All posts in the ‘YA’ Category

The Novice by Taran Matharu Blog Tour: From Wattpad to Published Author

Novice BlogTour


It began, as these things so often do, with an email. I was in my flat in Bath, getting ready for an early morning business lecture, when I saw it on my phone. Penguin would be giving a talk exclusively for business students at the University of Bath. I usually ignored these emails as I received them all the time, but this time it intrigued me.

Publishing was a career choice I had never really considered.  I had dreams of being an author, true, but working in publishing had always seemed like something other people did; a mystical industry that was reserved for the most literary minded. In my mind, publishers were made up of people for whom James Joyce was light, bedtime reading.

In any case, several weeks later, I sat down in a small classroom and the Penguin Digital Sales Director told us about all the changes that were happening to the industry: the rise of Wattpad and the way it was revolutionising how young people read; that the way books were marketed and sold now changed every few months; how we lived in a new world of phenomena: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey.

In that short half an hour, I knew that I wanted to be part of it. An industry where I loved the product I was selling. Where every book was different, with a campaign tailored to each. Where massive changes were happening and they were looking for people with new ideas, new perspectives. Most importantly, they were recruiting business students for a paid internship in the summer of 2013. I knew that paid internships in publishing were virtually unheard of, such was the demand for the experience alone. It was definitely worth applying.

I went up to the speaker after he had finished and introduced myself, casually mentioning that I was an aspiring writer (at that time, I was working on a book that I had started at the age of fourteen, with no end in sight). He immediately told me that I should put it up on Wattpad, naming three different authors who had been discovered that way. At the time, I didn’t think that much of it. After all, there were millions of users on the site. Surely it couldn’t happen to me.

My Internship at Penguin

The next day, I applied for the internship. I didn’t hear from them for months. So it was a great surprise when they called me up and asked me to come in for an interview and give them a five-minute presentation about Penguin Classics ebooks. Armed with a PowerPoint presentation containing several dozen pie charts and graphs, I managed to cram everything I had learned into five minutes.

At the end, we had an informal chat where my writing was brought up again as one of my hobbies. Again, Wattpad was mentioned. This time, I took it seriously.

When they called me to tell me I had got the job, I was informed that over five thousand people had applied for four internships. Somehow, I was one of the four interns chosen.

A few months later, I arrived at Penguin on the first day of their merger with Random House, which made them the biggest publisher in the world. After several speeches and fascinating meetings where the business of predicting book sales was discussed, I began my main project – an overview of the market, namely the rise of the ebook, relations with retailers, where the industry was heading and what strategy publishers needed to take.

After the end of a very rewarding experience, I decided to travel before I settled down. My boss said he would let me know if there was a more permanent opening after all the changes from the merger had been made. Finally, I would have the time to start writing on Wattpad.


November was just around the corner, and I had a whole month to myself before I flew to Australia. Wattpad was at the forefront of my mind (I had thoroughly researched it as part of my assignment) but I hadn’t uploaded anything yet. This was about to change.

I heard about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month from a Facebook group I was part of a few days before it started. It challenges authors to write fifty thousand words in just one month. It seemed perfect for me. I had an idea for a book, one that combined everything I loved about fantasy into one story. It was the book I needed to write. The book I had hunted for in the shelves of dusty book stores, but couldn’t find. A book that popped up in my dreams, that I found myself writing in my head with every spare moment I had.

So I sat down and wrote the first chapter and uploaded it to Wattpad, using a cover I made using Microsoft Paint. The next day, I wrote the second. It had maybe sixty reads at that point. I was amazed. I was willing to pay people to read my work and tell me what they thought, but now people would do it for free! One person, going by the name Achilles, wrote a review on every chapter in the early days. Perhaps if he had not done me that one kindness, I would not be where I am today. Every chapter was for him, just to get his thoughts on it. Then other people started commenting. Twelve days later, I had hit twenty-five thousand reads.

At this point, I knew I had something special. People were really enjoying my work, and although there were other books with millions of reads on Wattpad, their authors had been members for years. So I kept going, staying up into the early hours of the morning to make sure my promise of a chapter each day was kept. On a day I missed a chapter, my birthday, I received dozens of disappointed, even angry, messages from people all over the world. It was crazy!

