” which I hadn’t read much of!

I loved that the first paragraph about the book itself immediately lead with atmosphere and set-up so I knew what was at stake:

“On a remote and foggy headland, Grimbol trains his sons to fight, then takes them into battle as the legendary warriors of the Mad Wolf of the North. Except for Drest. Drest, his youngest, longs to join the war-band but is only ten and too small to take along.”

I also loved the moral ambiguity the query sets up, which I love:

If Drest doesn’t reach the castle in time to rescue her father and brothers, the family who loves her will be dead. Yet if she saves the Mad Wolf’s war-band, they’ll continue to pillage and plunder—and will kill the gentle knight she had grown to love.”

You also used great comparative titles, which showed that you knew this audience and cared about contributing to it:

[THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER] is a dark, coming-of-age story that would appeal to readers who enjoy strong and nontraditional girl protagonists like Áine from The Witch’s Boy or Piper from The Mark of the Dragonfly.”

I ended up using a lot of this query letter for my own pitch letter to editors, which sold the book! So that’s the power of a great query.

Was it hard writing your query letter? Did it take you many drafts, or much feedback from other writers, before you felt like you got it right?

DM: I was very lucky to have a team critique partners helping me out with both my novel and my query letter. I wrote and rewrote and tweaked that letter several times, but it was actually the easiest query I’ve written, no doubt in part because of my experience with two novels before, but also because I knew this novel thoroughly and understood its stakes. Oh, and I loved this novel more than anything else I’d written! I’m glad my query still impresses you.

Every writer you call before an offer is hideously nervous, I’m sure, but doing their best. What do you hope to hear from them during this conversation?

ARZ: I hope that they’ll be receptive and flexible when it comes to editorial feedback--the most
uncomfortable calls I’ve had with authors have been with those who didn’t want to revise their book at all; obviously we didn’t end up working together! I love talking about an author’s hopes for their career: future books, what genre they might stretch into (if different than the book we’re discussing), and what sort of relationship they want with their agent and editor.

If it’s an author I’m hoping to sign, I hope that we’ll vibe—that they’ll like my ideas and plans for their book and agenting style—so whatever anxiety authors feel having calls with agents, I can promise agents have their own anxiety too!

What sort of questions did you prepare before our call? What was most important for you to hear from your prospective agent?

DM: There are many lists floating around online about what to ask an agent during The Call. I cut and pasted between several lists to come up with the questions that seemed the most important—about your frequency of contact, your submission plans, how you saw my book—but I didn’t need to ask many of those questions because you answered them when you were describing your interest in my book, your style, and Foundry Media. Those three were my most important questions. But I also felt I had a good sense of what it was like to work with you from the comments you gave me after that first query. I’d also spoken with one of your clients, so I had several perspectives on your style.

I’ve had a lot of questions about the nitty-gritty details of publishing, and you’ve been wonderful at helping me find answers. You’ve often been like the wise friend on a quest narrative who steps in during opportune moments and helps out the protagonist at crucial times. How would you describe your role and your relationship with authors and editors: when you first sign a client, during submissions, and post-sale?

ARZ: My primary role with my authors is to be their advocate.

On the front end, this means taking the book as far as I can editorially and then doing my best to sell it competitively.

On the back end, this means being in their corner throughout the publishing process. This can mean interpreting contract language, fighting for a particular cover direction, or plumbing publicists for updates around the book’s launch. This can also mean playing the bad guy or peace maker—I do both, depending on the situation, all day.

What has been the biggest surprise for you (good or bad) after the publication of your debut novel?

DM: A few weeks after THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER came out and I was working on the sequel, it really hit me that I wasn’t doing this alone. I have responsibilities, a contract, and deadlines. But I also have readers, and a whole publishing house helping me reach them. Writing has always been a largely solitary endeavor for me, and while I still create my work alone, everything that follows now happens in partnership. It’s been quite the learning process to see how a book goes into print and is marketed and reaches audiences, and what my role is in all those parts. It’s been humbling and immensely rewarding to work with the great teams at Kathy Dawson Books and Penguin Young Readers. So now that I’ve gushed on a bit, what’s your favorite part of your job?

ARZ: Selling a book I love. That never gets old.

What are you most excited to do next?

DM: I’m excited to go through much of this process again with the sequel!


DM Bio:
Diane Magras grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine surrounded by woods, cliffs, and the sea. She works for the Maine Humanities Council, volunteers at her son’s school library, and is addicted to tea, toast, castles, legends, and most things medieval. Diane lives with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her novels take place. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is her debut novel.
  
ARZ Bio:
Adriann Ranta Zurhellen is an agent at Foundry Literary + Media. She represents New York Times bestselling, award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators and graphic novelists, as well as many other pioneering creative thinkers and leaders in their fields. She is actively acquiring all genres for all age groups with a penchant for unusual voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin. She loves gritty, realistic, true-to-life stories with conflicts based in the real world; women’s literary fiction and nonfiction; accessible, pop nonfiction in science, history, and craft; and smart, fresh, genre-bending works for children. She specializes in books about "cool women doing badass things."
  
