8-House Publishing Auction!

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but last week I found myself in the middle of an auction for ANZ rights to my new YA fantasy series!!!

I still feel like I’m living in a dream, so let me rewind and tell the story from the beginning.

About six weeks ago, I finished writing a new book called The Prison Healer. (Wow, it is SUCH a relief to finally be able to say the name!) I’d recently signed on with a new agent (which you can read all about here), so the following weeks after finishing the draft, I worked with her on a few rounds of revisions. The turnaround was really fast, and suddenly TPH was in submission shape, and my agent — Danielle — and sub rights agent — Jenny — said it was time to start sending it out into the world.

Cue me rocking in the corner, especially when, within a week, I found myself in an 8-house auction.

EEEK.

As in, ALL THE EEEKs.

Out of nowhere, I had people from each of the publishing houses wanting to jump on the phone/Skype with me (and even an in-person meeting) to share their vision for what they could do with the series, while trying to convince me of why I should go with them.

Honestly, it was the most amazing (but also the most stressful) week of my life.

As far as the actual process goes, all it took was one offer to come in before Jenny was able to go back to the other ANZ houses she’d submitted to, telling them they had 24 hours to offer a counter bid. Every single house came back with their own offer within that time (preliminary bids to get them into the auction), and that’s when things started to get really crazy.

Over the next few days, I spoke with a heap of people, and every time I got off the phone/Skype, I’m not kidding that, without fail, I sighed happily and said, “I LOVE THEM!”

This, obviously, made it an IMPOSSIBLE decision.

While all this was happening — the calls, I mean — the publishers had just under a week to send Jenny their “best and final” bids (ie. the highest $ amount they could/would offer) along with a rough marketing plan and, in some cases, a written pitch document as to why I should go with them over the others.

All of this information — the best/final bids, pitches, and marketing details — came to me in the early hours of last Thursday morning. So, a week ago today. And then, I had to decide.

One thing that kind of threw me for a loop was that the highest bidder ended up being someone that, until that point, I hadn’t spoken with. (And I’d spoken with most of them during the week.) So that day, I jumped on the phone with that publisher to get a sense of what their thinking was, which again, just made everything even harder, since like all the others, I LOVED THEM.

This was clearly a problem for me.

Since Danielle and Jenny are both based in NYC, we set up a Skype call for that night, because there was no way I could make this decision without help. During the day, Jenny had gone back to two of my “favourites” to see if they wanted to offer counter bids to the new highest bidder, and both of them did just that… so now I was down to three that I had to decide between. (Hey, give me some credit, at least I’d managed that much!)

I should also mention in here that I had breakfast with my author friend, Jessica Townsend (if you haven’t read her Nevermoor series, stop reading this right now and go grab a copy!), and I was also emailing back and forth with Sarah J. Maas, who is my go-to person when it comes to big decisions like this, and both where insanely helpful and I’m so grateful to them. (BUT it’s also worth mentioning that they were gleefully like, “Ha! Sucks to be you!” — as in, they knew how hard the decision was and were glad that they weren’t the ones in my position. Great friends, they are. *Eye roll*)

After speaking with everyone and Skyping with Danielle/Jenny, I had to confirm who I wanted to go with. The truth is, any one of the eight publishers in the auction would have been brilliant, including my current publishers who I’ve been with since the start of my career. That was why I struggled so much to choose — because there was no wrong decision. So it was a matter of who I/we thought was the best match going forward in regards to passion and enthusiasm and author care, but also for really important things like strategy and marketing/publicity and audience reach.

SO.

*Drum roll please*

I’m absolutely DELIGHTED to share that I’ve accepted an offer from Penguin Random House for ANZ rights to The Prison Healer series! I’m so, so, SO excited for all that’s ahead in my new partnership with them!!! Plus, I’m flying to Sydney to meet the team tomorrow (or, the Sydney-based team, at least), and I can’t WAIT!!! (I hear there’s going to be cake, and we all know that cake is the BEST!!!)

I’m including the official press release below to finish off this super exciting post, and I can’t wait to share more about TPH and my experiences with PRH as things continue to develop!

OH! And you’ll see in the press release that while all of this was happening, auctions and deals for other territories were also going on during the week, which is insane. My mind is officially blown!!

PRH2

VARDAESIA TOUR DONE!

The VARDAESIA tour is officially over, and wowee, what an adventure! 17 events across 6 states over 12 days – oh, boy, that was insane! (In the BEST possible way!)

From the bottom of my heart (and every other part of it, for that matter), I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to see me. I’m honestly blown away by the amount of support and excitement that you guys have for my books (and me) – I truly have no words for how grateful I am!

