30 Steps to Writing, Publishing & Selling a Book

I’ve pretty much spent the last ten years writing middle grade books and trying to get them published. Which means that as much as I’ve been writing, I’ve also been trying to figure how to navigate the publishing landscape.

But I’ve come to realize that I may never really have it figured out. There are so many variables that go along with having a book published and even though the pub date of my own middle grade book is fast approaching, I still have so much to learn. The whole process has gotten me thinking about what it takes to get a book written in the first place, what it takes to then get it published, and all that has to be done to get it into the hands of readers.

Whether your book is being published by one of the Big 5 houses, a small independent press, or someplace in between, there are some commonalities. So I thought it would be fun to put those commonalities out there in plain sight. Why? Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes it’s motivating to see just how far we’ve come already and helpful to know what may be ahead.

I’ve broken this whole thing down into 3 phases: Writing a Book, Getting a Book Published, and Selling a Book. Again, these are based on my own experiences and observations. I’m still trying to make sense of it all, so if you have anything to add, feel free to comment below and I’ll write it right in!

10 Steps to Writing a Book:

  1. Think up a unique story premise, or a unique twist on a classic story premise.
  2. Brainstorm ideas for characters/ plot/setting.
  3. Create a general plot outline.
  4. Set up a world in which the story will be told.
  5. Create character profiles.
  6. Write a first draft manuscript.
  7. Revise the first draft—over and over and over again.
  8. Get feedback from critique partners and beta readers, and revise manuscript again.
  9. Let the manuscript sit for a while so it can be re-read with a fresh perspective.
  10. Repeat steps 7-9—until you feel manuscript is ready to submit to literary agents and/or editors.

These steps can vary a bit, and each step has many more detailed steps within them, but in general, this is what it takes to write a book…and it can take a very long time.

10 Steps to Getting a Book Published:

  1. Write a really good manuscript.
  2. Submit the manuscript to literary agents in hopes of gaining representation.
  3. Once you receive representation, revise manuscript based on agent’s feedback.
  4. Wait while literary agent submits your manuscript to editors at publishing houses.
  5. Once offer is made, sign the contract.
  6. Wait for edit letter from your assigned editor.
  7. Based on editor’s feedback, revise your manuscript again. This step may take several rounds.
  8. Based on managing editor’s feedback, revise again, and send off to copy editor.
  9. Wait for your advanced reader copy to come and celebrate—then review for errors.
  10. Wait for your book to release!

But wait! That’s not all, unless you don’t mind if your book never sells.

Say what?

During the Getting a Book Published phase, there are many other things that a writer needs to do so that when their book sells to a publishing house, it will sell to the public well. Again, I’m no expert on all this but there are some things that need to be done no matter what publishing house your book sells to or how big your marketing budget from them is. Because think about it—if no one knows about your book, they will not buy it. And really, with literally millions of books available on Amazon alone, it will be very difficult for your book to stand out if you resist doing them. It’s important to embrace your inner sales/ marketing persona and do the following…

10 Steps to Selling A Book

  1. Create an author website so booksellers, librarians, readers, and educators can find your book.
  2. Become active on social media so that you can connect with people around the world.
  3. Provide your publisher with a list of connections that you already have—people who may wish to read an early copy of your book and review it on sites like Goodreads, NetGally, and Amazon.
  4. Create a book trailer. Even though this is optional in many cases, if your publisher doesn’t create one for you, create one yourself. People are visual and a visual representation of your book that can be shared by people who want to help your book succeed (like family, friends, and critique partners) will make a big difference.
  5. Do an ARC giveaway. Making your advanced copies available will help create interest in your book—and who doesn’t love sharing books with people who might be interested?
  6. Do author events at bookstores and schools. Again, if no one has heard of you or your book, they probably won’t buy it.
  7. Plan a launch party. What better way to celebrate your achievement and generate interest in your book than having a party in your own hometown?
  8. Reach out to local bookstores and libraries. Offer to do a reading or volunteer in some other way at author events. Book buyers will be more likely to buy your book if you’ve made a personal connection with them.
  9. Promote the books of other authors or team up with other authors to do a cross promotion. Help each other out. Don’t think of other authors as your competition. There’s more than enough readers for all the great books out there!
  10. Don’t try to sell your book. You’ll come across as a slime-y salesperson. No offense to salespeople. Most are not slime-y! Instead, create relationships with potential readers. It’s okay to hide in your writing cave some of the time. You are a writer after all! But it’s important to be out in the world too, meeting people the old fashioned way and through social media. Remember, if no one knows you, or knows your book is even a book, they won’t ever get to read it. And isn’t that the point of all this, to tell our stories and share them with other people?

