Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A little late, but I'm still without power. At my parent's house showering and charging everything up before it's back to the dark.

Hope to be up and running real soon! And I also hope your Halloween is more eventful than mine. Would love to hear about it in the comments!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Writer's Journey

I wrote my first book four and a half years ago, sent out my first query soon after and received my first rejection not a few days later. Since that first query I have wrote nine complete manuscripts, queried five and received another 207 rejections. You can throw in some full request and partials but in the end they all added up to rejection. Giving up was never an option for me. Writing is my passion and whether I'd be able to find someone who believed in me or not, I wasn't going to stop.

Eventually I joined Ladies Who Critique and met Kelley. We exchanged manuscripts and from that moment on I had no idea how I ever thought I could make it without a CP. And now CP's.

On 11/11/11 I made a wish at 11:11. It was supposed to be the luckiest day of the year. I wished I would get an agent. Two hours later I got a request for my full and three hours later I was laid off from my job. The job I had been at for ten years. Two weeks later I got another rejection.

Unemployment gave me time to focus on my writing. Even though I hated the fact I felt like I wasn't contributing to society, I realized what I always knew. I wanted to write for a living. Unfortunately the rejections were still coming in and I needed a job.

In April I started my new job and then on June 3rd I got an email from Brittany Booker. She worked for an agent I had queried and was interested in my manuscript. A manuscript I loved so much but gave up on. I emailed her back letting her know I still was not repped and would love for her to take a look. Days past with no answer. On July 6th I emailed her to follow up. She never received my email and told me to resend. I resent and waited. Because you all know, a writers journey is filled with waiting. She was quick though.

On July 11th I got my 209th rejection. But wait. It wasn't actually a rejection. It was a rewrite resubmit with awesome feedback. I immediately threw myself into revision hell. I touched on all the points she mentioned, adding scenes, cutting out an entire chapter, amping up the chemistry. I sent it out to all my amazing CP's. I got all their feedback and jumped back into revisions. August 16th I sent it back with fingers crossed and a racing heart.

October 17th I was driving when I got this gut urge to read my email. I don't advise this. There in my inbox was one email from Brittany. I stared out the window, eyes on the road, too scared to look. I had been rejected 209 times, but this time was different. I stopped querying because I had a good feeling about Brittany. She basically picked me out of the trash. I took a deep breath and looked. Again I don't advise this. And there looking back at me was her answer.

She loved the rewrite and wanted to rep me. I banged the steering wheel, I cried, I laughed. I called my mom. Of course where I was I had no service and she could barely hear what I was saying, but she was able to make out I have an agent. On Friday I made it official.

I, Theresa Paolo, have an agent. I can't believe I can say that. But I can. And it's because I never gave up. I'm not going to lie, I got discouraged as I watched my friends progressing in their writing careers while I was stuck at a standstill. Thrilled for them, upset with myself. But even if I wanted to throw in the towel I don't think they would ever let me. I owe them more than they will ever know.

So please, don't give up. If you have strength and determination you will make it. As I like to say, sometimes you have to walk through the s%^& to get to the flowers.

Now it's time to change my bio from undiscovered to discovered. WOOHOO!!!!!
Oh and because It's official I made an author Facebook page. Please go like me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Time to Talk Websites

I'm going to start off by saying, I don't have a website. Personally, I don't think a website is necessary until after you have a publishing contract or are ready to epub. You use a website to promote your book, and if you don't have one a reader can get their hands on, what's the point? Again totally my opinion and you can disagree and I encourage you to. I would love to hear what you think about it.

But let's say you have that contract and you are ready to start your website. Now the problem. What do you put on your site? You want a website that is inviting. Something that will entertain while also promoting your book and yourself at the same time. This is where you need to be creative. Think of your reader. Think what it is they want to see when they stop by.

Instead of going on and on about what you can do, I'm going to link you to some great author websites I have come across.

First up, Susan Mallery. For those of you who don't know Susan Mallery, she is a New York Times Best Selling Author. You can check out her website here.

Susan Mallery has just released book 10 of her Fool's Gold series and for readers who have become invested with the characters, they can go on her website and find out even more about them. She has a tab for this series that includes a who's who of Fool's Gold. It has pictures and bios of all the characters and little snippets of their stories. You can go on and see what Susan envisioned while she was writing the characters. She also has Fool's Gold postcards you can send to your friends. Among other fun things. Check it out.

Another author who has a pretty kick butt website is Simone Elkeles. What I love so much about her site is that she has a fan page. Here you can submit artwork and photos that you have created based on her books. How cool is that! You can check it out here.

There are so many more great author websites out there. Before you start your own take a look at your favorite authors sites. Never copy an idea, but get inspired.

Are there any author sites you frequent or like the concept/layout? Do you have your own website?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Saturday Quote

To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong.
 ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


 Last week we talked about Twitter and today it's all about Facebook. I'm sure many, if not all of you, are on Facebook and have a pretty general idea of how to use it as a marketing tool. But I wanted to start out with the basics. Get it all down before I jump ahead to the really fun stuff.

Facebook is also about the connection with your readers. It is the perfect place to interact and to get a conversation going. You just have to be creative with your posts. If you are trying to build an author page and are not yet published, discuss books in the same genre you wrote/write. Make a post that says something like "Just read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Alex was definitely my favorite character. Who's yours?" Once the conversation gets going, don't drop off the face of the earth. Check in every now and again and continue to be a part of it.

