Katja Millay on Her Journey from Self-Publishing to Traditional Publishing + Sea of Tranquility giveaway!

June 10, 2013 2013, giveaway, guest post, katja millay, Wendy 69

We’re so pleased to welcome author Katja Millay to The Midnight Garden today! Both Tonya and I loved her debut novel The Sea of Tranquility (here’s Tonya’s review, which was apparently so persuasive that K bought the book over the weekend), which is a contemporary romance that has swept readers off their feet with its poignant story and unforgettable characters.

What you may not know is that this book started out as a self-published novel, and that it’s turned out to have quite the Cinderella story. How does an independent book get picked up by a major publisher after just three weeks?

Katja is generous enough to share the details of her astonishing story with us, but I suspect the answer to this particular question is pretty simple: The Sea of Tranquility is a great book. As publishing continues to evolve in our digital age, we’re very lucky that there are editors out there who are looking for these gems in unconventional places.

~ Wendy

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From Self-Publishing to Traditional Publishing

By Katja Millay

How it Began

Sometime late in December of 2011, I started imagining a girl. At that point I wasn’t worrying about plot points or character arcs or thematic threads. I was just fascinated by who she was. I couldn’t tell you where she came from; she didn’t come to me all at once, but rather in fragments. I thought about her more and more. And the more I learned about her, the more I wanted to know. And that’s where the story began.

I picked up a pen a few weeks later and on the first page of the first composition book, I wrote the scene that described what happened to that girl; that scene wouldn’t end up coming in until much later, but it is what started everything for me in the process. I would write whenever something came to me – pieces of dialogue, partial scenes, images. Before long, I had scraps of paper everywhere. There were conversations written on receipts and business cards. My nightstand had one notebook, then two, then three, then four and all of them had scraps shoved between the pages and post-its scattered throughout. It was a mess. Some of it was written in first person. Some of it was written in third person. None of it was written in order.

Months later, I reached a point when I was staring at a computer screen trying to talk myself out of walking away because the prospect of making sense of the mass of words on the masses of paper and working them into some semblance of narrative order was too daunting. I think the only reason I continued to do it was because I didn’t have to. No one was looking over my shoulder. No one was judging it. I had no deadlines or rules. If I finished it, I finished it. And if I didn’t, the only person who would ever know would be me. There’s an incredible amount of freedom involved in writing with no demands, for an audience of one.

I finally did work my way through all of the paper and somehow found myself with what looked suspiciously like a book. It needed work and I knew I wasn’t done, but I was close, and for the first time, I sat in front of a computer with well over 100,000 words of a first draft, I let myself ask, “Now what?”

Deciding to Self-Publish

“Now what?” wasn’t part of my original plan. I know that may seem absurd. Why write a book you never plan to let anyone read? But the prospect of letting people read it scared the hell out of me. I wrote it because I wanted to tell myself a story. I wanted to see what happened to these characters and yes, because I wanted to prove to myself that I could. I’d had half stories in my head for years; unfinished characters and narratives that I would never write a word of, much less, see to conclusion. And for a lot of reasons, I was at a point in my life where I needed to see this one through.

I was aware of self-publishing. I knew that a lot of people were going that route and that it was fairly accessible. I had read an article a year earlier by a self-published author discussing his experiences. I thought it was interesting. The vague possibility flitted through my head for a moment and then I had promptly forgotten about it. Until that moment. But the publishing industry has been changing rapidly and continues to change by the day. I didn’t know much about that at the time but I did know enough to realize that there were opportunities. There were options and I had them. And so does every other writer out there.

