I am made of scar tissue
and knotted skin; thick enough
to shatter glass and break
the knives that cut me.
I have made a game of war,
and this body, gnarled and worn,
held together by nothing more
than stubborn, iron will,
has been the only weapon
I have known - forged by
battles won and battles lost.
So go on. Triggerfinger.
Let me taste the powder,
see the sparks, feel the fire.
Shoot me down, down, down;
I’ll rise from the ashes with your
bullet in my hand, and I will give
it back to you
in pieces.
—  ready. aim. fire. (l.v.) buy the full collection

This has been something Ive wanted to do for a long time. It’s a lot scarier and stressful than I thought it would be. I am still terrified and second guessing everything about this thing… But to hold this in my hands is worth it. Ive been writing since I was five years old and this is a dream come true. There will be more to come, thank you all for your support.

My book is out! 🍻Please spread the word if you don’t mind! Thank you guys again for putting up with all my blogging about it. I can’t thank you enough. And to the people who pushed me when I literally was about to call the entire thing off, you mean the world to me (you know who you are) 😘

The Pros and Cons of Publishing with a Small Press

The great publishing question… Traditional or self-published?

We all want to land a huge publisher so we can sit back on our laurels, but anyone who’s thrown their hat into the ring knows it’s a hard road to being accepted… and an even harder one negotiating a contract that gives you decent royalties, plus enough control over how your book is edited, what cover it’s given, and how it’s advertised.

On the flipside, being self-published is easy, but when it comes to hiring a cover artist, managing social media, holding marketing campaigns, trying to get into your audience’s ever-changing mind… You feel like giving up, and even if you don’t, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it out alive.

But who said it was an either-or?

There’s a third option for those putting the final touches on their manuscripts: A small press. Authors like Carolyn Mathews, author of Transforming Pandora, used a small press to benefit from the experience of a large publishing company and the control of going it alone. This middle ground means you don’t have to grovel or bash your head in.


  • You Have a Whole Team of Eyes

You’ve read self-published stuff before and you know what I’m about to say. Some of it is utter BBQ’d garbage, and unfortunately no one had the heart to tell them so. There are also some books with excellent potential, but who never really reached it. No author is safe from this mistake. Whether it’s bad typesetting or glaring plot holes, nothing is more valuable than an honest and objective eye to make sure your book really is as good as you think.

With a small press, you don’t have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. You have an entire team of eyes on your work to ensure every comma is in the right place, the chapter structure isn’t confusing, and that your character hasn’t suddenly switched personalities with someone else. This gives you peace of mind that the work you send out into the world really is the best it can be, with plenty of insights to back you up.

  • Fewer Start-Up Costs

With self-publishing, the costs are high. You have to hire a proofreader, an artist to create a cover, a typesetter, someone to critique your work, and someone to manage your social media (if you’d rather not do it yourself). That’s not including the price of printing and distributing, purchasing advertisement, etc., etc. You have to spend money to make money, and while the reader might only spend a few dollars for your book, you have to spend a notable amount to create something worth reading and then getting it in their hands.

With a small publisher, these expenses are theirs, and they also have the connections to ensure the money goes to the most profitable places. In some cases, your small press may negotiate for you to contribute to the cost of publication, but in any case, choosing the right publisher will ensure you get more for your money than self-publishing.  

  • There’s Less For You to Manage

Publishers exist because, like it or not, publishing is a full-time job. You may check your social media every day, but there’s more to it when you have to hold marketing campaigns, interact with followers, create newsletters, make guest-posts and content for your blog, and tailor your website to actually catch the attention of your audience.

A small press can handle this for you, putting people on the job with the experience and education to not only take this burden off your shoulders, but do it better and more regularly than you.

  • You Have More Control

As already stated, traditional publishers call all the shots. Do you like your current title? Too bad, it’s being changed. Hate that color scheme of this cover? Sorry, it’s what the genre likes. Think this section of your story is valuable? It can still be cut.

Small presses are more flexible when it comes to the decision-making process, giving you more freedom to keep titles, revise chapters, and put your foot down about keeping a certain character. Mathews’ book is a late coming-of-age novel about spirituality, hard choices, and lost loves, and she received some resistance on the spiritual element. However, with a small press, she was able to keep what she sees as one of the most valuable parts of the book. Even if they drive a hard bargain, smaller publishing companies will at least put more serious consideration into your suggestions.