Once you are published you can gear questions towards your book. "Have you read (insert title here) yet?" And then ask a question that relates to your story. The conversations will start flowing and for those who have yet to read it, most likely will have their curiosity piqued.

Make use of the photo albums as well. Start conversations by the images you post. It could be a picture of your bookshelf or a picture of a cute dog. Again anything to get a reaction and people commenting. Once you get the comment your door is open to keep the conversation going.  

You can also post about contests and giveaways and anything you'd like. But the most important thing is the connection. Form relationships with your readers. It will make you stand out from the rest.

Like Twitter, Facebook will pop back up in future posts.  Do you use Facebook as an author? Or like me haven't ventured there yet? What do you think of using Facebook as a marketing tool?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I'm over at Falling For Fiction today talking about Colleen Hoover's Slammed and Point of No Retreat. Actually it's more like a lovefest. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Saturday Quote

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
-Maya Angelou

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Social Networking

First off I can't believe I never acknowledged the fact that I am now officially a Falling For Fiction Girl! I'm so honored and so excited. And today is my first official post. So if you have the time please hop over there.

Now onto my scheduled post:

Marketing a book is a totally different concept than marketing any other product. With a book, your book, the most important tool is yourself. You need to put yourself out there and connect with your readers or potential readers. It's all about building a relationship. Social Networking has made this so easy for us up and coming writers.

Twitter and Facebook are the two sites that come to mind when discussing social networking. Both are amazing tools if used the right way. Today I'm going to discuss Twitter. Next Week I'll discuss Facebook. I want to get the basics out of the way before I jump into the really fun stuff.

First let's start with the Do's and Don'ts of Twitter:

Do's of Twitter:
Do engage in conversations
Do comment on others Tweets
Do retweet a tweet you like

Dont's of Twitter:
Don't only tweet about yourself
Don't only promote your book
Don't not reply to someone who took the time to tweet you

I think the last don't is my biggest pet peeve with Twitter. If someone takes the time to tweet me I immediately tweet back. If I tweet you and you never respond, I'm sorry but I lose a little respect for you.

I've tweeted several authors and when they tweet me back you would think I was invited to have dinner with them. I fist pump and get this big ol' Kool Aid smile. When they don't tweet me back, my first thought is okay they're busy. I'm sure they get a lot of tweets, but then if I tweet them several times after that and still no response, it makes me think they don't care about connecting with their readers. If Simone Elkeles, Toni Blake and Stacey Kade can take the time to tweet me back, why can't they?

There is so much more you can do with Twitter, and it will definitely be mentioned in future posts. Anything you as a writer are doing can be promoted on Twitter: Bloghops, giveaways, contests, cover reveals, interviews, anything and everything. Consider today Twitter for beginners and check back to see how else you can use Twitter as a Marketing tool.

Are you on Twitter? Do you agree with the Do's and Don'ts? What would you add to the lists?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Saturday Quote

Even if you have nothing to write, write and say so.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Day Another Pin

I wrote this post before my Monday post, but it definitely relates to my new Wednesday topic. Marketing and Books. So let's kick it off.

At 68 Boards, 1082 pins, and 158 likes I think it's time to admit...I'm obsessed. And considering I'm writing this post in advance I can guarantee those numbers have increased greatly. (And they have)

I started my Pinterest page months ago when it was all anybody would talk about. However, I didn't get swooped up in it until now. 

I have a board for keys. KEYS! Why do I need a board dedicated to keys? I'll tell you why. Because they are so pretty. The same thing goes for bikes and colors and food and everything else I can create a board for.Can you tell? Obsessed.

Though, I must admit I think it can definitely be another tool for the day I become a published author. Right now I have two boards that are called New WIP and Another WIP. In these boards I place images about the book I am writing. Something I have always done on my own desktop, but now it is accessible to others. And what I think is so great  is that as an author you gain a following and they count down the days until your next book is released. By having a board for your next WIP you can give little clues to your readers and help get them excited about release day. It's just another level of communication with those awesome people. I also think it's a great way for them to get to know you a little better. I definitely think you can find out what type of person I am more so through Pinterest and pictures than with any other social networking site. . 

The other thing that is so great about Pinterest: The ideas it creates. I just look at a picture and I need to pin it and bank it because I know I can create an entire setting, character, plot around the single image. If you ever have writer's block, I recommend hopping over to Pinterest. Just search anything related to your story and watch the story come back to life before your eyes.

Are you on Pinterest? Do you think it's a another great Marketing tool? Or just another thing to suck time out of your life?

If you're a Pinterest freak like me, I'd love for you to check out my boards. There's a little preview below. To see the rest go here.  
Happy Pinning!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Monday!

I haven't been able to come up with any post ideas lately and I think it's because I really don't have a general focus. My blog has always been write whatever I want about whatever I feel like. So I've decided to try and give myself a little more structure. In doing so I will be dedicating Wednesday posts to my two favorite things: Marketing and Books. 

Even though I don't have an agent, yet, my brain can't help but think about all the great ways to market my manuscripts. I will share ideas as well as discuss my feelings on current marketing tactics. Ideas can be as big as a book launch to as small as a giveaway. I honestly believe it's never too early to start planning a strategy.

My first post will be this Wednesday. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Happy Monday! Oh And Happy October!!!