I never once entertained the thought of going the traditional route. I had read horror stories about the long, arduous querying process, and even if I had known where to begin, nothing about it appealed to me. And to be honest, I believed I had a very unmarketable book in my hands. I wrote the book I wanted to write and I wrote it for me. Does that mean I thought it was perfect? Hell, no. No book is. Did that mean I thought everyone would love it? No, that doesn’t happen either. But I knew that if I kept it the way it was, at the end of all of this, at least one person would be happy with it. I didn’t want to turn it into something it wasn’t for the chance to get it to a marketplace. And because of self-publishing, I didn’t have to. Not to mention, querying agents is time consuming. I knew that if I waited I probably would have found eight ways to talk myself out of doing it. So I didn’t give myself the opportunity. I decided that if I was going to send it out into the world, I would do it myself.

And this is where my ignorance came to light and my education began.

I knew next to nothing. The amazing part is that that was okay. It’s okay if you don’t know how it all works and as overwhelming as the process may seem from the outside looking in, it’s nothing you can’t learn. It will require work and time and effort, but the resources and tools are there to help you every step of the way.

I started with tutorials on the websites for the online retailers where I planned to sell it. I read them once and then I read them again. I scoured the blogs of successful self-published authors and read the posts where they would offer tips and insights into the process and I went from there. I researched cover artists and formatters and how to put a book on Goodreads and about a hundred other little things that had never crossed my mind before.

Revising the Manuscript

In the meantime, I was revising my manuscript non-stop. I revised and read and revised again. I cut and polished and tweaked until my eyes were close to bleeding and I finally had it to a point where I felt I had done everything I could do and I was at peace with it – or at least as close to at peace with it as I was going to get. To this day, I could pick it up and still find words I think I should change.

Self-Marketing

In the weeks leading up to the release, I thought about marketing and promotion and how I would get the word about the book out. No one knew me. I had no social footprint at all and if you’re going to self-publish a book, you need a presence in online social media. And that’s something that most people already have, at least to some extent. I think I was in the minority, being someone with no social media presence whatsoever. Learning to navigate Facebook and poring over Twitter tutorials to figure out what a hashtag is and how to use one probably won’t be aspects that most people have to worry about. I can still recall the day I picked up the phone to call my husband at work to say “HA! I know what a hashtag is!” I don’t think he was particularly impressed with my newfound knowledge but I was pretty satisfied with myself.

I was able to meet some people through those social media avenues as my release approached and even those few contacts helped give me a sense of comfort because up until that point I felt very, very alone in the entire process. I wished that I had at least one author friend to ask for advice because it was stressful and scary and intimidating. This was the point where I probably should have been sending out ARCs, scheduling a blog tour and posting teasers. But I wasn’t even remotely savvy when it came to the ins and outs of promotion. My marketing campaign consisted of submitting a total of four or five review requests and posting a link to my Goodreads description on FB and Twitter.

Self-Publishing TSOT

I hit the publish button in the first week of September 2012. Then I waited. The first weekend it was out, I sold a grand total of 45 books. One of those was bought by my mom. Seven of them I bought myself for giving away. With the exception of my mother, husband and one beta reader, I still hadn’t told anyone I knew about the book, so I was reasonably sure that the other thirty seven copies were bought by people who did not know me personally. I realize most people wouldn’t necessarily be so excited about selling 37 books over the course of three days but I had come in with no expectations so 37 books, bought by people who weren’t my friends, made me pretty happy. Then over the course of those first couple weeks, the reviews started posting and the sales started to inch up a little bit. And that’s when things began getting surreal.

I wasn’t selling a huge number of books, but the books I was selling were getting a reaction. The response was overwhelming and emotional in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Writing is an incredibly personal process. When you put so much of yourself into a piece of work and you decide to send it out in the world, you hope that people connect with it and that they see in it what you do. You hope that it makes them feel something for the characters whether it’s sympathy or happiness or fear or relief or disgust. But it’s frightening – which is actually a euphemistic way of saying gut-wrenchingly terrifying – at least for me.

I can’t describe what it was like to hear the initial reactions. Reader response has been more than I ever imagined. I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the incredibly personal reactions that readers have shared with me. One by one, I began “meeting” some of the kindest, most incredible people. Since the time those first responses began coming in back in September, connecting with readers has continued to be the greatest blessing of this entire experience.

