Friday, April 30, 2010

Steph Su - YA Blog Must-Read

I recently stumbled across Steph Su's awesome blog and wanted to share it with my readers. I'm a little late on it, I suppose, as she's already got over 1,000 followers. But I can totally understand why. Steph is a college student and she also reviews YA books on her blog. For those of us aspiring to make our blogs into inviting and well organized sites, check hers's beautiful!

In addition to her pretty blog, the content is mind-blowing. Having read more books than I can count, Steph has an better idea on what is needed in YA than most of us. She's compiled a list of things that she feels is missing in YA Contemporary novels. As I read, I could see exactly what she was talking about in my own writing. It also gave me some great ideas for future projects. If you write YA, especially contemporary, give her article a read; you will laugh when she describes the devices that you know are totally in your novel!

I can't believe Steph hasn't written anything herself yet, but I'm sure when she does, she'll find herself to be super-successful! She's got it all figured out!

What's Missing In YA Lit? The Contemporary Edition

Thursday, April 29, 2010

KOrtizzle Dishes the Truth

The fabulous agent Kathleen Ortiz and her ever entertaining and informative blog, Neverending Page Turner, has delivered a gem for those of us in the querying/submission process. Take a look at her post (that I linked below) if you want an eye-opening look at how agents sift through the slush pile. The numbers are astounding! I knew agents took in massive amounts of queries, but the percentages that turn into partial and full manuscript requests are interesting.

Warning: Only For Those Who Can Handle The Truth

As for me, on my first book I would guess I was up to 80-ish rejections, with a few partials and one full. On the second book, I've only sent out 10 queries, with 9 rejections or no-replies (one partial in there) and an additional partial that's now turned into a full request. I do feel like I'm on the right track. It's hard work, my friends, but hang in there and one day we'll make it. My goal is to just keep improving my writing skills so that one day soon that NO turns into a YES!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Does NO mean I hate you?

Well, according to Agent Jennifer Laughran, it doesn't ( Jennifer has a great post on what getting a NO from an agent means. I thought it was interesting to see the number of clients that she takes in per year versus the amount of queries she receives. Those of you who have an agent should feel pretty lucky (which I'm sure you do!). As for the rest of us, let's just keep plugging away until we find our dream match! Hope yours is right around the corner. Click here for Jennifer's article.

What do Teens, Publishers and Hollywood Want?

I saw this article on Agent Jill Corcoran's blog. Publisher's Weekly says that apparently even though publishers have grown tired of vampires, werewolves and the like, the kiddies are still clamoring for paranormal! Which is encouraging, considering I enjoy reading and writing paranormal. Check out the article here.

And thanks to Jill Corcoran for having a great blog...she's always posting great stuff! Be sure to check her out.

Shout out to Dotty Dot Dot!

Thanks to Hilary Wagner and Michelle Sussman, I was intrigued enough by their new blog designs to check out Dotty Dot Dot, a blog site with awesome and *FREE* blog backgrounds. I found one I loved today and switched it out and I think it really gives the blog a more individual look. And now I'm hooked! I'm sure I'll find new ones I like all the time and switch them up!

Just a note, the first time I tried it, I couldn't get it to work, but I figured out why. Just make sure when you cut and paste the HTML code that you scroll all the way to the bottom and get all of it. I missed that the first time around but of course this time it worked beautifully!

Happy re-designing!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wow! 200 followers!

I was excited today to see that I've got over 200 followers on Networked Blogs, bringing me from my original #19 on the NetworkedBlogs Top 50 Blogs in Publishing to #14! Awesome! I'd like to take a minute to thank the kind people on both Blogger and Facebook that let me be part of their day! I appreciate the fact that so many people check in with me from time to time. I hope that I've also been able to help you in some way! Thanks again!

Friday, April 23, 2010

One step forward...

Yesterday I emailed the Lovely Agent that had a 20-page partial of my YA novel The Green. (You remember, the partial request I got after the awesome contest I entered, thanks to Michelle Sussman!) I'd sent it to the Lovely Agent about 2 months ago, and after a survey of writer friends, a consensus was made that 2 months would be an appropriate time to check up on the manuscript, to see how it was doing and all. Was my MS enjoying New York? Was the Lovely Agent (LA) enjoying my MS?

I was nervous, I'd never emailed an agent for a follow up, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Would I get an email back? Would it be an automatic rejection? As one of my friends said, if the agent rejects you after you check in, they were most likely going to reject it anyways and you just reminded them to do it.

