Monday, October 29, 2012

Seeing books from people you know

I ran out to Barnes and Noble this morning to pick up a book my daughter needs for school. (Actually, she needed it last week but forgot to remind me until 10:00 last night. But that’s another post. Teenagers. Ugh.) Of course, I took a little side trip up the stairs to the children’s department. I’m only human after all. And passing the picture book section, what did my eyes spy?

A copy of Debbie’s I’M BORED being predominately displayed! 

It’s always exciting - isn’t it? - to find the book of someone you know. Even if you’ve never met them in person and only “know” each other from online or a writer’s chat board, don’t you flip out a bit? I don’t know about you but I want to grab the nearest person and brag. “I know this person! This is their book!” 

When my kids are with me, they like to tease me. They’ll point at a popular title and ask, “So. Do you know that writer, Mom?” Most of the time I don’t, but sometimes I do. They don’t say anything but I’m sure, deep down, they’re super impressed. A mom can just tell these things (she says sarcastically).

How about you? What kind of reaction to do you have when you see a book that someone you know has written or illustrated? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting past fear

This is my new sock monkey. He has nothing to do with my post today; I just think we could all use a cute, baby sock monkey sometimes.

I’m moving a little slow this morning. My arms and legs are aching, I’m still nursing a pulled shoulder muscle. And my abs are reminding me that I should probably make it to workout class more often.

So why am I whining aching today? I had a step test over the weekend. In taekwondo, you take a series of mini tests as you prepare for your next black belt degree. This wasn’t my first test (not even close), but I still went through the same freak out process: feeling confident until the date the test application was due. A bundle of nerves the week before and downright panic on the day of the test. “What am I doing? I can’t do this?! I’m not good enough! I’ll never be good enough!” 

Sound familiar?

I don’t know about you, but I go through the same thing before I start a new writing project. That shiny new idea seems so wonderful. It’s going to be the best story EVER. But then I start panicking as I begin committing words to paper. Half way through, my confidence has caught the midnight train to Georgia and left me wondering “What am I doing? I’ll never be good enough to pull this off!” 

Pushing through fear is a big part of writing a book. It takes nerves of steel. You gotta look that opponent - you know, the one in the mirror - and let him or her know you’re doing this, no matter what. And you’ve got to trust your training (all those words you’ve already written and all those conferences you’ve attended or critiques you’ve asked for). And you need to trust your instincts - that little voice telling you that you *can* do this, that you are meant to do this. 

When you’re done, you might be aching and you might have pulled a muscle or two, but I bet you’ve also done a few things well and discovered one or two things you still need to work on. 

And you’ll be another step closer to your goal. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

After the Book Deal- The First 3 Months

These past few weeks have been so amazing and fun and exciting to finally announce my book deal. Here is the PM announcement:

Christina Farley's GILDED, in which a 16-year-old Korean-American girl with a black belt and a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows discovers an ancient Korean god has been kidnapping the first-born daughters of her family for generations, to Miriam Frank at Amazon Children's, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2013, by Jeff Ourvan at Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency (world).

And if you're interested, you can read about the full story here.

I thought over the next year, I'd do a series of blog posts that highlight things that I'm doing (or should be doing) to prepare for my book coming into the world.
So, you've gotten an offer on your book from a publisher, you've said yes, and it's been announced to the world! Yay! Congratulations.
Here are some things you can do right after you announce your book deal:
1. Celebrate! Of course celebrate with your family and friends, but take this one step further and celebrate publicly. If you have a blog, Twitter or Facebook account, tell the world about your good news. You want people to already start anticipating your book's arrival into the world.
2. Change all of your accounts to show your book title and publisher. For example, on my Twitter account I changed mine to look like this: Writer, traveler and chocolate lover. My debut YA, GILDED, will be published by Amazon Children's Publishing, fall 2013. Repped by Jeff Ourvan.
3. Join your debut class. Since my book will be coming out in 2013, I joined The Lucky 13s. This is a group of children and young adult writers who work together to help each other maneuver through the process of getting published as well as blog, tweet and Facebook each other's successes. They offer a support system and provide useful tips to each other.
4. Write your next book. Depending how long you have to wait for your editorial letter, you should start your next book.
The only precaution I would have is if you're writing a sequel. If your editor is giving you substantive revisions on book 1 that would reflect book 2, it might make things tricky. But otherwise, it really gives you a head start. There is a lot of work to be done right to get set up as an author and you want to give yourself plenty of time to write that next book. Think about how long it took you to write book 1. You probably won't have that luxury for book 2.
5. Talk to a marketing expert. I was lucky and won a phone chat with S.R. Johannes. She's not only a marketing expert but she's also a writer. She provided heaps of advice for me and steered me in the right direction. Take notes!
6. Start brainstorming your marketing plan. You don't have to set anything up yet, but it's important to start gathering ideas. I'm so fortunate because both my sister and her husband are VP's for their marketing companies. They will be doing all my online presence. Yay!
But she did have me make a list for her of my favorite YA websites, YA book trailers, and swag that I've seen floating around. I would recommend for you to do the same. It gives you an excellent starting point.
7. Author photos. I hired a professional photographer, Abby Liga. She's amazing and if you check out her blog you'll agree. She completed a hundred pictures for me to choose from. The whole photo shoot lasted about 15 minutes but it took me forever to pick two out because they were all amazing. I'm planning on doing a separate blog post on getting your author pictures soon.
8. Start communicating with your editor. I got my first email from my editor, Miriam Frank, a little over a week ago. I can't deny that was one of the most exciting moments in my writing career. I printed it out and saved it. Make sure you start communicating with your editor on a positive note. You'll be working together on this book and maybe future books! 
So there's a start for you. Anything else that you recommend for writers in their initial months after signing?
Christina Farley's debut YA, GILDED, releases fall 2013 by Amazon Children's Publishing. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC. She blogs and vlogs about writing and traveling, and is often found procrastinating on Twitter.
Photo by Abby Liga

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Christina Farley and Gilded

Did you hear the great news?

Christina Farley has sold a book!

Her YA paranormal Gilded sold to Amazon Children's Publishing. Read more about it over on her blog and check out her generous giveaway to celebrate her big news! There's still time to enter.