Weird things I did while marketing my book

I expected the month before my book release to be nutty. The reality took crazy to a whole new level. Now that it's over I can look back and laugh, but at the time I was pretty certain I was loosing it. So here are a few of the oddest behaviors I developed pre-release.

1. Check numbers obsessively. This isn't so strange and all authors do it. What I didn't expect would be my obsessive need to check numbers that meant nothing before I had numbers to check. Before the book went up on pre-sale I spent much too much time checking to see if anyone else added the book to their TBR list on Goodreads and how many people on Netgalley gave the cover a thumbs up.

2. Stack my social media feed. Most of you know I use Feedly to keep up with all the blogs I read. So, lordy this is embarrasing, I created a new collection on feedly just for the amazing bloggers who agreed to be part of my cover reveal and tour. You could call this being organized, but that is not why I did it. So why did I? so that when my cover reveal and blog tour went live, I could log on to Feedly and feel like my book was everywhere. Yep, I'm a dork.

3. To do lists on crack. I always keep a to-do list. It's how I do things. But it got really out of hand the past month. I had little list in every notebook I could get my hands on, often writing the same thing down on multiple lists. Not only did this lead to a lot of unnecessary confusion, it drove my husband nuts that I had all these little notebooks everywhere. And despite recognizing that it was a problem early on, I refused to consolidate and instead kept adding new notebooks. I have a problem.

4. Middle of the night blog panic attacks. I am so glad that I was able to keep the blog running strong during my marketing efforts and be totally open with you guys. But in order to manage my time and still get everything done, it meant I wrote several posts at a time and pre-scheduled them to post automatically. This is good, except I'm ridiculous. With so many moving pieces, it wasn't uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night convinced that I didn't have a blog post for the next morning. See, I do care about you guys.

5. Schedule mayhem. I've always been a nightowl, staying up until 2 in the morning was normal. But I got completely out of hand during the past month of so. I found myself regularly staying up until 4 or 5 am, which of course, meant sleeping until 11 or 12, because even the crazy among us have to sleep some. This resulted in me losing track of what day it was and getting sick, which are both bad. I did get myself back on a normal (for me) schedule, shortly after the release. I'm starting to get back into my grove, just in time to throw it out of wack for holiday traveling.

Any of these sound familiar? What wacky habits did you develop while releasing your book?

Agency Lessons: Let it go

Now that we all have Idina Menzel stuck in our heads, let's talk about manuscripts.

If you ask any author, they'll tell you about that one manuscript they can't let go of. Maybe it's the first book they wrote or maybe the one they felt was their first really viable piece. Or it could be just a storyline that won't stop talking to them. Whatever the cause, everyone has a manuscript that hasn't been published, but we really wish it could be.

There's nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think it can be helpful to pull these trunked novels out every once in a while. Not only can they remind us of that fiery passion that made us love writing in the first place, they can also help us grow as authors. We can see where the flaws are even as we love every word.

The problem arises when we refuse to actually trunk the novel. I'm not talking about giving up on it completely, but at least setting it aside enough to move forward.

I bring this up because during this contest season I saw several manuscripts that I know have been around for a while. These are pitches I've seen in multiple contests, in my own query box or in others'. There's no way I remember every name that comes through my inbox, but I do remember the pitches. Just ask my fantastic host from the last DFW conference. She was telling someone else in our group about her manuscript and I mentioned that it sounded very familiar. It was then that she admitted she had queried me just a few months back. Trust me, we remember.

And that works against you. You may have polished up that manuscript and made it all kinds of shiny new. But as an agent judging a contest, if I know I've already seen the pitch, I'm going to pass. So as you bring out the same story year after year, your chances of getting interested grow smaller and smaller.

I'm not saying that when a manuscript makes the rounds of query boxes and contests without an offer that you have to hide it in a drawer and never look at it again. But you do need to set it down.

But if you aren't moving on and writing more manuscripts, you aren't growing as a writer. You aren't pushing yourself and expanding your reach, discovering what you're capable of. I worked for 18 months writing a story I loved. I spent another 6 months editing it and making it so pretty. And it is garbage. Seriously, nothing is salvageable. I could have spent years working to get it into shape. Instead, I started writing something else and now that book, Rite of Rejection, is out there in the real book world.

By all means, pull that manuscript out between drafts or when you need to clear your head between projects. But then close the folder and set it aside. Give yourself permission to own a draft that isn't ready and still writing something new. We you allow your creative brain to consider other stories, you never know what you're going to get.

