Monday, April 20, 2015

#WritersLife: Expanding as a Blogger and Reader

#WritersLife - The Blonde Writer

#WritersLife highlights my writing career and ambitions (I promise I will find a tagline that sounds good before the next dystopian apocalypse). I've been dabbling in other areas of book reviews, and I want to spend some time on that to better explain why there haven't been as many reviews up on the site as there should be.

Balancing Manuscripts with Novels

I started interning with this awesome literary agency at the end of February, and it temporarily halted my expansion plans for the blog. However, reading these manuscripts for six weeks (holy cow has it been that long?!) has shown me that I need to get back into my training regiment of at least a novel a week to keep me updated to the times and trends. After stalking bloggers asking around the blogosphere, I stumbled upon NetGalley. 

For those who are unfamiliar with NetGalley, it's a place bloggers and reviewers can sign up to receive digital ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copy) of novels set to release shortly. I must have signed up back in 2014, but no one accepted my requests for manuscripts until this week. Suddenly I have four novels waiting on my digital shelf to read and review before they are released.
Some are big names (Scarlet Undercover, anyone?) and others are from smaller presses. My goal is to read more books that are no more than five years old to stay up-to-date on what's popular. Of course, one of these ARCs is dystopian, so I'm not leaving behind my roots, and I still plan on reviewing all YA dystopian novels regardless of publication date.

As an agency intern, I want to be able to spot what will be popular two years from now because that will be how long it will take to get it published (I'm eyeballing that time frame so don't yell at your agent if it takes less or more time). Not only that, but I'll be reviewing novels that my readers most likely don't have access to just yet, so it will be more beneficial for them to know which titles to be on the lookout for.

Speaking of balancing acts…

Revision Round 3 Completed!

I made that sound like a Super Smash Brothers challenge, and I love it. I spent all last week tweaking my YA Contemporary manuscript. It. Is. Finished. I need to write up the major emotional scenes for my beta readers to review and critique, but other than that we are good to go. I plan on querying to literary agents before summer starts, so hopefully my readers can get back to me quickly. 

More book reviews and the end of the revision process. This month has been emotionally draining in all the best ways. 

Also, if you're a blogger who has been involved with ARCs for a while, are there other sites you prefer or recommend? I love NetGalley's set-up and user-friendly site, but I haven't seen a huge selection of titles, although that could be because I'm super picky. Are there other sites I should look into?

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