Saturday, March 25, 2017

How Long Should My Query Synopsis Be?

   Since I'm writing summaries for the books I've been revising, I decided to share some more query letter secrets with you. If you guys like this post, I will share a few more query letter structure secrets! So leave a comment to let me know!

 How long should my query synopsis be? When I first started sending my books out to agents, I found myself asking this too often. I felt like my synopsis was too long, or too short. It never seemed good enough. It never sounded professional enough. It didn't seem to bring forth my story--convey my book well.

 Well, hopefully this will help you as it had helped me. Let's break this down.

 A query synopsis should only be about 150-200 words in length. This is only a few paragraphs. I know that this seems pretty short, but it's actually the perfect length. Not too long, but also not too short. As Goldilocks would say, "It's juuuuust right."

 This word-count will force you to pick 1-2 main points in your synopsis. You don't want to give too much away in your synopsis. You can't reveal every plot point. This won't hook your readers. Only drive 1-2 points and you're good to go!

 If you're unsure about how to go about this, you can go to your bookshelf, or, and read the synopsis of books that are similar to yours in genre. Then go on to write your own synopsis!

Good luck writing your synopsis!

Friday, March 24, 2017

25 Facts About Me | First YouTube Video!

   25 Facts About Me | First YouTube Video!

I'm trying out the whole YouTube channel thing even though I'm super awkward. FOLLOW ME LOL

I will be posting BookTube things, and show and tell you guys about my life.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


 So I'm going to give some details about Alone in Paris today!

Alone in Paris
About first loves and a betrayal that can be forgiven.
About first loves and a betrayal that saves a young girl from herself.

Where the Idea for Alone in Paris Came From

I got the idea for the book Alone in Paris from a picture. The picture was of a girl sitting next to a small pond. She was wearing a white dress, and more importantly, she was alone. And I just imagined there being the Eiffel Tower in the reflection of the pond.

The Idea For Alone in Paris

Since I pictured the girl in the photograph alone, when I started writing Alone in Paris, I had to figure out how she came to be alone.

I wondered how she came to be alone and thought about it for a while until I came up with the idea about how she came to be by herself and why. However, the story and where it would take me wasn't obvious. I wasn't sure who my character was and where the story would go, and if I could write a contemporary since I was used to writing fantasy. I was struggling to figure out what kind of book Alone in Paris would be.

I wrote the first five chapters for Alone in Paris. But I had been working on another book project at the time, and quickly came to the conclusion that I couldn't write 2 books at once. So, I put it away, only to pick it up again 4 years later. I somehow finished it, and writing it wasn't so bad, even though it lacked battle scenes and scary creatures lol. I've actually written another contemporary book since finishing Alone in Paris.

 The Characters

I really enjoyed bringing Taylor and Nathan to life. I find them to be wonderful characters that are lost in their own way. Their empty lives bring them together, causing them to blossom. Though, Taylor might have gotten lost a few times during the blooming of their relationship.

Finding each other led to them having fuller lives. Even when they separated, they still had a very strong bond that 2 years of separation couldn't break.

Nathan's parents are alive, but he fails to have a connection with them.
Taylor's parents are dead but she had a connection with them that she was trying to keep intact.

 Favorite Character to Write

My favorite character to write was the main character, Taylor. It’s actually funny, sometimes it was miserable to write through Taylor’s eyes because she is a very broken character that doesn’t know how to move forward with her life. Her sadness consumed me at times. But she managed to pull through and find a way to move forward because of Nathan. Taylor was my favorite character to write because she could pull me into her world and her feelings projected onto me.

Most Difficult Character to Write

The most difficult was actually Nathan, because I did not want it to seem like that he was only there to make Taylor feel better. I didn’t want it to seem like that Nathan was Taylor’s only reason to move on. Taylor is stronger than that. She didn’t need a guy to help her through her struggles; she only needed someone to show her that it was possible to overcome those struggles. I wanted my readers to understand that Nathan was someone that Taylor could count on.

Character Names

Taylor Catherine Clay's name didn't come to me right away. If you notice the first chapter--in the beginning, I don't mention her name and weave around having to name her. It is because, when I first started writing Alone in Paris, I couldn't think of the perfect name for the girl that was stuck alone in Paris.

I had the same trouble with Nathan, too. I wanted his name to be "Nathan," but I wasn't entirely sure if the name fit him or if it was a good, memorable name that would make my readers swoon.

I did not want to mention Nathan's parents too much because I was worried that the book would teeter from the story of Taylor and her parents. I mentioned Nathan's parents when it was needed and made it relatively clear what type of relationship Nathan had with both of his parents. His father: a distant man that wants his son to succeed. His mother: a loving figure that keeps herself between Nathan and his father.

In the book, I switch to past events that happened that led up to Taylor ending up alone. I wanted to show Taylor's relationship with her parents and show how she was dealing with what was happening with her father. I wanted to show her feelings and how everything led up to Paris.