At some time during all this, I hired an artist called Malgorzata Gruszka who I had worked with before to illustrate my front cover. Little did I know that the character we designed together would eventually grace the cover of my published book, which would eventually be printed and sold all over the world.


When December came along, I had written fifty thousand words and Summoner: The Novice had been read almost one hundred thousand times. But the book wasn’t finished and I knew that I would soon be backpacking around Australia, with limited access to the internet. Amid some protests but also a lot of encouragement, I told my readers I would now upload a chapter once a week.

Thus, the second half of the book was written in the back of juddering buses and dingy hotel rooms. I would hoard my access to the internet jealously, making sure to reply to every comment whenever I found a spare moment and noting down my daily read count, using my phone’s roaming if I couldn’t find it. On Fridays, I would hunt through the streets looking for free wifi, occasionally forced to pay the extortionate fees that the hotel charged for access.

It was a whirlwind trip, where I cage dived with saltwater crocodiles, skydived onto the beach on Surfers Paradise and scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef. I ate kangaroo, crocodile, camel, emu and barramundi. I learned to surf in Byron Bay, hiked in the outback, hung out with aboriginal tribes and wandered through the jungles of northern Australia.

By the time my travels were over, a month and a half later, it was almost a surprise to find I had hit half a million reads. Even more shocking, at one point Summoner was being read thirty thousand times a day. It was with a heavy heart that I left Australia, but with new purpose. I wanted to get Summoner published.


SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Blog Tour: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Nil Unlocked BlogTourBanner

In this thrilling follow-up to Nil, keeping the City united is tougher than ever. To learn more about Nil Unlocked, check out the blog tour, where there will be reviews, giveaways, guest posts, and more!

Monday, May 11
Adventures of a Book Junkie

Tuesday, May 12
The Book Addict’s Guide

Wednesday, May 13
The Eater of Books

Thursday, May 14

Friday, May 15
Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf

Monday, May 18
The Reading Nook Reviews

Tuesday, May 19
Bewitched Bookworms

Thursday, May 21
MacTeenBooks Blog

Friday, May 22
That Artsy Reader Girl

Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson is on sale 5/12/15! Pre-order your copy today!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Nil Unlocked

by Lynne Matson

Giveaway ends May 20, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Want more?

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

See Fierce Reads and Swoon Reads at RT!

Rt Booklovers Convention

The Romantic Times convention is coming up, and Fierce Reads and Swoon Reads are going to be there! If you’re going to be there, too, be sure to check out these fun-filled events!

Fierce Reads Pizza Party

Don’t eat alone! Join Fierce Reads for a pizza lunch. We’ll be chatting books, taking photos in our prop-tastic photo booth, and will have an exclusive Fierce Reads Yearbook to have signed by authors. Giveaways include books, t-shirts, and (of course) tote bags. All Authors are welcome to join in the fun.

Fierce Reads authors you’ll meet include: Ann Aguirre, Anna Banks, Katie Finn, Lynne Matson, Marie Rutkoski, Lindsay Smith

Event Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015 – 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Atrium Level
Room:Cotton Bowl

Swoon Reads 10 Word Love Story Event

No one knows love like Swoon Reads, a new crowd-sourced imprint and online community devoted to finding and publishing exciting new voices in Young Adult romance. Join the Swoon team for a fun-filled hour of love-themed activities, plus a chance to get to know the people behind the scenes of all the swoon-filled romance. Activities will include a 10-Word Love Story contest (#10wordlovestory), a YA romance trivia game and the chance to vote on the cover for an upcoming Swoon Reads title. Participants will have the chance to win prizes galore, from hot new ARCs to a tablet!

Swoon Reads authors you’ll meet include: Sandy Hall, Kim Karalius, Katie Van Ark, Temple West

Event Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Lobby Level
Room:Reunion A

To learn more about RT, visit their website here.

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Blog Tour: The Novice by Taran Matharu

Novice BlogTourIn The Novice by Taran Matharu, Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. To learn more about The Novice, check out the blog tour, where there will be reviews, giveaways, guest posts, and more!