On top of that, because of you, VARDAESIA landed not just at #1 for YA fiction (WOOHOO!), but at #7 for all books (OMIGOSH YAY!!), which really should have been impossible! (Seriously – it hit the Top 10 Bestsellers charts just one rank behind the brilliant Michelle Obama’s memoir! (37 copies behind, to be exact!) If that’s not enough to make me break down in happy (and messy) sobs, I don’t know what is!)

I think I’m still in a state of shock over everything that’s happened in the last fortnight since VARDAESIA’s release, so I’m going to leave this here and try to process all the amazingness (and, of course, sleep for about three billion years). BUT before I do that, allow me a moment to gush just a little further…

Firstly, thanks so much to all the bookstores and booksellers who hosted any of my events, and also to those who didn’t but have still been promoting and hand-selling my books. You’re all brilliant and I’m so grateful for all that you do. Same gratitude for all the bloggers and reviewers who have been spreading the word as well! #UnsungHeroes

Secondly, thanks to the fabulous emcees from my Q&As for being so thorough with your questions and interviews – Catriona Feeney at Kinokuniya, Annie McCann at Dymocks Sydney, Krystal Gagen-Spriggs at Mt Alvernia, Amy at Dymocks Hobart, the whole team at Collins Sunbury, the QBD Woodgrove team at Melton Library, Mhairi from the YA Circle at Dymocks Adelaide, Aisling from Dymocks Joondalup, and Siobhan from Dymocks (at the Morley Library).

Lastly (but definitely not least), I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Pantera Press for being total rock stars and going over and above to make this tour (and life in general) as easy as possible for me. Special mention and big hugs go to Ali Green for joining me on the Brisbane leg of the journey (and being adamant that manicures and movies were “relaxation necessities”), and to my unicorn publicist, Anabel, who took over the babysitting from there and held my hand around the rest of the states (and claimed that a “sanity day” out to Rottnest Island was “essential”). I’d be lost without you both (probably literally, since I’m so bad with maps!), and saying that I’m “thankful” doesn’t even begin to cover it – but at least it’s a start.

Right! That’s it for the gushing – for now! I’ll finish here with some pics of the events (and gorgeous Rottnest Island), but if you follow me on social media, you probably would have seen these already!

Thanks again to all of you for being BEYOND incredible, and also for loving THE MEDORAN CHRONICLES (and WHISPER)! I’m so so so so sooooo grateful!!

(For for those still waiting to hear news about the Sunshine Coast event, details will be coming this week! It’s gonna be THE BEST!!!! *Sneaky author grin*)

… Oh, and if you came to any of my events, you would have heard me share the title and release date for the sequel to WHISPER, which I’ll be revealing over my socials soon for the rest of you!

BRISBANE:

SYDNEY:

MELBOURNE:

HOBART:

ADELAIDE:

PERTH:

RECOVERY DAY AT ROTTNEST ISLAND:

TOP 10 BESTSELLERS:

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2018 Highlights

Wow, to say 2018 was massive is an understatement! It’s been so incredible to share this journey with you all, and to meet many of you along the way! Some of the highlights from the last 12 months include:

– Releasing GRAEVALE in February:

– Releasing WHISPER (internationally) in May:

– Releasing WE THREE HEROES in September:

– Being invited to all three Supanova tours and having the chance to chat with such wonderful readers. Also spending time with inspirational authors and even emceeing for wonders such as Terry Brooks and Victoria Aveyard:


– Receiving amazing international early reviews for WHISPER:


– AKARNAE voted in at #3 on the Dymocks Top 50 Kids list for 2018 (behind Jess Townsend’s NEVERMOOR and J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER)

– Wrote the sequel to WHISPER (title reveal and release date coming soon!)

– Wrote #SuperSecretProject (official announcement coming next month!)

– Received unbelievable endorsement quotes from some of my fave authors – Sarah J. Maas, James Dashner, Maria V. Snyder, Terry Brooks, Trudi Canavan, Juliet Marillier and others (SO SURREAL)

– Had all five of my books take out the top five spots of the top ten bestsellers list (😱):


– Seeing astounding fan art from seriously talented artists! 😍

– Sold audio rights to Audible, with both Akarnae and Raelia already released, and the others currently in production (with SUPER exciting casting news coming soon)

– Having the best agent (Victoria Wells Arms), the best Aus publisher (Ali Green) and the best Aus publicist (Anabel Pandiella), all of whom have gone over and above for me this year. I would be rocking in the corner without you guys!

– Last but DEFINITELY not least, being ranked as the #1 Bestselling Aus YA author for 2018 (mind blown!!)

