Showing posts with label YA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YA. Show all posts

July 19, 2017

Putting the Readers Back in Charge of Publishing

Hello to any aspiring YA authors out there. This guest post was sent over to me by Sarah at Publishizer! This is a really neat opportunity for you to get your book ideas out there and get people interested. Enjoy!

Imagine a YA publishing process without gatekeepers. One where editors and agents read the manuscripts that readers love, not vice versa. One where anyone with a knack for writing, a passion to succeed, and a little flair for self-promotion, has a fair shot at being published.

All too frequently, this isn’t the case. Books often get rejected for reasons beyond authors’ control. One editor turned down an ultimately successful book by saying, “The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level.” The book in question? The Diary of Anne Frank. Furthermore, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only about 10% of all YA books accepted for publication feature “multi-cultural content.” Clearly, there are some blind spots that need addressing in the publishing industry.

It’s with this vision in mind that Publishizer is launching its YA book proposal contest called Plot Without a Cause. Publishizer is a startup seeking to fill a hole in the publishing industry through crowdfunding. It works like this:

You write the book proposal. You know the book proposal I’m talking about. The one you’ve been daydreaming about for years. The one that just popped into your head last week and you haven’t stopped thinking about since. The one for the manuscript that’s been dearly loved by you but maybe not so much yet by the publishing industry. That one. Then you register (for free!) on Publishizer’s website and post your proposal in the Plot Without a Cause section (again—for free!).

Now this is when you’ll have to start hustling. Crowdfunding runs on pre-orders, so you had better start promoting that proposal. Reach out over social media, post on your blog, email your old roommates—whatever it takes to start building buzz. If you get the most preorders by the time the contest ends, you’ll win $1000 dollars. And if you don’t have the highest number of preorders, don’t worry—you’ll still be queried to major publishers who fit your proposal.

Previous Publishizer contest participants have gotten interest and landed deals with a variety of traditional publishing companies, including Harvard Square Books, She Writes Press, and Weiser. Publishizer takes a small commission on pre-orders when you choose a publisher at the end.

Every year, thousands of books are rejected by the publishing world for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the book—they’re too mainstream or not mainstream enough, too similar to books already being published or too different from books already being published. Or the literary agent just doesn’t stand to make much money on the deal so they pass on a perfectly good book! Imagine how many brilliant YA manuscripts go unpublished every year thanks to frustrating rejections. Imagine how many hugely talented authors quietly give up on their dreams, just because the gate to a traditional publishing path isn’t open to them.

With their new YA book proposal contest, Plot Without a Cause, Publishizer is seeking to level the playing field. Publishing decisions shouldn’t be based solely on a literary agent’s judgementor how many friends you have in the industry. They should be based on quality of writing and how many readers the book attracts.

Great books get overlooked all the time, and this is an opportunity to show acquiring editors that yours is worth paying attention to. Not to mention the readership and funds you could gain in the process. Crowdfunding (or crowd-publishing, in this case) is growing in popularity and brings a personal touch back to book sales—for readers and publishers. Are you in?

September 11, 2016

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Sixteen-year-old Min Green writes a letter to Ed Slaterton in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.
I have a love hate relationship with this book. I heard it talked about all over the internet, so when it went on sale, I bought it. I didn’t know when I started it, and I still don’t know now, why this book got so much hype. Both Min and Ed are painfully generic characters that feed into their stereotypes.

I never really ended up caring about either of them, and that made it difficult to finish this book. It got to the point where I was half way through it and I figured that I might as well just finish it incase it gets better at the end.

To me, it never did. I guess there must have been something about it that kept me reading, but I wouldn’t openly recommend the book to anyone.

2.5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened. And the truth is that I goddamn loved you so much.”

“You could never truly see the movies in my head and that, Ed, is why we broke up.”

“It was everything, those nights on the phone, everything we said until late became later and then later and very late and finally to go to bed with my ear warm and worn red from holding the phone close close close so as not to miss a word of what it was, because who cared how tired I was in the humdrum slave drive of our days without each other. I’d ruin any day, all my days, for those long nights with you, and I did. But that’s why right there it was doomed. We couldn’t only have the magic nights buzzing through the wires. We had to have the days, too, the bright impatient days spoiling everything with their unavoidable schedules, their mandatory times that don’t overlap, their loyal friends who don’t get along, the unforgiven travesties torn from the wall no matter what promises are uttered past midnight.”

Click To Purchase!

April 30, 2016

Jerkbait by Mia Siegert


Even though they're identical, Tristan isn't close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other's lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can't escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie's future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie's secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

For starters, I was offered an ARC of this book and I was thrilled. Being a huge hockey fan, there is no way I could turn down a new YA book that features a LGBTQ hockey player. So here I am having finished this book and am bringing you my thoughts on it.

This book was real. It handled a lot of deep topics, but it didn’t drone on and somehow kept the mood someone light. Some parts of it were hard to read because of the harsh reality of it. A lot of kids have to go through life feeling like Robbie, and it isn’t fair. It was also interesting how this book dove into bullying and how friends may not be all that they seem when things are going well. 

The relationship between the twins is an interesting one. They aren’t close, but they are at the same time. Maybe they are just close from being related at the beginning, but it continues to grow from there. It was really nice to watch how their relationship progressed.

The story line with Jimmy was kind of cheesy and reminded me of YA books that would come out when the internet became a popular thing for kids and teenagers, but that’s okay. It is easy to look past that with the rest of the book.

There was a lot of character development, but I also feel like the book could have been stretched out a bit more and they could have gone deeper. Maybe hear a first person account from Robbie.

Jerkbait is an addicting read. My total read time on it was probably around 3 hours. I couldn’t put it down once I started it outside of having to sleep. Honestly, I need a sequel. If you make it to the end of this book, you will know why. So many things I need to know.

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: "High school was a time for everyone to be miserable"

"But it wasn't like that in real life. Best friends never fell in love. Couples who were best friends only became best friends after they got together." 

Click To Purchase!

January 29, 2016

Hit and Run by Lurlene McDaniel

If no one meant for it to happen, should someone be guilty? Analise: She knows the roads and feels secure riding her bike. Laurie: When asked out by Quin, Laurie is happy. Then his car hits something. Later, Laurie realizes there is a way to get Quin to date her. Quin: Because Quin is athletically gifted, his father expects him to get a scholarship. Nothing is to get in his way of college, athletics, money, and success. When he realizes what has happened, he decides he must not let it ruin his future. Jeremy: It's been the perfect relationship with Analise. Little does Jeremy realize that the beautiful wood he carves will be used for something for Analise. As the lives of people who never wanted to hurt others intersect, harsh realities of choices that cannot be changed are explored.
This book was a random pickup while I was at a discount book store. I had no expectations going into it. I picked it up for $2 and it looked somewhat interesting.

The good news: it was only $2. The bad news, for the author & publisher I guess, that is all that I would ever spend on this book.

Let me say this – It was not a bad book. I didn’t hate it.


It was just very typical. It was a very average young adult novel that has been done multiple times. It was basically a lesser version of If I Stay with a few tweaks to the story line.

The random high school popularity storyline annoyed me and kind of made me want to throw my book at the wall. SPOILER ALERT: withholding the truth about the accident so this girl could get a boyfriend that she didn’t even like was so dumb. Pro-tip: don’t do that.

If you find this book discounted somewhere and have nothing else to read, you may not hate it. Otherwise, don’t even bother. Read If I Stay instead.

2/5 Stars

Click To Purchase!