JESSICA THERRIEN

From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, August 17, 2017

MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY: Author Vanessa Fewings

Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense curiosity...to answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: How did your book become a book?

Visit the full catalogue of "My Publishing Journey" interviews HERE.


Today's Featured Author

Vanessa Fewings
www.vanessafewings.com
USA TODAY Best-Selling Author of
The Icon Trilogy
&
The Enthrall Sessions


This is a special interview for me. I met Vanessa Fewings through a mutual publisher years ago. Since then, we've both moved away from that publishing company, but still enjoy keeping in touch. She was always such a positive inspiration to me. Vanessa's story is unique because she has been through it all. She started out published by a small press, got her rights back to self-publish, became VERY successful self-publishing her work, and ultimately ended up landing an amazing agent and three book deal with Harlequin. Her journey proves that with talent, perseverance, and passion, success is inevitable!

Welcome Vanessa!

Thank you so much, Jessica, for inviting me over! I’m thrilled to be here. 

AGENTS

Do you have an agent?
Yes, I am exceptionally lucky as I’m represented by premier literary agent Kimberly Whalen.
  
How many queries did you send?
I believe I didn’t send out that many before I was picked up by a Los Angeles literary manager – books to film – but when the opportunity came to be represented by Kimberly I jumped at the chance and still have to pinch myself that I’m repped by the most respected agent in the industry. Dreams really do come true!

If represented, how long did it take to get your agent?
I published my first vampire novel (THE STONE MASTERS VAMPIRE SERIES) in 2006, though when I started writing romance it was about 3 years before I landed an agent.

If you have an agent, can you copy and paste your successful query letter for others to reference?
I actually emailed Kimberly and the gist of my letter was that as I had worked really hard to become a successful indie author I now felt I had a lot to bring to an agent and traditional publisher (Top 5.) My erotic romance series The ENTHRALL SESSIONS had taken off and was selling thousands of copies so I had a solid brand to offer others and proof of a passionate work ethic. 

Publishers want to see you can meet deadlines, provide quality manuscripts, respond well to editor’s notes, and generally be pleasant to work with. At every step of the way I’m incredibly grateful.   


TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING

How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
Any manuscript coming from Kimberly gets priority. She’s that good! She also works with you to make sure your manuscript is good enough for submission. Time is so valuable for busy publishers.

How long did it take to find a publisher?
I believe it was within weeks. We submitted my ICON Trilogy and it found an incredible publisher with HarperCollins: HQN Books (Harlequin). I was and still am thrilled for my characters Zara and Tobias to have found such a great home.

What do you like about your publisher?
Quite simply everything.  I was assigned to editor Ann Leslie Tuttle, who gave great feedback. The communication is fabulous. They really are going all out to promote the series and get it into reader’s hands. 

What do you dislike about your publisher?
They tease us with too many chocolate desserts at their annual party!  No, seriously, I don’t dislike anything. I’m thrilled to be published by Harlequin.

Did you or your agent hit any snags along the way, and if so how did you overcome them?
No real snags. The communication is great and the response is always professional and pro-author.

Did traditional publishing get your book(s) in Barnes & Noble or other bookstores?
Yes, one of the greatest highlights of my publishing career was to see my books in Barnes & Noble.  I write because of my passion for it. If you’re a writer who dreams of seeing your books in the stores keep going. You’ll get there. Keep mastering  your craft and building your brand. I promise you it’s worth it.

Oh, and seeing my books in Ralphs, our local grocery store, blew me away! I might have moved the price sticker off my character’s faces when I saw it for sale and then put it back on the shelf. ;)

Did your publisher produce a hardcover of your book or just paperback?
Just paperback. It’s gorgeous by the way, go check it out. All of the books in the ICON series are.

Did your publisher create an audiobook for you?
Yes, and it’s narrated by British actress Morag Sims, who is super talented. 