2019 is already shaping up to be even more massive, with the release of
VARDAESIA in Feb, as well as the sequel to Whisper and #SuperSecretProject (the latter two of which I can’t wait to share more news soon!!). There’s also a few other seriously incredible things happening and I’m SO EXCITED for the day when I can share!! As always, thank you SO much to all of you for making this year so memorable. Here’s to a brilliant 2019 – for us all!!

Vardaesia Cover Reveal!

I’m SO excited to share the cover for VARDAESIA — the sixth and final book in The Medoran Chronicles, coming February 18th! 

(Click on the image to zoom in!)

And the full cover: 

(Click on the image to zoom in!)

Pre-orders (with international shipping options) are now available from: https://www.panterapress.com.au/product/vardaesia/

Top 5 of the Top 10!!!

So this happened last week and I’m still in a state of shock!! To have all five of my books not only on this amazing Books+Publishing list, but to be taking out the top positions, is just mind blowing!!! Thank you soooo much to everyone who has bought a copy of any of my books and helped make this happen!!!

International WHISPER Giveaway (via Maria V. Snyder)

I’m super blessed to call the ever-so-talented and unnaturally lovely Maria V. Snyder my friend (long story short: we toured together when she visited Aus in 2016, and stayed in touch afterwards until now when she’s a total rock and amaaaaaazing pillar of support for me *HUGS, MARIA!!!*) and she’s hosting an international giveaway for two copies of WHISPER right now. One’s a hardback (*swoon*) and the other is an ARC (*also swoon*), and you can enter via her website by clicking here. I also answered a Q&A with her all about the book, so you can find out more about it — and me — on that page, too.

I’m sure Maria needs no introduction, but for anyone who hasn’t read her books, you absolutely HAVE to. She’s the internationally bestselling YA fantasy author of The Chronicles of Ixia (AKA The Study Series, AKA The Soulfinder Series), The Glass Series, The Healer Series, and the Insiders duology. 

And speaking of gorgeous covers, Maria’s next book, Navigating the Stars, is releasing on November 19 (you can read an excerpt here and find it on Goodreads here). I had the honour of reading an early draft of this book and IT IS SO GOOD!!!! 

Needless to say, I was a fan of Maria’s books before I ever had the privilege of meeting her, so if you’re looking to add something to your TBR, I can’t recommend her highly enough! I started with Poison Study so I always advise people to do the same, but if memory serves, Maria mentions that Inside Out is also a good one to begin with. Either way, be sure to check her out!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the competition for WHISPER!! Here’s that link again! Did I mention it’s open internationally? :-D

WE THREE HEROES – Chapter Sampler

The next book in my bestselling YA fantasy series, THE MEDORAN CHRONICLES, is releasing on August 29th, and I’m so thrilled to be able to share a teaser for what readers can look forward to!

Here’s the cover and the blurb for a little more information (click on the image to zoom):

As for the chapter sampler, click on the link below to read a few pages from each of the three novellas contained within the book.

PLEASE NOTE: This sampler is full of spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the rest of the series!

WE THREE HEROES — Chapter Sampler

Unimaginably Surreal!!!

So this happened this week as reported by Books+Publishing!!!!

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I can’t believe my books are at numbers #1, #3 AND #5!!!

*Passes out in dead faint*

It’s three days later, and I’m pretty sure I’m still walking around in a daze!! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has bought a copy of any of my books and helped make this happen!!

As for my newest book, WHISPER, it only came out in May so it’s not included in the above, but it’s holding strong at number #3 on the YA charts (behind the incredible Sarah J. Maas and Becky Albertalli!!! Omigosh!!!)

AKARNAE excitement — Top 51!!

If you’ve been following my social media, you’ll know that AKARNAE has been nominated for the Dymocks Kids’ Top 51 list, which is unbelievably awesome!! I would be so, SO grateful if you could take a second to cast your vote for it (before Monday) — every vote counts!!

AKARNAE is listed about half to three-quarters of the way down the page (unless the order changes with each reload), and it looks just like this:

With the craziness of multiple book releases this year, I haven’t had a chance just to sit down and share the surreality of everything that has been happening, but please know that something like this is just insane to me. (In the BEST possible way.) I’m pretty much in a constant state of shock that The Medoran Chronicles have become a bestselling series and that so many people love following Alex and her friends on their adventures!

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for loving these books so much — and for making it so they even hit lists like this! YOU’RE ALL AMAZING!!

You can find the link to vote either by clicking on either of the above images, or simply by going here: https://www.dymocks.com.au/votes/top-51-voting

HUGS!