Today is the day, my friends. Chasing Fae is finally live!
In January of 2018, this book was nothing more than an idea and a handful of strange notes on a Notability page. Now, two and a half years later, it is a beautiful, genuine book that can be read by all. And already has its first five star review! There is so much that I want to say, but the words well up in my throat every time I try to type them.
Thank you so much for your time and support throughout this writing journey. When I introduced myself to you in January 2019, I was a girl with a dream and a first draft. You stuck with me through the entire revision process and the start of my querying process to literary agents. You celebrated with me when New Degree Press greenlit my manuscript for publication. Between social media, guest posts, and podcast appearances, you have given me so much encouragement and helped me discover my public voice as an author.
I finally reached my dream. I published my first book as a young college student.
And I am nowhere near done. From here on out, it’s all bright beautiful skies.
I hope you all pick up a copy of Chasing Fae today!
I am super pleased to announce that I finally have a release date! Chasing Fae will be available on Amazon, IngramSpark, and Kobo on August 3rd! I am so excited to finally have a launch plan for this book.
Here are some highlights of that plan that you can expect hearing more about as I go forward:
August 3rd: Release day!
August 3rd: Launch of an in-depth article series about Chasing Fae and all of its lore on Medium. Articles will also be posted on Fluff About Fantasy a few days later.
August 3rd: Launch of my virtual blog tour! I have some fantastic guest posts lined up, and I’m hoping to get a few more by the time my book comes out.
August 5th: Facebook Launch Event! I am throwing a fantastic online launch party to celebrate Chasing Fae. All throughout the day, there will be opportunities to interact with me live, learn about my process, hear excerpts from my work, play games, and win signed paperback copies of the book! Click here to see the event and mark your interest to get updates!
If you would be interested in getting early access to my book, please subscribe to my email newsletter. I will be sending some super secret updates via email to my subscribers!
It Is Officially One Month Away From My Debut Book Release!!!!
Hello fellow writers and readers! I am so excited today to say that it is officially one month until release week for my debut YA fantasy novel, Chasing Fae. I cannot believe I have reached this point. Nearly two and a half years ago, I first came up with the idea for the book. Now it’s about to be published and really be out there in the world. This is just a dream come true.
I have been in the process of putting so much together in terms of marketing and outreach over the last few weeks, and today, I want to bring you along for the ride. I am going to give you an intimate look at the marketing strategies that I have employed so far and the plans I still have yet to make.
First, Please Subscribe!
Everyone who signs up for my email list today will receive a free three-chapter excerpt (plus my author’s note) from Chasing Fae! I want every one of my readers to be the first to know when Chasing Fae hits the book market officially. Especially with my publication date not being firmly set yet (damn those pesky logistics!). So please subscribe at this link!
While you’re at it, feel free to keep up with me on the following social medias as well:
Book Bloggers/Reviewers Contacted: 52 and counting….
I’m a bit of an email ninja.
As I talked about in one of my recent blog posts, book reviewers and bloggers are an essential piece of the indie author’s marketing strategy. The more buzz an author can generate by having a series of reviews for her debut, even a small series, the better. I did a ton of research, and everyone I have contacted so far makes up only half of my very, very long spreadsheet. I am reaching out to as many people as I can who read YA fantasy and have fantastic review content.
There are so many awesome readers out there who take the time to review the books of their favorite authors, and to all of them, I say thank you! If anyone has any interest in reviewing Chasing Fae, I would be happy to send over an Advanced Reader Copy. Take a look at this summary here, and then send me a message on any of my social medias or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning Out A Virtual Blog Tour
Given the state of the world right now, I needed to find a unique way to celebrate my launch. I wanted to share this major success with the world while also exposing people to my style of writing. I’m working on pitching to various book blogs, writing websites, and podcasts to find places that may be interested in a guest post or an interview. That is still very much a work in progress, but by the time the end of July rolls around, I hope to have several place to share my work.
If anyone knows any sites or podcasts that may be looking for guest spots or posts, feel free to comment below. I’m still working on amassing my list and reaching out.
My publisher is guiding me through the process of launching an article series on Medium. I am actually super excited for it. My editor came up with a bunch of fantastic ideas for deep dives into various aspects of Chasing Fae. Everything from character profiles, to an intricate look at grief in fiction, and several personal stories about my connection to various scenes and icons. I plan on launching the series at the beginning of August and posting once or twice a week on Medium to keep up the excitement and the interest. Don’t worry: I also plan on cross-posting to here so that everyone can keep up with it. Stay tuned for more information on that in the coming weeks!