A little more than three weeks after the release, I was online waiting for a blog review to post when a message popped up from an editor at Simon & Schuster. I blinked. I blinked again. I chose one or two of my favorite expletives to commemorate the moment and from there everything happened very quickly. At that point TSoT was probably sitting around five hundred or so in the Kindle Store rankings on Amazon – respectable enough for a book that came out of nowhere and pretty exciting to me but not the kind of numbers that would catch the eye of traditional publishing professionals or get it any real visibility. The notice that the book was getting wasn’t coming from the sales numbers but from the readers and the blogging community. When I asked my editor not long ago how she found TSoT in spite of the fact that it had never come close to the top one hundred, she said that it was a blog review that caught her attention and spurred her to read the book and contact me. Within days of receiving her message, I had secured an agent, and by mid-November the book had been taken over by Atria.

The Power of Word of Mouth

The indie book market has exploded recently. In the less than one year that I’ve been involved, the sheer volume of self-published books being released has increased exponentially and continues to do so. What gets one book noticed over another? Any of a number of things. In my case, I believe it came down to word-of-mouth.

I don’t think the manner in which TSoT was picked up was common but I do believe we may begin to see it happening more and more. I’ve learned that while impressive sales numbers are incredible, you can never discount the power of readers and the force that is word-of-mouth. Passionate readers and bloggers are an author’s best friends. They are the reason TSoT found its way into the hands of an editor who loved it and scouted it, not because of how many copies it was selling, but because she believed in the book and saw others who believed in it too. These days it’s becoming more and more common for indie authors to secure traditional publishing deals. The self-publishing industry provides a market testing ground for books. If they find success in the indie market, then it stands to reason that there’s a good possibility they’ll continue to find that success with a traditional publisher and the publishers have begun recognizing that.

Traditional Publishing

One of the questions I was frequently asked after the takeover was – how much did they make you change? The answer – nothing. With the exception of the cover and a light copy edit, the book is virtually the same. The only content edits that were made to the original text were the changes I personally wanted to make.

Some people have asked if I regret not having pursued a traditional publishing route from the start. I have never regretted the choice to self-publish and I would absolutely consider self-publishing in the future. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to experience both indie and traditional publishing and I’ve had amazing experiences in both.

There are reasons so many indie authors choose to keep one foot in the self-publishing world even after they’ve signed with a publisher. There are pros and cons to both sides. With self-publishing, you have complete creative control. You have the final say on every word, on the description copy, on the cover, on the price. There is also an immediacy in self-publishing. Once you’re done with the process – you’ve written the book, revised & edited, approved the cover, done the formatting – you can hit publish and in a matter of hours your book is available to the public. It takes months of work; it’s certainly not instant gratification but it’s about as close to instant gratification as you’ll get in the publishing world. I think it’s natural for a writer, once they’ve done all they can do on their story to want to share it. Waiting can be painful. Self-publishing allows you to avoid that wait. And, in the end, the rights to your work are your rights. You own them forever.

However, when you self-publish a book, you become a one-person publishing company responsible for everything from putting the words on paper to the marketing and publicity. Everything that needs to get done you must either do yourself or oversee. It is time consuming and when you’re doing it for the first time it can seem daunting. It helps if you have an entrepreneurial spirit because you won’t just need to be a writer, you’ll need to be a businessperson too. Your hands will be in every aspect of the publishing process. This is great for those of us who are control freaks because we are the be-all and end-all of decision making power when it comes to our books. But all that control comes at a cost and that cost is time – time many of us would probably prefer to spend writing.

That’s not to say that you won’t have to worry about all of those aspects as an author signed with a publishing house. You will and you should. It’s your book. You just won’t have to be the only person worrying about them. You have a team of people working to support you who have a vested interest in your book and your success; a population of experts with the experience you need in every area are there to work with you through every step of the process.