It may seem daunting—and it is! But if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already done the hardest part. You’ve written a book! So whether you’re deep into revisions, deep in the query trenches, deep in the submission stage, or deep in the black hole of promoting your book, just know that you have readers out there waiting for your book. That alone should motivate you to keep going…keep writing, keep making connections. Only then will readers be able to hold your book in their hands and turn that first page.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. I’m always trying to make sense of this publishing mystery. If I’ve helped you unravel it in some small way as well, then yay!

Thanks for checking in, my friends. It’s great to connect with you all. Good luck with your writing endeavors, whatever they may be. I’m deep in the promotion hole right now for Spin the Golden Light Bulb and just I finished up edits for its sequel. It’s been a little crazy going through this process for two books with staggered release dates, but I’m figuring it out as I go! This weekend I took a break to read a fantastic MG for one of my critique partners. It’s been great to step away from my own work and immerse myself in a story completely different from my own—and an amazing one at that!

Let us know what you’re working on and even what stage in this process you’re at. It really helps to hear from other writers who are working their way through this publishing journey too.

Have a great week and I’ll check with you guys again soon!

Hugs,

Jackie ❤

Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Cover pic- standing

 

 

 

Writing with the 4 Classical Elements- Take 2

This website turned 4 a few weeks ago, and feeling nostalgic, I spent the afternoon searching through the links to my early blog posts. I found one in particular that caught my eye. I wrote it in August, 2014 back when this site was just a baby! For those of you who like analyzing why people do what they do, personality types, and all that, well…this ones for you. It’s weird for me to read something I wrote almost exactly 3 years ago, but in any event…enjoy! 

I’m not sure if any of you know this about me… I’m a stinker for personality quizzes. You know the ones I’m talking about. You’ve probably seen them on Facebook and Twitter too… What flower type are you? What precious gem are you? What should your real job be? What city should you really live in? I can’t help it. I was a psychology major. I love analyzing people, especially myself!

So this week I came across a quiz I hadn’t seen before. I found it here.

It included a quiz about the 4 Classical Elements: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. I took the quiz to find out what element dominates my personality.

That got me thinking about how the four elements relate to the way in which we write.

But first here’s a summary, based on what I read on that site, of the 4 Elements and how they relate to personality:

An Earth Person cares about what’s real and physical; learns by doing; and is methodical in working towards her dreams. If an Earth person is an artist, she would prefer sculpture or something tangible. She will have a well developed nesting instinct. Home is her favorite place and being settled is her favorite state. She can also be stubborn.

A Water Person is compassionate, caring, a great listener and feels her heart should be her guide. Often emotional, she is led by her dreams down a meticulous path even if it is surprising one. However, she can be inconsistent, changing her mind with the tides.

An Air Person thinks before he feels, is clever and has a gift for words. He has the ability to think through problems. He sees the big picture rather than the small details and doesn’t care how something has always been done. He has big ideas and can keep many thoughts in his head at once. Sometimes he can get distracted though and have trouble focusing on one of them at a time.

A Fire Person is passionate with his goals, ideas or causes. He will convey his passions with such intensity that people tend to take notice. Rather than thinking like an Air Person or feeling like a Water Person, the Fire Person “just knows.” He acts on instinct and once he makes a decision he doesn’t change his mind. He can light up the room yet he can also be hot tempered and obsessive.

Take a look at the website to read more about it and take the quiz for yourself. If I could post the link to the quiz I would, but as always, I am technically challenged. 😦

The spectrum showed Earth at one end followed by Water, Air, and then Fire at the other end. It was interesting for me to see my results. My score fell right in the middle of the Water range. I wasn’t surprised at all. The personality description fit me. Besides, I love being around water more than any other place!

We probably all have some traits in each of the four elements though. What about you? What element do you fit into? What inspires you? Where do you feel the most “at home”? Which of these elements evokes a response or feeling?

