3 Reasons Indie Authors Should Continue Following Literary Agents

After looking over my options and deciding to move forward as an Indie Author, I stopped following agents on twitter and stopped paying attention to anything to do with query letters. This was a mistake. Here are three major reasons why Self-publishers and Indie Authors should still pay attention to agents and query how to’s.

1. Skill

Have you ever read the description of your favorite movie on Netflix? Chances are good it sounds terrible even though you know it’s the best movie ever. It takes tremendous skill to describe a good story in a few words is difficult. Incredibly difficult and guess what? If you can write a good query letter you stand a much better chance at writing a good book blurb for your back cover or description online. It’s all about practice.

2 Agent’s know what they are talking about

I know a lot of really famous books and authors were self published and I am not saying that if you don’t fit into an agents tidy little box of wonders you should give up. Far from it. That being said, if you are writing a Paranormal Romance and you see that agents don’t want that you can learn from it.

I write an urban fantasy series that is very paranormal and definitely has some romance but I am doing things to try to make my books stand out in the crowd. If I didn’t know the market was flooded prior to writing I might not have thought about this and ended up with a lot of hard work that wouldn’t pay much in the end. I am by no means saying only write what in hot right now. If you tried you would never publish a book because what’s hot is constantly changing so unless you can write, edit, and rewrite a book in a week don’t try that. Write the book you want to write, but if the genre is over flowing give it a new twist. Something to help it stand out. Agents can help in this. Ever read their wish-lists?

This can also help you if you do want to work with an agent in the future. I am definitely open to working with an agent in the future and part of me still wants to be one. I just have a love on my plate with writing at the moment.

3. Marketing

Agents are all about a sellable book. Their livelihood and yours, if you choose to self-publish, is about the market and people are looking for. By watching Agents and studying queries you can learn how your book fits in and get a leg up on the competition.

For more about my writing Click Here

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Wrote this awhile ago and just posted it to my author blog what do you think?

Cameron Quinn

Quick intro on this one. When my husband got out of the Marines he talked about working for a mercenary company, about how good the pay was. We were also looking to buy a house that was really too far from my family if he were to be gone six months out of the year. As a result this fear arose. I had been studying kung fu for over a year and was pregnant with our second child when this story came to me in the form of a lucid dream while we were viewing the house. I hope it scares you as much as it scared me. 

I woke with a start. My eyes wide, my heart pounding and my breathing labored. Adrenalin pulsed through my veins.

What was it? There had been a sound. I force myself to close my eyes and focus. The sounds of the house greet me. The ice maker…

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Writing: It’s a MARATHON

Have you had one of those moments where you were trying and trying and trying to do something and it just isn’t working and you are so frustrated you are cursing in ways that could make a sailor blush? You’ve got what ever it is you are working on and you are wound up and ready for the throw that would make Tom Brady jealous?

That was me with my first draft. Since NaNoWriMo 2014, I have been increasingly frustrated with my writing. Or lack there of.

When I was first introduced to the idea of writing sprints (in October 2014) I wrote over 900 words. First time. My second I wrote over 600. As a result I came to expect close to 1000 every time I sat down at the computer for thirty minutes. Which was unrealistic.

My husband constantly told me to relax, calm down and create a realistic goal. Which naturally pissed me off. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted to sit down and write 1000 words in thirty minutes. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I hadn’t written or thought about writing in close to a year. (It was a rough year. TurboTax told me so. Seriously I put in my info in and it said “Wow! Sounds like you had a rough year!”)

So I did what I always do when writing doesn’t come easy. I procrastinated. I started reading blogs about writing process under the guise of looking for helpful information. I watched youtube videos about writing and I avoided reading my best friend’s final draft.

Why? Because she was successful where I couldn’t seem to pull it together. She has always been one step ahead of me in the writing department. And by one, I mean about five. So really this wasn’t anything but I was avoiding it because i somehow felt if I could get my first draft finished from start to end or end to start (I don’t care much how I do it at this point) then she wouldn’t be completely leaving my in the dust. I would have something.

All the writing I was avoiding was building up. And all the writing advice I was getting was pretty much the same. There were a few things that really stuck out. The first was when I read a NaNoWriMo pep talk by Veronica Roth (click here to read it for yourself).  She basically said to let it go. Let go of everything but the writing. While I read it I thought it was a good idea but it was still just a suggestion in the back of my mind.

Meanwhile, I was writing two to four hundred words a day that I felt were just, well, crap. And with each shitty word, I felt more and more like throwing my computer out the window and letting the whole thing go.

Then I saw a little inspirational picture on Twitter that said. “First drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written.” So I filed that away under the next time frustration builds up, and moved on. Still writing small amounts of crappy words, now with occasional bit of what I consider workable material. Small win!

Then I saw a youtube video by M. Kirin. (Click here to view the video) Where he said, NaNoWriMo is about creating the habit. That resonated with me. Then he says, “You define your own success.” Pretty sure he worded it slightly differently but you get the idea and I encourage you to watch it for yourself if you are struggling with the process or writers block. Or if you are just looking for an entertaining way to procrastinate that leaves you feeling inspired, M. Kirin is your man.