Instead I received a very awesome email, thanking me for the 'nudge.' LA had just read the 20 pages and said it was worth the read...and wanted a full MS! LA also asked if the MS was with other agents, which (not trying to get hopes up too much) that said, maybe means LA is serious about my MS!!!

I'm giving the MS one last look before sending it off this weekend. I'm so nervous! But at least I feel like I've moved one step closer to my goal. I'll post as soon as I hear something!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adventures in on Kindle

So today I dipped my toes in the ePublishing pool by making my blog available on Amazon for the Kindle. I was really hoping to post it there for free, but going through the process of signing up I never found any information on the pricing structures. Once I got everything posted, I discovered through posts on the Community Forum section that Amazon lists blogs for $1.99 a month! They then, for some unknown reason, drop to $.99 a month after a period of time. I will be shocked and amazed if I manage to get some followers for $1.99 a month!

It was easy enough to get the blog posted on there. The toughest part was taking a screen shot of the blog to upload. The rest was a breeze! My only hope is that having my name floating out there in Amazon-land will bring more traffic across my *free* blog page. But as of right now I don't envision this as being much of a money-maker. It was interesting to see how it works and I'm curious to see if uploading an eBook is as easy. I would guess there will be more in the way of formatting for that.

But if you have a Kindle and are can now locate this very blog on Amazon under Karly Kirkpatrick - YA Writer. I'll keep you updated on the results...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Friday Flash

Genevieve Ching, a fellow writer and extremely helpful Facebook friend, introduced me to Friday Flash, a weekly writing group that posts their Flash Fiction for others to read. Check out the website here... I will do my best to come up with something every Friday, but I can't promise. Luckily I had an idea for this week. I figure that at the least, I'm writing and sharing it with others. And who knows what story ideas could come out of it. Feel free to join in the fun! Thanks again Gen!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I can't make up my mind!!!

Ugh, I'm feeling so schizophrenic these days. I really made some progress on the WIP over Spring Break, but lost some ground last week when my cute little nephew decided to join the world on Tuesday, March 30th! I did start doing a little revising/rewriting on The Green, because for some reason I felt I should just move ahead, make the changes and prepare to query in June-ish.

But now I've changed my mind again. I think I'm going to go back to the WIP. I still don't want to put so many changes into The Green until I'm sure the agent doesn't want it. I'm just dying to hear from her. I really think the most agonizing feeling as a writer is the waiting. Fingers crossed it will be soon. And fingers and toes crossed it will be good news!

I've got a pretty full plate at the moment, along with working on these two books, I've got a few projects in the hopper (never quite knew what that meant!) and I start my Editing class at DePaul on Saturday. But I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm looking forward to the coming months and hope they bring many exciting things!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

eBooks and iPad: A Revoultion?

The Apple iPad launched yesterday, which unless you are living in a cave somewhere, you surely have heard about it. There have been numerous articles discussing how the iPad is going to revolutionize publishing. Prior to the release of the iPad, eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle have been available for a couple years and we have yet to see this major revolution. Are we to believe that only Apple has the magical power to make everyone flock to eBooks? I'm curious to see if this is the case.

The publishing industry is providing its' books to the eReader market, but many are still priced at $9.99. As an avid reader, I will need some time to adjust to the thought of paying ten bucks for something I can't hold in my hand.

There is also another side to the eBook market, the side with the revolutionary potential. Self-publishing has long been criticized as 'vanity' publishing and often cited as writing of poor quality. In order for the stigma to be lifted, writers who choose to bypass traditional publishing and go straight to eBooks will need to provide a high quality product if they want to see any success. This means the books should be just as professional as their traditional counterparts. Excellent writing that is well edited will need to become the norm. Let's face it, if you are putting your name on a product, don't you want it to be the very best it can be? And I'm not saying you need to pay an editor, but you should have other published authors read and critique your work. And then edit and revise to perfection.

There is no doubt that there is money to be made. eBooks can be sold for as little as a dollar, but for a book being sold at $1.99, it's possible for the author to make $.70, which is a decent profit. However, if your book is crap, no one will pay to read it, nor will they pay to read anything else you've written.

I can't say I'm not intrigued by the eBook idea. I have a great manuscript that is sitting on a shelf collecting dust that I've considered releasing as an eBook. But would it be shooting myself in the foot? Would I ruin my chances of ever being taken seriously and be able to get future books published? Should I take a risk and join the revolution or sit quietly on the sidelines and wait for my chance to come? Or would I be able to make a name for myself and build up a fan base for future book sales? It is so the chicken and the egg. What are your thoughts?