As promised, I released the second in the Ailani trilogy today. Both on Smashwords and Amazon!
Passions overflow in this second book of the Ailani Series. When magic and love mix with revenge, their morality is tested. Discovering that Tina is pregnant, the story takes on several twists as Tina had a hysterectomy early in life. Waking up ill, Tina soon finds out that the scar from the surgery has vanished.
Changing history from eons ago, also modify the others from her past who now seek to find her in this life. While previous souls seem to find one another, Ailani’s mother, daughter of Pele, has other ideas.
If you like romances of a different kind, with reversed roles with the women are the heroes, this novel might be for you! Each story can stand on its own, but one does build on the other, much like many books or movies you read or see today.
The first book in the series was a success and has been downloaded too many times to count, all over the world. I was in hopes that an agent would stumble across it and want to represent the last two. I guess that they have plenty of work as nobody is beating down my door to handle the last two in the trilogy or for that matter any of the other twenty some odd novels!
One day TWScott will pop up on their radar, and some agent will ask, “Why didn’t they contact us?”
Let me answer that question in advance… Query letters suck!
I have begged for attention in the form of query letters for far too long, and I am done!
“If you never hear from us consider it a pass…” That one did it!
If you do this Query letter process correctly, it takes no less than four hours and very possibly a lot longer. For those of you who wish to try your luck with the gods of the publishing industry, allow me to lay out the process for you.
- Know your audience.
In this case, you must know what the agency typically publishes. That means read what they published or be familiar with their authors that they represent. If your work is not in that niche, don’t waste your time. Notice I did not say their time as most probably it is an intern reading your material. When I say read, that is most likely an overstatement. They “read” it much like you and I read junk mail, about 3 seconds at most and it better grab them by the balls, or something else equally as sensitive in that 3-second window, or deleted it is! Maybe you might get a form rejection letter, perhaps….
- Read their specifications and follow them to the letter.
If your work does not fit the mold they are looking for from the get go; it will never make it past the intern or their 12-year-old daughter. If they ask for 2.5 chapters, that is what you give them.
- Research the individual that is actively searching for your style, genre or subject matter. What have they accomplished? Are they writers too? How long have they been with the agency? This could go in the audience section too, but if you get past the intern, you are now begging some agent, possibly someone recently promoted from intern to agent to read your material. What are they looking for? Is it another Jane Austin or JK Rowling? Maybe they are looking to discover another ELJames. Is that you?
- It is about money! Make the case why they should represent you. Publishing or taking on your project is not cheap. They must know within a few minutes if your material will sell. If they have someone with some vision, they will be able to tell if your work can be manipulated to fit some mold that has a track record of succeeding. Have you ever watched This Old House or House Hunters? It is kind of like that. If I take on this project what will it cost me and what kind of profit can I turn and how quickly can I turn it? Once the agent you queried likes your work, it must then pass muster with his or her partners or the people who roll the dice. What will it cost to make your work publishable? Are you amiable to doing exactly what they want you to do, even if it is re-write the whole damned book!
- Don’t write to get rich! I was an artist long before I decided to pontificate in writing on the injustices of life, or in this case fantasies. By all accounts, I am a pretty fair artist. My works have sold all over the world and are mostly commission pieces. I still have a day job. I have written over 25 novels, and they are selling all over the world. I still have a day job. Keep your damned day job! Write because you enjoy it.
“TW, why do you do this if you still have a day job?” The answer is simple; I love what I do. When you or one of the many of my readers send me a note and tell me that they liked my book that is the reward. That is my affirmation. With my art, it is the same, although commission pieces, I do get paid nicely for. The odds of getting rich from writing a novel are slim and none. One of the problems is that too many think that they can write and they, like you or me, feel like their stuff is the best stuff around. Cough, “Join a writers guild!
- Get connected. Joining a writers guild or even a local club will give you an idea if your writing is up to snuff. Folks, you have to have thick skin to put anything creative out there and then ask people to buy it. I give a percentage of my novels away for free so they can take a peek at my writing style before they plunk down money. While none of my material is expensive, even the free stuff can be suspect if you don’t know the author. Allowing others that you trust to read your stories is one way to get feedback. Insist that if they tell you they don’t like it, make damned certain that they say why! Know yourself.
- Know why. When you look at art or you read something or watch a movie, and you had a high opinion, know why you had it. What is it in particular about that which you read or watched created this emotional response? If your critics can adequately tell you why they felt the way they did, then listen. When I wrote Under Roswell, one of my friends read it and said that she did not like it. “Why? What was it that you did not like?” “I don’t like Sci-fi!” FFS! Many have read it, too many to count and people that love Sci-Fi, like it just fine. Don’t force something on your friends if it is not their cup of tea.
- Develop your brand. From years of working in an ad agency, I probably have a leg up on many as I know a thing or two about marketing. Your Author name is your brand. I knew of an author who wrote all kinds of work much as I do. She wrote certain kinds of work under one pen name and others under another. TWScott is my brand, and everything goes under that name. With twenty-five novels out there, I don’t have much time to diversify. The naughty stuff, the science fiction, and the young adult stuff are all under TWScott. Currently, I am playing with a Christian book, it too will be under TWScott. Social media is critical for getting your brand out there. Without spending money, take advantage of all of the free stuff that you can. Don’t make others rich at your expense.
- If you understand capitalism, you know that one business feeds others. That is the way of the world and the way that it works. There are services out there who will do so much for the independent author. Folks, those are the people that make money most of the time. Let me edit this for you. Allow me to format your text for you, so the meat grinder on Smashwords will like it. Wait, let me create the cover art for you because good cover art sells your book. You could spend tens of hundreds of dollars to get your creation sitting in front of you in several boxes of paperback books ready for the world to buy. Don’t do it!
Part of the process of being an independent writer is to learn the entire process of publishing your work.
If you decide to spend money on all of these services you could spend more than a few hundred dollars and still have a book that might sell $10 worth the first year. Harsh? I am sorry, but that is the hard truth of it. Listen, not everyone is Hemmingway! Practice writing here on blogs. It is free, it won’t make you any money, but you will make some new friends. I know an author who wrote a book about a passion he had, in this case flying. I support authors such as this, and I bought a copy of his book. I visited with him enough to know that his book would flop but, I still got his signature on the cover and wished him well.
Reading the book, I found typo after typo, and the grammar was terrible. Amazon and others make it very easy to get your book into print. How many times have you re-read your masterpiece and found a typo? I still do to this day, and it pisses me off! I can read the same sentence 100’s of times and miss the “you instead of your, or you’re.”
One trick that I use that I will share is I keep a list of my common typos and guess what I do with that list? Ctrl F every you in the document. Is it correct or not? You can use that with your typos and eliminate much. I use Grammarly at the end of the process. If you leave it running from the get go, it disables auto save. That to me is an incredibly stupid design. It also uses so much horsepower that it often bogs down word to where word will crash.
This blog is about sharing, and if you read my blog, you know that I freely share with you. Please share your tips with me, and by proxy others who read this. I believe that we authors are not competitors but belong to a particular breed of people which unite us in a special way.
I hope that something I wrote you can use, but if nothing else, buy one of my books and tell me what you think. They are all inexpensive reads, and some are free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Feedback is invaluable but remember, if you offer it, I will want to know why. Not why you offer it but why you did or did not like it. Get into the habit of learning more about yourself by asking yourself always, why did I not like this or why did I like that. It is critical in marketing to know why you liked an ad or not. This process you can use in your entire life, everywhere with everyone. The more that you know about yourself will assist you in learning more about others.
Much Love -TW