I am a Goodreads novice.
I have zero idea of how to operate Goodreads as an author. I am hoping that once my book has an ISBN number, I can add it to the library and claim my Goodreads Author Page. Between now and then, I need to do some more research into how to make that platform work for me.
This is a short list of ideas I am toying with for the future:
Instagram Live Stream
Facebook Live Stream
Video series centered around the characters
Video series centered around the Twelve Houses
In person book tour (once Covid-19 is remedied sufficiently)
Virtual book talks at schools
I hope to play around with these ideas more as I approach publishing day.
Thanks for hopping along on my little excited book rant today! Remember to please subscribe and get excited for the release of Chasing Fae! Love you all. Happy writing!
Hey everyone! Finally getting around to doing a full-length post with all of the launch preparation going on. According to social media, what writers most want to hear about at this particular moment is how to market a fantasy book. This is a super pertinent topic right now as I am setting up my early marketing strategy for Chasing Fae. Today, I’m going to walk through my small budget and which sites and resources I am going to be using as of today to promote my book through its first month out and into the future.
Starting Budget: $100
For my 21st birthday a few days ago, my grandparents gave me $100 in two very nice cards. I decided that I could use that money to set up a few small promotion listings and advertisements to get a solid running start with my debut novel. The most important elements for me in my marketing strategy are to utilize as many free promotion sites and services as I can and spend money in key places to maximize sales (and hopefully reviews!) in the future.
Free Promotion Ideas
All Author – This is a great site that allows authors to have a profile and your books in their directories for free. The free plan includes a basic author page with a listing in the Author Directory, up to 4 books, and a tweet scheduler feature. The pro plan is $59 for six months and includes more features like a premium author page, unlimited book adds, a featured book listing, and more. I opted for the free plan here because I had more worthwhile places to spend my money.
Alternative Reads – I submitted my book for a potential Sunday Spotlight Author feature. I’ll see what happens!
Authorsdb – Authors Database is a great free option for promotion. They have over 20k published listing, and setting up a profile and adding your books is super easy. It looks like it has a fun author community; I’m looking forward to taking part in it.
Book Goodies – I opted for a free listing on Book Goodies that will be up for six months. This is a site that I heard was a good option.
Book Reader Magazine – I submitted a book listing and a free interview to Book Reader Magazine, which I am including in my blog tour this coming week.
Fantasy Book Place and Fiction Hideaway – These sites are both affiliates of Book Goodies; one is fiction targeted and one is fantasy targeted. I submitted a free book listing to both sites, which will be up for six months.
Awesome Gang ($10) – I submitted a book listing to Awesome Gang because it looks like a great site with quite a few solid affiliations with other sites. I submitted a free author interview to them as well, so I thought this was a good place to add some extra power to my listing. $10 buys a featured listing which gets me a listing on the front page for 2 days, a guaranteed spot in the newsletter, and a blast out to Facebook and Twitter with 70,000 followers combined.
Bargain Booksy ($25)- Bargain Booksy is one of the more well known promotion sites that I have heard of, so I decided to submit a title for a feature. Each genre has a separate price. I listed my book as a young adult title for $25. That gets me a listing in the daily email to thousands of subscribers as well as a feature front and center on their website.
Book Bongo ($19.99)- I liked the different kinds of marketing options offered at Book Bongo. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted to do a slightly higher priced package. I opted for the Book Blast for $19.99. My book will be permanently featured in two genres on the website and on the front page for up to two weeks during my $0.99 promotion period. I will also get a feature in the weekly mailout, a post on Facebook and Twitter, and inclusion in the weekly advertising campaign on Facebook. I thought this was absolutely worth it, and I’m hoping to see some results from it.
Book of the Day ($9.99) – Book of the Day was another promotion site that offered a lot of marketing outreach for a low price. $9.99 bought me my book on the front page for 2 weeks, the sidebar for 7 days, listings in the newsletter, on Facebook, and on Twitter; and addition to the Category pages and AI System.
eBook Booster ($20)- I found this form through Armadillo eBooks that guaranteed listing my ebook on 15 different promotion sites and social media channels. I browsed their database of options (and there were a lot of options), and I liked what I saw. I thought $20 was worth the breadth of the outreach. I’m looking forward to seeing where the listings end up.
Read Free.ly ($10) – This seems like an awesome site with a lot of opportunities for promotion at every level. For authors on a budget, this is a great spot. $10 buys a platinum level promotion package. This includes a long list of perks: promotion on the homepage for up to 7 days, promotion in the newsletter on a specific date chosen by me, promotions on their social media platforms, and an automatic spot on the shortlist for the site’s Editor’s Choice section.
