Pics from my launch party

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
My very first public reading. Apparently, I read way too fast, even though I slowed way down (I read really, really fast).

Answering questions

We borrowed a lot of antique/vintage bottles to go with the witch theme. My friend, JoLynne brought herbal bouquets--they smelled SO good. My SIL Jenni brought the flowers and burlap to go with our Witch theme.
 Some of the crowd who came to support me.
 More peeps who came to support me!

We had apple cider with dry ice to go with the whole potion theme we had going. All the little kids were enthralled.
We had so much fun! Thanks to the library (especially Emily and Ginny!), Stephanie Jensen, JoLynne Lyon, Jenni Argyle, Derek Smith, Shauna Johnson, Andrea Winkler, and Katie Mackleprang.

So, you wanna be an author?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've had a lot of emails lately from people who want to be authors (also from attendees at the writer's conference I attended this weekend, see below for pics). Here's my advice:

  1. Write three manuscripts--if this sounds daunting, it is. But only at the begining. You'll learn so much from those three manuscripts. Plus, now you have three manuscripts to query, and when one of them is accepted, you have two more sitting in the drawer, ready to go. You'll be far enough ahead that you can concentrate on marketing and there won't be so much pressure sitting on your shoulders. Plus, you'll know if this is really something you want to do.
  2. While your writing your manuscripts, learn from professionals: follow at least 1 agent's blog. I recommend Rachelle Gardner. One blog on the business of writing. I recommend Katherine Rusch. Sign up for David Farland's daily kick in the pants to learn about the craft of writing.
  3. Join a critique group.
  4. Read at least 5 books on the art of writing. I'll recommend three: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card, On Writing by Steven King (skip the first part by of both Card and King's books).
  5. Attend a writer's convention or writer's workshop to learn about the craft.
  6. Develop a group of trusted alpha and beta readers.
  7. After all of this work, start querying.
This will probably take you a few years. Getting your work to a point where it's publishable is equivalent to a master's degree. Unless you're a genius. It took me four manuscripts and five years of hard work to get published, and that's a pretty normal situation.

I don't mean this to be discouraging. Being published is totally doable if you're willing to put in the work and you have a little natural talent for it.

Q4U: For those of you who have been at this a while, what's your advice for beginning writers?

*I'll be signing this Saturday the 24th at the Layton Utah Barnes and Noble from 3-5 (thanks to Carrie for setting it up!). Address: Layton Market Center, 1780 North Woodland Park Drive, Layton, UT 84041, 801-773-9973

I hope to see you there!

 Amber and David King

Amber and Lisa Mangum

Ask questions on Librarything

Monday, September 19, 2011
Author chat September 19th--25th at

Come ask me questions about anything or just say hi!

My Launch Party is Today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

When I signed my contract, my book release seemed so far away. It didn't feel real. Then little things started adding up. When we finally started working on edits. When my cover was finalized. When it began to appear on book sites like Goodreads and Amazon.

And now Witch Song has actually been released. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real. Like I'm waiting for some line I need to cross that means I'm a real author with a real book that real people can buy.

Today is another one of those moments. My *launch party. A celebration that means all the hard work and worry and frustrations can finally begin to pay off. It feels like a graduation. Something I've held close to myself, nutured, and watched grow. Now, I can open my hands and set it free into the world.

It's a good feeling. :)

*The Launch Party is Monday, Sept 12th from 7-9 at the Hyrum City Library (50 W. Main). There will be a presentation from 7-7:30. There will be treats. YOU CAN BRING YOUR KIDS. I will have a TV set up in another room with a movie playing.

** I just had to tell you all how awesome my launch party was. I had so much support, and the presentation went really really well. It was so much fun!

When everything falls apart, you fix it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011
And if you can't fix it, you let it go.

Many elements combined to create the perfect storm that was bent on destroying my launch party and first three signings.

First, the place I originally ordered my back-up books from fell through. I hurried and ordered them from my publisher. Those books were delayed. Now they will be arriving after my launch party and first signing. The day after.

Not a huge deal, right? The bookstores should have my books.

No. My print run sold out so fast (from preorders and such), there were no books for the bookstores to buy. The bookstore where I'm having my first signing can't get the books in. The bookstore for my second signing can't get the books in. In the last 36 hours, I have spent hours on the phone trying to fix things.

I called my publisher, who called my distributor and printer. I called other bookstores. No one has my books. No one can get my books for another one to three months.

Insert panic attack here.

And then my publisher fixed things (for the most part). *hugs to Rhemalda* Bookstores can now order my books and have them in ~10 days. Much better than 1 to three months. And we won't be having this problem again (they switched our distributor and printer).

I was able to round up 20 books for my first signing (we pulled the newspaper article and will run it later when I do another signing).

At my launch party, people will preorder the books and I will sign them and drop them off at the library for people to pick up.

I have two more shipments of books coming which I will use for the conference and signing the next weekend and the signing the weekend after that.

That's the best I can do, and it will just have to be good enough.

Q4U: Have you ever planned some huge event and had everything fall apart last minute?

Random Acts of Publicity

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The 3rd Annual Random Acts of Publicity, September 6-8, is a week to celebrate your friend’s book, or your favorite book, by doing a Random Act of Publicity: Blog, Link, Like, Review, or Talk about the book . (BLLuRT it Out!)

The event is hosted by Elana Johnson. Go to Elana's blog and enter to win a free copy of Variant by Robison Wells.

So today, I'm talking about my friend Michelle Argyle's Monarch.

Here's my review from Goodreads: Monarch is an intricate blend of the literary and thriller genres. The pacing is relentless. The scenes gritty and real. The characters as intricate as the plot that twists around them.

If you crave literary books with a plot as strong as the writing, you'll love Michelle Argyle's Monarch.

Here's the BLLuRT's for Michelle's book.
What's one of your favorite reads for 2011?

Book Tour links for those following along:

Monday, September 5: (The Interview with Jessica's will be moved to another date and time). Instead, you can read a real life recipe from the book (Honeycakes and Golden Curry Soup) as created by Christy Dorrity at Dearest Dreams.

Tuesday, September 6: Cassandra at CA Marshall (Character Interview)

Wednesday, September 7: Amy at Reading Teen (Review)

Thursday, September 8: Christie at The Fiction Enthusiast (In Her Own Words)

Friday, September 9: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Tens List)

And another review:
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