If you fall close to being an Earth Person, you may have an easy time describing scenes that take place at home or in a home-like setting, since this may be where you’re the most comfortable. If you’re a water person, you may actually gravitate toward scenes which involve a lake or ocean. Take a look at your story. You may have the natural ability to evoke emotion and a sense of place in scenes that revolve around your personality or comfort zone.

What about your characters? If you have developed your main character and even your secondary characters enough, you probably can figure out which element dominates their personality. This may be helpful in writing them into situations. If you know their personality element, you’ll be able to write their reactions in a more authentic way.

And that’s why I love personality quizzes. I can analyze myself and I can analyze my characters too!

I hope this gets you thinking about your own characters. Which element are you? Which one is your main character? I’m Water and my main character is Water too. Is that weird? I’m not sure. Leave us a comment. I’d love to know which one you are and which one your character is too. 🙂

Blog Birthday Year 4!

Happy Birthday Swirl and Spark!

Swirl and Spark hit the 4 year mark last week! Hooray!!!

And I missed it. That’s right, I missed my blog’s fourth birthday. That’s so bad!! But at least remembered in the month of August so there’s that, I guess. Sorry, little blog. I still love you.

The first post on this site was on August 18, 2013. I really can’t believe it’s been four years. That’s a lot of posts and time spent here. It’s so crazy but even after all this time, I still love this site and love having a place to share my thoughts with all of you!

The site has changed so much through the years but one thing will never change as long as the site is here. It will always be a place focused on writing, and creating stories.

Thanks for the love you guys have shown me through the years. The best part of swirl and spark is definitely the great people I’ve met while spending time here! You’re all gifts to me!

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends! I’ll be back next week with a more regular posting schedule and hopefully more writing updates to share:)

Jackie ❤

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey Everyone,

So it hit me today that summer is winding down and I’m not even sad. Sure, I love summer. I love the slower pace, the freed up calendar, the warm weather, the cute wedges and flip flops and all that. But for me, the final days in August are definitely not slower paced and the calendar is not really that free, In fact, it’s the opposite. In our house, we’re all trying to cram in (or have to cram in) as much as we can before school begins. And my goal right now is to get my kids off to a good school year start as well as I can. But even with older kids, (my son will be a high school senior and my daughter will be a college sophomore), that’s still a daunting task. There’s just a lot to do!

This year though, on top of the back to school mayhem, this book launch stuff is making me feel crazy and scattered. Let me repeat that. Crazy. And. Scattered.

For all of you already published people out there who have all of this getting a book published stuff under control…you are amazing, awesome in fact. You are…not me.

Because I am crazy and scattered.

Why? Because oh let me see? I have to read my ARC copy of Spin the Golden Light Bulb and hand in any final edits/ corrections/ comments by the end of the month. It’s my LAST CHANCE to make the book sparkle. Last. Chance. No pressure at all. And I will be getting my final round of edits on Flip the Silver Switch (Book 2) from my editor any time now and those will be due also by the end of the month. Yikes!

I have a book trailer that’s waiting for me to edit it or fix it or perfect it or whatever. But, I am not a professional book trailer maker so ohmygod!! I also have a book launch party to plan and school visit presentations to prepare so that I can, you know, do some school visit presentations! Did I mention I have a book blurb to write or that I have no idea how to market a book that’s due to be released in just over 4 months? And people are starting to read the advanced copies of my book and leave reviews on Goodreads? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!

So, why am I telling you all this?

Because I like to over-share. Because I wear my heart on my sleeve. Because this, I think, is the reality of pre-publication jitters.  I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m pretty much winging it and I’m hoping that by January 2nd, it will all be fine. FINE.

But in my pre-publication freak out, I’ve realized a few things that may just help other nervous writers out there when they are in this position too.

I am not the only one reviewing my ARC for final changes. The awesome team at Amberjack is with me on this. I can breathe and read my pretty ARC and write some notes as I go. I don’t need to spend four hours on each page. I really don’t. I don’t know why I’m stressing about my edits for the second book either. I love this story, as much as the first, so I know I’ll get it done. No big deal. I love editing, so bring it on.

As far as the book trailer goes, I’m determined to NOT obsess about that anymore either. I love my book trailer. It’s not professionally done but it IS really cute. Hopefully you guys will love it too even though I do not have a future in video or film making…but I do have amazing people who worked with me to make it memorable.

