Tuesday, June 30, 2015

YOUR Story

 If you're going to write a book, you should write about something that you're interested in.

 You should write something you want to write about. You write for your readers, but you write for yourself more than anything. When you wake up in the morning you should be excited about writing. And you have that crave to write. If you're not interesting in what you're writing, you won't be so ecstatic to write which will put a damp on your work. Writing is supposed to be exciting and thrilling (okay, maybe not always but most of the time). 

 The first book I wanted to write was going to be a vampire novel (thank God I got bored with it). I wrote about 40 pages, took me months, but I started to feel really bored with it. The story felt dull and the writing was terrible. I've had problems writing and finishing books before; I'd get 60 pages into a book before getting bored with it and not continuing it.

 Anyway, I got bored with the vampire book. But it wasn't long before I got another book idea. I finished this book in 7 months. The next one I finished in about 4, and then the final book in the trilogy took 2 months to write. I really enjoyed writing that trilogy. It was a blast coming up with more and more ideas to throw in. The writing was terrible but I liked the story-line. I hope to rewrite the trilogy someday to publish it.

 When you begin to write a book, it's okay not to finish it. Who knows, maybe you'll come back to it later. You can wait a while, get another idea, and start that idea. If you have an imaginary world you slip off to when you're bored, you could write about that, or you could base your book about a dream you had.

 There are millions of book ideas you can have! A lot of things can inspire you. You shouldn't get discouraged when you can't finish a book, because there's always another idea. If you feel like you can't finish your book, maybe you're not meant to write it right now. Maybe you're meant to walk away from it and write something else until you're ready to come back to it.
 No matter what, you should write what you feel like. Never-ending writer's block is never good. You should write that story you're meant to write. Use your writing voice and go for it! Write your book!

Happy writing!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Writing Struggles

 Lately, I've had serious writer's block. At least, I've been calling it writer's block. It's really called procrastinating.

 As you know, I'm homeschooled. But what you don't know is that I do school year-round, so I'm currently still in school, finishing out my senior year until the end of this year, or sooner, depending on when I finish up the last of my subjects. I'm hoping to finish sooner to have some time off, so lately I've been doing a lot of school and not a lot of writing.

 When I finish school, it's relatively late because I also have 2 semi-part-time jobs on top of school because I have payments to make, and because it's so late, I don't feel like writing afterword. I always have an excuse. "Oh, I'm too tired," "I should probably read those books for school instead," "I'll do it tomorrow." The real reason is this, "I have writer's block because I just started a new book and don't feel like dealing with it because I'm too lazy."

 I'm also editing my last novel so I can attempt to get it published. I want to take my time with it to make it as good as it can possibly be. So that takes up time. I've finished the first phase of editing it and about to start the second. (I'll talk about my editing process another time). I'm hoping to get this book traditionally published, but I might self-publish it later on when I have enough money.

 I'm getting really tired of not writing, but I haven't been able to motivate myself enough to write. Music isn't enough to motivate me, for once. I haven't read any young adult novels in a few months, so maybe that is adding to my slump.

 I don't know what's causing it exactly; I just know I want to write again. I want my writer's buzz back. I want to feel the words bubble up inside me until I have to get them down on paper. I want my story to flow--to pour from me.

 Writing isn't effortless. It takes time and commitment (that's why I'm struggling. I currently have neither). But sometimes words just flow, and without the flow, it's difficult to write. The words don't have to pour from you immediately, but after a while it should.

 I'm going to try to get my flow back this week. Wish me luck!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Darkest Light Quotes

 Here are some quotes from The Darkest Light!

There ya go! I will be releasing more quotes from my book on Goodreads, so follow me to keep up ;)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Journey of Self-Publishing (Part 3)

 I was on vacation in Orlando, Florida with 3 of my best friends (it was my graduation present) for the week when I published my book in paperback and set it up for pre-order in eBook format. I couldn't wait until I got home to publish it lol.

 I published my book as en eBook on Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and then in paperback on Createspace, so that my book could be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, Kobo, iBooks, and a few other places.

