Publishing in an English-Speaking Country When You Don’t Live There

Ask Sooz a QuestionI sent out a call last week for writing questions, and I thought I’d answer 2 today. (Thank you to everyone who sent questions!!)

…the problem is, I actually live in another country, and I‚Äôd be trying to get published in an English speaking country. Can this happen? Have you ever heard of it? Will agents only accept manuscripts that come from people who speak english as their first language?

Awesome question, and one I’m sure many of you are wondering about.

Short answer: Yes, you can most definitely do this! ūüôā

Long answer:¬†¬†You can publish in an English-speaking country, no matter where you’re from/live. While it can¬†make things difficult when it comes time to promote a book, having an author live in a different country is NOT a deal-breaker for agents or publishers.

Consider that I lived in Germany when I sold my trilogy! I also have a close friend who lives in Australia, but her agent is American and her first book sold initially in the US (and later on, it also sold in Australia). I have another close friend who got her agent while living in Japan, and another friend who was living in Romania when her books released.

As for your next question, agents will definitely accept manuscripts from non-native English speakers (as long as your English is very, very strong). And yes, I¬†have¬†heard of this happening. ūüôā I knew a German girl who sold her book in the UK, and her first language was German.

THAT SAID, I’m not sure you should mention in a query letter that English isn’t your native language. It¬†might end up biasing an agent against you simply because–despite an impeccably written letter–the agent may assume your English isn’t strong.

Let your letter and sample pages stand strong, and then–if you want–you can tell an agent/editor AFTER signing/selling that English isn’t your first language.

I hope that helps, and feel free to ask more questions in the comments or in the forum!

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New book deals + a newsletter thingy!

I know I was¬†supposed to give you guys the final steps of the Productivity Pyramid this week, but I found out rather suddenly that we were going to announce my new book deal today (instead of later this spring, as planned)…so DUH, new book deals took precedence!!

Of course, learning we were going to announce also led me to¬†dancinglikeacrazyperson around my office (and then¬†almost fainting because I’m so out of shape), before I hunkered down to get a few things wrapped up that I had planned to launch alongside the new series announcement.

But….LET ME ANNOUNCE TRUTHWITCH because if I have to type one more sentence without typing I SOLD A NEW SERIES, then I will probably die.

I sold a new series, guys!

And not just any series, but the one you all have heard me talk about, tweet about, and pin stuff for for the last year.¬†This is my epic fantasy series that currently has more followers¬†on Pinterest¬†than my¬†actually published series, and the same goes for¬†my Spotify playlist! I think there’s just something more universally accessible and appealing to epic fantasy. Maybe it’s the scope and sweeping scale of the stories or the new, enormous worlds…Or maybe it’s just that swords are badass and everyone wishes they had one. ūüėČ Either way…

Truthwitch is coming out in fall 2015!

tor-books-logo-thumbObviously, I’m be freaking-out-excited¬†about selling a new series, but what makes this SO SPECIAL is that it was acquired by Tor. TOR. As in the most well-known publisher of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror!¬†And guys: ¬†Tor is probably my most favorite publisher of all time. When I glance at my shelves, half the books have the awesome Tor logo on their spines (and what a logo it is! All Mount Doom craggy epicness).

But look, here’s more info on the deal from the print version of Publishers Weekly (or you can read the article online here):


PLUS, Tor UK¬†also¬†bought Truthwitch in a separate deal, so I’ll finally have a book out in the UK!!!! That may not seem like a huge deal to all of you, but for me, it’s¬†enormous¬†for me.¬†My whole goal is to reach more readers, you know? To connect with more people, so this is already a¬†huge¬†step in that direction!¬†Poor¬†Something Strange & Deadly¬†just didn’t appeal to foreign publishers–it’s such a niche genre and I totally understand that. Just being epic fantasy has served¬†Truthwitch¬†well already.

True story: I might have started sobbing hysterically when I read the press release for Tor UK. I am so proud of Truthwitch and reading what my new editor thought of the series sent my emotions into the most happy, emo tailspin. Also, in case you want a slightly more thorough summary of the book, here’s the copy from the UK announcement:

In Truthwitch, expect intrigue, action and conspiracy, with some wonderfully tense romance woven into the excitement. On a continent where everyone is born with magic, witchcraft is failing as people are corrupted by their own magic. Unrest also grows as a twenty year truce ends between three warring empires, meaning trading treaties cease and war threatens. Only a mythical pair of witches can heal the taint in the land and bring balance. But the two young friends are yet to discover their fate, even as their world heads towards chaos.

