My special guest today is fellow Carina Press author, Tia Nevitt. Not even a stint in the military as an aircraft mechanic could erase Tia Nevitt’s love of fairy tales. To this day, she loves to read (and write) books that take her to another place, or another time, or both. Tia has also worked on an assembly line, as a computer programmer, a technical writer and a business analyst. When she’s not writing, she keeps a book blog called Debuts & Reviews, where she focuses on debut novels. She lives in the southeast with her husband and daughter.
Today she’s letting us in on a secret—her evil scheme. Welcome, Tia!
It was early 2007. I had a writing blog with a tiny handful of followers. I was an active participant of Absolute Write. I was querying my second novel, and wishing I had something besides my somewhat embarrassing nonfiction sales to put in my bio.
Fiction sales were hard to come by. I had been writing for roughly twenty years, with some lengthy intrusions of life. It didn’t help that I was very picky about where I would submit my work. I was a submission snob. If I couldn’t be published by a respectable publisher, by gum, I wouldn’t be published at all! It might not make much sense to you, but it did—and still does—to me. So I only submitted to pro and tough semipro markets. And I got rejected. A lot.
So I stumbled across this “Debut a Debut” blog event sponsored, in part, by blog buddy Susan Helene Gottfried. It kindled an idea to start a book blog devoted entirely to debut fantasy and science fiction novels. I figured it would be a good way to network with up-and-coming authors.
But I didn’t do anything right away. A few months passed. And then, on agent Kristen Nelson’s blog, I discovered a debut novel that looked like a lot of fun – Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin. Right then and there, I decided to start the blog featuring that novel, where I would review the book as I read it.
Lisa made it a lot of fun because she kept popping in. I was hooked.
And it did turn out to be a good way of networking with up-and-coming authors. I even made a few friends. But also, I was building an audience, very slowly. By the time I submitted to Carina Press, I had over 300 Feedburner subscribers at my Debuts & Reviews blog. I don’t know if it helped, but I do know that it could not have hurt. Today I have about 10,000 monthly visitors, with around 400 regular subscribers visiting about 8000 times, and traffic from referring sites and search engines providing the rest.
As a blogger, I watch my subscriber numbers much more closely than the number of clicks or visits. I have my FeedBurner subscriber numbers displayed on my site, and I don’t care whether you visit my site or read the posts through a feed reader. I’m just glad you read them! For that reason, I always publish my full feed instead of a teaser.
And for that matter, I don’t care if you use Feedburner or Google FriendConnect—so I track both. FriendConnect is nice because you can actually put a face to a number, but I find everything else about it clunky.
I still love blogging. Since I moved to Debuts & Reviews, I have expanded my focus to all my favorite genres, which includes fantasy, science fiction, mystery, historical, literary, Christian or any combination of the above. I’m picky about the publishers whose work I feature, just as I was picky about the publishers I would submit to. And, I’m not crazy about taking review copies, because I really have to work on my own schedule.
So there you have it—my evil scheme for getting published. My master plan. And along the way, I’ve had a lot of fun.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the other people in the fairy tale?
Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.
Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.
Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?
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