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‘Publishing’ Category

  1. 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…)

  2. YA Authors and the Gender Gap

    August 9, 2012 by Kiersi

    This week, Meghan Lewit, a NY-based writer/editor, wrote an article for The Atlantic called “Why Do Female Authors Dominate Young Adult Fiction?

    It’s a great question–and one that she doesn’t even get close to answering.

    Lewit prattles on ad nauseum about why certain YA titles (same old, same old–The Hunger Games, TwilightHarry Potter) have obtained huge, almost cult followings in both youth and adult audiences. YA appeals to our desire for escapism, by specifically avoiding “being literary” and instead aiming for sheer enjoyment on the part of the reader; it harkens back to a time in our own youth; it gives us heroes and heroines with which we can easily identify. (more…)

  3. A Lesson for All Authors

    June 1, 2012 by Kiersi

    Kiera Cass's agent Elana Roth, calling a reviewer a "bitch"

    Kiera Cass's agent Elana Roth, calling a reviewer of Cass's book a "bitch" on Twitter

    As a reviewer, I’ve experienced an author’s wrath first-hand. In my particular case, my negative book review spectacle was more fueled by said author’s rabid pack of fans than by the author herself–later incendiary comments on Goodreads by someone named “Marilyn” even accused all of us who wrote negative reviews about the book of “colluding to ruin this good woman’s reputation.”

    Regardless of that hilariously absurd allegation, the whole situation got me to thinking in broader terms about the blogosphere and the ramifications of its naturally low barrier to entry. To set up a blog these days, all you need to do is visit a site like or Blogger and create an account. Pick a theme, add some content, and you’re up and ready to post some book reviews. Social media networks such as Goodreads lower the barrier even further, so anyone with a computer can sign on and review a book.

    By the same token, authors use these platforms to great success. Kiera Cass (who I will talk about more in a moment) keeps an online journal where she talks about book releases, signings, and more. I recently added a book to my Goodreads’ “to read” list after reading a fabulous blog post by that book’s author. I’ve built relationships with other debut YA authors on Twitter over things like cover reveals and critique partners. Social media–including my Twitter, my Facebook, and my blog–have all done a lot of my marketing for me, because I simply enjoy using these mediums to talk about my passion. (Which means I am always working, and by the same token, never working.)

    My friend Abi over at A Hunger to Learn pointed me to a much larger-scale debacle than my indie-pub incident. This controversy stars Kiera Cass, New York Times best-selling author of The Selection (to which I gave a panning review here), and a high-profile blogger-slash-book reviewer who goes by Wendy Darling. (more…)

  4. White Girls, Dead Girls, and Fancy Dresses

    May 17, 2012 by Kiersi

    Black models on 2011 YA covers

    Kate Hart: Uncovering YA Covers: 2011

    I wrote a controversial post some time ago regarding young adult book covers that have been announced for 2012 called All the White Girls, where I suggested YA authors need to get their shit together and start writing books about something other than white chicks in flowing dresses. I found it immensely disturbing that not a single book on the Top 25 YA Books of 2012 featured a cover photo of anyone besides a white girl.

    A bunch of commenters suggested the problem lies with publishers and not authors, as cover designers in YA are rarely faithful to the look, ethnicity, race, or whatever of the book’s protagonist for which they are designing.

    Today I discovered this post by YA author Kate Hart via my twitter peep E.C. Meyers. Kate breaks down over 600 YA covers from 2011, scientifically, in a number of fascinating and revealing ways, including how often you might find a headless, dead, or back-shot model on a YA cover. (more…)

  5. Tips for Writing the Perfect Hook

    April 30, 2012 by Kiersi

    Tips for Hooking an Agent or PublisherWilliam Nolan, author of the award-winning dystopian novel Logan’s Run, described the process of editing for Gamma magazine as far back as the 1960s at the Write to Publish 2012 convention this weekend:

    Every Thursday I went into the office to go through the slush pile of manuscript submissions for the magazine. I reached the point where I’d open each box or envelope, slide out the first page, and just read the first couple of paragraphs. That was all the time an author got to impress me and convince me to keep reading.

    With the advent of email submissions, agents and publishers increasingly find their inboxes swamped by unsolicited manuscripts–leaving them even less time to wade through backstories and prologues to get to the action, the theme, the meat. This is true even for query letters. I’ll leave that topic for another day.

    Here are some suggestions I picked up at the Write to Publish conference to help you clean up your manuscript for submission. (more…)

  6. Would you read this book?

    April 29, 2012 by Kiersi

    Write to Publish Conference 2012 - Ooligan PressI just returned from Write to Publish 2012, an event put on by Portland State University’s (PSU) Ooligan Press program. It was great (as arbitrary and rudimentary an adjective as that is). I met lots of cool authors and gathered their autographs, asked a few obnoxious questions and generally made a nuisance of myself. A good time all around. I spent far more money than I should have buying books by authors who spoke at the panels.

    After listening to many a discussion about editors wading through the “slush” pile of unsolicited submissions, mainly involving Logan’s Run author Bill Nolan and his take-no-prisoners approach to acquisitions, I decided that the first page of a manuscript is, in reality, the absolute most important page of the whole piece of work. We may not want to admit it to ourselves, but that first bit of flash and bang is essential to selling a manuscript to an agent or acquisitions editor. (more…)

  7. The Road to Publishing

    March 22, 2012 by Kiersi

    Magenta Scribe The road to getting published is long and strenuous, no matter how you go about it–which is why I wrote “The Road to Publishing: Choose Your Own Adventure” on the new writer’s resource website, Magenta Scribe. This introductory post will guide you through some of the advantages and disadvantages of:

    -Traditional publishing

    -Publishing with small and independent publishers


    Of course, I also talk about how to make yourself look professional no matter what, and give a few tips to authors working any of those three venues. I’ll be a contributing author to Magenta Scribe in the future, so look for more from me as KC and I dig into things.

    Good luck! Hope to see you there!

  8. It’s Only the Beginning

    March 11, 2012 by Kiersi

    Concept art for The Devil's Throne Series

    Concept art

    As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’ve just signed a contract with an independent Portland publisher called RainTown Press for a series of paranormal YA books called The Devil’s Throne. The first book will be worked over from now until June or so, aiming for a Spring 2013 release date. The second book in the series is scheduled for Fall 2013, and the final installment in Fall 2014.

    This is my debut novel–and to have the publisher take it on as a three-book series, well, I’m a pretty lucky girl. I’ll have the opportunity to sketch out an epic, an opera of unexpected twists, turns, and big reveals. That will be awesome. But in some ways, it’s also totally terrifying. I’m glad to have an editor to help me keep track of all the threads, and make sure they tie up neatly at the end. (more…)

  9. I’m getting published!

    March 9, 2012 by Kiersi

    Yesterday I signed a contract with RainTown Press to publish my three-book series, The Devil’s Throne. I’m so excited to be working with them.

    Look for it on bookshelves in Spring 2013!