The last bit of my epiphany was this morning after writing 566 words. Most of which were more than tolerable, if I do say so myself. Anyway, I read a tweet that said writing is a marathon on #amwriting. It was like being hit by a truck. I actually said “Holy s***” How did I not see this before? With all the sprinting and NaNoWriMo challenges and my own goals, something got lost. A novel is not a sprint, sure you can sprint parts of it but you can’t sprint from beginning to end. At least not in the beginning. When you haven’t even finished one first draft from beginning to end. (Which I haven’t. I get caught up in making it perfect which a first draft is never going to be or it will never get done. I recently learned) My favorite Romance Author, wrote my favorite book in two weeks. But she’s this kind of super human writing machine that has been writing her entire life and has it all figured out.

So for those of us still trying to figure it out, how do you run a marathon? You start out slow. You train for months prior. You build up your muscles and you create good habits!

So what I realized is: If you take your time and build the habits someday you will have a first draft. lol No. I mean I hope that someday you will have first draft but if you keep at it if you create the habit every time you start the marathon, you will have the tools to finish. Maybe not as fast as you would like but you will finish. More importantly, if you don’t cross the finish line its O.K.! Get up and try again. 50k in thirty days is a lot. But it’s not unattainable. Even if you don’t get to the coveted 50k the first year or the second year, you never know. Next November could be your year. Build the habits, live the dream. And pace yourself, after all it’s a marathon.

And all the above, is just the first draft. I hear once the first draft is complete, that’s when the real work begins.


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Our First Video Discussion For Judging By The Cover!

Here is our first video discussion for Judging by the cover!

If you have read Divergent by Veronica Roth check this out🙂 and let us know what you think.🙂



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Judging By The Cover

My Best Bud Sara and I will be making our first book club video this evening on Google Hangouts! The page is called Judging By The Cover as that is how we choose books. tonight’s discussion is on Veronica Roth’s Divergent!! I cannot wait to hear what Sara thought!. I will be posting the link later I hope you all head over and find the page ahead of time though. The photo is old book pages.

See you all later!

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Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth and Why I Agree With The Ending

So this going to be less of a book review and more me defending the ending of Divergent. I put a review on goodreads.com if you feel the need to check it out but honestly I always feel a little odd reviewing books since I don’t want to give too much of the story away.

SO for the purposes of this review **SPOILER ALERT** I am going to let all the secrets out. This is more for people who read the book and felt that the ending was too sad.

In the end of Divergent, lots of people die and it is really sad. However, this is a dystopian novel. Set in a world where Faction rules and family is far less important. Or at least that is what they want you to think. Tris, the MC chooses to leave her birth Faction, Abnegation, for the more exciting Dauntless. Once in the Dauntless compound she is essentially trained to kill and defend herself. She is a Divergent and we Suspect that her BF Four is as well. Divergent people are somehow immune to the serum used during Dauntless training in which you are put into a simulation of your greatest fears and forced to face the. A divergent person is aware they are in a simulation and can change it while normal people cannot. (I thought this was so freaking cool!)

At the end, it turns out another Faction, The Erudite aka the creators of the serum, have created a way control the Dauntless and are using them to take out Abnegation, AKA the Government. Now, we find out earlier in the book that Tris’ mother was Dauntless born and chose Abnegation. So naturally she kicks ass but ends up sacrificing herself for her daughter.

A lot of people might cry at this but as a parent it is not even a choice, you do what you have to do for your kids and I can respect her for that.

Next, Tris is face to face with her friend Will, from Dauntless training. He is fully under Erudite control and is pointing a gun at her. She shoots and kills him. I do kind of wish this could have gone down differently but The Erudite Drones, as I am going to call them, are not at all aware so you cannot just wound them and hope they stop because they won’t. They are essentially human computers and they don’t stop until their hearts stop. She was also already wounded and had lost a lot of blood. This was really the only reasonable choice she had. And while it sucks, she is haunted by it so you know she isn’t a complete monster.

Next she infiltrates the Dauntless compound where the main program is and her father ends up sacrificing his life for her. Again as a parent I get it. It does make for a really bad day for Tris though.

So now it is just her and her BF Tobias, who is under a special form of the simulation specifically for Divergents. At this point she cannot kill anyone else, understandably, and pleads with Tobias to recognize her. And in true lovey dovey fashion he does.

I loved this, I did not like that Peter and Marcus lived but I have a feeling they will get what’s coming to them in the near future, aka the next book Insurgent, which I will be reading soon. Or in the last one, I cannot remember the title.

I completely agree with Veronica in her ending. It was tragic but in all the right ways. I do still feel bad about Will but I believe that encounter will end up being a key part in her development as a character.

I hear over and over again, don’t be afraid to be mean to characters in your writing. Veronica Roth has mastered it and I think it made for a better story.

If you have not read the book, I am sorry because I just gave up the ending for you but hey I said spoiler alert, you should get a copy!



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Book Review: The Cove by Ron Rash

This is kind of hard to explain. This was a book club book so I had to finish it. I would not have read the whole thing if not for that. I am not the kind of person who feels obligated to finish a book just because I start it.

This is actually the first book I have finished and thought I will never read this again.

That being said I am very glad I was forced to finish it because the end was actually kind of amazing.

So this is a book that I wouldn’t read again but I am glad I read it and even recommend it to my sister… if you are confused don’t feel bad I am too.

I might even read his other book. It’s strange I suggest you just read and see for yourself.

I give this book two out of five stars I guess…

Our next book club book is Divergent by Veronica Roth

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