How I used my newsletter for book marketing

So let me start with one thing, newsletters are not there to sell your books. Nope, they are not. They are there to give you one more way to connect with your fans and readers and reward them for being awesome.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, let me also say that if you can't email you newsletter folks about your new book, who can you email? Are you confused yet?

So, you should let your subscribers know about your book. You should engage them early and often subscribing they have told you they want to be contacted. So don't make them hunt down information about your book. That said, you don't want to turn you mailing list into one big sales pitch. Even though people opt in to your list they don't want an advertisement every time they open your email. It's a delicate balance, but if in doubt ask yourself if you would want to receive that email from an author you enjoy.

Here are the emails I sent out to my newsletter subscribers to create early buzz for Rite of Rejection. Did this help me sell book? I have no earthly idea. But for me, that doesn't matter. I wasn't trying to sell to these folks. Just get them engaged. And I can tell you, that did happen.

1st email
This went out a few days before I announced the book release on my blog. I let subscribers know the book would be coming in December and how I would be using the blog to let everyone inside my marketing efforts.

2nd email
I gave my subscribers a sneak peak of the first chapter (way before it went live on the blog...see benefits). I also invited them to participate in the cover reveal. I didn't do an open ask on the cover reveal. Frankly because I had enough moving pieces without throwing something else into the works. Everyone I reached out to about the blog tour got a cover reveal invite, but that's it. So this was the only way other people.

3rd email
Free books! I offered everyone on my mailing list a free eBook of Rite of Rejection in exchange for an honest review. That's right. A free book and they got it weeks before release day. The idea here is that they would be among those who could leave a review as soon as the book was available. Some of them even snuck it on to Amazon using the paperback version and surprised me with pre-release reviews. Bonus!

4th email
On the day before the book released I send out an email to thank everyone for their support and to remind them to please leave a review. That's also when I let them know they could get a free bonus scene if they emailed me a link to their review.

That's it. Four emails spread out over about six weeks so nothing too crazy that people would start deleting the avalanche of me in their inbox. And every email was focused on something I could give them, be it a sneak peak at information before everyone else, free books or extra content.

This is important: Never once did I ever ask my subscribers to buy the book. Maybe when I'm a little more established this is something I would be okay with. After all, you can't offer a 10K subscriber mailing list a free copy of your book. There is a line somewhere where you gift yourself out of selling books. But keep in mind that I'm focusing on discoverability here. I'm a little baby author in the book world so it's all about getting my name out there. 

I'm not suggesting this is the right path for everyone, this is what works for me and so far, it seems to be doing okay.

Oh, and if you would like a free bonus scene from Eric's POV, just send me a quick email with a link to your honest Amazon review and I'll send it to you pronto. :)

The post-launch marketing slump

The book is out there, slowly but surely gaining ground and finding readers. The blog tour is almost done with only the last few days to go. Reviews are coming in and every day brings me a little closer to my 50 reviews in month one goal. I've had some success with marketing in my area so I've got several events lined up for after the new year. Overall, I'd call it a successful launch.

Which would make it really easy to put my marketing efforts on cruise control.

After all, I've been able to get a lot of great promotion for Rite of Rejection, more than a lot of indie authors. And I've got more books to write and agency clients to work with. There is certainly enough on my plate without adding more marketing efforts.

But if I don't promote it who will? If I stop, what will happen to the visibility I worked so hard to create? Will anyone still buy it? And will anyone care when I release my next book?

Momentum can play such a big role in a book's trajectory. Not every book that becomes a fan favorite does so right out of the gate. Some just build a steady stream of fans and work to stay in the spotlight long enough that eventually they are popular. It feels like it happened overnight to readers, but for the author and her team, there's no forgetting the months of hard work and dedication.

Now, I'm not suggesting that if you just keep at it your book with eventually become a huge success. I wish that for all of us, but only a small few will really ever make it. But I can say that your book has an almost zero percent chance of becoming the next big thing if no one knows it exists.

Sure, I could put this book on the back burner and pull out all my marketing efforts again when the next book rolls around. But then I'm starting at ground zero. Sure, I'll have fans from the readers who read this book, but those fans will have read dozens of other book in the meantime. The momentum will be lost and I'll have to work to recreate the buzz. A much easier task is to work to keep me and my work in the spotlight. Then the fan base is already there and already engaged for the next release.

