One of our own (as in fellow book blogger), MG Buehrlen, has made her authorial debut with the release of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare! So excited for her, and in love with the concept behind her book!
To help spread the word and celebrate the release I have a lovely guest post from MG talking about how blogging helped her get published, as well as a giveaway for one lucky winner! Please check out the post, and check out the book because it is a must-read!
5 Ways Book Blogging Helped Me Get Published
Guest post by M.G. Buehrlen
I’ve dreamed of being an author since I could put pencil to paper, but that dream was going nowhere fast. Once I immersed myself in the book blogging world, however, all that began to change. Within three years, I had my dream agent. Within four years, I had a publishing deal.
Here are five ways I believe book blogging helped take my career to the next level:
There is nothing more important than a solid writing community. Book blogging put me in touch with authors all around the world, authors who quickly became my friends and who have mentored me through countless revisions, queries, synopses, all of it. They’d been through the wringer and knew the drill, and they were sweet and kind enough to show me the way. (They’re still mentoring me, because I don’t think you ever stop learning in this biz.) I never would have gotten the insider advice I did if I hadn’t plunged into this amazing book-loving community.
Knowing What’s Out There
In order to keep YABC up-to-date with all the latest titles, *I* have to be up-to-date on all the latest titles. That means reading every book that crosses my desk. Back when I first started, I read a book a day to keep up with the huge stack of advanced copies publishers sent me each week. To sell a novel, you have to do your research. You can’t pitch something that’s already out there. Book blogging gave me a front row seat when it came to which books and genres and storylines were on popping up on the shelves, and which books were making readers foam at the mouth for the sequels.
Knowing What’s Selling
Book blogging also gave me the insider scoop on book deals as they happened in real-time. When a book deal is made, publicists send out the good news so book bloggers can spread the word and help drum up early excitement. This helped keep my finger on the current market trends. Not that I advise writing to trends, but knowing the current trends can be an advantage. Sometimes, when the market is too saturated with one certain trend, working on a book idea that’s outside the box could get you noticed by publishers. Conversely, if you have a manuscript that fits the trend, and you’ve got a unique spin on it, publishers might be more apt to sit up and take notice, too.
Another way book blogging helped was name recognition. If you’re respectful, diligent, and professional, publishers will take notice. And if you’re in it for the long haul, that dedication will shine through. People will remember your name, not just your blog’s name. They’ll learn what you’re about, see how hard you work, and see how passionate you are about getting that first book deal. Book blogging helped me build a name for myself in the industry long before I signed my first contract.
The most important thing I’ve gained as a book blogger are the writer friendships I’ve made along the way. Through this job, I’ve met kindred spirits, best friends, and trusted advisors. I built a critique group of authors who know my writing style, know what I’m trying to say, and can help point me in the right direction, creatively. Having a good critique group is so important, especially for newbies like me. I can learn more about the craft in one phone call with a critique partner than I can reading a dozen how-to books. And the inspiration and encouragement they give is unlike anything else, from anywhere else.
I’m not saying book blogging was a direct line to getting my first novel published. A great deal more went into it than that, but I do believe my book blogging experience sped up the process for me. Who knows where I’d be if I hadn’t started running YABC five years ago. I don’t think I’d have my first book on the shelf so soon. I might have even given up by now if I hadn’t plunged myself into this industry and devoted every waking moment to learning the ropes.
Book blogging wasn’t (and isn’t) just a hobby for me. It was a crash course in publishing, one I’m so glad I stumbled upon. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be involved with an amazing site like YABC and the amazing group of book reviewers who run the site with me. And I’m happy to stand side-by-side with incredible blogs like Literary Rambles and all the others I’ve come to know and love over the years.
The online book community is the absolute best.
Title: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare
Author: MG Buehrlen
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: March 4, 2014
One girl. Fifty-seven lives. Endless ways to die.
For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
Buy the Book!
- Open oInternationally!
- Must be 13 years old to enter.
- ONE winner will win a finished copy.
- Winner will be contacted by email to inform them they won.
- Winner has 48 hours to respond with mailing address or a new winner will be chosen.
- NO PO BOXES as prizes tend to be lost when sent there.
- I claim no responsibility for lost prizes.
- Once recipient has received prize, all personal information is deleted.
Meet the Author
She’s the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website
YABooksCentral.com, a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers.
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is her debut novel. M.G. lives nestled away in Michigan pines, surrounded by good coffee and good books, with her husband and son and three furbabies.