a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: R is for Reviews

RReviews are so important for authors, being on Twitter, on Goodreads, on blogs and especially on online retailers for many reasons – here are just a few:

  • Before a release, it amps the anticipation, might bring a buzz.
  • it really helps the visibility of books on online retailers. There are algorithms that are used on Amazon for example which could make your book show up in their ‘also recommended’.
  • Reviews can drive sales (and not only good reviews…)
  • Readers might be more inclined to read a book if they know people have already read it.
  • Certain advertising  or reviewing sites are only considering books with a certain number of reviews.

Thank you, thank you so much for everyone who’s taken the time to review my books. THANK YOU ❤

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Join me tomorrow for S…

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: Q is for Quote (motivational quote)

QQ is for…Quote (motivational quote) or in this case quotes…:) I just finished drafting and revising my NA thriller YOU ARE MINE and it is both exhilarating and super scary. That also means I need to go back to other projects, including an overhaul of another thriller and finish drafting a companion novel.

That’s where the quote from Stephen King comes in…

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And then, there’s this one because I think sometimes we don’t necessarily see the amount of work people with lots of success or lots of luck or both have put in or are putting in. We get distracted by the “what ifs” or the “why not me” and this quote captures how I feel about this.

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Join me tomorrow for R…

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What´s Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday?

WUW7

What´s up Wednesday is the brainchild of Jaime and Erin. It´s a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join, make sure to leave a link to your What’s Up Wednesday post in the widget on Jaime´s blog or Erin‘s blog.

What I’m reading

I am diving into RED QUEEN — will try to finish it on time for YA Book Club.
And I’m also reading/critiquing another amazing manuscript this week.
Lucky, lucky me.

What else I´ve been up to

Preparing for the A to Z challenge, I’ve announced my theme on Monday  (it’s going to be all about self-publishing ) I don’t think I’m THE expert on the matter but I thought sharing some of my experience and lessons learned could be helpful for others.

What works for me

 I usually try to put a few quotes in my Erin Condren planner. Quotes that I use as inspiration or reminder…

Here’s the one I had for Monday. 🙂

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I can’t wait to check all your posts and see what you’ve been up to 🙂

WriterRecharge

Thank you #WriterRecharge!

Writer Recharge

It´s the last post for #WriterRecharge this year and wow, time really does fly!  Don´t forget to post your update on Sara´s blog.

How did I do?

This past week, I did pretty well (except in the exercising part) but I used the bonus weekend to revise and edit ONE, TWO, THREE…I spent about 10 hours on it and I still have quite a bit to do, but I AM SO EXCITED about the changes I´m currently making. There´s still a lot to do afterwards: sending it back to my editor, and then to my copy editor for another read before the final proofread.

I was able to do a lot this weekend thanks to my wonderful and patient husband.

This was our conversation on Saturday morning

What did I want to achieve?

  • Follow a writing schedule (I need to write 5 days a week)
  • Revise 8 chapters of my YA thriller DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL (two chapters a week)
  • Write 10 000 of a new YA contemporary romance (companion of ONE TWO THREE) called ALWAYS SECOND BEST (I need to update my projects’ page very soon).
  • I need to work out at least twice a week. How is this writing related you may ask? Well…my word for 2014 is balance and making sure I get some exercise in will help me with my balance and thus, with my writing. :-)

And?

  • I did follow a writing schedule (4 to 5 days a week)
  • I revised  4 chapters of my YA thriller
  • I wrote about 6000 words of ALWAYS SECOND BEST
  • Worked out at least twice a week (almost managed, yay!)
  • AND….I revised + edited 11 chapters of ONE, TWO, THREE…

February has been really productive! Thank you so much Sara for including me in this, thank you so much to the other wonderful co-hosts ( Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz Parker)  and to everyone who joined us! (yes this sounds like an Oscar speech :-))

Let´s make March even greater (whichever way we feel is right for us!)

WriterRecharge

Brainstorming, drafting and working out…#WriterRecharge Update Three!

Writer Recharge

If you want to learn more about #WriterRecharge, just click here. The short story: brainchild of Sara Biren, it´s a way to keep motivated during the month of February.  Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz Parker,  Sara Biren and me. Every Monday in February, update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts at Sara’s Monday posts. And throughout the month, don´t forget to use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!

How did I do?

Hmmm I had a wonderful weekend in France but the trip there took a bit longer than planned…so no writing time for me. But I enjoyed the time with my family and ate a lot of yummy food. The rest of the week was productive and even the drive to France included brainstorming with my husband…

  • Did a lot of plotting this week…
  • Wrote 2000 words in my new YA contemporary: ALWAYS SECOND BEST (yay! new words!)
  • Worked out two times (I had planned two so :-))
  • Wrote or revised 4 days during the week (yay!)