Anyways, I won’t bore you with details of my sobbing and dancing and screaming. CLEARLY I am over the moon about selling¬†Truthwitch, and it is all VERY surreal.¬†So go add the book to your Goodreads shelf (if you’re so inclined) and follow me down to the¬†next point of business…

The Misfits & Daydreamers!


Remember what I said, like, two paragraphs up? About wanting to reach more readers? Well, that’s the purpose of The Misfits & Daydreamers.

Basically, this will be a chatty newsletter PLUS a forum where I can interact with my fellow Misfits and friendly Daydreamers. ūüôā I’m hoping to connect with you all on a more personal level, and this newsletter/forum is the best approach I can find for that.

I love my blog, I try to post as regularly as possible and with as much high quality + helpful content as I can create. But there is a built-in distance here. Even with comments and emails, I don’t feel like I know you all well enough–and I’m not sure you know me. You know about my writing advice, but I rarely delve into other things.

So here’s my goal for 2014 and beyond: I want to know my readers better and I want you to know me. I also want to ¬†be able to give content (free extra scenes, book updates, behind-the-scenes publishing insight, etc.) to you¬†directly–and I also want to know right away if you enjoyed that content or if it missed its mark.

Now, in case you’re wondering about the name–Misfits & Daydreamers–I’ll explain. The¬†Misfits was¬†a name thought up by a fabulous fan for readers of the Something Strange & Deadly series. The¬†Daydreamers¬†are what I’ve decided to call ¬†readers of my blog and fans of my writing advice.

As such, the Misfits¬†forum¬†and part of each email update will be for fans of my stories and books–things like teasers, cut scenes, interview, giveaways, etc. I’m hoping to share¬†Strange & Ever After teasers along with Truthwitch teasers and any other fun stuff I have very soon!

Then¬†the Daydreamers¬†forum¬†and a portion of the emails will be for fellow writers and aspiring authors (or published authors too!). You can see my writing process in action, I’ll answer questions about writing, and I’ll basically offer insights and updates that I don’t offer here, on my blog. One¬†really cool thing¬†I plan to offer¬†(or I think it’s cool) is a¬†behind-the-scenes look at traditional publishing. Since I¬†recently sold Truthwitch,¬†I am in the very early stages of its publication process. That means I can share each step–from finishing a draft to revising with my editor to cover design and beyond–as it happens.

And of course, I’ll want to hear from you guys–either in the forums or via email. ūüôā That way it’s a conversation and I can learn more about YOU over time.

If you’re interested in becoming a Misfit or a Daydreamer (or both!), then subscribe below or in the sidebar. Plus,¬†register for the forum, if you life. ūüôā

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Okay, I am heading out now to eat leftover snickerdoodles and celebrate. I hope to see you soon, fellow Misfits and Daydreamers!


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BEA Shenanigans, ShinDig Live Chat, ARC Giveaways, the YAGB Tour, and A DAWN MOST WICKED!

I am officially out of town as of yesterday (I am actually writing this post early since I know I’ll be on the road non-stop from now until June 15). YIKES. But there is SO MUCH to fill you all in on.

Let’s start with my crazy BEA schedule for all of you who will be in NYC next week (EEEE! I CANNOT WAIT!):

Sooz’s Spectacular BEA Schedule

Wednesday 5/29

Teen Author Carnival @ Jefferson Market Library — 6:30-9:30¬†pm

I will be doing a panel with Erin Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, and Kat Zhang at the Teen Author Carnival–and we’ll be with 13 other YA authors. Full list is¬†here.

Thursday 5/30

BEA — all day

I’ll be prowling the expo with my tour mates and other authorly friends. Look for me!

Friday 5/31

‚ô¶¬†‚ô¶¬†Signing @ BEA¬†— 10:30-11:00 am¬†‚ô¶¬†‚ô¶

I will be signing FREE HARDCOVERS of Something Strange and Deadly.

I will also have tons of FREE SWAG to sign and giveaway.

I will ALSO have an awesome, super-badass, you-need-to-enter RAFFLE
for 5 ARCs of A Darkness Strange and Lovely,
5 Aim for the Knees t-shirts,
and 5 copies of the e-novella A Dawn Most Wicked.

Saturday 6/1

Interview with ShinDig — 12:40-1:00 pm

I’ll be prowling the expo with my tour mates and other authorly friends ALL DAY.

Plus, I’ll be at the ShinDig booth for a live-streamed video chat at 12:40.

Now for those of you who WILL NOT be at BEA next week (which is, I imagine, most of you), there is also a live chat¬†on Saturday… (Read more…)

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Writing is hard…

…so don’t give up. I don’t really have anything else to say today other than that. I’m in the middle of book 3 revisions, renovating my house, preparing lesson plans for the YAGB tour, and revising other books that have not yet sold. It all seems pretty overwhelming¬†and insurmountable.