I guess my point is to let you guys know that when this happens for you, just take a deep breath. Try to enjoy the experience. Realize that your book trailer may not be perfect. Your launch party may not be perfect. Your school presentation may not be perfect at first, your book may not even be perfect. But its yours and it’s about to be read by children everywhere…and it will mean everything to one of them. And that is a very big deal.

There’s a lot to do in the months leading up to a book launch. And I won’t kid you that it’s stress-free. But it’s super exciting and I still can’t even believe it’s all happening to me. Spin the Golden Light Bulb is heading out into the world soon. Until then, I’ll just do what I can to give it it’s very best start.

Just like I do with my kids.

Have a great week everyone! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer. I’m definitely going to try:)  And now all of the sudden the font is different on this post and my computer is not letting me fix it…so I guess that means this post may not be perfect either! Oh well, such is life, right?

If you’d like to add my book or follow me on Goodreads, I’d love it, so here’s the link: Goodreads: Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Thanks for checking in! I’ll chat with you all soon:)

Jackie ❤

 

 

 

 

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey Guys,

Guess what? The release date of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB is less than 5 months away and it’s now available for preorder! And do you know what that means? It means my book is real and this is really happening! *Squee!!*

Here’s the link from the publisher where you can order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Soon the IndieBound link will be on their site too, but for now I’ll give you a separate link in case you’d rather order from your local bookseller. Oh my gosh, I sound like a commercial. What is even happening??

Amberjack Publishing Catalog- Spin the Golden Light Bulb

IndieBound- Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Something else really amazing happened today too. I got my first review on Goodreads, from someone that isn’t a person I know. And it was a good one, a really good one! I was so overwhelmed and blown away that this reader liked my book, that she really, really liked it…and she gave it five stars that I literally cried. Like full blown ugly tears. I couldn’t help it. I was just so taken by surprise, I guess. I didn’t even think I would care about reviews even…until I got a good one.

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. What’s the big deal with one review? There could still be many more that are not good. And I know that’s true. But for now, for me, this review means everything. It means at least one reader loved my story enough to keep turning the pages- to follow my characters on their journey. And that’s what writing is all about, isn’t is? To write stories that other people will connect with, will enjoy.

So for now I’ll bask in my good review, and cover my eyes when I see a bad one. Well maybe just one eye. Oh heck. I won’t cover my eyes at all. I know I’ll read those too!

Oh and how can I forget? Yesterday I turned in my first round of edits for Book 2…Flip the Silver Switch. And let me tell you, it is no less nerve wracking the second time around. But it is strange. I’m not even used to the idea of my first manuscript becoming a real book and I’m already talking about my second one becoming one too. I’m not complaining or anything, I’m just a little dazed that’s all and trying to find sanity in the craziness.

And that’s why I was anxious to check in with all of you today. Connecting with you feels therapeutic somehow. The only thing that would make it better is if you guys comment and let me know what you’ve been up to. It doesn’t matter if it’s book or writing related or not. My day today consisted of doing laundry, managing my kids’ school paperwork, and organizing our family files. Oh and cleaning the kitchen pantry. You know, adulating. That’s what happens to me when I’ve been in the revision cave for too long. The house falls apart and the laundry pile grows. Strange how that happens, huh?

So anyway, I’d love to hear from you if you feel like saying, “Hey!”

Until next time, have a great week my friends! Thanks for stopping by:)

Jackie <3

 

The Spin the Golden Light Bulb ARCs are Here!

And my copy arrived just hours after I wrote that last blog post…where I talked about it’s impending arrival! Here I am, on about four hours of sleep, giddy because I’m holding my beautiful book in my hands for the very first time!

ARC picture.png
I can’t begin to describe the feeling.
I wondered if I would scream or cry or be speechless. Well…I did not scream. I feel like all the words I had were stuck inside my stomach. Yes, my stomach because that’s what it felt like. But I did cry. Not ugly tears or sobs, but I definitely teared up. I think I was overcome that all of this is really happening—that my book is a real thing. And I wasn’t exactly speechless. If I remember correctly, all I could say was, “Isn’t it pretty?” over and over and over again.
Because it is pretty. All those words are so very pretty and the cover is just so shiny and sparkly. Is it possible to love an object that isn’t your own child this much?
So, that all happened last week. Since then, I’ve been reading it and reviewing it and making sure every single word is just like I want it to be. Talk about a big editing job! It’s nerve wracking but awesome at the same time.
And also since then, I’ve been carrying my precious ARC copy of my very own book around with me every place I go. Is this normal? I have no idea! I’ll admit, it has been fun showing it to my family and friends…all of whom are so sweet to be this excited for me!
But I also have to say that it is really weird knowing my book is out in the world being reviewed by so many people. Talk about nerve wracking!
So that’s my big news of the day. That, and that today marks 5 months until the publication day! It’s coming so fast now. I feel like Indiana Jones running away from the giant boulder!
In celebration of the ARC arrival, I’ll be hosting an ARC giveaway of Spin the Golden Light Bulb in the not- so distance future, so check back. You may get to read a copy before release day!
Have a great day, Guys! I’ll be back again before you know it:)
Jackie ❤

