Lena (Helena and Malena)'s latest update for Sparked

Sep 8, 2016

Week One: Update and More on Free Writing Coaching


A HUGE thank you for your preorder! Because of your amazing support, we hit our initial goal of 250 preorders in a single day.  That means Sparked will definitely be published, and you will get a copy. We couldn’t be more thrilled and grateful!

Now we have a new goal. As of this writing, Sparked has 410 preorders (not that we, um, check every five minutes or anything). It is the current frontrunner in the Inkshares fantasy contest and we think we have a good chance of hitting 750 preorders by the end of November. If we win the contest and/or get 750 preorders (whichever comes first),Sparked will get a lot more bells and whistles from Inkshares along with publication, including marketing, publicity and distribution into bookstores across the country. That is a big deal, and all of this would help our book to find a broader readership.

Many of you have generously asked if there’s anything more you can do to help. Thank you! There are two things you can do: 

1)   Tell (or keep telling) your friends about Sparked on Facebook: just go to our website, http://www.bay-ata.com/sparked/, and click on the little “Share” button at the top.

2)   Spread the word about the special gift we have for anyone who places a preorder by September 19: a free writing consultationhttp://www.bay-ata.com/sparked/free_coaching.php

That’s personal writing coaching from one of us, both Stanford writing instructors, for as little as $10 (the cost of an ebook)!

The last week has been a rush, but one of the most fun things was receiving a submission of a 7 page "novel" about a clan of nymphs who can talk to animals, by a ten-year-old girl. The coolest part? Her fifth grade teacher purchased the book as a (future) gift for her, so that the child could get this free writing consultation, because she thinks that this girl is such a gifted writer--and she’s absolutely right. It was a delight to read and correspond with her about her writing and aspirations. 

We also got the chance to read and respond to a very talented grown-up writer’s agent query letter, describing the novel she has been working on in hopes of securing representation.

We LOVE getting this chance to work with our readers’ writing. We love the range of material that we get to see from writers of all ages, and at all levels. So it would be absolutely fantastic if you could share this info with any aspiring writers that you know, young or old. 

Note that you do not have to use this service immediately. You only need to order a copy of the book within the preorder period (up until the end of November) but the chance to use our service won’t expire! Let’s say you know a kid who will be applying to college later this year, or you want help with an agent query letter but haven’t drafted it yet, or you want a fresh pair of eyes on the prologue of your own supernatural thriller but are waiting to finish a draft? No problem! You can send us your writing now or later. 

If anyone’s eager to start reading, you can now check out chapters one, two and three on our Inshares/Sparked page. We added Chapter 3 this week as a way of saying thank you and, we hope, enticing you to read more!

Finally, one of the great pleasures of publishing this way has been feeling newly connected (or, in many cases, reconnected) to an amazing community of readers and writers—and old and new friends.  

Thank you for being part of this! It TRULY wouldn’t be happening without each of you.


Malena and Helena