Monday, January 27, 2014

Sixteen: Blog Tour

Today I have the great privilege of welcoming the lovely Emily Rachelle and her newly released novella, Sixteen! I am so excited for you, Emily, as you take this first step in paving your way into the literary world. At this tour stop, Emily’s going to tell us a little bit about her self-publishing journey and the huge team it took to make this work happen.



Check out Emily's celebratory giveaway here. 

Writers everywhere will agree if you compare their works to children. We can’t pick favorites, we’re blind to their faults, and we love them unconditionally. There’s a saying originating who-knows-where that says “It takes a village to raise a child.” I really don’t know what the original sentiment or truth in this statement is, but if we’re talking about books as kids, it’s one of the truest things I’ve heard.

All writers know theirs is a lonely art. Solitude is basically a requirement at some point. While modern media and writers’ groups have opened up countless new opportunities, there always comes a time when a writer just needs to be alone and write. However, there’s also numerous points in the writing and editing stages that are tremendously improved by outside feedback. Plus, unless one is as skilled at computer code and artistic design as he is at writing, the self-publishing process requires hired help.
I know there’s an acknowledgements page in my book talking about all these wonderful folks, but really, how many people read that page? These guys deserve more than that. So today, I’m introducing you all to the many fabulous friends I’ve met on my road to debut indie status.

Support and teaching: Before there was a writer, there was a child. A child taught to read and write, a child taught to love stories, a child taught to finish what she started. For such a strong foundation, I have my parents, Grandma Engle, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Wolfanger, and the Go Teen Writers community created by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson. Plus, a shoutout to Catherine Ryan Howard (http://catherineryanhoward.com/) and the ladies Toni and Shannon of DuoLit (http://selfpublishingteam.com/) for guiding me along this tricky indie road.

Beta Readers: That moment when you first release your baby to someone else’s eyes? Nothing more terrifying. Of course, it helps when you have a supportive, understanding crew who have been, are, or will be in the same boat. Abbie, Melanie, Katelyn, Bethany, Jaedyn, Clare, and Becki all had wonderful things to say about my book. Their reactions to the story shocked my socks off. I mean, every parent totally adores their kid and expects everyone else to, but then every parent also knows that’s all parents’ dream, and they’ve seen the nightmares some other parents parade around. So when people actually do love your baby that much? Why, you copy and paste all the best bits of praise into a separate document, saved forever on your hard drive.

Editor: Just… just go visit her yourself: http://www.rachellerea.com/ I’m serious; I’ll wait. My own words could never sum up the Wonder Woman that is Rachelle Rea. The only things I hate more than editing are salad and spiders, but I love my editor.

Gamma Readers: Because I needed another set of readers to make sure all my post-editing changes worked, I made up this term. “Gamma” is the next Greek letter after “beta.” Basically, these people were beta-reader-proofreaders, but with ARCs instead of a draft of the story. Eva Joy, Aidyl, Bethany, Natalie, Sam, and Jillian. I do have a favorite gamma reader, I’ll admit, because Sam Graber was the super guy who turned all my Wordpad files into Microsoft Word files every time I needed it.

Cover Designer: This was where the rubber met the road. Cover design and formatting, along with the editing and writing level, make or break an indie author. But they were also far more difficult to find than an editor, since I didn’t know anyone in the business! (Rachelle and I were friends before I hired her.) It was a tricky game of balancing cost, quality, turnaround time, customer testimonials, and portfolio -- but for this book, I finally landed on Melody Simmons of http://ebookindiecovers.com/. I was fortunate to find one of her pre-made covers that fit the story nicely, with a few tweaks, and she’ll be in charge of the matching paperback cover.
Formatter: There’s actually two formatters involved for Sixteen. I hired Nadege Richards from https://www.facebook.com/InkstainInteriorBookDesigning for paperback formatting. There’s official manuals for both Kindle and Smashwords formatting; Nadege did Kindle for me, so I figured doing just one kind of formatting following a step-by-step manual couldn’t be that hard for me. Except two problems: I had neither Microsoft Word nor the time to DIY. Once again, it’s all about who you know. Zara Hoffman (http://www.zarahoffman.com/), a friend and fellow member of Go Teen Writers, volunteered to do my Smashwords formatting, for free, in less than a week. All I can say is wow -- and thanks!

Actually, that’s really all I have to say to the entire crew involved. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve come this far. You’re all a part of it, you know. Every reader who buys my book will have a part in my writing journey; I couldn’t be a proper or successful author without readers. So to everyone listed in this article, to every single person who buys my book, and to the God Who gave me words, I have just one thing to say: Thanks.

Born in Panama, Emily Rachelle has traveled throughout the country and the world with her Air Force family. Currently, she lives with her parents and three brothers in middle Georgia. While Emily enjoyed reading as far back as she remembers, writing didn't come to her until she learned the forms of poetry and the basics of story in fourth grade. Since then, she's written scripts for homeschool dramas, poems for birthday presents, and stories for friends and family to enjoy. Sixteen is her debut into the professional world of words.

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Born in Panama, Emily Rachelle has traveled throughout the country and the world with her Air Force family. Currently, she lives with her parents and three brothers in middle Georgia. While Emily enjoyed reading as far back as she remembers, writing didn't come to her until she learned the forms of poetry and the basics of story in fourth grade. Since then, she's written scripts for homeschool dramas, poems for birthday presents, and stories for friends and family to enjoy. Sixteen is her debut into the professional world of words.

I actually had the opportunity to read Sixteen for myself (review coming shortly!) and I’d encourage you all to check it out. You can purchase Emily’s debut on Amazon or Smashwords. 
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Emily! Best of luck in your writing endeavors! 

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