YA Books Central ($3.99)- This is an essential database for any young adult author to take advantage of, and it has longevity. It’s been around since 1998. For $3.99, I entered my book into the database. This not only gives me access to a ton of readers, but it also opens me up to take advantage of the site’s other offerings in the future.
So this is my plan so far! I have a few other ideas for free listings in the works right now, and I may do an update later if people are interested. For now, there are a little less than 24 hours until launch day, and I have more work to do! Happy writing, everyone!!!
Hey everybody! Just wanted to take a moment to share that my episode with the Writing Community Podcast is now live! I had a great time chatting with Brian about my book, about writing, and about my potential plans for the fall. Click here to listen to it on the website. You can also find it on multiple platforms: iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher Radio. I hope you enjoy!
Roy Huff is a Hawaii-based best-selling author, peer-reviewed research scientist, and teacher. After overcoming significant childhood adversity, he moved to the islands and hasn’t looked back. He’s since earned five degrees, trained on geostationary satellites for NASA’s GOES-R Proving Ground, and written numerous bestsellers. He stumbled into writing, but what he didn’t stumble into is his love for all things science fiction and fantasy. Later, he contributed a series of fiction and non-fiction books as well as widely shared posts on how to design life on your terms. Despite early challenges, he embraces optimism, science, and creativity. He makes Hawaii his home, where he creates new worlds with the stroke of a pen and hopes you’ll come along for the amazing ride. I recently had the opportunity to do an interview with him, and I am so excited to share his answers with you.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Writing wasn’t something I grew up wanting to do. It happened by accident when I was working on my fourth and fifth degree. I had to write a creative paper for an English class, and one of the students who read the paper said she wanted to read a whole book on Everville. That became my first book and series.
What does your fantasy writing process look like? What do you find the most effective? What do you find the most difficult?
I used to marathon write. Now I write in smaller doses but more frequently. Typically, I write in the morning after my daily journaling. I write in quiet, without distractions while drinking coffee. I also tend to write new content in the morning and edit in the afternoon.
What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
It’s never good enough, so you have to be willing to have the courage to publish. You must be committed to improving, and it helps to get comfortable with rejection and negative reviews and feedback.
What is your best worldbuilding tip?
Include all the senses. Read what others have written, and practice your craft.
How many books have you written?
I’ve published four fiction and one nonfiction. That number will be up to five fiction on July 2 nd , and six fiction likely in August. I also have a first draft of the final book in the Everville series. At the moment of this interview, I’ve published five books in total and written seven. I’m currently working on my eighth book.
Can you tell us about your latest project? What inspired you to write it?
I’m currently expected to publish a time travel book, Seven Rules of Time Travel, in mid to late July. Additionally, I just put out the books 1-4 box set of Everville. The Everville series started from that single creative writing paper. But the time travel book has a lot to do with my love for both science fiction and fantasy.
I grew up in very challenging circumstances. Both my father and grandfather died young under tragic circumstances. I struggled under abuse and poverty for much of my childhood. Fantasy and books were an escape. Thinking about escaping into other worlds or being able to have knowledge of the future and do things over again was a way to cope with ongoing trauma.
Who is your favorite author and why?
That’s a question I cannot answer. It’s like asking what’s my favorite food or place to visit. There are so many, and singling out one would not do the others justice. I’m big on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, George Orwell, and others.
How do you market your books? How much interaction do you have with your readers?
I engage fans on Twitter @realroyhuff and Facebook. I also have a mailing list, where I email fans periodically about projects and interesting facts and interests in my life at https://www.royhuff.net I also do periodic promotions, like the massive June 18 th Free Kindle promo of Everville: The Fall of Brackenbone and the 99 cents Kindle Countdown Deal for Everville books 1-4 boxed set. I will be taking top spots on Amazon, so be there or be square.
What words of wisdom do you have for young people who want to start writing their first book?
Show up, publish, iterate. Read what others have done. Find a mentor if possible. Develop constructive habits and a routine. Reflect on your routine. Find ways to focus and strive to improve that focus. If you get stuck, write anything, but keep writing. Don’t let others tell you whether you should write to market or write what you want. You can do both. Do what you want to do. Even if you don’t’ believe in yourself, have the courage to show up and write anyway. Everyone starts somewhere. Some people may believe it talent, but talent is just skill. And skill can be developed with deliberate practice, reflection, and mentorship.
Check out Roy Huff’s books, and follow him on social media!
Hello! I am sorry about the delay in the posting for this week. All of the work that I am doing for the book has been taking up all of my time, so every time I sit down to do a post, there are like fifty other things to finish. I love doing the work, but I am very tired at the end of every day.
So one of the important things I have learned through researching marketing techniques for Chasing Fae is the necessity of reviewers. Personally, I don’t usually read reviews before I choose to buy a book, but I know many people do. Several of my friends skim the first few reviews to see if a book will be any good. Reviews help sell books. They help gain credibility for an author, and they help find you new readers. Today, I’m going to share my best advice for reaching out to book bloggers and reviewers.
First, A Short List of Book Bloggers and Reviewers for Young Adults
Get To Know Your Chosen Reviewer And Their Platform
The key to securing the most opportunities to book bloggers and reviewers is to be organized. Take a look at the resources that I have posted above, and make yourself a list of reviewers that you might be interested in reaching out to. Please make sure to double check that they have had a few posts in the last couple months or so. Then explore the blogs that you have chosen. Explore the selection of their reviews. Get familiar with their work.
Make sure to specifically take note of their review policy. Here, you will find how to contact the person, what genres they are looking for at the time, and most importantly, what formats they want. This can change regularly. You also want to know what information to include in your email or contact form such as the title, publisher, and a brief summary. Here is a great article that is super helpful in learning how to format your emails to reviewers. Don’t forget to include a personal note of why you want this particular reviewer; connect it back to the person or the site.
Take Time To Plan These Things Out
I spent days putting together a good list of bloggers. I have spent days drafting and sending out messages so far, and I have a long way to go before I finish reaching out to everyone. You don’t want to give yourself just one day to get all of this done. It is a process and one that you’ll be spending time on while you revise, market, write, and market some more. Find some times every day to chip away at that long to-do list, and you will see it go down.
I like to keep a table of emails sent and responses received. It is way too easy to get busy with other pieces of the writing and publishing process and forget that you had outstanding requests to bloggers and reviewers. When I receive an email back from someone, I go back and add it onto my to-do list for the day: “Reply to Person X”. I mark it on my table, and then I remember to reply every time. If you don’t hear a response from someone that you’re expecting a response from or don’t hear in the time frame a reviewer has listed on their review policy, feel free to send a second email. Keep it short and polite with all of the impertinent information. And I can’t say it enough, keep track! Check your email regularly and keep updating your list or table (or both).
I’m back! I took some time off there to celebrate my mom’s and my boyfriend’s birthdays as well as to finish revisions for Chasing Fae. Last night, I submitted my book for copyediting, and it is one of the most exciting things I have ever experienced. At first, I was really nervous because after this, I can no longer change any content of the book. But now I am realizing that Chasing Fae is ready. It’s ready to be seen by the world, and the story is just perfect the way it is. I can’t wait to see how copyediting turns out!
Now that Book 1 is wrapping up officially, it is time to look towards Book 2. And for me, that means creating new characters and new storylines. Over the past couple days, I have been working on a few secondary characters who will play some major roles in the remaining two books of the trilogy. While I was working on those, I ended up explaining to a writer friend of mine how I like to approach my character building and my thought process during that stage. I thought I would share those thoughts with you today.
Tip #1: Consider your character’s flaws before their strengths.
One of the things that every strong character needs is well defined flaws. Without them, your characters will feel flat and unrealistic. While talking to a writer friend, I have figured out that I like to figure out my character’s flaws before I think about their strengths. Take Grace, for example. Some of her biggest flaws involve prejudice against the Fae, stubbornness, and an inability to trust after her brother’s death. These were flaws that directly related to the plot that I had in mind. All of these components were necessary for the story to progress and for Grace to transform by the end.
When I thought about Grace’s flaws, I felt like they easily lent themselves to finding corresponding strengths. While Grace has a heavy inability to trust, it also means that in the relationships that she engages in, she is extremely loyal. If someone meets her high threshold for trust, she is going to put her faith in them and protect them at all costs. Her narrow-minded thinking in terms of her hate for the Fae allows her to be a very comprehensive planner and disciplined in her training. She doesn’t want to take any unnecessary risks in her mission. This also connects with her stubbornness.
It is an interesting approach, but I have had good results from it, I think!
Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to really get to know your characters, even the little things.
I really enjoy getting inside my characters’ heads. I love to see what they have learned over their lives and what makes them tick. In my opinion, as a writer, it is important to sit down and truly speak with your characters. Ask them questions: not just about the big things, but about the little things too.