So, is one any better than the other? Possibly. Which one? That depends on you and what your priorities are. In the nine months since I hit the publish button on TSoT, the self-publishing landscape has changed dramatically and continues to do so. Every day provides new scenarios and new insights. The only certainty is that the publishing world is evolving rapidly and everyone is running to catch up. The next few years are going to be exciting to say the least. I think it’s an amazing time to be an author – and a reader.

The Joy of Storytelling

As for myself, I’m continuing to write. I don’t feel so alone in any of this anymore. I have been embraced by some of the most open, generous authors on both sides of the publishing world and I’ve learned more than I ever expected. And for as much as things have changed for me since this all began last year, I’m trying to keep some things the same. I still don’t feel comfortable talking about what I’m writing until it’s finished. And I still want to be able to write for me, for the joy of simply telling a story, surrounded by torn paper and indecipherable words that I will curse myself for having to sort out later.

Last week I walked into a bookstore and saw a copy of The Sea of Tranquility sitting on a shelf looking back at me. If you had described that scenario for me a year ago I would have laughed rather maniacally and suggested you seek help. Today I would simply smile, shake my head and say, “Who knew?”

The Sea of Tranquility is available in stores and online now. Don’t miss this one if you’re a fan of romantic contemporary YA/New Adult fiction!

Win a copy of The Sea of Tranquility!

Thanks to our friends at Atria Books, we’re giving away a finished copy of this lovely book. All you have to do is to leave a thoughtful comment below telling us why you’re excited about reading this book, and to fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Open to US residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Please see the entry form for complete details. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our thanks to Katja Millay for sharing her story with us, and to Atria Books for providing the prize for this giveaway! Photos appear courtesy of the author.
 
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About the Author

Katja Millay grew up in Florida and graduated with a degree in film & television production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked as a television producer and a film studies and screenwriting teacher. Currently she resides in Florida with her family. The Sea of Tranquility is her first book, and is available now in stores and online.

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69 Responses to “Katja Millay on Her Journey from Self-Publishing to Traditional Publishing + Sea of Tranquility giveaway!”

  1. Pixie Lynn Whitfield

    I know I’m a little late commenting, but I’m just now reading the post after a busy weekend. I haven’t read the book yet, and I do intend to after so many recommendations from a few friends of mine. :) I just wanted to leave a quick comment to say that Ms. Millay’s story of publishing is so touching and inspirational that it had me in tears. Thanks for sharing this.

    <3
    Pixie

  2. Luce Bourne

    This book seems fantastic. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it, and I have been planning on reading it for some time now. I can’t wait to finally have a copy of my own, and I’ll probably zip through it a few short days. I am extremely excited to get a chance to win Sea of Tranquility, which I’m sure will be fantastic. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win the novel! :0)

  3. Nasha Lama

    OMG This giveaway I wanna read it badly a lot of people is talking about it! thanks for the giveaways!

  4. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    What a wonderful post! I loved it!

    I’m currently listening to the audio of SoT right now… what a beautiful story!! I’ve only just started it, but I love it already. I have a feeling it’s only going to get better as the story progresses.

  5. theartgirl

    Wow, what an interesting story. I’ve also been toying with the possibility of self-publishing. I have no idea where to start, but maybe I should start researching. Thanks for the post.

  6. Tiffany H

    Dang…this is an amazing post! I’ve been eager to read The Sea of Tranquility, and now even more so.

  7. Christina (Christinareadsya)

    “There’s an incredible amount of freedom involved in writing with no demands, for an audience of one.” This is so true. The few times I’ve finished a draft of my WIPs have been when I have put no pressure on myself, when I told no one how sucked in I was by an idea.

    This is a truly remarkable tale. Thank you to Ms. Millay for sharing. I actually only recently heard of The Sea of Tranquility, and like her editor, had first encountered it via a blog review. It sounds like a beautiful story, and if you’re recommending it, along with several others (based on my GR feed–wow I must have been living under a rock), perhaps I should give it a try :).

