So, I’m not a musically inclined person by nature, but I decided to try to make some playlists for my books, and I absolutely loved it! Listening to the playlists added this whole other dimension and put me right into the book so I could experience the scene play out. So cool! Naturally, since it was so awesome, I had to share. Below, are the playlists for the entire Odriel’s Heirs series, and I’ll be sure to add them to their page on this site. I’ll also release the playlists for Codename: CNDRLA and my 2023 sci-fi closer to publication!
I hope you enjoy them and as always, I’d love to hear your suggestions and recommendations if you have any!
So the big news this week is that I got my Odriel’s Heirs and Idriel’s Children covers redesigned! And so many people have asked me why, I figured I’d write a post about it (mostly because I’m too tired tonight to do anything else productive. 😂)
So when I first was looking for a cover designer for Odriel’s Heirs, I’d never commissioned art of ANY kind before, and at the time, I thought Odriel’s Heirs would be the only book I ever wrote. (Seven books later, let’s all laugh together. 🤣)
So, I wanted something that could double as both character art and a cover. And although Dominique Wesson did a fabulous job of capturing the characters… based on anonymous feedback from NetGalley, the original cover designs were getting somewhere around a C-. Ouch. And to add to that, my BookBub deal requests kept getting rejected, and I suspected it had to do with the covers.
Fast forward to 2022, and the original cover designer is crazy busy and almost impossible to schedule, and I’m no longer a huge fan of seeing the character’s faces on the cover. I’d rather give the reader more flexibility to imagine the characters and commission character art separately, like the wonderful pieces by @stephydrawsart_ below. (But if you ever want to make my LIFE, I adore fanart.)
Anyways… Of course, I wanted all of the covers to match, so I briefly considered trying to get a character art cover similar to my first too… but then I saw Fay Lane’s work and totally fell in love.
And now here we are! I’m also hoping that the new covers will expand my audience, and I can still use the original covers as marketing or promotional tools. Maybe one day, I’ll shell out for a character art cover of Time’s Orphan so I can have two complete sets. But for now, I’m so thrilled with the new look and can’t wait to see them all in print together before too long!
The new paperbacks of Odriel’s & Idriel’s are now available on Amazon, and I’m hoping to release Time’s Orphan advance review copies in the fall!
Hey everyone! So, I’m sure most of you know that discounted promotion newsletters are a big marketing tool for authors, and BookBub is the generally accepted king of promo newsletters.
And, after maybe about a year of applying for a BookBub featured deal, I finally got a $0.99 international featured deal offer for Odriel’s Heirs. 🥳 So that means I discounted Odriel’s Heirs from 2.99 to 0.99, and for a $54 fee, it was included in BookBub’s daily newsletter in the young adult category to Australia, India, Canada, and the UK.
So, I thought I’d share the results for anyone else trying for an international promo. I will say, I did not do any other additional marketing during the BookBub deal. I know that’s recommended, but honestly, March and April were pretty crazy for me, and I could barely even keep track of what day it was. As a silver lining though, we know that these sales were due only to the BookBub deal. Also, the 0.99 deal was marketed as a seven day promotion, and all my books were marked down for that period.
Total ebooks sold: 109 Total royalties: $39.67 Deal cost: $54 Loss: $14.33
Although people have massively varying results with the BookBub international deals, this wasn’t terribly surprising to me.
Odriel’s Heirs did have several things going for it: it won the 2020 Florida Indie Author Project in YA, it was the 5th place finalist in the Book Blogger Novel of the Year Awards, and it had 102 Amazon reviews (and 149 on Goodreads) with an average 4.4 rating.
But I knew the cover wasn’t super strong, I didn’t stack any other promos on top of it, and I knew the US deal is typically more successful.
Still, even though it was technically a loss, I was able to get my books out to 109 more people (across. the. world. 😱), and honestly, since my main goal here is exposure, that’s a win for me. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask! In the meanwhile, I’ll still be submitting every month to try to grab that US deal. I mean… who could resist that shiny brand new cover?
So, (disclaimer) I’ve never received an offer of representation, but I’ve done a lot of a LOT of querying over the last three years, and shockingly, I’m still alive and at it. So, I thought I’d share a trick or two on how to stay positive and make the process as painless as possible
Please keep in mind this is just my personal querying philosophy which may or may not work for you. As always, take what’s helpful and leave the rest!
1. USE Querytracker
I use the free version to filter for agents seeking my genre/age group. For example, I’m in the middle of querying a YA sci-fi. So I searched for agents interested in young adult and science fiction, and only queried the ones interested in both. (But not before reading their bio and manuscript wishlist first… and everyone else’s in their agency to make sure I was querying the right one.) Honestly, after three young adult books, if an agent has even thought about repping YA, I’ve probably read their bio. 😂
Since I use the free version of querytracker, I also make a giant spreadsheet to keep track of agent name, agency, and query date, to make sure I don’t double query anyone or any agencies.
2. keep your query files updated and ready
Specifically, I have a folder with these files: query, synopsis, first three chapters, first 10 pages, first 20 pages, first 50 pages, and first chapter. Also, I save any other questions they ask me in case another agent asks the same thing.
This is what I have so far for my current querying manuscript: pitch, audience, similar titles, why I’m the right person to write this book, movie/show comp titles, a line about my MC, who would play my MC, the theme song for my book, and the inspiration for my book.
3. Keep Expectations low. always.
Okay, so, maybe I’m a pessimist, but this one is important to me, because I have gotten quite a few full requests now on multiple novels, and… none of them panned out. Some of them even came back with positive feedback (but still a rejection), and there are also quite a few that I never got a response on at all! And I am painfully aware that even if I get an agent one day, my book still may not sell.
Keeping my expectations low is how I keep myself from getting crushed with every rejection, and maybe one day I’ll be shocked out of my socks with an offer of rep. But… right now, I treat query letters like lottery tickets, and keep on keepin’ on.
4. Know what comes after
So there are really three parts to this.
A. Have at least a rough idea of how long you will query for.
Because you could non-figuratively query one work for your whole life: query one agent, wait 3 months and CNR (closed: no response), revise, and then query the next agent. And that’s totally okay! Just have a strategy going in.
B. Know what comes after.
Will you heavily revise and re-query down the road? Will you shelve the work and query something else? Will you self-publish?
Knowing what comes next helps reduce the fear of rejection. It helps to remind us that rejection is not the end, but merely the next step of the journey.
C. Work on something else while you wait!
This is pretty common advice, but SO true. If I find myself excited to wrap up querying on book ABC so that I can query book DEF (because I’ve grown as a writer, this book is my best yet, and it’s TOTALLY the one!) then this strategy has succeeded (again.)
Make a friend along the way
Because there are a lot of us querying writers out there (Just check out #amquerying on Twitter), and nothing quite takes the sting off rejection like commiserating with a friend. So, find your Sam, Frodo, go throw that query into Mt Doom… and then, you know, maybe one day, Sauron will offer to represent you.
Wait a minute, I think this analogy went wrong somewhere… 😂
Anyways, keep laughing & try to enjoy the journey. Because there will always be another Mt Doom to climb (or something 😂.)
Thanks for reading! And if you have any other querying tips you’d like to add, feel free to comment below!