Podcast Episode: It’s Never Too Late With Megha Upadhyaya

Hey everybody, check out this newly released podcast episode for It’s Never Too Late With Megha Upadhyaya. I had a lot of fun recording this with Megha, and I am so excited to share it with all of you. We’re chatting today about worldbuilding, writing fantasy, and the concepts that have inspired me. Available on the following platforms for listening:

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

Pocket Casts

TuneIn

Anchor.fm

Podcast Republic

Overcast

RadioPublic

Featured

GIVEAWAY ALERT!

Hello friends! I want to start off the week with a bang by sharing with you my very first giveaway! I’m giving away FIVE Kindle copies of Chasing Fae at the end of September. All it takes is following the link below to share your email address with Fluff About Fantasy. Plenty of opportunities for bonus entries as well by following me on various social medias.

Click here to learn more!

Lessons From My Launch

Hey everybody! I hope you all are having a great week so far. Things are getting a little hectic at my house as both my sister and I are gearing up for the start of school on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to my junior year even though I’m spending it at home. I have a great lineup of classes in the history, Latin, and anthropology departments, and I’m writing my capstone this semester. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep it all straight!

My debut book launch was last Monday, and it has been an amazing time so far! I had a great week of promotion and sales and all-around fun with my family and friends to celebrate. I am still so surprised that I am now a published author. I can’t believe that Chasing Fae is out in the world and getting so much great reception from readers! Today, I want to share a little bit about what worked for me during this launch and what the results have been so far as we come around to around the two week mark of my launch.

Results From the First Two Weeks

Let’s start off with some stats. In the last two weeks, I have sold 86 Kindle ebooks and 16 paperbacks so far, excluding the number that I sold as part of my presale campaign to fund the publishing process. I am super satisfied with this progress because with the limited marketing that I have done so far, I feel like this was amazing progress. I also made my way to the top 100 list for YA epic fantasy on August 6th at #100. The listing was only up for a day, but it was such an amazing feeling to see my book alongside all of my favorite authors. I took screenshots of the entire list so I could remember that moment forever.

Here’s What Worked For Me

There are a few specific things that worked well for me during launch week that I want to pass on to you.

  • Bargain Booksy and ReadFreely: I saw a sizeable jump in sales mid-week during the days that I picked my newsletter promotions to be. I had both of these on the same day, so I cannot be 100% sure which one I can attribute to it. But ReadFreely also did an amazing job in tweeting out my promotions constantly for about a week or so. I loved seeing them pop up throughout the day.
  • Having lots of great friends on Twitter and Facebook: Getting involved in the Writing Community on Twitter and Facebook and keeping your family and friends informed about your writing process can really help boost your launch when it’s time. I had tons of people retweeting and sharing my links all day, and it led to a great buzz. Lots of my friends went ahead and ordered on launch day, and throughout the week, I got pictures of people receiving their paperbacks or confirmations of Kindle orders. They really made me smile. Writing can be such a lonely process, so it’s important to make connections with other writers to lift each other up.
  • Virtual Blog Tour: I spent several weeks leading up to my launch securing key guest post, interviews, and excerpt feature slots to promote my book. I got a lot of cross traffic to my website and definitely a few sales. As a new author, this was a way to get my name out to a lot of readers at once and offer insights into myself and my book. I honestly loved it. I hope to do more guest posts and interviews going forward.

What I Wish I Would Have Done

There are also a couple things I would have done differently in my launch that I hope to incorporate in my second book launch.

  • Have a Dedicated Launch Team: I needed to send out more advanced review copies and have a few dedicated people who would talk about my book over the first few days. I was so lucky to have people who shared and posted out of the kindness in their hearts and their friendships with me, but I could definitely use a little more organization next time for my own peace of mind.
  • Promoting My Launch Party Earlier: My Facebook launch party on Wednesday, August 5th was a pretty solid success, despite the technical issues. I would have loved to have promoted that across my other social medias more so that I would have had a bit more engagement on my giveaways in particular.

In Conclusion…

All in all, my book launch has been very successful so far. I hope that as I enter the fall semester of my junior year, I will be able to work out a good balance between marketing, writing book 2, and keeping this website flowing with more posts about the craft of fantasy writing. Wish me luck on that, folks.

Featured

CHASING FAE IS OUT NOW!

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!

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle *** special offer: $0.99 from now until August 31st ***

Kobo

Chasing Fae Releasing On August 3rd!

SURPRISE!

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!