Tuesday May 5
Bookish Antics

Wednesday May 6
A Life Bound By Books

Thursday May 7

Friday May 8

Monday May 11

Tuesday May 12
Forever Young Adult

Thursday May 14
MacTeenBooks Blog

Friday May 15
Working for the Mandroid

The Novice by Taran Matharu is available on 5/5/15! Pre-order your copy today!


Want more?

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Blog Tour: Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu

ExquisiteCorpse BlogTourBanner
“For great summer fiction to read out in the garden or while enjoying un café, look no further.” – Publishers Weekly

We’re delighted to present the blog tour for Penelope Bagieu’s first graphic novel available in English, Exquisite Corpse.  Check out this blog tour for reviews and give-aways of this fantastic story filled with poor decision-making, intrigue, and crazy publishing drama!

Monday, May 4
The Book Wars

Tuesday, May 5
Fly to Fiction

Wednesday, May 6
Bumbles & Fairy Tales

Thursday, May 7
Good Books & Good Wine

Friday, May 8
Working for the Mandroid

Monday, May 11
Alice Marvels

Tuesday, May 12
The Book Rat

Wednesday, May 13
Bibliophila, Please

Thursday, May 14
Miss Print

Friday, May 15
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Monday, May 18
Love is Not a Triangle

Tuesday, May 19
Dana Square

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

If You’ve Read and Reviewed Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, Read This Post!

Attention fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Ruin and Rising!

Ruin and RisingIf you are a book blogger and you’ve read, reviewed, and loved Ruin and Rising, leave your review link in the comments section!

We’re cooking up a special surprise just for you! But hurry! You only have a few days. Please leave your links in the comments section by 12PM EST on Monday, 27, 2015.

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

See Our Authors at the LA Times Festival of Books!

Some of our authors are going to be at the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend! Check out our panels, signing, and more below, and be sure to check out the festival, meet authors, and get books signed!


Young Adult Graphic Novels: The World In A Frame
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 10:30AM
Featuring: Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, author and illustrator of This One Summer
Location: Seeley Mudd Room 123

Young Adult Fiction: The Girls Are All Right
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 1:30PM
Featuring: Ann Aguirre, author and illustrator of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Location: Seeley Mudd Room 123

Young Adult Fiction: Writing the Fantastic
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 3:00PM
Featuring: Leigh Bardugo, author of The Grisha Trilogy
Location: Seeley Mudd Room 123

Young Adult Fiction: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 3:00PM
Featuring: Leila Sales, author of This Song Will Save Your Life
Location: Hoffman Hall

Young Adult Fiction: Lurking in the Shadows
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 3:00PM
Featuring: Josephine Angelini, author of Trial By Fire
Location: Norris Theater

Young Adult Fiction: Writing the Unknown
Date/Time: Sunday, April 19, 10:30AM
Featuring: Cecil Castellucci, author of Stone in the Sky
Location: YA Stage

Young Adult Fiction: Paranormal Reality
Date/Time: Sunday, April 19, 1:30PM
Featuring: Cecil Castellucci, author of Stone in the Sky
Location: Seeley Mudd Room 123

In-Booth Signings At Once Upon A Time Booth # 732

Saturday, April 18, 11:00AM- Andy Griffiths (The Treehouse series)
Saturday, April 18, 12:00PM- Josephine Angelini (Trial By Fire)
Saturday, April 18, 11:00AM- Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer)
Sunday, April 19, 12:00PM- Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life)
Sunday, April 19, 2:00PM- Ann Aguirre (The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things)
Sunday, April 19, 4:00PM- Cecil Castellucci (Stone in the Sky)

In-Booth Signing at Mysterious Galaxy Booth # 368
Sunday, April 19, 12:00PM, Ann Aguirre (The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things)

Book Prize Nominees
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki for This One Summer (Graphic Novel Category)
Winners will be announced at the ceremony the evening of Saturday, April 18

Learn more about the festival here.

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

This Song Will Save Your Life Blog Tour: The Songs That Saved Lives

ThisSongWillSave TourBanner

Music is extremely important to Elise Dembowski in This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. Therefore, for this stop on the blog tour, we asked fans to share the songs that have saved their lives. Learn about their favorite songs below, and listen them here.