 Now that my book was published, I needed to get the word out. I'd signed up for Facebook and Twitter months before so I could talk about the book with other people and let them know that I was even publishing one. I started a website (www.ashleyearley.com), and also started this blog and a Tumblr. Then I signed up for the Author Program on Goodreads.

 I also did a lot more, but I'm sure you don't want to hear me ramble about everything I did to get everything set up to let everyone know my book was finally released to the public.

 I did a lot of research on marketing. I'm still marketing and trying to get my book reviewed. Being your own publisher, editor and marketer is not easy--this is why self-publishing isn't for everyone. It's hard. Really hard. Being self-published makes it harder to get the word out there.

 Everybody is always worried about where to publish, but it honestly doesn't really matter as long as your book is easily accessible to readers. If you publish your book as an eBook, then you need to do research on whatever company you're thinking about using to make sure it branches out to enough book companies like Barnes and Noble/The Nook, and Amazon/Kindle, etc.

 If you want to publish your book in paperback, you need to do the same thing. But you also need to read about their publishing policy.
For example, I published The Darkest Light as an eBook and paperback. I published the paperback version with Createspace. They print books when they're ordered. But other self-publishing companies are different; they might print boxes worth of your book and send you those boxes for you to keep and ship yourself, whereas Createspace ships it out to the buyer for you. There are more publishing policies than just these two examples though, so don't worry, you have more options.

 But like I said, where you publish your book doesn't really matter. Where to publish is the easy part; after you've published your book, that's when things get difficult. You have to market and advertise your book so people know you're an author and have released a book. And, if you don't have a good, professional-looking cover and a good summary for your book, people won't take interest in it, no matter how much you market your book.

 This is something you have to really work at. Self-publishing means constant advertising without being pushy, and communicating with people. You should be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and whatever else you can think of. You need to be on multiple social media websites to get the ball rolling. Though, it won't be instant.

 You need to be online and talking to people, blogging, tweeting, posting, etc. It's difficult and tiring, but it has to be done.

 Truthfully, I'm tired of focusing on one book. I've written another one since and have slowly been editing it while writing another, but I get Writer's Block all the time. It's hard to motivate myself to write, or edit after school and work, and promote The Darkest Light on top of it all. But if I don't put in as much effort into promoting The Darkest Light as I did in writing and editing it; publishing it was pretty pointless because I didn't get the word out there.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Infinite Book Reviews ∞ Nominated for The Beautiful Blogger Award

Guess what!! Infinite Book Reviews ∞ has been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by The Bookworm Central! Check out her blog because it's pretty darn cool! 

Here are the rules as listed on The Bookworm Central:

1. List 7 random facts about yourself
2. Nominate 7, beautiful bloggers
3. Nominate the people you nominated
Random Facts about Me :)

 1. I love to write! If you don't know that by now, you probably don't pay much attention to my blog posts lol. But I'll go into further detail about my writing. I write YA novels, and have just recently self-published my first book, The Darkest Light. I've also started a personal blog: ashleyearleybooks which I post on quite frequently. You can find out more about me, my book, and my writing there :)
Here's a link to my author website too: www.ashleyearley.com

 2. I'm seriously obsessed with Cassandra Clare's books about the Shadowhunter World. I was hooked from the very first book (The City of Bones) and my love of that first book has grown into an addiction the more I read. I went to see The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie the day it came out. I was disappointed with the movie, but now, 2 years later, we're getting a TV show! I couldn't be more ecstatic! I've been blogging every detail here on this blog lol.

Also, if you didn't know, Cassandra Clare is releasing The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices with new covers! I am so getting them! Eeep!

