Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wanted: Critique Partners

I read a pretty awesome post today by Susan Kay Quinn about self-publishing and it has renewed my hope in giving up on querying.  Querying is beyond frustrating, agents with all the power telling us that we just aren't the one that they can take on in this economy.  Rachelle Gardner revealed at her blog that most first-time authors don't even make enough to sell through the advance that they get on their book and it can be all that they make on the book.  A self-published author can sometimes make more than that if the story is good enough.  Everyone's experience is going to be different, but it can be done.  You should really check out her post

I've decided that I want to self-publish one of my novels.  I'm looking for two or three critique partners to work on it with me.  I will definitely return the favor.  The one I'm looking for help with is "To Love Without Hope".

Here's the summary:

The faded image on the missing poster taped to the diner door, haunts every waking thought of Sophie Olson’s life.  Jordan Michaels disappeared two months ago without a trace, and his body was never found.

Nineteen-year-old Sophie is not a stranger to pain; being raised by a neglecting father will do that.  She believes that no one should know the truth of her life and is content to live a lie that everything is okay.  Her life crumbles as she is snatched by a sinister and eerie man one April night.  Her best friend Matt tries to protect her and is taken into the darkness with her.  The basement shows no hope of escape and the chain on her wrist clinks on the stone floor; the depiction of a slave to a man named Everett.  Sophie quickly finds herself face to face with the boy from the poster.  Jordan is broken and beaten.  She begins to believe the lies that Everett spews; there is no hope, only death to come.  Despite it all, Sophie starts to fall in love with Jordan and Matt and it’s a deeper love than she could ever imagine.  But it won’t save her.


Inspired by a true story, TO LOVE WITHOUT HOPE is a 52,000 word journey of broken faith in God and a love that that will break our hearts and heal them.  This life-changing story tells the tale of unbearable pain, lost hope, and the fight to overcome, even if we can’t survive.


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I have already done three drafts of the novel and I'm looking for input on characters, plot, and overall quality of the writing.  Any little typos that can be caught would help too.  Those things are tricky.   I will send one chapter at a time and give you time to read, make notes, and send back.  Please, pretty please!  I will compensate you if necessary. :)

If you are interested, leave me a comment with your email address or send me an email at kristam[at]iastate.edu.  I would be so very, very appreciative!  You might even end up in the acknowledgements!! :)

30 comments:

  1. Hi Krista,
    I'd be willing to help if it's one chapter at a time. I'm getting ready to release my first novel via the Indie route this May, so I am busy. But I seem to have lost all but one of my crit. partners, so I'd be happy to help. Plus, your story sounds intriguing.
    My email is hatfield98us(at)yahoo(dot)com.
    The Indie path is a lot of work, but it's also very exciting!

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    1. Thank you Susan, I sent you an email! :)

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  2. That's so exciting1 I don't regret self-publishing at all. That was the book I read, right? It's a great book.

    Best of luck with it Krista!

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    1. I'm really excited about it. :) That is the book that you read! Thanks! :)

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  3. Hiya Krista,
    I'd love to do a swop with you. I think you have read my pitch on my blog?
    If you want to do that my email is nena.coale(at)gmail(dot)com :)

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    1. I did read your pitch, a swop sounds great! I sent you an email. :)

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  4. This is so exciting! Best of luck Krista!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  5. I wish I had the time! I'm really proud of you for choosing self-publishing. Good luck!

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    1. Not a problem Jen! I'm proud of the decision too. :) It's time that I get to control my writing life, not an agent that has plenty of other clients to deal with. :)

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  6. glad to see you have a couple of takers! sounds intense and desperate! a real page turner!

    good luck!

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    1. Thanks Tara! It really is quite intense. :)

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  7. Ughhh, if my writing/editing schedule wasn't so insanely busy, I'd totally offer to do it, but I have prior commitments and deadlines and so much stuff to get done in the next couple of months. Your story sounds really, really intriguing. Self-publishing is a wonderful option--two of my three published books have been indie and I plan to keep going indie with some. ^_^

    I might not be able to swap stories, but I can give you a quick edit of your blurb, if you plan on using that for your book. In the first sentence, you have a comma that shouldn't be there between "door, haunts." And for clarification purposes, I would recommend a comma here: Despite it all, Sophie starts to fall in love with Jordan and Matt [COMMA HERE] and it’s a deeper love than she could ever imagine.

    I look forward to hearing more about your book and journey!!

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    1. Not a problem! I understand about being crazy busy. I hope that you are working on Book 2! I can't wait to read it! I'm really happy about deciding to go indie. :)

      Thanks for the edit of my blurb! Commas are tricky. :) I will keep you updated!

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    2. Yup, I'm working really hard on book 2. My goal is to have a first draft complete by the end of April. (I'm almost halfway done right now--I'm trying to tie up part 1 by the end of March. So. Close.)

      Do you have a goal in mind for what month you want to publish this, or if it will be this year or next?

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    3. Yay! :) Sounds like a great plan!

      I think my goal will be October for publishing. I really like that month and I think that gives me time to get some critiquing done and revising and work on some covers and such. :)

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  8. Yay! Congrats on making the decision to self-pub. That takes a lot a guts. :D Have you tried Absolute Write or Critique Circle? There are lots of great critters on those sites, and lots of writerly folk in general to hash stuff out with.

    Oh - I'm tagging you on my blog and have given you an award. You already have the award, but I'm still giving it to you!

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    1. I have not, but I will definitely check them out. Thanks! :)

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  9. Your story sounds great. Very intense, I'd like to know more. However, I already know that A-Z will take up all my free time in April, then we're off on holiday etc... If you're still looking for help in the summer, I would love to do a swap then! My email is nick_wilford@yahoo.co.uk. :) Good luck if you do epublish!

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    1. Thank you Nick! I might be looking for a second look-over later, so I'll let you know. :)

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  10. Congrats on deciding to self-publish. Good luck! :) I'm not able to take on anymore work, but I hope you find great CP's.

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  11. I'd love to read that. If I wasn't looking at a seriously busy next few months, I would offer ... I'm sorry!

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  12. This sounds like a tender and thoughtful book. Lots of Luck!

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  13. This book sounds fabulous. If I thought I could be helpful, (and wasn't stupid busy throughout April), I would volunteer in a second. I know you already have a couple of offers, but there's a site called Ladies who critique that try to match people up. I haven't used them myself, but I've heard good things about them.

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    1. I will have to check that out, thanks Sarah! :)

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  14. Hey. Nice blog!! We have a lot of the same favorite books.
    I'm doing the A to Z blog challenge too!
    Let me know if you want me to do any reading for you.
    I just self-published through Amazon. Great experience!!

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    1. Hi! Welcome Heather! :) I think I am going to be okay with critiquers right now, but I might take you up on a read-through later. Thanks! I can't wait to read your A-Z posts!

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