This sounds like a lot of work, but I don't think it needs to be. You don't need a three ring circus every month. Just one or two efforts each month to keep people talking about your book. This can be as simple as a guest post or as involved as speaking at a conference.

I understand the appeal of taking a break. Lord, do I really want to just put this book on the shelf and forget about it for the next month. But if I keep my head down and do what I know needs to be done, the next release will be even easier. And if I follow suit, the next release after that will be easier still. The momentum will make it a replicating cycle that gets more manageable with time.

So here's to another round of marketing plans and, hopefully, more success in the new year.

Agency Lessons: Internships

As you guys know, I recently opened the doors to bring on a new intern. Big shout out to Ethan Gregory who has already hit the ground running. :) Exciting times for sure.

But then I saw a few posts on a public forum that pointed out my post states the internship is "unpaid with no guarantee of advancement in the agency". The posters warned others away from applying.

At first I was sad that someone would think I was trying to take advantage of people looking to get into publishing. But then I realized that this is just a case of not enough information to go around. Today I want to clear up a few misconceptions around how internships work in publishing.

First, let me say that this is based on my own experience and YMMV.

I was an intern. I started out right here at Corvisiero and worked for about 7 months doing all kinds of tasks around the agency before I was promoted to an apprentice. Those 7 months were crucial!

It was during that time that I got the chance to find out if this was really something I wanted to do. I got to see the highs, lows and everything inbetween. I was able to get a real sense of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of an announcement on Publisher's Marketplace. Without that opportunity, I would have gone into the agency with some highly unrealistic expectations and probably fizzled out, taking clients with me.

There is no degree program for becoming an agent. Plenty of folks have degrees in English. Mine is in Communication. None of that matters. You can't go to school and learn the skills needed to be a good agent. This is not a job like accounting or engineering. An internship gave me the chance to develop those skills before I put someone's writing career on the line. While I still learn every day as an agent, I was able to get over the steepest learning curve in a safe environment.

To the issue of the internship not being paid. Let me just clarify some things. In case you didn't know, there isn't much money in publishing. Anywhere in publishing. Except for the few, most of us (writers, agents, editors, etc.) don't make much. We do this because we love it. And there is a long tail to making money as an agent. I don't get paid until my authors get paid. It takes a while before you make your first sale, and even longer before the royalties start coming in. The internship isn't unpaid because I am a cheap SOB who wants to watch minions suffer. It is unpaid because there is no money to pay an intern.

This is the road to publishing. Is it perfect? Certainly not. But it is what we have at the moment. And it works. For me and hundreds of other publisher professionals, this course got us to where we are.

If you are still in school and thinking about publishing at all, I highly recommend applying for a summer internship, or many of them. Get your experience in while you are still in the safety net of college so you can graduate into a paid position.

If you are like me, and had no idea this is what you wanted to do until now, don't give up. It might mean you have to make some sacrifices. So figure out how much you want it and go for it.

How I made a book trailer for free

So book trailers are a thing now. Chances are you've seen some floating around the internet. Changes are most of the ones you've seen have been less than awe inspiring. Unfortunately, most book trailers miss the mark. When it came time to think about making my own trailer, I almost didn't. I can honestly say I've only ever seen one trailer that actually made me want to go read the book.

Most trailers miss the mark because they try too hard to be like movie trailers. They either use actors who are never going to be exactly like your readers imagine or stock images that feel a bit cobbled together. Add in some bad graphics, overly dramatic voice over and cheesy music and you've got yourself a typical book trailer.

What Cora's trailer does well is capture the viewers attention right off the bat. It's funny and awkward (which matches the book perfectly) and doesn't try to recreate the book on screen. And that last part is important. There isn't a good way to do that. It's a book, not a movie. How many book to film adaptations perfectly capture the essence of a book? Right. And that's a full 90 minutes not 90 seconds.

So I decided if I wanted to do this, I wanted to create something that I would be proud to share and didn't try too hard to be a film representation of the book. Even if I wanted to do that I didn't have the budget for it.

My budget: $0

First, I came up with the concept and made a list of all the scenes I wanted included. I optioned to be the star simply because I couldn't afford to pay anyone else to do it. Plus, I'm a big dork. We have a camera, though the quality is not the best. With $0 to work with, it was good enough. I also chose a concept that allowed me to use my own home as the setting and items I already owned for props. Seriously, not kidding about the $0.