SELF-PUBLISHING

What made you decide to self pub?
Prior to being represented by Kimberly, I had seen the success of other indie authors in the romance genre and knew it was a great time to release ENTHRALL, my first erotic romance novel. What followed was an amazing self-publishing journey that has now seen the books hit the USA Today bestsellers list as well as being translated into French with J’ai Pour Elle, a premier publisher. I absolutely love hearing from my French fans.   

It’s an exciting time for indie authors getting traditional deals abroad with exceptional foreign publishers. This deal came through my agent but you can reach out to foreign publishers or acquire a foreign rights agent.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
I love every aspect of indie publishing. Yes, I designed and created the first three books in the ENTHRALL series, but had help with professional designers for the novellas in the same series as we were going for a more complicated appearance to  incorporate the chandeliers which is the ENTHRALL brand.

I send my files to eBook Launch for formatting. They are fantastic, quick, and thorough and make changes when needed.  When it comes to editing, I’ve been lucky to work with great professional editors and now I am with the editor Debbie Kuhn for my indie books. Many readers have mentioned they didn’t know the books are in fact indie. I wasn’t trying to hide the fact I just wanted to provide the best quality book for my fans. 

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?
I use Createspace for paperbacks. Draft 2 Digital for my eBooks, as well as uploading directly to Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and Smashwords. With my traditional books they are on many sites including Harlequin. 

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio?
I only have one hardcover book. All my books are on audio other than my vampire series. I choose the audio narrators myself, though with Harlequin they chose Morag Sims, who I adore reading as Zara.

We recently released CAMERON’S CONTROL and CAMERON’S CONTRACT in audio narrated by superstar narrator Sebastian York and he’s incredible as Cameron Cole from my ENTHRALL SESSIONS. He’s a beloved book boyfriend and my fans are so excited to listen to them. Right now, three of the audiobooks in the ENTHRALL SESSIONS are in the erotic romance audiobook bestsellers list on Amazon.    

What do you like about self-publishing?
I love being in control of my publishing release dates, deciding on the book cover art, and most of all being part of the indie community. The other authors are incredible and supportive. The readers, well, they are so close to my heart and I love messaging them and keeping in touch.

Then there’s the bloggers and reviewers, the lifeblood of our community. We couldn’t do this without them. They get news of our books out there and help promote us and all in their free time. Many have become close friends. It’s a symbiotic relationship. 

What do you dislike about self-publishing?
Nothing really, there’s this wonderful sense of control and giving the readers/fans what they love. I’m filled with gratitude for being able to do what I love everyday as a full-time author. 

I consider myself a hybrid-author.

I’ll be releasing an indie book in early 2018 – ENTHRALL FOREVER. Then, after that, I’ll write a novel for my agent to take out for consideration as a traditional series. 


MARKETING

What marketing tactics worked for you?
There are so many ways to market but Book Blog tours are great. To be honest, I won’t launch a book without them. I’m with Buoni Amici Press PR, and Debra and Drue rock the promotions!  They’ve worked with many of the top authors both traditional and indie. They know the industry well and are flexible as the world of publishing evolves.

A BookBub promotion will garner you great results. I absolutely love the team over there and couldn’t recommend them more. Getting a BookBub promotion isn’t easy because they have such high standards, but if you nab a promotion they really will help an author grow awareness. You can open an author partner profile on their site. I highly recommend it as when you release a new book they’ll notify your readers.

Also, I am a believer in getting your books on all platforms. iBooks is an essential part of my platform and they really work well with authors to build their brand. Loyalty is key and it works both ways. I know some authors are exclusive to Amazon but for me, I’ve never found that as successful as making sure my readers can get my books anywhere. It’s about them, after-all.

Make sure you’re on Goodreads! It takes time to grow an audience over there but that’s where all the readers are hanging out. Be gracious with everyone. It’s their place to read and review and I feel very much a guest as I do a member.  
    
If you are traditionally published, what did your publisher do to market your book?
I’m working with their publicist Lisa Wray, who is exceptional! She’s getting the word out to top level readers, reviewers, bloggers and TV and radio networks. The publisher even placed a large add in Life & Style magazine.

You’ll be expected to promote too, so be prepared for that part of being a modern day author.   