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey, Guys,

How’s it going? I’m operating on very few hours of sleep today and so this post may be brief! I’ve been on vacation with my family for the last 10 days and it was completely glorious. What a great word glorious is, huh? I’m not sure I’ve actually ever used that word before. Hmm, what do you know? But it fits the last 10 days perfectly…I feel so very lucky and blessed to have had that time away.

We spent almost a week at the happiest place on earth—Disney World! And even though it was sweat-dripping hot, like worse than I was prepared for, it was still magical. It was amazing to spend uninterrupted time as a family with no school or work or writing obligations.

Best of all though, I spent a big milestone birthday at my favorite place in the world with my favorite people in the world! It actually made having a milestone birthday enjoyable, eh well tolerable!

I’ve always been inspired by the imagination of Walt Disney and to be able to walk those hallowed grounds again was a dream come true. I can’t tell you how many times in the last ten years I’ve walked through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, dreaming of writing a book that could capture a child’s imagination the way he has captured mine through the years. But I never came close. And even now I haven’t come close, but for the first time on a trip to Disney, it was surreal knowing that my own book (filled with as much imagination as I have in me!) will soon be in the hands of children. It made being in Disney even more special, knowing that a dream I’ve had for so long is finally coming true.

After our crazy fun days in Disney, we headed to South Florida to visit my brother and sister-in-law and their two kids. It was a fantastic mix of relaxing by the pool, eating amazing food, shopping, walking the beach, laughing, and catching up. Tell me again why I live in snow-filled Upstate, NY?

But now I’m back home and surviving on very little sleep. In order to catch our flight in Orlando at 8:30am, we left their house at 4:00am. I’m sure I’ll catch up on laundry, mail, email, and sleep soon but today is not that day!

As I sit here, I’m VERY aware that my ARC copy of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB is en route to my house. Yikes!! I’m not sure if it’s the lack of sleep or sheer excitement that’s making me feel bonkers about that right now. I’m sure it’s a little bit of both! I’m also not sure how I’ll feel when I hold my book baby in my hands for the first time. Will I cry? Will I scream? Will I be speechless? I’ll let you know!

Until then, have a fabulous week everyone. I’ll be back in touch soon…

Jackie ❤ Continue reading

Book 2 News!

It’s official! My second book has a title…and a release date!

Flip the Silver Switch is slated for publication one year from today—July 10, 2018!

The sequel to Spin the Golden Light Bulb (THE CRIMSON FIVE, Book 1) will also be released by Amberjack Publishing hot on the heels of Spin the Golden Light Bulb’s release on January 2, 2018. Needless to say, this next year is shaping up to be a whirlwind. I’ve worked for almost ten years to have my first book published and now 2018 will mark the release of two! Am I dreaming? I sincerely hope not!

I’ve always loved the number 18. My birthday is July 18th, and now 2018 is my pub year. So hooray…more reason to love my lucky number.

While I count down the days until the ARCs of Spin the Golden Light Bulb arrive, Flip the Silver Switch is in the hands of my sweet and amazingly talented editor. Cross your fingers that she likes the draft- or at least doesn’t hate it. The five kids of Crimson embark on an even more elaborate adventure in this book and I can’t wait to dive back in, rip it to shreds, and polish it back up again later this summer…AKA start revisions.

Let me know what you guys think of the title. I’m excited to finally share it with you. It’s been this same title since I first outlined the book almost three years ago and I’m thrilled my publisher likes it as much as I do, because as you know, that’s not a given in the land of publishing.