[Links:

Buy links:

Diane is generously offering hardback of THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER and Adriann is offering a query critique 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 July 7th. If you do not want to be included in the critique giveaway, please let me know in the comments. If 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. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. and Canada and the critique giveaway is international.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Here's what's coming up:

Wednesday, June 27th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Colleen Oefelein

Friday, June 29th I'm participating in the I Couldn't Put It Down Giveaway Hop

Tuesday, July 3rd I have an interview with debut author Cindy Baldwin and a giveaway of her MG WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW and my IWSG post

Monday, July 9th I have an interview with debut author Bree Barton and a giveaway of her YA HEART OF THORNS

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

CELEBRATING WRITE WITH FEY: GUEST POST BY CHRYS FEY AND GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! I'm excited to have Chrys Fey here to share about her new book for writers, WRITE WITH FEY: 10 SPARKS TO INSPIRE YOU FROM IDEA TO PUBLICATION. It sounds like a great resource for writers. I learned a ton from Chrys' guest post.

Here's a blurb about Chrys' new book from Goodreads:

Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You’ll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.

•Spark One: Being a Writer
•Spark Two: Story Essentials
•Spark Three: A Book’s Stepping Stones
•Spark Four: How To
•Spark Five: Character ER
•Spark Six: Editing
•Spark Seven: Publishing
•Spark Eight: Marketing
•Spark Nine: Writing About
•Spark Ten: Final Inspiration
With so much information, you’ll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey.

Now here's Chrys!


10 Things You Can Do on Your Author YouTube Channel


If you feel comfortable recording yourself and sharing videos, YouTube is something you can look in to. Actually, I set up my YouTube channel to help me prepare for a live interview on YouTube I agreed to, as well as a radio interview. And both of those I signed up for to prepare myself for a speaking engagement I had lined up in the following year.

I never thought I’d have a YouTube channel or that I’d enjoy posting videos of myself, but I do. In the beginning, I experienced pretty bad jitters while recording my videos. My voice would shake, my heart would pound, I’d sweat. I’d have to stop the recording and re-do it a few times before my body and mind calmed down. By the end of the final video, I’d laugh at myself. After all, I’m only talking to myself when I’m recording. That shouldn’t cause me so much anxiety, and yet, it did. Probably because I knew I’d be posting them later.

When I started, I’d record 2-3 videos a day. The first one would always be the hardest. I’d start nervous, but I knew I would, so I gave myself permission to stop and start over until I wasn’t as nervous anymore.

Now, I enjoy it. That’s coming from someone who is an introvert, so if I can do it, you can do it. You just have to keep at it until you get to that place where you’re comfortable.

Creating videos helped me to build my confidence, and it can do the same for you.

Whether you have a YouTube Channel already or are thinking about getting one, here are 10 things you can do on your YouTube Channel:

1. Readings
My first videos on YouTube were readings I did for Seismic Crimes and Tsunami Crimes. I sat down,
pushed record, talked about my series, and read an exciting scene. Yes, it took a few tries before I didn’t mess up, and I did start to get frustrated, but I am happy I completed them.
Recorded readings are a great thing to try if you’re scared about doing an in-person reading, too.
When you finish a video reading and upload it to YouTube, upload it to your Amazon Author Page, too. You should have one through Amazon’s author portal, and if you don’t, sign up for it ASAP.
After that, grab the YouTube URL for your video and use it to add that video to your Goodreads author page. These are the two main places you want your videos to be so readers can access them.

2. Share Tips
Create videos for writers/authors and share tips. Go in-depth on a certain topic and provide viewers with all of the knowledge you have. This is what I do on my YouTube Channel. I share sparks about publishing, marketing, and more. Just make sure you provide new or detailed information viewers can take away from your videos. Don’t discuss the same old things.

3. Book Reviews
Being an author, I bet you might be an avid reader, too. Did you just read a book you LOVED? Discuss it in a video. Gush about the characters, the prose, the plot. Or perhaps you read a book you didn’t care for, you can talk about it, too. Open a conversation so readers can contribute to your thoughts and voice their own options.

4. Answer Questions
Ask viewers/followers/readers what they want to know about you or your books. Record your answers and upload those videos. Make sure to share them to all of your social media outlets where your fans can find the link.

5. Interviews
Do you know authors? Set up your live channel through YouTube, find authors who you’d like to interview and ask them if they are interested in participating in a 30-minute interview. Then do a live interview with the author. You don’t have to go beyond your computer or laptop, and the author you interview doesn’t have to leave the comfort of his/her home. To do this, you’ll need to set up Live Streaming through YouTube.

6. Vlog
Use your YouTube channel as a blog, aka a vlog. Talk about your day, share your opinions, do what you would do for a blog post but create a video instead.