  3. I'm homeschooled! A lot of you might not know this but yeah, I'm homeschooled. Yeah, I do school at home on the floor or in my bed in my room. Most of it is online. I've almost graduated though, I'm taking a few electives this summer before starting college in the spring :)

 4. I can't focus on school, reading, or writing without listening to music. It's legit. If I try to do any of these things without my music blaring, I find it difficult to focus. My music doesn't even have to match the mood of the book, I just have to be listening to something. I'm listening to music right now as I write this post! My taste in music is also all over the place. One minute, I can be listening to pop, then I'll start listening to Green Day, or Paramore. Then I might start listening to Ed Sheeran (who I LOVE). You'd have to take a look at my playlist to fully understand the weirdness of my music taste.
You know what, I'll add a playlist at the end of this post so you can see what I've been listening to. 
  5. I've always wanted a typewriter. It doesn't even have to be a working typewriter. I've just always wanted to have one. They're cool, pretty decorative, and a feel like every writer should have one. I can't decide what kind of typewriter I want though; a large colorful one like the one in the picture, or a typewriter like the one that Jack Torrance used in The Shining when he typed, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull day" repeatedly. 

 6. Speaking of horror movies. I'm a chicken when it comes to scarey stories and movies. I get kinda freaked out, yet I watch them anyway and have subscribed to multiple YouTube channels that tell true scarey stories. I know, stupid, right? I watch old, cheesy horror movies like, "Halloween," "The Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Town that Dreaded Sundown." Old movies like those make me laugh because the girls in horror movies are just so stupid that it's comical to me. I avoid horror movies that have clowns, or dolls in them though. They seriously give me the creeps 0_0

  7.I can't cook to save my life. I'm going to have to get a roommate that can cook when I move out, otherwise I'll starve to death, or get fat from eating frozen food and junk. I always tell people I'm so skilled in the kitchen that I burn water!
I can bake, but that's about it. I don't think I can live off of muffins, cupcakes, cakes, and cookies for the rest of my life...but I can always try ;)

Here are the blogs I nominated:

Ryley - Ryley Reads

Lauren and Megan - Kiss Me Hardy (YA Bookers)

Isabel  - The Book Academy

My Playlist while writing this post:

"Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift

"Outside" by Calvin Harris (feat. Ellie Goulding) 

"Looking 4 Myself" by Usher 

"Photograph" by Ed Sheeran 

Thanks again The Bookworm Central for the nomination! 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Journey of Self-Publishing (Part 2)

  Part 2 about my journey of self-publishing.

 The last thing I needed was for the artist to agree not to sell my cover to anyone else. She refused to sign anything that said this, and broke off our deal after working together for months, telling me that I couldn't use the cover. I was both devastated and furious, and without a plan B.

 I went on a rampage to try to find another artist that I could trust. I was nervous about multiple things:

1) I loved the cover the other artist had made! What if I spent a lot of money on another cover but it wasn't nearly as great as the other one? What if I liked it, but didn't love it like the other one?

2) What if I found another artist and they turned on me too because they wanted to sell the cover to another person? I didn't want to have the same cover as someone else!

3) Okay, maybe I can show the new artist the old cover I had for my book, and tried to get him/her to do something like it? But what if it wasn't like it enough that I liked it? I wanted something similar but I wanted it to look good...

 I was really nervous about getting a new cover and hiring a new artist. But then I talked to one of my closest friends, who told me that I needed to take the chance, after all, I've come so far already. She knew that if I didn't do it, I would regret it. After talking to her, I felt a little better, so I started to seriously look for an artist.

 That was when I found http://phatpuppyart.com/

 I was sent a bunch of information about payment and options on how to do the cover within minutes of contacting this artist. I asked multiple questions, emailing back and forth with Claudia for almost an hour. She even called me to answer some of the questions I had! After reading as much about www.phatpuppyart.com/ and talking with the owner of the website, I felt so much better about working on a new cover! I was really excited to see how the cover would turn out! Though it was out of my budget, Claudia helped me with that, and so did my parents, who offered to give me a loan.

 The phatpuppyart team worked with me to get the cover how I wanted it, answering my emails and contacting me within an hour. I was super happy about how fast everyone answered my emails, and how they asked so many questions to get the cover the way I wanted it!

 When the final art was sent to me, I was ecstatic! It looked amazing! I loved it more than the last one! The art was amazing and I loved working with everyone to get it done! I can't wait to work with them again :)

 Now, after waiting for so long, it was finally time to publish The Darkest Light!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Journey of Self-Publishing (Part 1)

 Self-publishing isn't for everyone; I just thought I'd tell my personal story of why I self-published and how.