We’re so close to publication! Get excited!!!!

The Writing Community Podcast

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!

Chasing Fae: A Call To Action!

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:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CadyHammer

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fluffaboutfantasy/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fluffaboutfantasy/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cadyahammer

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 cadyahammer@gmail.com.

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.

Article Series

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!

Goodreads

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.

Other Ideas

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
  • Book Giveaways
  • 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!

WE MADE IT!!!

HOORAY!

HOORAY!

HOORAY!

CHASING FAE WILL BE PUBLISHED!

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!)

Presenting… The Three Realms Maps

Hello fantasy lovers! I am so excited to share something special with you. Recently, I decided to add three maps of the Upper, Middle, and Lower Realm to the front of my paperback book. I had originally wanted to work this idea into my hardcover as a special insert, but when I heard I could do it for the paperback, I just had to jump in. I have been absolutely swamped with exams and exam studying for the past week or so (which is part of why I missed last Saturday’s post). My amazing boyfriend offered to take over the mapmaking process for me to relieve some of my stress. And boy, am I glad he did! He took my ideas and my mockup map from over two years ago and created something truly spectacular with them. He spent hours working with Inkarnate’s map-making software. I hope you all love them as much as I do!

The Importance of Balance

It is absolutely crazy to be going through revisions again!

The entire process has been a whirlwind so far, even though I’m only five chapters in to my revisions as of the time of writing this post. Every time I work through a chapter on my own, it comes back with lots of wonderful comments and markings from my editor, Kristy. She asks lots of questions that makes me think about which sections to elongate and which to elaborate on. Every chapter has new notes to work through, and I’m actually really excited that some are starting to make me sit down and take the time to puzzle them out. Revising takes time. A lot of time. Mixing schoolwork and revising and promoting the presale campaign can be challenging at times, but I really couldn’t be more thrilled doing it.

The most interesting thing about the revisions so far has been the discovery that I held myself back! As a first time author, I was determined to not make any of the pitfalls in my drafts. I wanted to keep my backstories concise and not excessive and make sure I wasn’t describing every new character’s appearance in too much detail. I wanted to make the setting immersive, but not so descriptive that the book feels like more description than plot.

But suddenly, both my editors told me that I could be adding more! I could be doing more! All of that information that I had held back in my notes and kept from my draft can start to be integrated into the book!

Do you have any idea how exciting that is?!

So, as I am learning all of these exciting things myself, let me give you a few tips about what areas are okay to elaborate on, as long as you keep a good balance.

Area One: Character Descriptions

When I was working on Chasing Fae, I was very concerned about mentioning my characters’ appearances. I knew that while it was important to ground your reader through physical description, it had to be done in such a way that it didn’t feel formulaic. You know: hair, eye color, height, etc. all in a few sentences stashed near the introduction of the character. So I actually spread out my physical descriptions over a couple of chapters.

It turns out I did need to rework some of that, particularly for my main characters in order to give more of a physical sense much earlier. Also, it is actually really important to ground your small secondary and tertiary characters with some sort of visual element so your readers can visualize. The more I see the note, the more I begin to recognize the importance of it.

Area Two: Setting

Each moment in space and time can be talked about, even if it is only a couple of sentences. Every time there is a distinct transition in location, I find myself seeing more notes about taking a breath and letting my readers know where we are and what it looks like, what it smells like, what it feels like. I find that I need to work on expanding my writing on the different senses. I am good at talking about what my characters are seeing and what they are feeling in particular, like a light breeze or the sun bearing down on them. But I could use some work on what my characters are hearing and smelling. It doesn’t need to be in every description of a setting, but I think it does add another layer to the reader’s sense of place in your book.

Area Three: Pacing and Layering

One of the most significant compliments that I received on my manuscript from my Acquisitions editor was that my level of tension throughout the book was spot on. However, I am starting to realize that just because your tension is right doesn’t mean there isn’t more to work on in terms of pacing. My editor has pointed out to me several times over the first few chapters that there are moments where I can slow it down a little bit. I can add a few more paragraphs to clarify setting or character backstory and motivation or just take a moment to let everybody take a breath. My book is on the low end of the young adult fantasy genre’s typical word count (80k), so I have a decent amount of room to work with. The story has space for more layers, and I am finding new ways to add fresh life to Chasing Fae.

I hope that this inspires you to loosen yourself up a little bit with your descriptions in your writing. There is space! And if there isn’t, trust me, someone will tell you. Happy writing, everyone!