7. Tutorials
What are your skills? Is there something you know how to do that many people struggle with? Create a tutorial. If what you’re explaining how to do is online, show the steps you take to get from point A to point B by recording your computer screen. Make sure to add in audio, though, so viewers can hear you as well as see what you do.
Maybe you have a hobby that allows you to create instructional videos, do that. And if one of your characters does that hobby, or a book or series is about that hobby (consider Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts series), then these videos are great additions for your readers, who may enjoy that hobby as well.

8. Record Your Events
If you do a talk at a library or other event, have someone record your speech/discussion so you can later upload the video to your YouTube channel. This is great for people who can’t attend your event and don’t want to miss what you have to say.

9. Be a Fan
Are you a Walking Dead fan? A football fan? A Game of Thrones fan? Discuss a show’s episodes. Share your reactions when your favorite team wins or loses or when a character you love dies. Be a fan and connect to other fans.

10. Poetry Reading
Do you write poetry? Recite them. Put on a show for YouTube viewers as artists would for a poetry slam. Show your emotions and share your view through the power of words and rhythm. 

Try at least one of these ideas and then try another. You may find one you love and want to continue doing. And if you have a handful of videos for a specific feature or topic, you can make a Playlist on your channel and add those videos to it.
Get creative and think outside the box.
If you think something would make a fun, interesting, or informative video, then do it!

QUESTION: What else can an author do on their YouTube channel?


For more information like this check out:
Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication by Chrys Fey


BIO: Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. Fey is an editor for Dancing Lemur Press and runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Goodreads book club. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips. @ChrysFey www.ChrysFey.com

Thanks for all the advice, Chrys! You can enter into Chrys' Rafflecopter Giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, June 25th I have a guest post by MG author Diane Magras and her agent Adriann Ranta Zurhellen with a query critique giveaway by Adriann and a book giveaway of THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER by Diane

Wednesday, June 27th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Colleen Oefelein

Friday, June 29th I'm participating in the I Couldn't Put It Down Giveaway Hop

Tuesday, July 3rd I have an interview with debut author Cindy Baldwin and a giveaway of her MG WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW and my IWSG post

Monday, July 9th I have an interview with debut author Bree Barton and a giveaway of her YA HEART OF THORNS

Hope to see you on Monday!

SPLASH INTO SUMMER GIVEAWAY HOP



Happy Thursday Everyone! Today I'm excited to be participating in the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds. There's a lot of new books that have recently released or will be published later this summer, and I'm excited to share them with you.

You Help Me Help a Friend Who Has Suffered a Tragic Loss? It's Easy!

But before I get to the book selections, I need you to ask you to help me help an author friend who just suffered a tragic loss. Some of you may have seen this post in my last giveaway hop post, but I wanted to post it one more time. Lee McKenzie has been a good friend of mine for years who I met through my blog. Her newest MG fantasy, SOME VERY MESSY MEDIEVAL MAGIC, released on May 15, 2018. Two days later, Lee suffered the tragic loss of her husband due to a sudden heart attack. I also suffered the sudden loss of my own husband a little over four years ago and know firsthand how heartbreaking this loss is.

While we cannot take away Lee's grief, we could show her kindness and friendship by helping her promote her book. I know you all are book lovers and many have your own blogs. I'm hoping that you can do all or some of these easy things to help Lee:

  • Buy Lee's book. An e-book is only $3.99. I just did that.
  • Post about Lee's book on your blog and other social media sites. Ask your friends to help do by shouting out about her book and buying it
Here's a blurb about what the book is about:

Pete’s stuck in medieval England! Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Timelock.
But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found. There’s only one solution—fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. He travels to 1173 England accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar. But what if the page remains lost? Will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the dukes’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones, and Pete quickly realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again. 


And some links:

Thanks to any of you who can help out. Now onto the books for this giveaway!

I hope you find a book you like for yourself, a family member, or a friend in the choices offered. Don’t see a book you like? You can win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card instead. I hope you'll all enter to win a book or gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone.

So here are your choices. I've got a combination of MG and YA and one adult anthology that I'm looking forward to reading. If you want an earlier book in any of these series, you can pick that instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book here. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads.

 
 
 


 
 


 
 
 
If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


To enter, all you need to do is be a follower anyway you want and leave a comment through June 30th telling me the book you want to win or if you want to win the Gift Card instead. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the 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. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome as long as The Book Depository ships to you for free.

Here's what's coming up:

 Monday, June 18th I have a guest post by author Chrys Frey to celebrate the release of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You From Idea to Publication

Monday, June 25th I have a guest post by MG author Diane Magras and her agent Adriann Ranta Zurhellen with a query critique giveaway by Adriann and a book giveaway of THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER by Diane

Wednesday, June 27th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Colleen Oefelein

Friday, June 29th I'm participating in the I Couldn't Put It Down Giveaway Hop

Tuesday, July 3rd I have an interview with debut author Cindy Baldwin and a giveaway of her MG WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW and my IWSG post

Monday, July 9th I have an interview with debut author Bree Barton and a giveaway of her YA HEART OF THORNS

Hope to see you on Monday!

And here are all of the other blogs participating in this blog hop: