Self-publishing: From A-to-Z


This year I decided to join the A to Z blogging Challenge. Every single day in April (except Sundays) I will be blogging. You can find more information about the challenge here 🙂 As I was looking for a theme, I thought, why not share my experience and some of the research I´ve done when I decided to self-publish…so my theme is: SELF-PUBLISHING FROM A TO Z.

Hope it will be helpful and entertaining 🙂 And don´t hesitate to let me know if there’s a special aspect of self-publishing you would like me to tackle.


Now, if it´s the first time you have visited my little space in the World Wide Web: welcome 🙂 My name is Elodie and I’m a Young Adult & New Adult writer.

Here are a few things about me: I was raised in a tiny village in France, where I could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, I moved to the US, where I learned I’d never lose her French accent. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to my professors, I sometimes drafted stories in class. Now I live close to DC with my husband, our cat and our dog (who do not seem to realize they´re not humans). I am also a serial smiley user.

And a few fun facts…

  • I met the Nobel Prize of Economics 2014 before he received the prize at a conference and he helped me with my suitcase.
  • I speak three languages fluently (English, French and German) and a tiny bit of Spanish and Russian.
  • I love food, all kinds of food but I always drop something at the most inappropriate time like during a business lunch in an 15th century dining room with very important people at the table. The key is to continue talking as if nothing happened and smile.
  • I shook the hand of the former Chancellor of Germany
  • I broke my arm in two places when I was about twelve…my gym teacher didn’t believe me at first and told me to shake it off.
  • I spent lots of my time at my grandparents after breaking my arm and freaked out because the cast was red. I was convinced I was bleeding profusely. My grandma had a hard time making me understand that it was just the tiles of the kitchen…

Are you joining the challenge this year? Anything you would like me to tackle about my experience in self-publishing?


Joining the 2015 April A-to-Z blogging challenge…


Every year in April, a bunch of bloggers challenge themselves to post every single day (except on Sundays), blogging thematically from A to Z.

I am the 690th blogger to sign up this year and I am so excited to take part in it…I started thinking about my main theme (to be revealed end of March) and yes, there are some letters that seem to be a bit harder than others (I am looking at you, letter Q, I am looking at you!)

You can find more information about the challenge here 🙂

Have you done the challenge before? Any advice for me? 🙂

Are you thinking about joining?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish and Blogging Resolutions For 2015


I will be focusing this post about my bookish and blogging resolutions for 2015, there most probably will be another post about my 2015 goals (personal and writing related) at the beginning of January 🙂

In no particular order:

  • Read at least 60 books this year.
  • Read at least one non-fiction book a month.
  • Write more reviews about the books I love and cross link them to Amazon & BN. Leaving reviews really do help authors and spreading the love about books I enjoyed is something I love doing! (yes, that’s a lot of “love” in two sentences)
  • Write a short email to the authors of books I loved to tell them how much I enjoyed their book. (I really appreciate receiving emails as a writer so time to give back!)
  • Participate in the WordPress weekly Photography challenge.
  • Try to find a book club close by.
  • If feasible, volunteer at my local library
  • Reply to comments left on my blog as often as possible
  • Participate in this January Instagram challenge. Looks life fun 🙂



 But above all, pause and enjoy all those moments I am spending with books and connecting with people…because they’re oh so important!

What’s the ONE book I really should read this year you think?


I have a new blog design and…

On this lovely Sunday afternoon and due to several on-going projects I will talk about soon, I decided to do a few changes to my blog:

I have a new design….and…you can also now find me under http://www.elodienowodazkij.com

if you were following my blog before – you would need to add the new address to your blog reader (or you can subscribe per email on the right column…)

I’m still playing around with it but what do you think? 🙂


My 2013 blogging year in review

Hope you’re all enjoying a wonderful holiday season….The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

It holds everything from most popular posts to keywords leading to this blog to people most commenting on it 🙂

I am very grateful for another blogging year of connecting and supporting and sharing and laughing.

As they say in German: GUTEN RUTSCH INS NEUE JAHR!

SEE YOU IN 2014!


I´m a terrible blogger – but look: shiny links!

Dear all,

We have to talk. This is not a break-up letter. Don´t worry. However, you may have noticed that my blogging has been…hmm…quite sporadic recently. The main reason is that I´m spending every single free minute I have with ONE TWO THREE (and on Twitter :P) As soon as I know for sure my manuscript is as pretty as I can make it, I will be back on a more regular basis and with fun things (like a giveaway or two :P)

But…I do continue to read blogs and I thought I´d share a few with you in case you missed them in the past weeks…

February Compliment Challenge – Where you challenge yourself to compliment one person a day and where incredibly nice and generous Jessica donates to classroom in needs. Intrigued? Ready to spread the love? Then don´t hesitate to head over Jessica´s blog and check it out.


The post where Christa announced her second book BLEED LIKE ME sold (you can already add it on Goodreads.com by clicking on the title)…If you haven´t read her conversation with her agent, Sarah LaPolla, you should! It will make you smile and go “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwww” for Christa. Because she´s awesome. And because her story sounds great. And because that particular retelling of the phone call is just funny/adorable/so her.


This video by Kelsey made me smile, laugh and nod!


Did you see the adorable group picture on Jaime´s blog from SCBWI? And she and her sister, Erin, made it to the agents´ round of Cupid’s Literary Connection’s Blind Speed Dating! If you read Jaime´s entry, you´ll see what wonderful writing I get to read 😀


And then there´s this inspiring post by Alex on multicultural stories. She´s definitely taking the high road in her answer to some comments she received.


If you love YA contemporary novels, both Katy and Jessica Love are recommending two this week and they sound amazing!


Rebecca Behrens is giving away a copy of THE ART OF WISHING. This book sounds great! You have until the 11th of February to enter!


Do you need a pep talk? Head over to Tracey´s blog!  Her motivational penguin isn´t the only reason why this post will lift your spirits, it will also remind you YOU CAN DO IT! 😀

Have a lovely weekend and “see you” very soon!


*waves* I´m over on Alex´s blog today (and gave my first interview :D)

I´m still here.

Still sorry about not blogging as much these days but I´m spending as much time as I can with my manuscript and work has been very very busy!….But see those puppy eyes – those are exactly the same kind of puppy eyes I´m making right now!

By Deskana at en.wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons
I did answer some interview questions though! My FIRST BLOG INTERVIEW!!!!!!

It´s over on Alex´s blog…Alex is one of the wonderful and talented writers I met via Mandy´s class…

Hope you´re all doing well!  Can´t wait to catch up!


What happened in 2012…

First of all, hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it, and a great holiday season…

Wow I blogged for an entire year. A full year. Those are a lot of posts, a lot of connections and friendships made ❤

Here´s my a recap of what happened on this blog and in my life in 2012(some stats-even though numbers don´t say how much I smiled thanks to all of you-pictures and past posts).

As of 12/21/2012

  • 168 followers (and 39 on Google reader, maybe they´re the same, maybe not)
  • 14,309 views (wow!)
  • from 108 countries!
  • Around 150 blog posts in 2012 🙂

Top 5 posts most viewed in 2012

What Desperate Housewives taught me about my novel… 649
My January books 😀 519
Happy Friday #8: Giveaway, Books and Thanks! 365
Happy Friday #13 – Jellicoe steals my heart and other stories 361
Query writing (part 2) – Webinar with Sara Megibow 317

Top 5 posts most commented in 2012 (one of them is the post were I reveal my first name, fun!)

First Campaigner Challenge: Look, don´t touch… 94
Pssshhhh…Top secret 🙂 51
Say Hello to Balzac… 48
Dreaming of a writing retreat… 48
My Love List…. 47

And here´s the recap of my year…


…. I participated in CHANGEWRITENOW…set up some goals, met some awesome people.

….I stopped smoking!!!!

…I revealed my first name…I used to go only by “commutinggirl” and I used the opportunity of a Road Trip Wednesday to finally say “Hello, my name is Elodie and I´m a writer.” in the post “Pshhhhh top secret

…I finished the first draft of my manuscript PLAYING WITH FIRE. One that now needs a rewrite and which hasn´t yet been seen fully by anyone but me: The Two Magical Little Words.

Anna and The French Kiss

I read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS for the first time. It has now become my security blanket. When I feel down, I know I can turn to Anna (and Etienne) to lift me up.


…I asked the Writing Community to be my Valentine (well because you guys are just awesome!)

…I took part in the Platform-Building Campaign and even in the first challenge (my first flash fiction on this blog. ever)…and made it to the second round.


Hosted my first Giveaway. It was the “I love reading” giveaway where two books were up for grabs (one for the reader of my blog and one for someone younger than them to spread the love of reading). Jessica Love won! 😀

…As I was going through the process of revising, I went through some self-doubt. Is my English good enough? and thought about it in the post entitled The Beauty of Words or the Pulchritude of Morphemes…


Hubby and I went to see a Klitschko fight! It was amazing!


Popping the question

I took a deep breath, reread my email a thousand times over, adding this subject line…asking Jaime if she would like to try out this CP thing. She said yes, and I not only got a wonderful Critique Partner with an eye for detail (and an amazing manuscript), I also got a new friend!


It´s the month I plunged into JELLICOE ROAD, and wow…the ride was amazing! I love this book. Really. I think it´s even my favorite read of the year. (Thanks again, Katy for gushing about it!)


My husband aka The Chemical Engineer made his first appearance on this blog, with his “A Young Engineer´s not so serious review of the Hunger Games movie


…my hubby shared Your Significant Other is a Writer, don´t Panic

…Some tweets made me LOL…especially these ones…



…as hubby and I went on our honeymoon in May, there were a lot of post-honeymoon recaps…including those ones:

Jennifer E. Smith talking about her wonderful book!
Jennifer E. Smith talking about her wonderful book!

The Magic of Teen Author Carnival. I met authors. I asked a question. I saw and talked (briefly) to Rebecca. It was simply amazing…

On the road...
On the road…

During our road trip, we experienced so many things. We reconnected with friends, we created new memories, we laughed a lot…We also went back to that little Bed and Breakfast I fell in love with back in 2007…

Other peoples happy news: both Erin and Elsie revealed their beautiful covers….



Got deep into Jaime´s manuscript and into drafting ONE TWO THREE…


Started making yummy desserts 😀 (Thanks to Katy again as she shared some of her favorite websites)

My Life Next Door

I read and loved MY LIFE NEXT DOOR…and the author, Huntley Fitzpatrick, agreed to let me interview her! (reading this post always makes me smile)

Happy Monday contest

Yay! I was one of the lucky three winners of the query contest of Taryn (Queroine extraordinaire as I now like to call her or as she puts on her blog: writer, reader, lit agency intern, and freelance editor).


Celebrated my 31st birthday!

Birthday Breakfast
Birthday Breakfast

Celebrated our one-year anniversary…


Hmmm food!
Hmmm food!

Met my baby niece

Met my newborn niece for the first time
Met my newborn niece for the first time


Traveled to Russia…

Discovering Moscow...
Discovering Moscow…
Deep into revisions
Revisions 2
Felt like a rock star
Sara Megibow

I attended a webinar by Sara Megibow…and she tweeted about my overview. Sara is truly amazing and so happy I took that webinar to see how an agent goes through slush…and at the same time, her comments on my query helped me go through yet another round of revision.


I started a class on revision by Mandy Hubbard, I learned a lot and met many wonderful writers….

…Got deep into Awkward


….Found our cutie patoutie at the shelter

Our new cat - Peter - found at the shelterComing to live with us as of Monday evening.
Our new cat – Peter – found at the shelter

…Went to the Frankfurt Book Fair and hung out with great people from SCBWI

The outside of the Book FairHappy news from others: Rebecca announced her book deal!


