Caitlin Miller Joins the team!

It’s an excitig start to the new month, with author, editor, and reviewer, Caitlin Miller, joining the Chartus.X family as an official editor.

Author of The Memories We Painted, Caitlin Miller is a part-time college student and part-time English teacher in Japan. She has long dreamed of spinning words into stories, and draws her storylines and characters from things most familiar to her: her relationship with God, her family and friends, and life lessons she’s learned along the way. Aesthetic, historical fiction, and green tea are just a few of her favorite things.

Rights Report – The Forgotten Countrymen Series

Author, Kaitlyn Deann

Chartus.X has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to YA Dystopian Romance series THE FORGOTTEN COUNTRYMEN by Kaitlyn Deann, in a nice deal.

Book 1 set for publication in March 2023 (world).

Set in a tyrannical dystopia, the story follows Carson Owens as he navigates the rocky terrain of forbidden love, irreparable heartbreak, and ghastly secrets that could turn their world upside down.

A great time for new beginnings – announcements, sales, and more.

Happy Easter lovies!

Hope you’re enjoying this seasons as much as I am. I know it’s been a while since I shared anything on here, so I’m really grateful to see you’ve stuck with me through the silence.

And what better way to break that silence than by bringing you some good news!

2022 Releases:

God Seeker – Coming June 14th

The God Seeker Collection by Xyvah Okoye is finally complete, and now the omnibus, God Seeker, will be availabe in ebook and print from all major digital and print retailers. Distribution of the individual books in the colection will remain exclusive to Amazon, with the ebooks available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Tutu Bento and the Nuband – Coming October 3rd

I’m proud to announce that Chartus.X has acquired the rights to “Tutu Bento and the Nuband” by Selassie Agroh, and will be publishing this juvenile fiction story in October 2022. Selassie’s debut novel follows the 10yr old Tutu and his friends as they come together to form a band in the hopes of winning Nubia’s annual music competition and starring in the Festival of Sounds.

Fun-filled and fast-paced, this is a story you will not be able to put down.

Cover to be revealed.

Age of the anathema, #2 – Coming this winter

The sequel to Xyvah M. Okoye’s young adult fantasy novel, Tainted, is due to be released at the end of this year. With the title and cover reveal set for May 13th, more updates on the release will be communicated. You can also keep abrest with the goings on and more info on her books at http://www.xyvahmokoye.com or by signing up for her monthly newsletter.

If you haven’t yet read the first book in this gripping fantasy series, it is available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited.


Sales! Sales!! Sales!!!

From the 31st of April to the 5th of May, all the books in Xyvah’s Events to Emotions Poetry Series will be available to download for FREE on Amazon. This collection includes 2 poetry volumes: A darker shade of light and When hearts run on batteries.


Submissions

Currently, we are not accepting any manuscript submissions for publication. However, our editors and affiliates are still open for commission if you need services like proof reading, editing, book reviews, cover designs and character illustrations.

Based on the volume of work we currently have, we forecast that our submissions will reopen at the third quarter of the year towards 2024 publications.


Get feedback!

It is commonplace for new writers to be protective of their work. And there’s nothing wrong with that… except that it robs a writer of opportunities to improve their craft and story.

Feedback from peers and mentors is invaluable, especially in the early stages of your writing career.

When you open your work up to others you trust and admire, others with knowledge and experience in the craft, you put their expertise to work for you. Now, that’s priceless!

Some simple ways to get feedback include:

a. finding a mentor

b. finding a critique partner (or partners)

c. joining a writing group

d. sharing free content on your blog or social media (though I would only recommend this to those with a thick hide).

The honest truth is, getting feedback can be brutal sometimes… but the key is to pick out the useful, constructive advice, and run with it. In the end, it’s all about your success.

Dear “Author Who Cringes At The Thought Of Socialising”…

I get that authors are busy… but so is everyone else.

We all have 24hrs in a day, and if you as an author can’t make time for someone who has taken their time to contact you after spending their time reading your book, then at least hire or assign someone (PR Manager) to do so. Because it’s just rude.

