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‘Publishing’ Category

  1. Author Chris Struyk-Bonn, NICE GIRLS ENDURE

    October 20, 2016 by Kiersi

    Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-BonnI was lucky enough to get to do an interview with Chris Struyk-Bonn, a friend of mine from my days among the Oregon chapter of SCBWI. I’ve always hugely admired Chris as a fellow writer and author, and so I’m thrilled to be able to interview her for my blog about her new book, NICE GIRLS ENDURE. (Look at that cover! Isn’t it perfect??)

    Nice Girls Endure

    by Chris Struyk-Bonn

    Category/Genre: YA Contemporary

    Released: August 1, 2016 (OUT NOW! Snag your own copy on Amazon!)

    Publisher: Switch Press

    Blurb: Chelsea Duvay is so many things. She’s an avid musical lover, she’s a gifted singer, and she has the most perfect, beautiful feet. But no one ever notices that. All they notice is Chelsea’s weight. (more…)


  2. Announcing 2-book deal with Carolrhoda Lab

    February 21, 2016 by Kiersi

    Hot dang, it has been a wild week around here.

    I’ll be posting tomorrow or the next day about what’s going on in QUARTZ CREEK RANCH land, but today, I have a super special announcement to make:

    I’m going to have TWO Young Adult novels published by Carolrhoda Lab!

    Here’s the deal announcement in Publisher’s Weekly:

    Deal text from Publisher's Weekly

    So a little background on these two books, because they both have a story.

    HONOR CODE has some pretty deep roots in my feminist heart, even though the subject was originally Alix’s brainchild. The novel takes place at a private boarding school on the east coast—an elite institution that’s been educating and refining the rich and powerful for over a century. (more…)


  3. 10 Truths About the Time I Almost Gave Up

    October 12, 2014 by Kiersi

    I still can’t believe I got a book deal. (Check out this post for more information.) I don’t mean that metaphorically. I honestly sometimes sit here and don’t actually believe that it happened. That it is happening.

    One thing I want to say to all the writers out there trying to get published, trying to get an agent, trying to finish a novel:

    Don’t. Give. Up.

    I mean it. And believe me—I know what it feels like to hear that from an author who’s getting published. “Yeah, well, that’s all well and good and easy for you to say. You have a book deal.”

    But there’s a reason I sometimes still don’t believe it’s true:

    Truth #1: I almost gave up.

    Truth #2: SECOND CHANCE RANCH is, actually, my second book deal. (Though SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY will still be my first published book.) (more…)


  4. We’ve Got A New Horse Book Series!

    October 3, 2014 by Kiersi

    Kiersi Burkhart riding her horse at 12

    Me at 12 years old, running the poles event at a gymkhana show with my Appaloosa pony, Frosty

    All right, everyone. Do me a favor and, before we go any further, run and get your cowboy hats on. Then shrug on your cowboy boots. And prepare a good old holler: WHOOPAH!

    First: This whole thing came about because of a story I told on Twitter about a horse I loved as a girl. When my friend Amber Keyser heard I’d grown up a cowgirl, she approached me about a possible opportunity for a series of horse books, aimed at the middle-grade age range.

    Then we started dreaming. We dreamed and dreamed and had this really wild Vulcan-esque mind meld, where suddenly the perfect idea came to us.

    And so SECOND CHANCE RANCH was born—a place for troubled kids to find themselves with the help of a horse. The series is set on a cattle ranch in the mountains of my home state, Colorado, and based loosely on a cattle ranch owned by Amber’s relatives (also in Colorado). It draws on a lot of the things we loved about horse books as youngsters ourselves—the child helping the horse, and the horse helping the child; the magic of learning to ride for the first time; and the deep relationships we form with animals.

    Second: Here is the announcement in Publisher’s Marketplace!

    Publisher's Marketplace announcement SECOND CHANCE RANCH

    So, after giving birth to this crazy idea, we handed it over to Amber’s agent, Fiona Kenshole, at Transatlantic Literary Agency.

    And she loved it.

    She asked us to write some sample chapters right away for two of our proposed books in the series. Though we dreamed up this world together, we each took control of one story—my debut in the series will be SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY, and Amber’s PUSHOVER AND PRINCE.

    Third: Since then, I have signed with Fiona as my agent, and I couldn’t be happier! Fiona has done a fantastic job helping us hone our proposal for the series and negotiating our 4-book deal with Andrew Karre at Darby Creek, an imprint of Lerner Books.

    The books are scheduled to release twice a year beginning in Spring 2016. I’m so excited to be working with the folks over at Darby Creek and, of course, my great friend and truly talented co-author Amber!

    (Seriously, you guys don’t even know how awesome this woman is. I am pretty much the luckiest girl on the planet.)

    And that’s it for today, my friends. It’s time for me to go eat some celebratory sushi!


  5. Book Update: Some Unfortunate News

    July 23, 2013 by Kiersi

    For the time being, I have removed this post.

    In the meantime, here is a picture of a kitten trying to play ping pong, and some other articles you might enjoy reading.

