Wrapping up this crazy November, and dishing about my next book.

99c sale is over

First up, the 99c sale on Unteachable is OVER. All retailers except Amazon are back to full price. Amazon changes it when Amazon feels like changing it, so you may have a couple hours left to grab UT at the sale price before it switches back. I won’t be doing another 99c sale for a good long time.

(For future buying decisions: my books will always debut at full price, and will not go on sale until long after release. If you’re worrying about waiting for a random 99c price drop—don’t.)

Goodreads Choice Awards + USA Today Bestseller

Sadly, UT didn’t make it into the final round of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Debut Author, but hey—even getting into the semifinals was amazing. As was hitting the USA Today Bestseller List. The love you guys have shown for this unknown indie author is endlessly humbling. Thank you so much for reading, voting, and joining me on this crazy rollercoaster ride.

Next book

Laney

I hinted at my next book in this excellent interview about Bad Girls, Slut-Shaming, and Sexual Empowerment in YA + NA (which includes a giveaway for a signed paperback). Now I’m going to do a little more than hint.

My next book (codenamed NACR2—because I’M CREATIVE) is a New Adult contemporary romance/suspense novel. Our main character, Laney, has a secret she’s been keeping from everyone—one that drives her to do things she never thought she’d be capable of. Things like causing pain.

And ending it.

Armin

In Laney’s freshman year of college, she meets two people who change her life forever: Armin, a boy who becomes the light in her darkness (not a sexual euphemism, swear)—and Blythe, a girl with her own secrets, who is willing to cross any line for those she loves. The three of them become inseparable…until a crime one of them has committed threatens to tear their trio apart.

Blythe

I’m doing a few things very differently in this book compared to most New Adult fiction, and I’m a little nervous about how it’ll be received. But I took risks with Unteachable, too, so apparently I’m setting myself up to be That Author. The one who pushes boundaries and makes you uncomfortable. This novel is much darker than UT, but in some ways I think it will, ironically, be less disturbing, because there’s no huge age gap. Will the other elements squick some people out? I can only hope.

If you’re curious, I’ve got a Pinterest inspiration board for this novel that contains some delicious mancandy. And girlcandy, too, if you’re into that.

By the way, for fans of Unteachable: this is not a sequel or spinoff to UT, but you will definitely recognize a certain minor character. ;)

I’m hard at work on this WIP right now, and I’ll share more details with you guys in the near future. As always, thanks for reading.

Unteachable is up for Best Debut in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

Goodreads Choice Award 2013

Holy stuffed ponies, people. My little ol’ romance novel Unteachable is up for the humbling honor of Best Debut in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

And you guys wrote me in to get this book into the Semifinals. You are seriously the best readers ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you are a person who votes on things, and also a person who enjoyed Unteachable, you may enjoy clicking on things. It’s cool if you don’t vote for UT—there’s a disgusting amount of deserving literature up there.

Best of luck to the other nominees. It is pretty damn surreal to see my book listed beside titans like Gail McHugh.

Reading is an act of faith.

One of my Goodreads friends is currently suffering the slings and arrows of a Badly Behaving Author, so I angry-typed this long polemic about why authors should never respond to reviews, and how reviews are a sacred space meant for readers, and negative reviews rarely hurt sales and may even increase them and blah, blah, blah…but it all boiled down to one thing, and that one thing is so fucking important, it’s the only thing I want to talk about at all.

Reading is an act of faith.

A reader opens their brain and lets a stranger’s words cavort inside their mental theater for a few hours or a few days. That takes a huge amount of trust: they’re letting someone dictate the contents of their brain for a given chunk of time. It’s a premise for a sci-fi horror film. Reading is a benign form of mind-control.

Skull X-ray brain

It’s easy to sympathize with the author who receives a harsh review: they spent X years writing the book, pouring blood/sweat/tears/booze/etc. into their labor of love, only for Joe Reviewer to 1-star it.

But readers are giving of themselves, too. They’re letting an author into the most private region of themselves: their thoughts. That’s an amazing act of faith, and it should humble any author, even if it results in a terse 1-star review. If nothing else, respect the awesomeness of that trust. Beyond the money spent, or the time and energy devoted to reading and reviewing, the greatest thing they did was let you sink your creepy phantom author fingers into their brain and press various squishy bits to elicit certain responses.

They had faith in you to not disappoint.

That is some incredible vulnerability. And it’s phenomenally dickish to lash out at someone who made themselves vulnerable to you.

So, my fellow authors: show some damn humility. They’re letting us into their skulls, and most of us are not even qualified neurosurgeons. Respect that trust. Respect the inevitability that you will disappoint some of them, and they will let you know it. Keep your mouth shut. You still have brain goo on your hands.

What makes you abandon a book?

Goodreads does some awesome studies with all the metrics they collect behind-the-scenes, and this time they’re analyzing why people abandon books.

What makes you abandon a book?

The biggest factor that makes someone abandon a book is being slow and boring (46.4%), followed by weak writing (18.8%).

I can put up with all of these to some extent, except the author being committed to doing something I hate (which is why I’m boycotting Ender’s Game, due to homophobic douchebag author Orson Scott Card). It’s usually a combination of some of these factors that makes me quit reading.

I used to be one of those I WILL FINISH EVERYTHING I START EVEN IF IT KILLS ME types, but the older I get, the more I realize there’s a finite amount of books I can read in my lifetime, and I don’t want to waste those spots on junk.

What makes you abandon a book?