  • Royalties Are More Evenly Divided

On average, a traditional publishing company will offer 5-15% royalties to authors, but some small presses will offer up to 50%.

The author of Transforming Pandora made a deal with her small press to “contribute towards the cost of production and [not] get any royalties for Transforming Pandora until 1,000 copies [were] sold.” However, “The contracts for the next two books, Squaring Circles and Pandora’s Gift are better. I get royalties from the start.”

You can negotiate with your small publishing company to make a deal that best works for you, with a lot more promising results than you’d find from the traditional route.


  • You Won’t Control Your Prices

Unfortunately, a publishing company is still a publishing company, and they only succeed if they’re able to make back the money they’ve invested in your work. This means most small presses don’t give authors control over the price their book is sold as.

Carolyn Mathews said, “I don’t have any control over the price of the paperbacks and ebooks, and can’t do any cut-price promotions – that’s all in the hands of the publishers.”

Mathews’ publisher has put her book on sale on Amazon for 99 cents until July 15th, but other ideas have had the breaks put on them. This is a gamble, since maybe you’re in the right – and maybe they are.

  • You Still Need Permissions

You wake up one morning with a brilliant idea of holding an author interview with your favorite podcast. It’ll drive sales; it’ll get your name out there! Hold the phone; don’t make contact with the podcast hosts yet. You still need to ask your small press for permission on things concerning your book, even after it’s been published. Running out there on your own will muddle their efforts and yours, and even if it’s a great idea, you still need to check in with the team before going forward.

  • You’ll Have Disagreements on What is “Necessary”

That podcast idea? Your small press might turn you down.

Like any cooperation, there’s going to be disagreements. While you’ll have more control over some elements of your book, your publisher may decide that a second round of proofreading isn’t what your book really needs. You need to be prepared to make compromises and accept some losses. Trust me, no author has ever been 100% happy with every element of the publishing process.

A very starry annoncement

Sorry for being very silent for the past few weeks, i’ve been working on the book and, good news! It’s finally done and ready to go tonight! I just need to place the images together along with a few minor adjustments!

The book should be ready for preorder tomorrow evening or on Thanksgiving!

For those who are interested, please let me know via direct message and i’ll be sure to add you on the VIP list!

Have a great evening!


I’m an aspiring novelist. I’m currently in the process of trying to complete and publish my first book, which will be a modern retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee, about the trials that two teenage boys face falling in love in an early time period. As an LGBT writer, I want to create more stories with diversity and representation available for teens and young adults.

I need to gain support, for this book. It seems a little silly to ask, but this will never become a thing unless there is a real following and genuine interest for the story. I was told that gaining interest on social media is the best and most efficient way to start my career and make a living from this.

Truly, this will NOT be able to happen without tremendous support from all of my followers, as well as anyone who wants to support diversity in young adult literature and young, aspiring authors.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you are at all interested in reading, knowing more about, or supporting me and this story, LIKE AND REBLOG this post. Gaining a following is one of the biggest and most important steps in gaining the momentum needed to self publish or to get a decent publisher, and any support, whether it is liking or reblogging this post OR following my blog, it would be IMMENSELY helpful.

Tumblr has always shown momentous support when it’s been needed, and I would really, really appreciate anyone who is willing to help get this jump started. I will be posting excerpts, updates, and recording my experience as it happens, as well as continuing my regular prompt filling that I do now.

Thank you SO much in advance, and please feel free to send me an ask if you’re interested in learning more!

When I was a kid I told myself I would be published by my 20s. In my head I always wanted it to happen before I turned 21. I don’t know why. In my nine year old mind that was an “adult”, and at the time there was a lot of hype around younger authors such as Christopher Paolini (who I adored and admired, btw). It was an achievable goal. But when I started college I was diagnosed with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I veered off course. The only thing on my mind was getting through each day; inch by inch, one day at a time. It was the only thing I had the energy, focus, and general capacity to do. I missed my goal of publishing by the time I turned 21. In fact, I barely wrote for years. Like I said, survival became my number one thought. At 23 I am still in recovery, but I’m happier than I’ve been in years. And I met my goal. I published my first book in my twenties. And now I get to hold that book, which documents, through poetry, my journey of growing with and in spite of my depression and anxiety. To everyone who has ever felt like tomorrow isn’t worth meeting: it is; I promise you, it is.

Perhaps we spent so long in the dark because we were supposed to learn how to make our own light.

You can read the title poem on my writing blog and you can buy the full collection here! I want to take a moment to thank all of my amazing Tumblr friends for all of their encouragement and support. You guys are incredible. 