  8. Nicole Layug

    Ever since I first heard about this book I was immediately excited to read it. It just captured my attention right away. Also hearing great things about this book doesn’t hurt either.

  9. amairany ra

    I love the interview, it was so interesting to hear the complete story of this book. A book that remind me a bot of The lovely Bones, I don´t know why. But the characters and the circumstances are so dark and unique

  10. ultralight

    I heard great things about this book. I love the cover and the blurb is interesting too. Wendy liked it, so I’m sure I’m gonna like it as well.

  11. Ashley

    This book has been popping up ALL over the place, and I don’t think that I’ve actually heard anything truly negative about this book. It sounds totally up my alley to and I’ve been wanting to read it for quite some time.

  12. Christine

    I do love the cover and the summary is really interesting! The characters already sound great too.

  13. Brenna Wildung

    3 easy reason why I want to read this book…
    1. love the cover!
    2. Great synopsis
    3. and heard wonderful things about this book..

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Aly C.

    Katja sounds so well-spoken and to see her transition from self to traditional publishing has been awesome. I loved reading her perspective and hearing her success story. She is an inspiring woman!

  15. Misti

    I have already read this book and I thought it was so incredible I need my own copy so I can reread it over & over again. It’s nice to hear from Katja Millay and her journey on the publishing world. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Rain Jeys

    This sounds like a very unique take on YA contemporary. I appreciated the perspective of the different types of publishing.

  17. Amanda

    That’s such a wonderful story of the publication experience that has happened to Katja Millay, and so exciting! I love that not only is self-publication not viewed with quite so much of a stigma these days, but that publishers are also realizing that there really are gems to be found there.
    I have heard wonderful things about The Sea of Tranquility. It’s so interesting that Millay never really wrote this as something she anticipated being read by others, so it makes me wonder if this book comes across as more honest or just different from so many commercially published books. Thanks for sharing this story and offering up a chance to read Millay’s work!

  18. starryeyedjen

    What a lovely, insightful post! Thanks for sharing this with us, and thanks to Katja for opening up to your readers. It’s such an inspiring story. I find myself constantly surrounded with little scraps of paper and sticky notes full of ideas and dialogue and such, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to sit down and actually formulate a real story out of them. I know Katja’s story won’t be the norm, but it’s still motivational and encouraging. I’m listening to the audio of SoT right now, and I am utterly impressed. I can see why S&S decided to throw their weight behind this story. :)

  19. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    I already have SoT so am not entering, but loved reading Katja’s post — what an amazing story! From the spark of an idea to a finished book to fantastic buzz from readers to a dream come true. I look forward to reading Katja’s next book :)

  20. Rachel Desilets

    First, I love the cover – such a simple, but well executed concept. I’ve seen this one floating around on the internet with really awesome reviews – and every time I see the cover, I want to read it. I added it to my TBR shelf at the first glowing review from someone I follow and trust on goodreads. Even if I don’t win, I’ll get around to reading it sometime :)

  21. Rachel Desilets

    First, I adore the cover. Second, I’ve seen amazing reviews floating around on the Internet. Third, I love reading authors that were originally self published and attracted a traditional publishing house.

    Did I mention how awesome the reviews have been? Definitely need a good book on my tbr shelf :)

  22. tonya

    Loved this post, Katja. See, nothing to be nervous about! ;) It was so great to see the steps you took from idea to book, and from indie to traditionally published. I love knowing the most unknown of unknowns, with no platform to be speak of, can succeed because it’s simply THAT GOOD.

    Can’t wait to read more from you. :)

  23. Miss Page-Turner

    OMG! I really need to read TSoS now, don’t I? This story is so great that I myself want to be in it. I’m also surprised to hear that the new publisher didn’t change that much about Katja’s story.