I’ll be sharing more info about Flip the Silver Switch in the coming months but be on the lookout for sneak previews of Spin the Golden Light Bulb before than though. The world of THE CRIMSON FIVE is a big one and I can’t wait to invite all of you inside!

I’ll be back later this week with another installment of Swirl and Spark Weekly so be sure to check back if you can. Until then, thanks for being excited with me. I’m looking forward to returning the favor for all of you someday when your turn comes too—whatever your dream may be. 🙂

Jackie ❤

 

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey Guys! How are you all? I’m guessing this week feels more than a little mixed up for you too. I mean, celebrating a holiday is always fun, but when it’s thrown into the middle of the week—especially during the summer, it’s really hard to get back into a routine. But here we are and like I promised last week, I have lots to share…

July 2nd marked 6 months until release day of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB!!!! I can’t even believe it.

I tweeted about it on Twitter and like I said there, I’m feeling a little freaked out. There’s so much to do to prepare for a book launch. Will I be ready? Will I forget to do something? Am I supposed to be doing something else, that I’m not already doing? AAAAAAHHHH.

Don’t get me wrong. My publishing team has been fantastic at keeping me on track and guiding me through the process. They’ve given me a checklist and everything. But still, I’m panicking just a little. However, in the midst of panicking, I am enjoying the process and trying to make this whole event as memorable as I can. I mean I have been dreaming about this very thing for. like. ever.

So on that note, I will share the big secret that I mentioned last week.

I’ve been creating a book trailer… a book trailer filled with a skit, costumes, hair, make up and everything!

Cue the crazy, I know!

In fact, filming happened earlier today. We created a mini movie set and I’m still reeling from all the fun we had and the lack of sleep last night. Filming began at 8:30 am but the prep stuff began at 6:00am. So yeah, I’ve been up since 4:30am and right about now it feels like bed time. But my lack of sleep was so worth it. The whole experience was amazing. If you ever have the chance to put together a book trailer (from start to finish) I promise you won’t regret it. You may question your sanity a little, but you’ll be so happy you did it. Even if it isn’t Hollywood production quality, a book trailer will help get your book out into the world with a little fanfare, so why not?

SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB is set 50 years in the future so we took a little creative liberty with parts of the video. I won’t spill any details now, but I will say even thought it’s set in the future, the project has been like a blast from the past. Anyone who knows the inspiration for this book may know what I mean by that. In any event, I’ve taken a million pictures and I can’t wait to share them with you. For now,  we just have to put all the pieces of the video together, and then it will be ready for you to see. I’m actually really excited to see how it turns out myself!

In unrelated news, I’m reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban. I know, right? This may not be news to most of you, but it’s big for me. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ten years ago when my son was seven. We both loved it, but we never really had the desire then to read on. (I’m sorry, we just didn’t!) Several years later, I picked up The Chamber of Secrets, and I really loved that too. I mean, the books are all kinds of amazing, right? But again, I just didn’t have the desire to read more. I know, I know. There is definitely something wrong with me.

Then, over the weekend, for some random reason, I took the Pottermore Sorting Hat Quiz. I never had taken it before because I never felt like I was qualified or worthy I guess. I mean true Harry Potter fans have read all the books, right? But, nevertheless, I took it and I was shocked. Guess what?

I was sorted into Gryffindor. That’s right. Me! Noble, Courageous, Brave, Loyal. Daring. Bold. Good-hearted. Just like, Hermione. Just like Harry.

I feel so special.

So, I felt compelled to read the next book, and in the first day I read 96 pages…five chapters! What? This is big because I am the world’s slowest Harry Potter book reader. Obviously. Well, actually I WAS the world’s slowest Harry Potter book reader. Now at least I am an actual Harry Potter book reader, and maybe not the slowest either! I’ll keep you posted on my progress but this book is amazing and if I can absorb a speck of the magic in this book as a bonus, I’ll be oh so happy.

So what about you guys? Anyone reading anything great? Writing anything almost great? I hope you are. I hope you’re having some fun in the sun too. I’ll be doing a little of both this weekend and probably polishing up my book trailer. Yes, that’s right, the book trailer will be live soon. So check back to watch and you can see what all the crazy today was about. Because really as much as I love words…sometimes images tell the story way way better!

That’s it for now. Have an amazing week, my friends! I’ll be back next week with more news and if by chance the book trailer is ready, I’ll be back again with that sooner. 🙂

Jackie ❤

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey all! What’s new?