 I've been writing books since I was fourteen, and I've been trying to get published traditionally since fifteen. I sent query letters (a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. It's a writing proposal) to multiple literary agents and publishing houses/companies for multiple books, but nothing ever became of it. 

 It took me seven months to write The Darkest Light, and it took me several more months to edit it until I thought it was good enough to submit to agents and publishers. I didn't think anyone would represent it, or choose to publish it, but I was going to try anyway and publish it myself when no one else would. 

 I spent more time on writing and editing this book than any other. I wanted something to become of it. So, I formatted my book several times, followed guidelines, and did the artwork for the symbols that are in the book. This took about a month as well. 

 Next was the cover. This was what I was most excited about! I wasn't sure what kind of cover I wanted for the book, but I was excited to work on it with an artist that could help me figure out what I wanted. The cover is one of the most important things. Everyone knows that saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Well, it's a lie. Everyone judges a book by its cover, especially when buying a book. Teens are especially picky about books (I should know, I am one of them) and that is the genre of all of my books. I needed the cover to be eye-catching, and to look professional, not cartoon-like most self-published fantasy books I've seen. 

 It took me a while, but I found a book cover artist that I thought was great! The cover would cost $250 and it was in my budget-range so I was really happy about this. When I fist saw the finished cover, it kind of hit me that I was actually going to publish a book. My first book. The cover looked fantastic!! I was so excited!

 I was ready to publish! My book was copyrighted and formatted, the symbol art for the book was finished, and my documents were ready to be uploaded to the publishing websites I was going to use (Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace, and Smashwords). I was both excited and nervous for one of my books to be out there for the public.

 The last thing I needed was for the artist to agree not to sell my cover to anyone else. 

 That was when everything came crashing down.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Infinite Book Reviews ∞: Books That Made Me Cry...

Infinite Book Reviews ∞: Books That Made Me Cry...: I don't usually cry while watching movies, or while reading books because I always, somehow, manage to find something to laugh about; I always find a sliver of humor while everyone else around me cries their eyes out. I don't know how I do it, maybe I'm heartless or just have a talent for it. One wayor another, I hardly cry for shows, movies, or books.

A good example could be the first time I watched Titanic; (I watched it with my mom). We're watching the last 10-15 minutes of the movie; when Rose is clinging to the headboard while Jack is in the freezing cold water. I'm sitting there, close to tears, when Rose realizes that Jack has frozen to death, but then she says, "I'll never let you go, Jack," before prying his fingers from her hand and lets him sink to the bottom of the ocean....Tears were gone. The very ending kind of choked me up (when Rose and Jack meet again in death) but no tears were shed. My mother on the other hand, was bawling.

Yeah....I just hate to cry so I'm not totally heartless...I don't think. So, anyway, here are 4 books that made me cry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How I Started Writing

   I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen.

 Before then, I had tried to keep journals, but I could never keep it up because I thought my life wasn't exciting enough to write down on paper. Who would want to read that? Me, when I'm older? I would fall asleep while reading about the boring life I had as a young teenager. Besides, who wants to relive their teenage years?

 I wanted to write something exciting, if I was going to write about anything.

 I love reading. I wanted to write something of my own. I wanted to write a book.

 I had thought about writing books, or short stories and such before, but had never managed to do it. I'd write a page, or so, then get bored and discard the entire idea. I'd rewritten and rewritten the first few pages of this one book idea I had, but I could never really get the story rolling because I just wasn't experienced enough. I didn't have a plot outlined, or even much of an idea for a plot, and I wasn't very good at grammar (still not, but it's way better than it was originally). I just wasn't good at writing. I couldn't plan out a story.

  At first, I was using notebooks to write my book in to see if I could actually write a book. Then I came across this website called Miss Literati one day while surfing the web. It's pretty cool. It's like Wattpad, except it's generated for a younger audience. I started writing my book on there, but didn't publish any of it. I wasn't ready for anyone to see my writing. Plus, people can post comments after reading your story and I was worried I'd get negative feedback. I wasn't ready for someone to tell me something that I already knew.