What are my goals for this week?

  • I will need to edit, edit, edit and edit this week. My wonderful editor is sending me back my manuscript with I’m sure very helpful notes.
  • Write 2000  words in my YA contemporary
  • Work out 3 times this week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
  • Write or revise 5 days this week

Can’t wait to cheer you on! 🙂

WriterRecharge

#WriterRecharge Update Two!: Drafting, revising and jogging..

Writer Recharge

If you want to learn more about #WriterRecharge, just click here. The short story: brainchild of Sara Biren, it´s a way to keep motivated during the month of February.  Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz Parker,  Sara Biren and me. Every Monday in February, update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts at Sara’s Monday posts. And throughout the month, don´t forget to use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!

How did I do during my second week?

I´m still amazed by the on-going support: THANK YOU! I haven´t done as much as I wished this week. As most of you know, I announced my self-publishing adventure…I I took a bit of time to work on my Facebook page and made sure to reply to all amazing comments on my little blog, on Facebook, on Twitter or per email. Really, I´m so grateful!

So, here´s what I did:

  • Revised 1 a chapter of my YA thriller: DADDY´S LITTLE GIRL (a bit less than planned but progress nonetheless)
  • Wrote 1000 words in my new YA contemporary: ALWAYS SECOND BEST (not as many as what I wanted. But I did do some planning which will help.)
  • Worked out two times (I had planned three. Doh!)
  • Wrote or revised 4 days during the week (yay!)

Here´s an excerpt of ALWAYS SECOND BEST. It´s in drafting mode, i.e. not yet edited. It´s the companion novel from ONE, TWO, THREE…and will come out in October 2014.

“I´m so happy you´re here! I´m trying something new and you need to taste it!”

I shrug off my coat and she eyes me up and down. “Actually, I´ll give you two, you look too skinny.”

I shake my head. While I pay attention to what I eat, that´s another thing playing against me: I don´t have the typical ballerina body. I´m slim but not that thin and I´ve got boobs. “One will be fine, Nonna.”

“Two.” She frowns. “I saw a movie on Lifetime the other day about a ballerina who was throwing up everything she ate. You don´t do that, right?” She takes my face between her hands. “Because you are beautiful. Bellissima.”

It´s hard to articulate, when she holds my face like this, so I mumble. “I don´t.”

My Nonna´s addicted to Lifetime movies. My Nonno used to say he came fourth in her heart. “First, the bambini. Then, the movies from that channel she loves, third the restaurant and forth…me.”

I believe he always came first.

“Come.” She pulls me into the kitchen and my mouth gapes open. There´s a guy there. In my kingdom. Sunday morning´s my time with Nonna.

“You need to meet Lorenzo. His cannelloni are to die for.” Nonna winks at me. She´s either matchmaking me to yet another Italian American or he really is a good cook. Nonna only winks for love or for food.

What are my goals for this week?

  • Revise one chapter of my YA thriller
  • Write 3000  words in my YA contemporary ALWAYS SECOND BEST
  • Work out 3 times  (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
  • Write or revise 4 days this week

Can’t wait to cheer you on! 🙂

WriterRecharge

Drafting, revising and working out…#WriterRecharge Update One!

Writer Recharge

If you want to learn more about #WriterRecharge, just click here. The short story: brainchild of Sara Biren, it´s a way to keep motivated during the month of February.  Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz Parker,  Sara Biren and me. Every Monday in February, update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts at Sara’s Monday posts. And throughout the month, don´t forget to use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!

How did I do during my first week?

Honestly, WriterRecharge kept me motivated. Waking up to tweets of people encouraging one another is pretty awesome and did push me. So, THANK YOU!

  • Revised 1 and 1/2 chapters of my YA thriller: DADDY´S LITTLE GIRL (a bit less than planned but progress nonetheless)
  • Wrote 1500 words in my new YA contemporary: ALWAYS SECOND BEST (yay! new words!)
  • Worked out three times (I had planned two so :-))
  • Wrote or revised 5 days during the week (yay!)

What are my goals for this week?

  • Revise two chapter of my YA thriller
  • Write 2000  words in my YA contemporary
  • Work out 3 times this week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
  • Write or revise 4 days this week

Can’t wait to cheer you on! 🙂

WriterRecharge

Join us for a month of #WriterRecharge!

Writer Recharge

January is in the books and you’ve had to deal with:

a) polar vortices
b) ice storms
c) mountains of snow
d) gray skies and general malaise
e) all of the above

We thought our writer friends might be in need of a little boost. A jump start, if you will. A recharge.

We’d like to invite you to join us for Writer Recharge 2014, a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, hey, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and a sleepy puppy at your feet or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! What do you want to accomplish this month? Hit a daily word count? Revise a certain number of pages or chapters each week? Complete a draft by the end of the month? Let’s get this party started!