But it isn’t. It never is.

The thing is: you can’t stop working. And you can’t give up.

Writing is really¬†hard. Revising is really¬†hard too. And it doesn’t get easier just because you’re published or agented or have finished X-number of books or sold in 45 territories. More often than not, the writing just gets harder.

But don’t give up. You’ll get where you need to be; we all do.

And now, here’s some music to send you off to work by. It’s my current writing fave, and I hope you find it as uplifting as I do.

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How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 3

Read Part 1 in this series.

Read Part 2 in this series.

ALL RIGHT. This is the last post on this–I swear.

My usual disclaimer applies here–this is the journey to traditional publication as I¬†know it. I’m basing this on my personal experience and the experience of other published authors I know. ūüôā

Also, FYI, the usual¬†time between getting a book deal and your book hitting shelves (at least in traditional YA publishing) is 18 months to 2 years. There’s a LOT that has to happen, and your publisher needs every second.

Now, let’s finally wrap up this multi-year journey. We left off last week with getting our contract from the publisher… (Read more…)

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How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 2

Read Part 1 in this series.

Read Part 3 in this series.

So, in case you missed¬†Part 1, I am trying to lay out the very SIMPLE BASICS to getting published…

I emphasize “simple” and “basics” here because every author’s journey is different and because, although things seem clear-cut on the surface, they are actually kinda complicated underneath.

Overall, though, the moral of last Friday’s post was that getting an agent requires four main things:

a polished manuscript + a stellar query letter + tons of industry research + perfect timing

And sadly, today’s moral ain’t gonna be that different. That “perfect timing” component is such¬†a bi***–and pretty much makes or breaks absolutely every author out there. (Read more…)

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How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 1

Read Part 2 in this series.

Read Part 3 in this series.

Recently, an email landed in my inbox that asked the basic question of, “How do I get published?”

I get asked this a lot, and every time, I write out an answer. Inefficient much, Sooz? I’d say it’s about time to lay down the basic (and I mean VERY basic) framework for getting published traditionally–so not self-publishing, but with a traditional publishing house.

Now, for those of you who didn’t already know all the steps involved, PLEASE don’t freak out. Getting published isn’t easy; it isn’t simple; and it isn’t quick. But if I¬†can do it, then so can you.

Also, please remember there is no “magic” way to get a book deal or some “perfect premise” that will let you skip all the steps. Most people spend years trying to get published (heck, I spent years writing before I even got the guts to try!), and that’s just the way it is. If you want it badly enough, then a few years shouldn’t bother you. ūüôā (Read more…)

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Publishing Industry Lowdown (June 25-June 29)

It’s that day again–time for Sooz’s YA and MG Publishing Industry Lowdown. The general idea is that I share all the deals I know 0f in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday.

My source for deal news is Publishers Marketplace, which requires a paid subscription. As such I’m only sharing part of the information here–basically, just author names and pitches. If you want to know deal sizes (e.g. advances), editors, publishers, and agents, I highly recommend you sign up for PM–it’s totally worth the cost!

So, this week was busier than last week, but still SUPER quiet. Ah, the beauty of publishing’s summer schedule…

(Read more…)

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Publishing Industry Lowdown (June 18-June 22)

It’s that day again–time for Sooz’s YA and MG Publishing Industry Lowdown. The general idea is that I share all the deals I know 0f in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday.

My source for deal news is Publishers Marketplace, which requires a paid subscription. As such I’m only sharing part of the information here–basically, just author names and pitches. If you want to know deal sizes (e.g. advances), editors, publishers, and agents, I highly recommend you sign up for PM–it’s totally worth the cost!

So, this week might win the record for the least deals ever posted. I mean, it is¬†summer, which means the schedules are different, but…w0w. I’ll admit I’m a little stunned.

(Read more…)

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: Self-promotion: an author’s perspective and guide

As my fellow Pub Crawler, Joanna Volpe, so eloquently put it a few weeks back:

Most of your publicity and outreach to the general market is up to you.

We all have giant dreams of a publisher who does everything for us, and I have a few friends who are in this very enviable position. But I have more friends in a position like mine–a position that leaves the majority of the publicity grunt work on our fragile writer shoulders.*

Of course, as a shy introvert, accepting that I’m going to have to set up my signings and I’m going to have to do the schmoozing was a very, VERY difficult thing.

But them’s the facts, and as I’ve preached before, the only thing an author (or person, really) can do when faced with a less-than-desirable future is Let It Go and Move On. Then, once you’ve let the stress melt away, it’s time to make your marketing plan–and I’m gonna help you do it exactly the same way my agent helped me. (Read more…)

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