I recruited two very dear friends (who are highlighted at the end of the video) to help me with the filming. I can't stress enough how much you are going to want some help. Even with three of us there to move the camera, wrangle kids and set up props, it still took us 4.5 hours to film everything. Plus, this sort of thing is just more fun if you can do it with friends.

After the filming, I ended up with 33 minutes of raw footage that I managed to trim down to 90 seconds. Entire scenes got cut. So make sure you film way more than you think you'll need. You never know when a rogue shadow or weird facial expression will make footage unusable. It did take me two hours to edit this. I consider myself to be tech-capable and I have some experience ediging my Hey, Sarah videos. If you're starting from scratch, better factor in a bit more time.

For music, I utilized creative commons music from One thing to note here, while all the music on that site is CC, there are different kinds of CC licenses. Even though the video only showcases my book for a few seconds I still felt I needed music that allowed for commercial uses.  Make sure you always check this information before using music or images from a free site. Steeling is not okay.

So, if you haven't seen it yet, here is the finished product of my trailer video.

Why I think this video works
It is meant to be equal parts information and humor with only a dash of promotion at the very end. By making the video something that authors can relate to and readers want to know more about, it is more likely to be shared than a video that is designed with the mindset of promotion. When coming up with ideas, my goal was to create a video that would be shared (again, this ties into discoverability). If I made a video only about my book, then the most likely outcome would be the only people watching it are readers who already know about it.

I wanted something short that people would want to share on an impulse. Short is also key. People don't want to sit through a five minute promotional video. Commercials are only 30 seconds long and they drive us nuts. Plus, the longer a video is, the longer it takes to load on a mobile device and the more likely a potential viewer will abandon it before it plays.

So what do you think? Do you like book trailers? Have you ever seen one that made you want to read the book? Do you have a video pet peeve? This is still a fairly new medium for authors so I'd love to get your thoughts on this.

Review Goals & More Eric!

Today marks one week that Rite of Rejection has been officially out in the world and...

I'm at 26 reviews on Amazon! That's over halfway to my goal of 50 in the first month! Super exciting times call for excessive use of exclamation points!

So let me say "Thanks" again for all your support!
If you've already left a review on Amazon, don't forget to shoot me at email to get a bonus Eric POV scene. 

What's that you say, more Eric? That's right. If you send me the link to your honest review of Rite Of Rejection on Amazon I'll send you a scene in Eric's point-of-view that is not in the novel. Want to know a little more about Eric and how he ticks? Now's your chance.

Also, I'm working on a few other little scenes to help in my process of writing the second book. If we can hit the 50 review goal, I'll post another bonus scene here on the blog for everyone to enjoy. So, if you're planning to leave a review of your thoughts, please do and be sure to encourage others who've read the book to do the same. 

I'll just be over here, writing away.

To Sequel or Not To Sequel: It's a really hard question

Now that Rite of Rejection is out in the big, bad world and readers are finding their way to "The End", I'm getting one question quite a bit:

"There is going to be another book, right? Right?!?"
 And I have an answer that should satisfy no one: Probably.

"Um, Sarah," you pipe up from the middle of the book. "Um...what?!?"

When I sat down to write this book, it was my full intention that this would be a stand alone. For those of you who have already finished, yes, that is the ending that I originally planned. Yes, I'm a tad bit sadistic. If you've ever watched my videos, you know that I tend to be a bubbly, outgoing gal. But I compensate by writing slightly dark stories. Go figure.

I want to avoid any spoilers here for those of you who haven't read the book yet. So let me just say that I felt the ending accomplished everything I wanted to and I felt at peace with where I left my characters. That said, I knew some readers would not be amused.

As soon as I started getting Beta reader comments in, I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to leave this novel as it was. Even though I got very few complaints about the ending, almost everyone wanted to know what happens next.

So, I sat down to write an epilogue. For some reason, I really fought the idea of more books and thought I could satisfy reader curiosity with an extra chapter. Think the last chapter of the Harry Potter series.

I probably wrote a half dozen different iterations before it became clear that an epilogue was not going to work. They all came across as weak to me and I couldn't shake the feeling that I was ruining the ending (which I love!).

The Debate
I decided to publish the book sans an epilogue. I'd rather leave a reader wanting more than to present something I couldn't be proud of.

With that decision, I also sat down to put together some ideas on how I might continue the series. As a result, I now have an outline for a second book. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't figure out a way to resolve everything in a second book, so if that happens, I'll need at least one more book to finish it all out.

Up in the air
I say "if that happens", because I'm still not completely sold on the idea. I've got around 20K words written so far and it's... okay. I realize I'm being overly hard on myself and comparing a first draft to a completely edited novel, but I'm an author, so I'm allowed to be irrational. Also, and this is a biggie, I have absolutely no idea how to end the series.

Seriously, no idea. I've been let down by the ending of a few trilogies lately and that has me all kinds of stumped. I know what I don't want, but that's like saying out of the numbers 1 through 1 billion, I don't like the numbers 18 and 364. Their are still so many ways the plot could work toward a conclusion.

So here's the plan, I need to finish the first draft of book two and make certain I can put something out there that I can stand behind. And, I have to know how a third book would resolve the story. I absolutely cannot ask readers to invest in more tales from my characters without being certain that I can give them a satisfying resolution for sticking with me.

I've set a personal goal to finish the draft of book two by the end of the year and then re-evaluate. Of course, I'll keep you all posted. And feel free to nudge me so I stay accountable to my end of year deadline. If there is going to be another book, I'd like to have it out by late spring/early summer 2015, because I know how much it sucks to wait for books.

Your opinion counts
I'd love to hear from you. If you've read the book, would you read more from these characters or are you okay with leaving it as a stand-alone? For the writers out there, have you ever written a stand-alone that turned into a series or vice-versa? What made you change your mind?

Agency Lessons: Does your historical need to be?

I'm back. Marketing efforts for #RiteOfRejection are still going strong with the Blog Tour and more. I'll be keeping you updated on those. For now, I'm itching to get back to my regular blog schedule.

For new readers, Agency Lessons is a weekly post where I share a bit of insider literary agent information for writers looking to make their book dreams come true. This week, let's talk about historicals.
If you are up on the latest writing trends, no doubt you've noticed that historicals are quite popular at the moment. And not just the 1800s. Apparently the late 20th century is now considered a historical time period. So, you know, my childhood. I'm not feeling old, really, go ahead and discuss the 80s as if they were the dark ages. It's fine.

All kidding aside, I think books set in the past can be wonderful. But like most trends, a lot of writers want to hop on the train without really understanding where it's going. References to the Care Bears, molded plastic lunch boxes and baggy sweatshirts cover the pages, but the essence of that time period is missing.

Before you launch into a novel lauding all things flannel, grunge and heavy black eyeliner, ask yourself why. Does your book need to be set in the 1980s or 1990s? Why? What about that time period impacts the story line? How does the culture of those days change how your character responds to the conflicts and tensions in their life? What moments in time play a role in your plot? These decisions should be made with a reason.

There is nothing wrong with writing a book that takes the reader back in time. I'm all about reliving the glory days of Adidas shoes and Umbro shorts. But your story needs more than just the occasional reference. It needs to capture the reality of living during that time period, which means it should be ingrained in every part of your story. 

I'm an author, now what

So yesterday was a real day and I am now officially a published author! Woohoo!
Yesterday was a bit of a blur. My kids stayed the night with some friends so I slept in super late, drank some coffee and settled into my comfy chair. I spent some time on Twitter and Facebook, took fun pictures during the day, and even got a little bit of work done. My best friends surprised me by dropping off lunch, flowers, and dark chocolate (because friends are awesome). I was then gifted a beautiful necklace that is exactly what I picture Rebecca's necklace to look like AND matches my cover perfectly. There were tears. :)

I ended the afternoon with a trip to the post office to send out a few signed copies and then waited for my husband to get home so we could go out for a celebratory dinner. All-in-all, it was a perfect day.

The book is doing well. Sales are still steadily flowing in. I danced on and off the top 100 list for Teen ebook Romantic Dystopian throughout the day, which was exciting. And my knowledge of this is evidence that I did not take my own advice to stay off Amazon. In my defence, I was tinkering with keywords and not just stalking sales rank.

I was also overwhelmed by the number of well wishes I received. I tried and failed miserably to keep up with them all to say thank you. So if I missed you, THANK YOU!

As of writing this, I am at 19 reviews on Amazon which is fantastic for release day. Seriously, for a debut author I am tickled pink with that number. It is still my goal to hit 50 reviews by January 4th, so I'll keep plugging away at this until then.

And speaking of reviews, I've decided it might be kinda nice to reward anyone who has taken the time to read and review my book. So, if you write an Amazon review and send me a link to it at SarahNegovetich(at), I will send you an exclusive bonus scene. This is a scene from Eric's POV that takes place "off camera" so it's not in the book at all. It's a bit spoilery, so don't cheat and write a review if you haven't read the book yet. You'll be bummed if you ruin the surprise.

So, starting on Monday I'll be back to my regular posting schedule. I still have the blog tour going on so there will be random reminders to check that out. Also, I'll continue to share my marketing efforts as part of my regular posts. I'm moving into more offline marketing now that the book is out and I'm really excited about some new adventures heading my way.

That's it for now. Thanks again for all your kind words and support as I tried not to go crazy in public. And be sure to send me your review link if you want the bonus Eric POV scene. 

#RiteOfRejection: Believing after rejection

It's release day for Rite of Rejection! Woohoo! The blog tour is going strong with a ton of amazing stops today, so be sure to check them out over on the tour page. To celebrate all this awesomeness I've invited several authors to come talk about their own brushes with rejection. We are keeping the party going, with my last guest author. Let's hear from Eliza Tilton, author of The Daath Chronicles.

Rejection is never easy, but it’s even tougher when the reason is one you can’t fix. Late 2012, I was querying a YA Contemporary Romance called SOULSPARK. This novel is my heart. While I love my fantasy series, this romance was something special. I had a few full requests, but nothing panned out—and the reasons for rejection were completely opposite. Then I found an agent who loved my voice, but passed because the story fell in between the CBA and the ABA markets and they didn’t think they could sell it.

What does that mean exactly? I’ll explain. The CBA stands for Association for Christian Retail and the ABA is American’s Bookseller Association. SOULSPARK revolves around a teen who lost her mother, is hooked on Xanax, and falls in love with the Pastor’s son at her mother’s church. The MC deals with issues of faith throughout the story, but that isn’t the focus. The agent passed because there was too much reference to drugs and sex in the beginning for the CBA market, and too much religious talk to fit into the general market.

I tried to tone it down a bit, but I couldn’t remove certain aspects without affecting the story. So what did I eventually do? I put it to the side and moved on. Another agent may have felt differently but I was worn out and a few months later, I received a contract for Broken Forest.

Sometimes we’re rejected and there’s nothing we can do, but if you love the story, and believe in it, there is one option: Self-publishing.

After a year of thinking, and some praying, I decided to self-pub SOULSPARK. The novel is set to release late spring.

Don’t let rejection stop you, and don’t give up on those tales that just won’t go away. There’s someone out there who needs to read your story, and wants to.

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her YA stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a hot romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

Her novels, Broken Forest and Wicked Path, are published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Find Eliza online:

Broken Forest   Wicked Path
In Wicked Path: Book Two of the Daath Chronicles brother and sister are forced to opposite sides of Tarrtainya on a fast-paced adventure where the wildlife isn't the only thing trying to kill them.

Three months have passed since Avikar defeated the Reptilian Prince, and he still can't remember his battle with Lucino. On the hunt for answers, he returns to the scene of the fight and discovers a strange connection between his family's dagger and the mysterious kingdom of Daath, and it seems only his distant father can reveal the truth behind it all.

Before Avikar can travel back home, Lucy assaults him in the market and forces him to flee to Nod Mountains--a place few dare to enter, and even less return from. With Raven and her childhood friend by his side, they must survive the treacherous journey through the pass with a vengeful Lucy hunting them. If they don't, they'll never see home again.

Jeslyn's new life in Luna Harbor is the perfect remedy for her confused and broken heart. But when a group of mercenaries kidnap her beloved Grandfather, interrupting her daily routine as his jewelry apprentice, she's forced to join forces with the one person from her past she tried to forget.

And his assistance comes with a price.

#RiteOfRejection: Undervaluing ourselves

It's release week for Rite of Rejection and the kick off of the blog tour. Check out the tour page for a full list of all the stops. To celebrate all this awesomeness I've invited several authors to come talk about their own brushes with rejection. Today, we hear from Natasha Hanova, author of Edge of Truth.

I'm not going to lie. Rejection hurts. As a writer, I know this better than most. I have my share of writing-related rejection stories, but wanted to share one that taught me a lesson.
When I first graduated college, I was determined to find the perfect job. For me, that meant a place where my creative side could flourish. I took on temp jobs to pay bills while I scoured wanted ads and online employment sites. Then, I came across an ad from an outdoor theater, the ideal environment to surround myself with other artistic people. The position wasn't too challenging, but I could always work my way into a better one and use whatever downtime I had to work on writing.