ADVICE

Looking back would you do anything differently?
Yes, I would have independently published my vampire series back when Amanda Hocking published on Amazon KDP and hit it big. I went with a small publisher as I was pretty naive back then. Still, this has been an incredible journey and I know my writing has improved over time and my knowledge of the industry has grown so I’m pretty much ready for anything.   

What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
The best lesson is that it’s a journey. There’ll be this instinct to try to get ahead quickly, but take a breath, study your craft, enjoy every aspect from your first book signing to seeing your books go live for sale! It takes time for readers to grow to trust you’ll deliver quality books in your genre that meet their expectations.

We write for our readers and they’re everything! 

Can you provide names and/or contacts for the following?
Agent: The Whalen Agency
Publisher: HarperCollins / Harlequin
Formatter: Ebook Launch
Cover Designer: Michelle Catalano
http://michelecatalanocreative.weebly.com/
Audiobook: ACX
http://www.acx.com/
Promotion and/or marketing:
Buoni Amici Press PR
http://buoniamicipress.com/
Blog Tour Organizer, etc.: 
Buoni Amici Press PR
Other:
Website Designer: Laird Sapir
Memphis McKay.com

AVAILABLE NOW!



This is the world of the forbidden. This is the embrace of Enthrall. 

Experience the USA Today bestselling novel that introduced readers around the globe to Mia Lauren and her breathtaking journey into the seductive world of Enthrall, the most exclusive BDSM club in Los Angeles. 

Mia Lauren is a single, twenty-one-year old working in a West Hollywood art store who dreams of one day becoming a fashion designer. When an unexpected offer arises to work at Enthrall, L.A.'s premier fetish club for the wealthy, Mia accepts. It's a salary beyond her wildest imagination.

Mia becomes the secretary to the club's assistant director, blond and broody Richard Booth. Richard is not only one of L.A.'s most beautiful and wealthiest men, he is also the club's senior dominant. Mia is both drawn and terrified when he reveals flashes of his white-hot passion, threatening an unbound pleasure like no other. She knows her attraction may be her undoing, but the spellbinding feelings render her powerless to resist his advances. 

What Mia cannot know is that Enthrall's dashing founder and director thirty-four year old Cameron Cole, who is also the club's psychiatrist, has lured Mia to save his best friend and patient Richard from his obsession with thrill seeking. Cameron masterfully sets up sexy scenarios to ensure the collision of Richard and Mia, hoping that love will save him. 

However, despite Cameron's noble intentions, he also finds himself enticed by Mia's haunting innocence. Passion and pleasure stir, forming a dangerous love triangle. This is the world of the forbidden. This is the embrace of Enthrall.




Don't miss The Chase, the first in a sizzling new romantic trilogy from USA Today bestselling author Vanessa Fewings and HQN Books.

Will she risk it all for a priceless desire?

A rising star in one of London's top art investigation firms, Zara Leighton's talent for seeing deep into paintings is in her blood. She's chosen to help track down Icon, an enigmatic international art thief whose heists are methodical, daring, baffling. To Zara the case is maddening—bordering on an obsession.

She finds distraction in the chiseled form of top-shelf client Tobias Wilder, a magnetic American billionaire who demands her expertise, her discretion—and her secrecy. Wilder doesn't ask questions. He gives orders. His gaze alone ignites her deepest fantasies. And his touch…

The sudden whirl of exclusive exhibitions and decadent parties that Wilder introduces her to is a potent aphrodisiac. But surrender soon becomes tinged with suspicion. Is Zara's tryst with Wilder the real thing…or just a convincing forgery?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

GIVEAWAY - 10 Great YA Books About Greek Mythology, Gods, Goddesses, and Demigods!



ELEMENTALS

*USA TODAY called Elementals a "must read!"*

Thousands of copies sold. Over a million pages read. 500+ five-star reviews for the series. Topped the teen Greek mythology chart for months.

MAGICAL. ROMANTIC. ADDICTING.


Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods... but she doesn't know it until she moves to a new town and discovers a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she never knew existed.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole and four others -- including mysterious bad-boy Blake -- are gifted with elemental powers. But the comet has another effect -- it opens the portal to another dimension that has imprisoned the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes, it's up to Nicole and the others to follow a cryptic prophecy in time to save the town... and possibly the world.

"Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson with an added twist of teenage angst, hormones, and uncertainty... I am officially HOOKED!"
-Kim T. Goodreads Reviewer ★★★★★

"Elementals is a compelling, pulse-pounding, fast-paced hit!"
-Sairaika, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

"This series is one of my all time favorites! There's something for everyone - love, action, mythology, and more. My advice if you haven't read this series: Grab the first book and start reading. You won't regret it."
-Alex K., Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

What are you waiting for? Scroll up and click the buy button now to find out why readers all over the world have fallen in love with Elementals!


SWEET VENOM

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.


THE SCARLET THREAD

My name is Kaidance Monroe, and sometimes when I touch people, I see how they die. After I saw my little brother's death but failed to stop it, my parents abandoned me to a juvenile detention facility. I don't let people touch me anymore. Not my fingertips, not my skin, not my heart. 

Just before I turned 18, I got a visit from a cute guy, who tricked me into giving up my secrets. He said I was special, but he wasn't the only one searching for me. I barely escaped with my life. Now I'm in a mansion, learning how to control my abilities - abilities so powerful, even the gods are jealous. I didn't mean to make anyone fall for me. Certainly not my would-be killer. And I never imagined how far he would fall.

The Scarlet Thread is a dark fantasy romance for fans of Greek mythology and Gothic romance. Fans of Fallen and Percy Jackson will be captivated by this mashup of fallen angels and forgotten gods.

This is BOOK ONE in the Fated Destruction series.


CHILDREN OF THE GODS

There are others like her. Many of them. And they have been waiting for her a long time...

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. 

Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. 

Or so she thinks. 

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning - and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

The Children of the Gods is based on the idea that the Greek gods were never really gods at all, but a secret race that has been living among us for centuries. Fans of Shatter Me, Percy Jackson, Divergent, and Harry Potter will love this series.


TRICKERY

Willa Knight: Dweller. Slave. Non-magical being.

In Minatsol, being a dweller means that you are literally no better than dirt. In fact, dirt might actually be more useful than Willa. Her life will be one of servitude to the sols, the magic-blessed beings who could one day be chosen to become gods.

At least her outer village is far removed from the cities of the sols, and she won’t ever be forced to present herself to them... Until one small mistake changes everything, and Willa is awarded a position to serve at Blesswood, the top sol academy in the world—a position that she definitely did not earn.

Under the sudden, watchful eye of the gods, she will be tasked to serve the Abcurse brothers, five sols built of arrogance, perfection and power. They are almost gods themselves, and under their service she is either going to end up sentenced to death, or else they are going to ruin her so badly that she will wish for it.

Either way, she is in trouble.

This is a full novel, 90,000 words. Book 1 of 5 in the Curse of the Gods Series


THE GODDESS TEST

A bargain with a mysterious stranger will change her destiny as Kate Winters agrees to take the Goddess Test. But every girl who has taken the test has died… Get swept up in the story about which Cassandra Clare says, “A fresh take on the Greek myths adds sparkle to this romantic fable.”It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems amazingly possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess. But what Kate doesn’t know is that no one has ever passed THE GODDESS TEST. 
7. EVERNEATH


PERSEPHONE

One day Persephone is an ordinary high school junior working at her mom’s flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she’s fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of Winter, and learning that she’s a bonafide goddess—a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until Spring.

There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she’s automatically married to him. It’s the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn’t interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Boreas’ schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?

Can she escape the grasp of the god of Winter’s minions? The Underworld is a very nice place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She’s going to fight back.


Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with her, she rewrote it. Because she’s always wanted to be a writer, she spent high school and college learning everything she could to achieve that goal. After graduating college with a BFA and Masters in English, Kaitlin went on to write The Daughters of Zeus series.




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