Hi! My name is Alexa Donne, and I write books. I also work in marketing. And mentor teens in writing. And work on fan cons. I run an author mentoring program. And a bunch of other stuff! But before I tell you more about myself and my journey, let's get the important question out of the way:
Why am I doing this?
Because I care! *cue cheesy, swelling music* No, seriously. Writing is a labor of love, and publishing is tough. There is a LOT of information out there, a lot to digest, and none of it is easy. I've been on the writing-towards-publication merry-go-round for many years, and now that I'm finally making it to the "next level," I want to give back.
I've been posting writing and publishing advice on my blog for years, and some of that advice is republished (and edited/updated) here. I've also been active in the Reddit YAwriters community since 2014--I'm a mod there and lead many of our writing & publishing discussions. I love sharing information. I value transparency: a lot of publishing is very secretive, all the things people *don't* say, and the rule is to only talk about good things publicly. You won't find doom & gloom here, but you WILL find some Real Talk.
This series is for writers who want to pursue traditional publishing. I simply don't know enough about indie publishing--and how to do it well/successfully--to offer that kind of advice. All of my relevant experience has been with traditional publishing. That said, many things I will talk about will apply to those interested in indie publishing. And the writing advice is universal.
Now about me...
I am a proud former fanfiction writer. I come from the era before Wattpad (LJ shoutout), but it's one of the reasons I am on here: I LOVE community-based writing arenas. Fandom and fanfic made me who I am today.
I have been writing towards publication since 2009; however, I did not complete my first novel until 2013. I am a unicorn who found an agent for my first book... but it didn't sell to editors. I amicably parted ways with that agent, shelved my second book, wrote my third, found a new agent whom I love with the fire of a thousand suns, and just sold that book last month.
My debut YA novel, BRIGHTLY BURNING, pitched as "Jane Eyre in space" will come out from HMH Teen in May 2018.
I've been building my author brand since 2013, which includes my Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, website, industry and community activities and relationships. The beautiful thing is: you don't have to do exactly what I've done, or how I've done it, but I can offer advice on my experience. I've developed some deep and wonderful relationships over the years, and feel really engaged in the YA publishing community. Now that I have a book coming out, I have relationships I can rely on, connections to reach out to, and a plan for the near future so I can balance all the pieces that will have to fall in line during my debut year.
If you are reading this, you are already ahead of the game and will be prepared, too!
If you can't tell, I'm a Ravenclaw! I like to KNOW ALL THE THINGS and plan for things and implement strategies. That last part is where I'm a bit Slytherin--I have a bit of cunning, a bit of savvy (and I don't think that makes me evil. I am not Team Voldemort!). You can't plan for everything, and both life and this industry will throw you curveballs. But it doesn't hurt to try.
So consider me your Ravenclaw guide to publishing--I will share with you everything I can, so you can go forth and do your best!
YOU ARE READING
#HowToAuthor: Agents & SubmissionNon-Fiction
Advice for writing book-shaped things and getting them traditionally published. This series will cover everything from querying to agent fit, to building a platform and marketing yourself.