I started querying…and my motto became You just need that one...November wasn´t an easy month, as I lost my grandmother. I shared some of her wisdom in Love is what matters


Both Katy and Christa had some exciting news to share! I´m so happy for those two lovely ladies. One snagged a wonderful agent, and the other revealed the cover of her book (one I think every teenage boy and girl ought to read) I love other people´s good news!Alternate - PitchWarsI entered PitchWars and made it as an alternate!!!! 😀 And? Have you seen who´s teamed up with the wonderful Dahlia? I´m so happy about this….New Tree OrnamentI received this beautiful ornament from Jessica (perfect for ONE TWO THREE…)Christmas Market with HubbySpent quality time with my hubby at the Christmas market….And…my friend Alex got an SCBWI award and will be going to the conference in NYC!!!! (see her blog for all information :D)Only a few more days until 2013…

I, NobbiP [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
2012 has been full of surprises, of ups and downs, of never-ending revising, of happy moments…for me and for others.I´m thankful for you! For your comments, for our interactions, sometimes for our angst-ridden emails, for the support you give me, and for being there. Really, the internet is great but it´s especially wonderful for having enabled me to connect with all of you!
See you in 2013! (and I´m sure I´ll share many more of YOUR happy news :-))
Random picture of my cat...He looks so cute on that one :D
Random picture of our cat…He looks so cute on that one 😀



A blast from the past

Thank you again so much Kat for this award! I am now going to be able to showcase some of my past posts which can fit the seven provided headlines.

Let me tell you something, it´s really not that easy but it´s fun to look back 😀 I have been blogging since September 10th, 2011, so not a year yet but keeping this blog updated is really amazing. Not only did I meet wonderful people, I am also having a blast with it!

Most Beautiful Piece
This one is beautiful to my heart because this is the post with which I shared a few pictures of my wedding.
Published on 29th December 2011
Most Helpful Piece
My hubby wrote that one and many other writers commented how they would share it with their significant others. Reading it always makes me smile.
Published on May 3rd, 2012
Most Popular Piece
If I am looking at the one which received the most comments (almost 100! well counting my replies I think but still :D) , it would be the flash fiction I did for the Campaigner Challenge. It was also the first flash fiction I ever wrote.
Published on February 20th, 2012
Most Controversial Piece
 The one where I wonder about vocabulary and how going through revising makes me think about the words we use in our YA novels.
Published on March 5th, 2012
Most Surprisingly Successful Piece
I was overwhelmed by the positive response and by the amount of comments this one post received. This is the one where I reveal my first name and no longer go by “commutinggirl” only.
Published on January 11th, 2012
Most Underrated Piece
I really enjoyed writing this piece but it was published before I had a lot lot of followers…And  I do still ask myself the same question from times to times…
Published on November 14th, 2011
Most Pride-Worthy Piece
This one is more a pride-worthy moment captured in a post :D…it´s the post I published after finishing the first draft of my first WiP…
Published on January 15th, 2012
And here now the seven bloggers I pass on the award to because I cannot wait to see what they come up with 😀
  •  Jaime Morrow (YA Writer and Reader + wonderful Critique Partner)
  • Katy Upperman (Musings of An Aspiring Young Adult Author)
  • Jessica (Jessica Love – Writes, Reads, Rocks)
  • Rebecca Behrens
  • Alison (Left Brained by Day – Write Brained, all the time)
  • Tracey (Words on Paper)
  • Christa (Christa rambles and writes)
Blogme MAYbe, writing

The very first blog post – what was yours?

This month (well until my honeymoon :D), I will be participating in Blogme MAYbe. This wonderful idea is the brainchild of SaraMcClung and is a weekly blog format with an easy schedule to follow. For more information and join the fun (you can at any time!), simply click on the banner created by the super-duper-talented Tracey

On Wednesdays, the prompt is: May I ask something about you?

I started blogging less than a year ago (in September)…I wanted to connect somehow and I wanted to practice writing in another setting. However, I wasn´t quite sure at the time what my blog posts would be about. I started thinking I´ll write funny stories about my commuting and I ended up changing along the way, focusing more on my writing/reading and on the little/big events of life. So while I am still “commutinggirl”, I don´t talk a lot about my actual commute. It only pops up from times to times.

My first blog post was entitled: Starting point – The one who likes to sit down but does not want anybody sitting next to her 

What was yours? and when was it? What did you learn along the way?

(I know that´s more than one question but I´m a tad curious)