Writer Recharge 2014

Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz ParkerElodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren

The timeline:

  • First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post at http://www.sarabiren.com/2014/02/writer-recharge-challenge.html
  • Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts at Sara’s Monday posts.
  • Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!
  • February 28: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.
  • Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win one of 5 query or 3-chapter critiques.

Sound easy enough? Set your goals and get started! We’ll see YOU at #WriterRecharge.

My goals for the month?

  • Follow a writing schedule (I need to write 5 days a week)
  • Revise 8 chapters of my YA thriller DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL (two chapters a week)
  • Write 10 000 of a new YA contemporary romance (companion of ONE TWO THREE) called ALWAYS SECOND BEST (I need to update my projects’ page very soon).
  • I need to work out at least twice a week. How is this writing related you may ask? Well…my word for 2014 is balance and making sure I get some exercise in will help me with my balance and thus, with my writing. 🙂

Can’t wait to cheer you on! 🙂

Ready Set Write, writing

Do you want to draft/revise/edit this summer? Join us for Ready. Set. Write!

Writing is a lonely process but it doesn’t always have to be…And if you’re looking for motivation and encouragement along the Summer breeze to type those words away (or in my case, delete words, think about words, type some words and try to find ways to raise the stake…), we have something for you!

Once upon time, a wonderful writer and friend named Alison (no really she’s great and the voice in her book is amazing, you don’t believe me check her first 250 words here!) sent an email out to a few of us asking if we’d be interested in co-hosting a  Summer Writing Intensive. The goals are individual, so no pressure because I know sometimes for me revising a sentence into something that makes me pause and go “wow did I write that?” can be as rewarding as drafting an entire chapter 🙂

And really, who doesn’t need some cheering along the way?

Alison MillerKaty Upperman, Erin Funk, Jaime Morrow, and I are hosting the summer writing intensive Ready. Set. WRITE! and we’d LOVE for you to join us! We plan to kick off a summer of writing Tuesday June 11th and write, write, write for 2 months! We’ll update weekly on what we’ve been writing and our new goals for the week. Care to join us in our writing bliss?!

You can even grab this awesome button (created by Erin).

ready set write button

So what is this exactly?

Purpose: for drafting/revising/writing novels, flash fiction or short stories—whatever! As long as we’re writing!

What we’ll do:

  • set weekly goals (or monthly or overall goals). Again—whatever works!
  • update weekly on What’s Up Wednesday (in the What I’m Writing section). We’ll share what we’ve accomplished and set goals for the new week. We can also include a snippet or just gush about our stories. 🙂

Don’t know about What’s Up Wednesday? Check it out here and here. And here

We’ll also be hosting occasional drafting/revising parties on Twitter, providing lots of support for each other, and…AND sponsoring a giveaway!

Oh and if you don’t know where to find these amazing ladies on Twitter, here they are (simply click on their name – we really need to convince Erin to get on Twitter :P)

Ready. Set. WRITE! will kick off Tuesday June 11th with sign-ups  on our blogs. We’ll set our first goals on June 12th‘s edition of What’s Up Wednesday and update each other every Wednesday!

In the meantime, decide what you want to write/revise. Set your goals! Write a little. Or a lot.

Spread the word!

And be prepared to Ready. Set. WRITE!

reading, writing

Feeling a bit like Bambi…

I have a confession to make. Psssh….come closer, I don´t want everybody to hear…

I have not written a word since the plane ride to the US in May. I have not read a novel while being away either (I just read SECOND CHANCE SUMMER on Saturday though, more on this tomorrow :D) I did attend Teen Author Carnival which was truly inspiring but didn´t write.

No writing and no reading. It feels weird. My fingers want to get onto my story but it somehow seems like a mountain to climb when you have not done any exercise or have not walked in forever.

I feel like Bambi trying to walk on ice…


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Uncertain, wondering but trying and trying again…

So many things to do in the next month for work and scratching my head trying to figure out how I was doing it before my holidays or how others manage 😀

But…I am looking forward to take little steps towards my goals. I read on a blog recently (I need to take notes when I do) that small goals and rewards are good when we´re writing and I tend to agree. We sometimes forget to celebrate the milestones, take into account the small steps it took us to achieve something.

So here are some of my writing goals for June:

  • Incorporate/reflect Jaime´s comments & suggestions into my WiP
  • Send one chapter to Jaime for her feedback (thanks again, I really appreciate it!)
  • Write at least two chapters of WiP above
  • Re-read PLAYING WITH FIRE (again) and set up the last schedule of revisions (I need to send this baby off to my beta readers :D)
  • Write a flash fiction for Christa 😀 Well, for her “This One Time At Band Camp…” gig

So tell me, what are your goals for June or how do you regroup after a long break?