Lili, Lili’s Reflections: “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons


Jamie, Perpetual Page Turner: “Float On” by Modest Mouse

Hannah, The Irish Banana Review: “Walking on Broken Glass” By Annie Lennox

“There is something about this song that has pulled me out of my bleakest moods and always gives me energy. I absolutely love it.”


Jen, The Bevy Bibliotheque: “Here’s to Us” by Halestorm


Gail, Ticket to Anywhere: “With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles


Jen, Jenuine Cupcakes:STARS” by Switchfoot

     “When I look at the stars, I feel like myself.” I found this song long before Swichtfoot became famous and long after I figured out that life can be just as overwhelming in adulthood as it was in my teen years. But that’s okay and totally normal. When I have those days where I can’t seem to escape the proverbial dark cloud, listening to the lyrics of STARS helps me to remember I’m not alone.


Karen, Teen Librarian Toolbox: “Beauty from Pain” by Superchick


Tirzah, The Compulsive Reader: “Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford & Sons


Erica, The Book Cellar: Music in General!

“Music in general is just something that I could put in the category of saving my life. I’ve always been very musical, and regardless of what happened in my life, it’s always been my constant.”


Brittany, The Book Addicts Guide:Kill” by Jimmy Eat World and “Even If It Kills Me” by Motion City Soundtrack


Kara, Great Imaginations: “Weird World” by Backstreet Boys

“This song came to me when I was the happiest I have ever been. In 2005, I had moved to Florida, completely changed my life, was at the best job I ever had, and met the man that would become my future husband. I listened to that song in the car practically every day, and it still reminds me of those days. Before I had moved to Florida, I was deeply unhappy and unsatisfied, and being there was the best decision I ever made. I took a major risk, moving away from everything I had ever known, but it changed my life, my love, and my life perspective for the better. This song reminds me of that time, and how it meant everything to me. It still does.”


Judith, Paper Riot: “Long Live” by Taylor Swift


Heidi, Rainy Day Ramblings: “Just Wait” by Blues Traveler

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Announcing the Fall 2015 Fierce Reads Authors and Books!

Today is the day! We’re revealing the authors who will be going on the Fall 2015 Fierce Reads tour right here on the MacTeenBooks blog. So, without further ado, here they are:


You’ll have to chance to meet these authors IRL come spring, but you can get to know them online right now!

Can’t wait for the books? Add them to your to-read list on Goodreads!

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Becoming Jinn Blog Tour: The Fantastic Flying Book Club Roundup

BecomingJinn TourBanner

Did you know that the Fantastic Flying Book Club hosted a blog tour for Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein? Be sure to check out the stops for interviews, reviews, gifs, and more!

Monday, April 6
A Reading Nurse: Welcome Post
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club: Welcome Post

Tuesday, April 7
Two Chicks on Books: Interview
The Magic of Words: Tell Your Story in 3-5 Gifs
Nick’s Book Blog: Review
A Perfection Called Books: Review

Wednesday, April 8
Addicted Readers: Interview
The Best Books Ever: Review
Write Away Bliss: The World in Becoming Jinn
Curling Up With a Good Book: Review

Thursday, April 9
Storybook Slayers: Interview
Lisa Loves Literature: Review & Official Book Playlist
Books As You Know It: Review
Deadly Darlings: Review

Friday, April 10
Ink of Blood: Meet the Characters
The Book Belles: Review & Official Dream Cast
It Starts at Midnight: Review
A Dream Within A Dream: Review

Saturday, April 11
Once Upon a Twilight: Interview
Teen Readers’ Diary: Spotlight & Excerpt
Library of a Book Witch: Review & Playlist & Dream Cast
Jessabella Reads: Review

Sunday, April 12
BookHounds YA: Interview
Soy Casadora De Sombras y Libros: Story Behind the Cover Design
Such a Novel Idea: Review & Playlist
Bookish Outsider: Review

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein is on sale 4/21/15! Pre-order your copy today!


Want more?

SHARE THIS  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail