Here We Go Again (Big Announcement)

take a chance

NOTE: there is a poll toward the bottom of this post. Would really appreciate your help in voting!

In my last post I mentioned that I’d soon have big news to share on the book front. Drum roll please… my second novel, I Should Have Said Yes, will be available this summer! I’m really excited to start this next journey. Although to me it almost feels like it’s coming to an end. I’ve been doing so much prep work just to get the book launched. When I first decided to write a novel I didn’t realize all that was involved. I figured, hey, I wrote a book. The hard part is done. But I’ve learned that is the easy part. For me at least.

My first novel, Out in the Open, was published in July 2014. I wasn’t planning to have such a gap in-between the two but that’s just the way things worked out. Most of you know that I self-published Out in the Open. I tried the agenting process again this time without much success. I had high hopes going in because I thought I had a killer premise and query letter. As much as I loved my first novel, it isn’t that exciting of a plotline to describe. I think I Should Have Said Yes is a much more unique concept and thus would be an easier sell. Some of you may be wondering what it’s about. Well, I’m going to get to that shortly. But fans of the first won’t be disappointed. While this novel follows Lexi’s sister, Tara, on her journey to finding “The One,” you will finally learn about Lexi and Jake’s fate.

Anyway, after countless drafts of my pitch letter I began investigating the right agents for my book. It took me a number of months between researching and customizing my submissions to each agent’s requirements. Then comes the waiting game—on average 6-8 weeks for a response, if you’re lucky enough to get one. I did hear back from a handful of agents who were interested in seeing the manuscript. For various reasons they decided to pass. Of course I was beyond disappointed, but I’ve been here before. At least this time around was a helpful learning process. And the good news is that no one said they thought the writing was bad. They all had their reasons. One thought it skewed too YA, another thought the beginning had too much backstory, another wasn’t passionate enough about the story to champion it, blah, blah, blah. So I made some tweaks to address their feedback and think it’s in solid shape. But clearly what do I know?

I think this is as good as it’s gonna get. So I began the process of finding a cover designer and copy editor. At the same time I happened to be doing some research on Amazon and noticed they now have a publishing platform. I’m going to go for it and see if they’ll publish my book. The reason I wanted an agent is because it’s the only way you can get in front a publisher. And by having a publisher you get an advance, marketing support, and their expertise. And to me it lends some credibility to the book – essentially validation that they thought it was worthy of being published. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with self-publishing. I’m truly grateful it’s an option. Trust me, otherwise the only ones who would have read my book are my close friends. But by the time I invest the money to self-publish it leaves very little for marketing, which is essential to getting readers. I also don’t know much about how to market my book. I’m a marketer so I thought it would be pretty easy. But the book industry is not my area of expertise. And while there are some things I read about that I could do, they are an investment. (Hey, an advance would really come in handy). So I’m hoping this Amazon publishing platform is an option. The way it works is that readers have a huge say in deciding which books get published. So if they take my submission I’ll be reaching out to you all for help 🙂

Speaking of help, I could use a bit right now. I’m deciding between two options for the jacket copy. I know how important this copy is for luring in potential readers. So I’d love to know which you prefer. I’d really appreciate if you could read both options and then vote for your favorite. They are essentially the same except with different openings. If there is anything you particularly like or don’t, please leave it in the comments section.

Option A

Tara Winters will never forget that fateful day back in high school, when in her haste to get to class, she barreled into a boy with the brightest blue eyes she’d ever seen. She was mortified to discover that it was none other than DJ Parker: popular senior, soccer star, and way out of her league. Yet when he was assigned as her study hall leader, the two formed an unlikely friendship. Tara always hoped their relationship could be something more, and dared to believe it was possible after they shared a spectacular kiss. But when DJ confronted her about it, she said that the kiss hadn’t meant anything, when in fact, it meant everything. But how could she admit her true feelings when he was a popular, accomplished, and very spoken-for senior, and she a mere freshman with less than stellar credentials? The decision has haunted her ever since so she vowed to never let a chance at love slip by again, even if that meant saying yes to any dating opportunity that came her way.

Now in her mid-twenties, Tara has become quite the dating expert with a constant stream of suitors. But none measure up to DJ, her first true love. Tara blogs about her dating escapades and has amassed quite a following—perfect strangers invested in her finding happily ever after. While she’s seen as the quintessential singleton, all Tara wants is to settle down. She leans on her best friend, Andy, for advice and support throughout her dating debacles. She’s beginning to seriously consider his proposal from that drunken night where they vowed to marry if neither has settled down by the time they’re thirty. Then Andy meets Natalie, a high-strung Pilates fanatic who is of the mindset that men and women cannot be friends. As Tara finds herself competing for her best friend’s affection, she must decide if she’s in it for the right reasons—or simply to win. Because she still can’t seem to put the ghost of DJ behind her. Along her journey of self-discovery, Tara shares pieces of dating advice with her followers. But perhaps the most important lesson she must learn is to embrace the power of no to find her happy ending.

I Should Have Said Yes is a refreshing, candid, and often humorous look at what it takes to find Mr. Right.

 

Option B

No. How could two letters carry such power? For Tara Winters, that single word sealed her fate. Because when DJ Parker, her high school crush, confronted her about their forbidden kiss, she said no, it hadn’t meant anything. When, in fact, it meant everything. But how could she admit her true feelings when he was a popular, accomplished, and very spoken-for senior, and she a mere freshman with less than stellar credentials? The decision has haunted her ever since so she vowed to never let a chance at love slip by again, even if that meant saying yes to any dating opportunity that came her way.

Now in her mid-twenties, Tara has become quite the dating expert with a constant stream of suitors. But none measure up to DJ, her first true love. Tara blogs about her dating escapades and has amassed quite a following—perfect strangers invested in her finding happily ever after. While she’s seen as the quintessential singleton, all Tara wants is to settle down. She leans on her best friend, Andy, for advice and support throughout her dating debacles. She’s beginning to seriously consider his proposal from that drunken night where they vowed to marry if neither has settled down by the time they’re thirty. Then Andy meets Natalie, a high-strung Pilates fanatic who is of the mindset that men and women cannot be friends. As Tara finds herself competing for her best friend’s affection, she must decide if she’s in it for the right reasons—or simply to win. Because she still can’t seem to put the ghost of DJ behind her. Along her journey of self-discovery, Tara shares pieces of dating advice with her followers. But perhaps the most important lesson she must learn is to embrace the power of no to find her happy ending.

 

Thank you! I decided to take a chance on things and publish again so I hope you’ll take a chance on me. I’ll be sure to share my progress with you until launch. Here we go again!

 

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2 thoughts on “Here We Go Again (Big Announcement)

  1. Congratulations! It must be a great feeling to have completed your second novel!
    I have a children’s book I have written and would like to publish, but I don’t even know where to begin. Any tips?

    • And congrats to you as well! I don’t know a lot about children’s books, but I’d recommend starting with Literary Marketplace or AgentQuery.com. Both are resources that provide a listing of publishers and agents. You can choose your genre and see a list that is relevant to you. It’s a tedious process as you’ll want to check out each agent’s website to see if it’s a fit with your book. Good luck!

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