    Writer’s Tools: Scrivener Review

    Writing Is A Professional Job

    White Girls, Dead Girls, and Fancy Dresses


  6. Yes, There IS Still Sexism In Publishing

    May 7, 2013 by Kiersi

    Alter-cover by the fabulous Gillian Berry

    I’m shaking as I write this, because I’m both sad and angry. I guess in some parts of the world they call this “frustrated.” Or “sangry.”

    I’m sad that as a culture, we’re still divided this way: that some books are girly books, and some books are guy books.

    I’m also angry that people still try to pretend like it’s not a problem. That’s it’s not a problem we have to have separate “women-only” book awards, because female authors get so little recognition in mainstream awards (3:10 female to male winners for the Booker). That it’s no biggie when a female author gets slut-shamed while her books get ignored. Or that books by female authors tend to get fluffy, jazzy covers; that female authors have to use pen names to supposedly be marketable to boy audiences (J.K. Rowling?).

    Somehow, all this is not a “gendered” problem.

    Author Maureen Johnson did a pretty neat piece recently of books written by male authors, with the covers re-imagined as if the author was of the opposite sex or gender queer (also see the top image on this post). And boy, is it fascinating to look at. (more…)


  7. Don’t Get Screwed: Author Solutions & Hydra

    March 6, 2013 by Kiersi

    UPDATE: I received an email from Allison Dobson, Director of Digital Imprints at Random House, regarding recent changes made to the Hydra, Alibi, Lovestruck and Flirt ebook-only imprint contracts (based on what I’m sure was a torrent of critical feedback). Read about the changes here, on the Writer Beware website (or see the full, official PDF here).

    Essentially, they’re offering two packages: one that’s a more traditional advance-and-royalty deal, and another that’s still the original “profit sharing” deal with some important changes. No longer will Random House charge a setup cost or a fee for the sales/marketing/promotion; that’s part of the package, up to a certain amount.

    So, I think that addresses a lot of the concerns raised in this post (and by other critics on the web)–but I am still leery of this emerging trend.

    Read on.

    This is a bit of a gossip post because sometimes, I think it’s important to spread certain gossip–especially as it pertains to large publishing houses (corporations) screwing writers who aren’t aware they’re being screwed. (more…)


  8. Revising Homophobia: “Straightwashing” in YA

    September 20, 2012 by Kiersi

    Lesbian Romance by Made Underground

    Lesbian Romance by Made Underground

    I had started preparing some long-winded post about the troubles with revising my upcoming novel with RainTown Press, Devil’s Fire (renamed from Fire & Brimstone), when I stumbled across this Guardian article: Stranger, a young adult novel with a gay hero, acquired by publisher–after an unnamed agent refused to represent it unless the hero was “straightened.”

    Naturally, the pair of authors (Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija, both previously published) were taken aback at the request, and summarily refused to do any such thing. It’s not a novel about the gay experience or homophobia, like Lauren Myracle’s Shine, which was surrounded by some controversy after it was gently shoved off the National Book Awards list of finalists (it’s a book about a gay hate crime–up to you to decide if it was removed from the list to “preserve the integrity of the award” or to please particular parties, but I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist). Stranger, on the other hand, is a dystopian novel, that just happens to feature a gay hero–one of many narrators telling the story. (more…)


  9. Why Self-pub Authors Need to Stop Whining

    September 13, 2012 by Kiersi

    I really like author and blogger Noah Murphy. I’d like to think we’ve had a good relationship on Twitter. I’m excited about his upcoming book, Ethereal Girls. But I’m growing pretty tired of self-published and indie authors whining about being repressed and “kept down” by the traditional book publishing industry when that is clearly not the whole story.

    In his article, Publisher’s Weekly Review Double Standard, Murphy accuses book periodical Publisher’s Weekly of extorting self-published authors. As you probably already know, Publisher’s Weekly reviews traditionally-published books for their book review section. But they also have PW Select, which reviews self-published and indie-published books. The catch? The regular PW only takes submissions for books published by a publishing house, and it’s free to submit; however, PW Select charges a fee for your submission.

    Murphy writes:

    To Publisher’s Weekly, we’re not real authors – worthy of consideration for free – because we’re not part of the club. We decided to go outside the system and therefore we should be punished for that by extorting us. We have to pay to even be considered worthy of a review. This is the major way traditional publishing can keep us down because otherwise they’re quaking in their boots. (more…)


  10. WWC12 Wrap-up

    August 14, 2012 by Kiersi

    Willamette Writers Conference 2012 - Portland

    This year’s Willamette Writers Conference 2012 was a startling success. I pitched to four agents and one publisher, and received from all of them requests for more. I attended sessions all three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and did my best to stay sane and conscious enough to socialize.

    Part A: The Program

    I wish I could Vulcan mind-meld with you, if only so you could have experienced with me Eric Witchey‘s stellar, re-orienting talk on Story Fluency: Story as a Second Language.” It’s not my place to divulge all of the secrets that Eric, in turn, divulged to us–but I can tell you that my most basic understanding of the structure and arc of story is fundamentally changed. It goes a bit like this: (more…)