The company planned to hold open interviews. Happy dance! The job was as good as mine. I always do well because I force friends and family into mock interviews, while I’m wearing a carefully selected interview outfit. Don't judge. I entered the office feeling confident. According to my interviewer's body language, things were looking good.

The session ended with words that altered my way of thinking: You sound like a great candidate, but you are over qualified. At the time, my disappointment was great. Reflecting back on the rejection, I now see that it was for the best. It certainly changed how I searched for work, taught me not to undervalue myself. I did eventually landed a job in marketing surrounded by creative types.

Natasha Hanova is the author of Edge of Truth, a YA dystopian. She enjoys sliding around the house in her socks and loves nibbling Peanut M&Ms while reading or writing paranormal, dark fantasy, and dystopian books with heavy doses of romance. Find Natasha on her blog, Twitter, or Facebook.    

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives. It’s not a bad plan for sixteen-year-old Rena Moon whose emotions trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, she strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression. Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s struggling so hard to escape?

#RiteOfRejection: Flying through Rejection

It's release week for Rite of Rejection and the kick off of the blog tour. Check out the tour page for a full list of all the stops. To celebrate all this awesomeness I've invited several authors to come talk about their own brushes with rejection. Up today is today is Nichole Giles, author of the Descendant Series. And here's Nichole.

Years ago, I was part of a group job interview, at which point the interviewer asked the four or five people present to describe a time when they had been rejected. My mind went blank. Rejected? When had I been rejected? She couldn’t have been asking about my dating life. I was married, and had been for several years. How was I supposed to remember rejection from something so long past?
Since the job was in retail, the interviewer probably meant for us to tell her about when we had been rejected on a sales pitch, but it had been a while since I’d worked retail, and I could think of nothing there either. I came up with a lame, vague answer and we moved onto the next question.

I did get the job, despite that blunder, and did well in retail. While it’s true that I didn’t sell everything I pitched to consumers, the store where I worked was specialized, and people shopped there because they liked the brand, so I never felt utterly and completely rejected in that position.

During that same time, I discovered a deep and profound joy in creating stories and began the arduous journey to becoming an author. The agony of rejection was something I learned swiftly and deeply. It is the kind of rejection that cuts to the core of a person and changes how you see the world forever. It is also the kind of rejection that, for me, did not end within weeks or months, but lasted for years that felt endless. In this industry, rejection is a necessary part of the process.

I’ve been writing for a long time now, and I still get the occasional soul-crushing rejection. All authors do. We understand this, and use these rejections to learn, grow, and become better.

Now I have signed with a literary agent who cushions my rejections for me, two published novels which are doing well, and two more novels scheduled for release in 2015. I have found success, despite my setbacks. I have learned to fly, despite having repeatedly fallen.
In the event that I someday happen upon that interviewer again, I hope I get the chance to share my very real experience with rejection, and how I overcame it. I hope I get to tell her how rejection has made me fearless and strong. I hope I get to tell her how rejection has given me wings.  

Nichole Giles had early career plans that included becoming an actress or a rockstar, but she decided instead to have a family and then become a writer.

She was born in Nevada, the oldest of seven—a number which increased to eleven with the addition of four step brothers—and has lived in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and South Texas. 

Her future aspirations include owning a home on a tropical island, even if it's just a vacation home. For now, she plans to travel to as many tropical locations as possible, scouting for her future paradise.

Two months ago, Abigail Johnson saved the life of the boy she believes is her destiny and defeated an army of demons that have pursued her ancestors for centuries. Now, she and Kye should be taking their place as leaders of the new generation of Gifted, but the curse they thought was broken has returned, and every minute together brings them closer to death.

When remaining shadow demons attack again, the Dragons send Abby to Mexico. But she isn’t any safer here than she was back home. The shadows have tracked her, the locals expect her to help with their own demon problems, and the more time she spends away from Kye, the more she doubts the destiny that ties them together.

When the demons destroy her safe house, Abby has no choice but to take the fight to them. The arrival of an old nemesis throws their careful plans into disarray, and Abby and her friends find themselves facing new adversaries in a battle that turns fatal. This time, not everyone will make it out alive.

Descendant on Amazon        Birthright on Amazon

#RiteOfRejection: But I'm not a cheerleader

It's release week for Rite of Rejection and the kick off of the blog tour. Check out the tour page for a full list of all the stops. To celebrate all this awesomeness I've invited several authors to come talk about their own brushes with rejection. In the center ring today is Rachel Desilets, author the dark contemporary YA, Girl Nevermore. 

Take it away, Rachel.

Most writers won’t be able to count the number of times they’ve been rejected professionally, and if they can, it might be an exorbitantly high number. I’ll admit one of my manuscripts is well over thirty rejections, but that’s not the point of this piece.
Rejection hurts. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably too proud to admit it. From a break up, to not getting cast as the lead role, to not getting on the team: it always sucks when you’re told you’re not good enough.
When I was twelve, I wanted to try something new. I had been a quiet, bookish kid (still am), but my middle school self wanted a reinvention. I asked myself, “How can I become more outgoing, but still be me?”
Up until that point, I had participated in gymnastics–a fun sport, but not really the social pick-me-up I was looking for. So, I decided to try out for cheerleading. Now, I should paint this picture:
A gawky, nervous kid with gangly limbs and absolutely no curves. Stick thin with just a bit of upper arm definition. A wry smile, even though she doesn’t know what that word means yet. Big, blue, and consistently shell-shocked eyes. She’s enamored by the world, but also saddened by it; though, she doesn’t know that yet either.
To other people, she comes off as pompous, but unsure. Distant to the point of being an unknown part of the background.
Tryouts at my school lasted two weeks with several rounds of cuts. Making it through the first round didn’t mean anything. I showed up bright and early, lack of confidence and all, and watched as these girls practiced and stretched. It only made me more determined. I might not have been the loudest in the bunch, but I could force my enthusiasm. I could be like them.
This was the new me, not the clarinet-toting girl of yesteryear.
I worked my butt off. I practiced the routine for hours after school. I studied the contours of my body, trying to get that straddle jump higher, my split lower, and the cheer louder. I wanted my smile to feel genuine. I wanted to be as happy as I looked.
And it worked... for the first round anyway. My name was plastered on the gymnasium wall along with forty hopeful girls. Another practice, another tryout, and one of the girls and I held hands as the couch posted the latest results. We inched through the mob, some girls ecstatic, others looking like their dreams had come to an abrupt halt.
My friend and I didn’t make the team.
It was a much more public rejection than the quiet, writer type. Everyone could see my face and the sorrow crossing over it. It wasn’t just about the team; it rarely is. Not making it said something about me. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t deserve the chance to reinvent myself. I was always going to be an outsider, a girl doomed to watch from the sidelines.
Even when I made a different team (cross-country), I still felt separated from the world around me. It took me a long time to realize it had nothing to do with being on a team, and everything to do with me. I’m a socially awkward introvert who feels most at home with other introverts. I was seeking acceptance in a world I would never understand, and that’s okay. I didn’t need a reinvention; I needed to accept who I was.
So sometimes rejection changes the path we’re on for the better. Instead of covering up who I was under false enthusiasm, I did a lot of soul-searching. To this day, running still helps clear my head like it did back then. The difference is, it’s a solitary sport for me (a solitary person).
Even if you are rejected, there might be a better reason for it–one you can’t see yet. Stay tenacious and stay true to who you are. You won’t steer yourself wrong.

Thanks, Rachel. I think we can all related to that sting of rejection.

Rachel A. Desilets was raised in a small New Hampshire town, but left it behind to attend Emerson College in Boston. After graduating with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, she moved to southern California.

Working as a barista, she somehow turned her life into a cliché and met her husband while serving him coffee. They fell in love, got married, adopted a bunch of cats, and moved to the rainy side of Oregon.

When she's not writing, she plays video games, drinks tea, reads way too much (though, she wonders if there is such a thing as too much reading), and snowboards.

Girl Nevermore - On Sale Today and Tomorrow for $.99!

Last week, Cooper Mesa was a quiet, studious bookworm.

This week, she feels unworthy of love or forgiveness.

When Cooper's twin sister, Kayla, tries to end her own life, Cooper blames herself. If only she had paid more attention...

Desperate to understand her sister's decision, Cooper starts down a dark path, discovering her own inner turmoil. Losing herself is easy, but finding a reason to live is becoming impossible.

Available on Amazon!