@scornedscorpio and I made a children’s book! She did the writing and I did the illustrating. You can find it on Amazon here!

(yes I know that pteranodon aren’t dinosaurs)

A lot of them are based off of the oil paintings I did over the last two years, but there’s a few new ones in there, too!

Please help this project get backed! Just CLICK HERE to check out the Kickstarter.


I write every single day. Maybe it’s nothing large, maybe it’s a single line, but I do it. Every. Single. Day. After years and years of it, after five–FIVE–novels I’ve done nothing with, I AM SELF PUBLISHING ONE OF MY STORIES AND I AM SO EXCITED :D

Rose Burke has been trained to see the Fae as enemies. Conscripted by a mad King for her gift of the Sight, she has spent years isolating herself to become the best of the Scouts—a team dedicated to fighting the Fae.

But Rose’s first patrol in the Fae’s forest goes horribly wrong. Rescued then abandoned by an elven noble, Rose is captured and taken to the wicked Lord Caitiff, the ruler of a brutal Fae Court. Forced into servitude to save her life, Rose is gifted as a pet to the very elf that saved her in the woods, Faolan.

With the once great Court divided into factions—Lokkalfar and Dokkalfar Fae, light and dark—Rose discovers truths about the ancient wars that makes her question all she’s ever known. Desperate to keep another civil war from tearing the Fae apart, Faolan entangles her into his plot to bring down Lord Caitiff, and Rose vows to help keep the Fae tyrant from gaining more power—

A power that, long ago, brought down an entire human army.

My novel will be available in ebook format on Kindle, Kobo, and iBooks! Scheduled release is November 1st 2016!!

anonymous asked:

Hey Trista! Would you mind just briefly (and if you have time!) talking about your self publishing process? How did you go about it and how did you find the experience?

I worked with CreateSpace, had independent artists design the covers for my books, did a lot of Googling and looking at poetry books I own to get a feel for the interior formatting, and I’ve had a pretty positive experience. CreateSpace is super straightforward and almost any question you can have, someone’s already asked and had answered in the forums. Kindle formatting can be a little tricky if you have images in your books, but the print version is so super easy. CS is also owned by Amazon which I realize is a downside if you’re trying to be conscious about supporting small indie stores/etc instead of huge companies but it’s also the easiest way to get your book out to a lot of people for cheap. Costs you nothing upfront, so there’s no needing to buy in bulk and sell yourself. They ship almost everywhere. You also do have the option of buying your books for cheap in bulk and selling them yourself and you’ll see double the profit for this but it is way more time consuming and you should have a business license depending on your state, etc. If you come off anon, I can answer more specific questions you have about the process. 

anonymous asked:

Hi, I might be getting ahead of myself but I am planning on writing a small novel that I haven't even started and I've never done this before either!! Something that worries me is how can I get my story out there once it's done? I'd like to have it turn into a book and sold at brick and mortar stores but I hear this is not often as easy as it sounds. How would I get a hold of a publisher? Would I need a proofreader (?) as well? What are the chances of a book being published like I mentioned?

We are very lucky that we live in a time period where publishing resources are accessible. I would say in terms of publishing, look at Amazon’s self-publishing service first. There are some pros and cons to being self-published, you may like the benefits. Most of the pros come from that you have full control over your novel: design, editing, and marketing. Cons are you will most likely not have a profession editor like what you can get through traditional publishing, and that your work will not be marketed as well.

If you want your book to be sold in brick and mortar stores, that requires you to speak to a larger publishing agency. You are correct in thinking that it is pretty difficult to get published by a large agency. First, you will need to have your work accepted by a literary agent. Literary agents are the ones who handle getting work out to publishers. This is incredibly difficult, and most people are rejected the first time around. If/when your work is accepted by a publisher, they will take care of getting you an editor, a designer, and your marketing. How much time and money is invested in your work depends on how large the publisher is. 

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of marketing or editing, go for the traditional publishing route. It is more difficult but it sounds like what you want. If you just want to share your writing with the world, try self-publishing. 

xx Sarah

Are you into poetry? Do you support LGBTQ writers and poetry based on them?

I know I do, and I wanted to be one of them. So I present to you, Coffee and Sweaters, a chapbook of poems I’ve written as of late!

The struggles of being Trans, having an uncle who hates you, a boy who shattered your heart and much more.

Pick it up at:
Coffee and Sweaters