Not much here…just sitting around on a cloudy summer day figuring out how to keep this website fresh… and I thought of something! Hence the name of this blog post. Back in the day (like three years ago), I religiously blogged once each week, without fail, on Wednesdays. But as time has gone on, it has become harder to think up things to blog about and to find the time to do it. And as life has gotten in the way, my post have become more erratic.

But I hate that. I like connecting with all of you. So here I am, creating a weekly column called Swirl and Spark Weekly.

You may wonder why I think it will be easier to keep it up to date, now that I’ve given it a fancy title. And that would be a fair question. I mean I haven’t thought of any more earth shattering topics to write about, and life hasn’t slowed down at all. It’s is still… well life. But my mom taught me a long time ago that if you stay in touch with someone by talking to them on the phone every day, you know more about their every day life, not just the big moments. You’re more likely to pick up the phone because your conversations can be brief, you don’t have to have an hour long conversation each and every time. The task doesn’t seem so daunting. Sometimes it can be a brief check-in, just to say hello and let the other person know how you’re doing. And even though that’s just my mom ensuring that I call her every day, (Hi Mom!) she does have a point. 🙂 And yes, I do call my mom every day–mostly!

I’ve noticed that often times when I sit down to blog lately, I’m making it harder than it has to be. I’m trying to write something fabulous, something you know…worthwhile. But that’s wayyy too much pressure. So for now, until I get back into the routine, my weekly updates may be as thrilling as “Hey Guys, I went for a run/ slash walk today, spent too much time on Twitter, and struggled with what to make for dinner. Oh and I revised my WIP. How about you?” Or…it may be something amazing like, “Here’s the link to my new book trailer. Check it out!”

Many exciting things right now are happening for me as a writer, for the first time ever, and I want to share it with you all. You’ve been great at cheering me on through the struggles as I’ve worked toward publication, and now that it’s happening I want to bring you along with me to experience the fun stuff too! Because you will all be there soon enough too, if you aren’t already, and maybe my crazy ride will make yours just a little bit less crazy- if I share my stories with you!

So that’s that. I’m working on some other updates to the site too. The Book Nook will be getting a new look sometime soon. I’ve been more active on Good Reads lately so eventually I’ll be sharing my reviews over there. I’ll add a link when it’s updated so you’ll be able to see what I’m reading, what I want to read, and any reviews I’ve done.

I’ll also be adding back to the site some activities for kids pertaining to summer reading and writing. So keep checking back for those. I recently added my College Essay Assist information too. It’s that time of year again, so if your college- bound child needs my help, just click on the tab for info.

Do you guys have any fun holiday plans for the weekend? I’ll be doing a little packing (vacation is coming soon!), a little reading (I’m reading two books right now that are sooo good and critiquing my CPs WIP!), a little picnic-ing with the fam (always good to have family time), and taking a stroll through my town’s 4th of July exhibits at the Town Hall (lots of food, crafts, people watching…fun!).

The ARCs of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB (Book 1 of the Crimson Five series) should be arriving soon and I am literally shaking just thinking about it. Ten years is a LONG time to dream about holding your own book in your hands. I’m not sure if I will scream, faint, cry ugly tears, happy dance, or pee. Maybe all of the above!! I am sure that there will be pictures though. Lots of pictures and I will post them for all of you to see!

As far as writing goes, I’m on a writing break right now and it feels so weird! Like I have no projects hanging over my head. I submitted Book 2 of The Crimson Five series to my editor. We’ll start revising next month some time and I can’t wait! You know how much I love revising…polishing words is a sick sort of fun for me!! I’ll reveal the title and the release date in the coming weeks too.

So yeah, like I said, lots of fun stuff is happening around here and something really fun is happening next week in regards to the release of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB. It’s top secret though so you’ll have to check in next week to know what I’ve been up to!

Well my friends, I’m off to my exciting life of laundry, picking up after teenagers, and checking out Instagram! I may even buy the ingredients to make another flag cake this year. Doesn’t that sound fun?!

If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, come find me! I’m jackieyeager18. Or like my Facebook page: Jackie Yeager Author. I’d love to connect with you too!

Happy 4th to my friends in the USA! Cheers to independence and freedom…and a shout out to those around the world too, because everyone deserves a reason to celebrate!

Until next week…

Dream big and big things will happen!

Jackie ❤