This is where social media helps.

I understand a lot of authors are very reclusive, but if something about your book struck deep in your reader, deep enough for them to want to reach out, there should at least be a platform for them to do so.

A lot of people recommend an official author page or website. And these are helpful resources. But they aren’t always practical. It’s better not to have a facebook page than to have one which isn’t active, where you never respond to messages (I learnt that the hard way).

Some publishers and book distributors such as Amazon and smashwords offer author pages. On Goodreads, you could start a blog if it’s something you’re interested in. And if you pick a couple of sites you know you’ll be active and available on, that is easier to manage, less overwhelming and generally better than having an official site and accounts on every social media platform. Plus, your audience knows exactly where to find you.

P.S. if having all those platforms works for you, then go for it. If not, I hope this helps.

Can Your Readers Relate With You?

The number one reason readers buy books is because they know the author.

This doesn’t always mean the reader is a friend of the author. Sometimes, the reader may have read other books by the author, heard them speak or interviewed on a podcast, radio or television. They might have visited the author’s blog or followed them on social media. A connection is made, and this drives readers to the author’s books. 

This is the reason for the “about the author” section in books. Readers want to know who the book came from. They want to know the author is an actual person, just like them. That automatically makes the author relatable. They’re human. And once a reader can connect to an author on that level, it becomes easy to persuade them to buy your book. 

Who the author is plays a big part in the success of their book. If a specialist gynecologist were to write a book on menopause, it’s more likely to be bought by people experiencing said ailment than if a baker who experienced menopause wrote the book. This is simply because the specialist is just that. A specialist! 

Who you are affects how people receive your book. 

Growing up, I never truly belonged anywhere because of my mixed heritage (and the discrimination I faced due to it). For many years, I struggled to fit in because I was too light to be black. Then I moved to the U.K. where I was too dark to be white. And this was part of what formed the basis for Age of The Anathema. I’m a mixed-race author writing about people being persecuted for being mixed race. And one comment I got back when Tainted came out, was by a mixed-race woman who said: “… finally, we have someone who will speak up for us.”  

She bought and read the book because the author was relatable. 

So, as an author, stop and ask yourself:

“Can my readers relate with me? Or am I just another author to them?” 

Glasses: Also a writing tool

 "...And one sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw."
***

To all those who wear glasses… you know what it’s like when your glasses just don’t sit right.

For those fortunate enough to never experience such discomfort, wearing glasses that don’t sit right can be really frustrating, especially when you’re writing.

Besides typing, I like to write, draw, and doodle in my notebooks. And recently, my glasses keep sliding off my face. But I get ahead of myself. It all started when…

I travelled for a few months, and got locked down abroad without my spare glasses. One sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw. (#crying)

It relieved me to find the screw about an hour later. I fitted it back, thinking that was over and done with.

Until my glasses started zooming in.

I’d be reading, and after a couple of minutes, my glasses would creep down my nose, toward the page. It got steadily worse, and by the time I returned after the travel restrictions were lifted, I was literally having to hold my glasses in place.

Clearly an inconvenience.

And for those wondering, I don’t wear contacts because my eyes water a lot.

Anyway, many reading and writing blogs touch on tools, apps, and equipment creatives need. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen any which touch on glasses. And I know I’m not the only creative who wears glasses (or has had an interesting experience with them).

Glasses are a tool to aid your sight. They’re meant to make your visual experience better, not worse. And I know there are a lot more issues that occur with glasses than them just not sitting right. Things like getting the right prescriptions, and the right shape of frames to fit your face, and the right size so the lenses cover at least 70% of your field of vision. And let’s not even go into tinting and glares.

So, there are many, many things to deal with when talking about glasses. This is just to remind you that glasses are also a writing tool, and as a reader, writer, or just a basic human being, remember to get your glasses sorted.

Read Widely

Reading widely not only broadens your vocabulary, it also expands your mind and exposes you to new concepts and ideas you would never have dreamed of.

You learn different writers’ expressive styles and, in the process, develop yours.

Continue reading “Read Widely”