Living under a rock (almost literally) as I am, I'm always the last one to hear about new things. That's why I'm assuming every young adult/new adult reader or writer out there has heard of Swoon Reads,
which is basically a platform for new aspiring young adult authors, who have penned a great romance (or at least what they think is a great romance) and want it to be published.
Then readers come over to read, rate and comment on these stories, until, a couple of times a year, a list is announced, a list of the few novels that have been picked for actual publication
with an actual legit publishing house.
For more information, you can basically click on this link swoonreads
and everything you need to know is there.
My experience with Swoon Reads began about six months ago, when I picked up a book published by them in my local bookstore. The book was ok, not great, but I was more interested in the whole Swoon Reads deal which was described in the back cover. (I have since bought a few incredible books published by the swoon reads division
A love story told from many (12?) points of view, including a bench and a squirrel. And there's a twist that will break your heart.
A delicious vampire romance for those of us who have gotten over (or were never into) the popular Edward- theme sparkles.
A paranormal romance of many dangers and forbidden love.
Velvet being by far my favorite, and read a few more AWESOME ones on their site, but more on that later.)
At the time, I happened to be polishing up a new adult novel I'd been writing for about a year, and had been planning to make my debut as a self-published author with. It didn't turn out this way, because life, so that novel was almost ready and 'unattached' -meaning I hadn't published it ANYWHERE yet.
I took a look at the deadline on swoonreads, and I could just about make it. I didn't sleep for a few days, until finally I pressed their 'publish' button and whipped up a short description.
There, it was done.
World, my book is yours. Read it, love it, enjoy it.
The first few ratings and comments came pretty soon and I was delighted. Everything was so warm and positive that it felt as though my novel was already being welcomed by readers.
And then the months started going by.
Now I am at the end of almost six months, faced with a great many questions.
What do I do now? Do I take my book off of there? Do I continue to hope? Do I move on with my life? Do I bury my face in my pillow and refuse to get out of bed?
You see, that's the problem with trying something new. It doesn't always go as you planned. Success, or rather the hope of success is the greatest incenticve, but what happens at the end of the road, when your hopes are dashed?
Not all writers who put their books out there will be chosen, I knew that from the first. Not all books that are out there are being read, and loved, and discovered by readers. That is also a truth. And lonely though a writer's work may seem to an outsider, believe me, it takes a huge amount of support to get over these small -or larger-failures. To try and look at them from another angle, so that they don't suck the life out of you and your craft. And I, as well as many other authors out there I'm sure, am rather short in that department.
No one knows what I am trying to do, since I am living in a country outside of the U.S., which might as well be in another world. No one would understand it if I tried to explain.
There are a few awesome people encouraging me, for whom I thank God daily.
But sometimes you just need to shut the windows and rethink your path. So this is where I am right now.
I searched the web for other struggling with Swoon Reads like me, and all I could find was success stories from published authors. I'm not saying my story is a failure story, but it certainly is something I need help with.
Any advice is welcome. For the few final days before I take my book down from there,
here it is:
It's called This Kiss
and it's about kisses and English actors and stunt girls.
Well, a stunt girl with a secret that could end her life.
It's sad -or at least it's meant to be- and romantic and heart-warming. Or at least it's meant to be.
It's also full of my heart and soul, which I put into it, writing about some things which hit really close to me, as I lost my dad a few years ago (I started writing it soon after, sort of as a healing process thing).
Oh, and it's here.
I don't know if anyone is going to read it from now on until I take it down, but if you do, whoever you are, I would appreciate any input. Is the cover ok? Is the book touching your heart at any point? Should I give up writing and become a translator?
Just kidding on that last one.
Still, as the deadline approaches, I find myself more and more hopeful about my book.
If no one believes in it, I do. Shouldn't that be enough? I think it is.
While we are on the subject, and if you are about to go on the site for the first time and don't know what to read first, here are my top picks -these are really great books, you guys, and I will be really disappointed if I can't put them on my bookshelf one day.
there's bookshops and a swoonworthy dude, and a bit of angst... Just wow.
I went into this one knowing nothing about the plot, and I suggest you do the same. It's a unique gem of a book, even writing this makes me want to reread it. It tore my heart in two, just saying. (It's for a bit older readers however, so keep that in mind.)
So, have you discovered any great books on Swoon Reads? Or is your book up there? I'll definitely read it if it is. Either way, please comment. I'm dying to know!