About The Main Character (Taylor Catherine Clay)

At first, I wasn't sure who I wanted my main character to be. I wasn't sure what her personality was going to be or how exactly I wanted her to react to the accident.

I didn't want to show Taylor's sadness in the very beginning, I wanted to slowly bring it to the surface. I was afraid the book would seem rushed if I just jumped to the point, so I spaced it out and, instead, showed what a typical day looked like for her. I showed the mask she puts on when she's able to get out of bed and act like a normal person, while at the same time, showing that she is anything but what she puts off when she leaves her gloomy apartment.

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted her to be wary of Nathan. I wanted her to be reluctant to be around him, or talk to him. I didn't want her to like him right away.

Location and Culture

I did quite a bit of research for Alone in Paris. I planned the distance from the Eiffel Tower from the hotel that Taylor and her family were staying at. I also looked at a lot of Paris streets so that I could describe everything around Taylor. I added my own twists on some of the destinations, like the coffee house that Taylor and Nathan frequently visit. As well as the secret pond that Taylor loves, which was inspired by the picture that inspired the creation of the book.

 The pond that is in the book is hidden behind hedges that only locals know about, but it is frequently forgotten despite the beauty it holds. Taylor loves the hidden spot and goes there often, introducing it to Nathan once she trusts him enough to think that he would take equal joy in it.

The abandoned apartment building was inspired by an apartment that I once stayed in (not abandoned, of course) with my family when we visited another country. We stayed in a rundown apartment building for a month, and I never trusted the elevator. It made sketchy sounds and was really small. I always raced my brother up the stairs.
The building in the book, however, I pictured to be a grander rundown building.

The Ending

 I hardly plan for how my books will end. I don't usually think of the ending until I'm about halfway through a book. However, as the pages for Alone in Paris stacked up, I knew that I was coming to the end. But I wasn't sure how I was going to end it. I didn't come up for the ending until I was 2 chapters away.

I wanted the ending to be smooth and leave my readers satisfied with how Taylor and Nathan's story came to a close. I also wanted to leave my readers guessing with how things continued between them. I wanted to make it clear that just because the book ended, it didn't mean that Taylor and Nathan's story was over. Their lives continued on beyond Alone in Paris. While there will not be a sequel for Alone in Paris, I wanted to show my readers that my characters' story wasn't over.

 I hope that the ending will be viewed by my readers as I intended it, and more importantly, I hope that readers like it.

Alone in Paris is coming April 1st! 

Stay tuned for Alone in Paris!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Alone in Paris Giveaway

   I'm hosting a giveaway on Goodreads! 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alone in Paris by Ashley Earley

Alone in Paris

by Ashley Earley

Giveaway ends March 26, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I'm giving away 1 signed copy of Alone in Paris so please enter! Ends on Match 26th.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

   I had talked about the advantages of self-publishing a while ago and now I'm going to talk about the disadvantages.

 You will have to stop writing to edit and revise, format your book for publication and research. You won't have time for a writing project while you search for a cover designer, format your book as an ebook or paperback, research the best way to promote your book, and so much more. A lot goes into self-publishing. It is far from easy, and the craziness does not stop once your book is released. You have to promote it after that and spread word about your book and pitch it to people, and etc. Like I said: A LOT GOES INTO SELF-PUBLISHING. You are the writer, the publisher, the marketer, and more. You alone are a publishing company.

 You have to promote your own book. Super time consuming and an aggravation to some authors, since we are usually trying to stay off the Internet to write. Promotion is a tricky thing, and if you self-publish, you are 100% responsible for this. We are trying to spread out brand, but we can't Tweet about our book 10 times in a row. That is not how to get more followers and likes. You can absolutely promote your book on social media, but you need to also promote yourself. Tell people about you and what you're doing and about the things you like. Promoting through social media is a fin line that you need to pay close attention to. Take the time to update people on social media. It will be beneficial to you and your followers.
 You have to be very active on your social media accounts and create blogs and a lot more to keep your readers aware of what you're doing. You are the marketer for your own book. Traditional publishers don't usually put in the time to market new authors but the difference here is that your book is most likely only available to purchase online.

 You pay for everything yourself. Book covers, editing services, marketing on websites, ordering and sending out Advance Reader Copies to gain reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It all costs money and you are responsible for paying for it all.

 You are responsible for revisions/editing. I had also put this on the advantages list. Revisions can be either a good thing or a bad thing for some authors. A lot of authors do not know what is necessary and what is unnecessary. Taking things out of their books can be difficult, or nearly impossible. There are parts that could use some speeding up, or slowing down. And there are chunks that probably need to be taken out completely. As authors, we believe that every word is necessary and contributes to our book in some special way. This is not always true. There are things that need to be taken out and added to our books. Author need to pay close attention to identify such things.

Can you think of more disadvantages? Comment below!