I like to give my characters birthdays, and more importantly, to align those birthdays with their zodiac sign. Sometimes I can pull traits from the description associated with those zodiac signs to add another layer to my characters. I’ll ask my characters all sorts of small things like their favorite color, their favorite foods, their favorite games growing up, etc. These details may not be relevant to your story, and in fact, your readers may never see this information at all. But I find that the characters feel more real when they have interests and hates and quirks that define who they are.
Tip #3: Backstory is so important.
One of the comments that I kept hearing from my editors was that there was a decent amount of space to include more backstory. Knowing your characters’ backstories helps to put everything in context for your readers. Understanding where Grace had been and what she cares about from her past moves the entire story forward and clarifies her motivations in a clear way. Backstory has to be incorporated throughout your book in conversations and in your character’s inner thoughts revealing themselves (most likely your protagonist). And you can incorporate a lot more into your book than you might think. Not so much that it consumes the actual plot, but enough to give your readers a sense of where your characters came from. So it is important to create a strong foundational past for your characters. Make sure to dedicate some significant focus to that area, and you should be just fine.
That is all of my insight for the day! Happy writing, everyone.
To my followers, thank you so incredibly much! My 60-day presale campaign was a success! Chasing Fae passed its $4000 publishing threshold on the very last day for a final total of $4140! Paperback and digital copies will be officially be published by New Degree Press in July 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot believe it, y’all. That childhood dream I have had for so long about publishing a book young is finally coming true. And it is all thanks to you. Thank you so much for buying, liking, sharing, posting, commenting, and every other method used to get me from $0 all the way to the end.
The publishing journey has been going great so far, and I am looking forward to having some new content for you all soon. I am actually wrapping up my final revisions in the next two weeks. I can’t wait to show you guys some of the cover ideas that are being created by the design team right now! Keep up with Fluff About Fantasy for the latest updates. I love you all. Thank you again.
Happy writing! (And to my beta reader community, happy reading!)
After going through my first round of revisions with my editor, I finally feel reasonably competent enough to discuss this subject! Whether it is a simple one-on-one scuffle or a full-scale battle, fight scenes are pretty integral to the fantasy genre. They make up some of the most memorable scenes that your reader will return to over and over again, if done right. Each scene should be approached with care to ensure that the scene feels natural, but intense. Today, I want to share with you my best tips to approaching a fight scene on any scale.
Tip #1: All fight scenes must move your plot and character development forward in some way. Do not include them just to have them.
Tip #2: Make sure you know your players.
Who is involved in this fight? Is it two people, or several, or a large multitude of characters? The more players you have, the more complex your battle is going to be. Before you even think about drafting this scene, think about each character and their fighting style. This is influenced by their size, any weapons training they may have or lack, if they are magical, etc. I also like to take into account my character’s emotions at the time. Are they fired up and ready to attack? Are they trying to escape from something, and this is the fight of their lives? There are often multiple emotions swirling around at once: fear, adrenaline, determination, heartbreak. As a writer, you have to balance these factors as you approach the actual physical process of the fight.
Tip #3: Consider the battlefield and the available resources.
Where is this fight taking place? The battle dynamics will be very different if it is taking place in an open field rather than a forest. Consider what cover is available and where would be the best place for an army to retreat to. When it comes to resources, you need to do some research into what kind of weaponry the characters involved in your fight are using. Each type of weapon comes with its benefits and its drawbacks, and in a big battle, the writer ends up showing a lot of both sides. If this is a fight between two armies, they each may have their own combat style as a group with those weapons. This requires you to understand your world’s history. Who knew so much background research could go into a battle?
Tip #4: Break down the chaos.
In actuality, a battle may only last a few minutes, or it could go on for days. Both of these situations require the writer to break down the moments into digestible pieces for the reader to absorb. That being said, by doing so, a few minutes can stretch out for pages and pages. So it is important to pick the moments to showcase and the times to step back and see more of the complete picture at once. Every movement should be written in an active voice. Make your reader feel every slash and connection of a sword to another’s body or their own. Describe the atmosphere: is the air thick with the smell of blood or smoke? The most important thing to do is to keep things active, descriptive, and fast-paced without making it too manic. Convey the chaos of the fight and the whirlwind of weaponry, bodies, and emotion without letting it all blend together too much.
I may modify this article as I move forward with writing the first draft of my sequel, which involves much more battles than the first. I am looking forward to it!