Everyone, please welcome Stacey O'Neale, creator of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide! Thank you Stacey for gracing my blog with your informative site. I hope you all enjoy the guest post and make sure you stop by to support her work: http://www.yafantasyguide.com.
One question I get asked a lot is: Why did you create the YA Fantasy Guide?
The simple answer is that I wanted to be a career writer, but I had no contacts in the publishing world. I was just a simple girl with a manuscript and a dream. I submitted my queries and received one rejection after another. After receiving all that rejection I could've given up (most do), but I didn't. Instead, I looked around to see what I did wrong. Why don't they love me?
That's when I learned that becoming a successful writer takes more than writing skill and a cool story. It takes a great literary agent, a publisher with marketing money to spend, media presence, and a little luck. You can find exceptions, but for most of us, you need the full package.
Unfortunately, the full package is hard to come by which means you have to get creative. You have to make a name for yourself. You have to become your own marketing team even before you get an agent. The best way to do that is by injecting yourself into the world of social media. You need to join Twitter and Facebook, but also create a blog/website that's interesting.
By interesting, I mean that it can't be all about your writing. Why? Because you're unpublished. Who would want to read excerpts from a book they can't read? Exactly, so your website needs to be interesting to people other than you. That's where you have to get creative. Figure out how to create a website that interests viewers, but also ties to you.
I chose to create the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. I read mostly young adult fantasy novels, but I couldn't find a website dedicated solely to that subgenre. My website is home to the best books in YA fantasy. A place where readers have access to book recommendations, articles, contests, author interviews, and my blog. This gives me a chance to interact and build relationships with readers and fans of the genre that I happen to write in.
Due to the success of the website, I've created relationships with literary agents, established authors, publicists, and publishers. Now, when my manuscript is ready, I have actual publishing credits that I can add into my query letter. Today, I'm a girl with a manuscript, a dream, and a built-in audience. I prefer the view from here much better!
Stacey O'Neale is a full-time writer and webmaster of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide: http://www.yafantasyguide.com. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can find her on Twitter (@YAFantasyGuide) and her blog: http://www.staceyoneale.wordpress.com.