 I wrote a few chapters for this story, but never finished it. I got bored with the story, feeling like it wasn't original. (It was about vampires, because I was really into the Twilight saga at the time.)

 Don't worry, I stopped writing about vampires. I have a very active imagination so I managed to come up with another book idea.

 For about a year, I had this one story that I would continuously develop in my head. I could easily listen to music for a couple of hours while in this world that I'd built as an escape. At the time, I was obsessed with X-men and the whole idea of writing about a school for teenagers that had "gifts."

 That was the book I wanted to write.

 It took me a while to realize that that was the kind of story I wanted to write, but I had the urge to get this world I'd developed down on paper. But I was also a little hesitant. "Did I want to write this story? What if someone read it? It was my world. The world I had created for myself as an escape. It was fun and exciting and mystical and different...Did I want someone reading about it?" I wasn't sure if I wanted to share it.

 I decided to finally write down the story that had been in my head for so long. The plot was good, it could've used work (maybe a lot more work than I realize right now) but I liked the plot. The writing needs a ton of work. If I ever decided to rewrite my first book, it would take a while. I liked having my magical world written down for me to read; as terrible as it was.

 I was also very excited to have written my first book. I've written about 10 complete works since, and many incomplete that I hope to finish later on.

 But that's how my love of writing started. I was hooked after that first book. I had to write more.

 And once I started, I haven't been able to stop.

Infinite Book Reviews ∞: Shadowhunter News: Shadowhunters Teaser

Infinite Book Reviews ∞: Shadowhunter News: Shadowhunters Teaser:   Okay, so last night we were given two teasers for the upcoming ABC Family show, Shadowhunters....And they were pathetic!

I was super, super excited to watch the teasers! They said they were releasing 2, so I thought that they were actually going to show clips of the show! I was totally stoked!
But then I saw the teasers....And was unbelievably disappointed.

Monday, June 1, 2015

First Post!

 Hi, everyone!

This is my first blog post, well, on this blog anyway. So exciting!

 So since this is the first blog post, I thought I'd start out by telling you a bit about myself. My name is Ashley and I'm homeschooled in Georgia, where I'm finishing up my senior year. Only a few months until I graduate! I am so ready for high school to be over. I have serious senioritis right now...

 I do a lot of things, most of them boring, but the one thing I really enjoy is writing. I've lost count of how many books I've written, but The Darkest Light is the first book I've decided to publish. When I'm not writing I'm usually blogging, reading, spending time with my friends, or obsessing over a book character (I ♥ Jace Herondale and Jem Carstairs!).

                     Me and my friends at prom this year <3

 I also love listening to music. I almost never leave the house without headphones and a pen (it's a writer-thing). I usually don't leave the house without a book either...I like young adult fiction of every and any genre.

 My favorite books include: Jane Eyre, The Mortal Instruments, the Trylle Trilogy, The Infernal Devices, The Summer I Turned Pretty, Maybe Someday, If I Stay, and last, but certainly not least, The Harry Potter series. If you really want to see me geek-out, ask me a question about Harry Potter. I'm sure I'll add more to this list :)

 Oh, and speaking of list; I'm obsessed with Goodreads. I'm on that website more than any other. It keeps up with what I'm reading, what I want to read and what I've already read. It's super easy to find new books to read. If you're an avid reader, you should definitely sign up!

  I write a blog with one of my book-geek friends. We have a lot of fun talking about the books we read :) Check it out by clicking on the button above or check out the link here: http://infinitybookreview.blogspot.com/

So, yeah, that's basically a few details about me. Don't worry, you'll get to know me more in future blog posts whether you want to, or not ;) lol. I want this blog to be a place where I communicate with my readers and tell them who I am, what I'm up to, and etc. But I should warn you: I don't know how good I'll be at writing about myself. I'm used to writing as another person, viewing things from a character's perspective. But that's when I'm someone else. I don't usually write about myself. I haven't kept a journal in almost 2 years.

I guess we'll see how this goes :)

Talk to you more soon!