  24. Angela Chen

    This is a great post! I love that she self-published and then became an author loads of people love. I haven’t read this yet, but have heard AMAZING things from people– not a single negative review! I’m so happy for her, and I wish her well in everything she does. I hope I get to read a copy of TSoS soon! Congrats, Katja! <3

  25. Alexa Y.

    It’s incredibly inspiring to read about Katja’s publication journey! I definitely agree when she mentions the power of word of mouth. I find out about books mostly from other people who love books as much as I do, and they really have an impact on my reading habits.

  26. Lauren @ Love is not a triangle

    I love this post so much! It makes my heart happy. I know there is a broad spectrum of self-pubs out there, but I LOVE the feeling of discovering a GOOD self published book. Then I get so proud when they are picked up by a publisher. I read this one before S&S got to it, and I’ve enjoyed watching it’s journey to bookstore shelves and from blogger to blogger. The internet and ereaders have opened up so many opportunities and given us authors and books that we might not have read otherwise. Thanks for this post! it is inspiring and exciting.

  27. Tammy Sparks

    I’ve heard nothing but great reviews about this book. I am so intrigued to read it! I have to admit as a blogger I’ve encountered some truly horrible indie books, and I’ve been put off reading them lately. Most indie writers do not take the time to polish and proofread their manuscripts, so I think Katja’s story is unusual. But I hope other indie writers will read this post and work just as hard to make their work shine. I enjoyed this post very much, thank you for the giveaway:)

  28. Tirta Pangestu Putri

    Ahh, I really love reading this post! I remember reading TSoT around the end of 2012 and there was still only few people who have read the book… And now seeing it turned big and so many people read it and saying great things about it… Wow. But the author really deserves it, she wrote an amazing story. I love Nastya & Josh so much <3

  29. Tanja - Tanychy

    What a great story. I’m not surprised that this book turned out to be published by a great publishing house. I’ve read it and it totally deserves to be published. This is one of the obvious examples how bloggers and readers can push a book :) Great post! :)

  30. Tricia C.

    Composition books, receipts, miscellaneous pieces of paper – LOVE it!! That picture of her notebook stack is quite wonderful. Hers is an amazing journey.

  31. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    I love this!! I was one of the early(ish) readers for TSoT and it was exactly word of mouth on twitter that led me to discover it. Then all the reviews that had been pouring in on Amazon & Goodreads convinced me that it was a total “me book” and they were right.

  32. Cassi Haggard

    I’m not much of a romance reader but when I see gushing reviews I always think hmmm….maybe this is an exception.

  33. Vivien

    I love reading these kind of posts. Even to someone who doesn’t write, I love reading about the time leading up to and after publishing. It’s so bloody complicated to an outsider! It’s encouraging to hear author’s have good experiences. I can only hope I continuing hearing positive things!

  34. Busybeesfamily

    What a moving, thoughtful post. I have never read anything self published before and this looks like a great place to start.

  35. Diamond Cronen

    Really really good to hear her story about going from self-published to big-published. An author friend of mine just got picked up by S&S and is going through the pain of waiting.

    Although I’m not a writer, just a reader and book blogger–it’s really nice to hear how people like me can help books get off the ground. ^_^

    I love the cover of Sea of Tranquility. It’s magical. I have wanted to read it for awhile, since I saw it on GR and started seeing reviews pop up around the blogosphere. My friends recommended it to me too!

  36. Carl Scott

    The journey through self-publishing is certainly an interesting one. What a lot of work it has been. I’d love to win a copy of TSoT, I’m sure it will live up to the huge number of positive reviews all over the internet. Thanks for making a copy available.

  37. Sophia

    i’ve had really mixed feelings about self-published books, but this post really blew me away. i’m the kind of person that’s obviously been living under a rock, because i never knew that the sea of tranquility was self-published in its beginning! it’s incredible to know a story of an author whose book has been affected by the blogging community. it’s seriously SO incredible! and now, even my friends outside of blogging have read it and loved it. this post is so eye-opening and insightful. thanks so much for sharing. :) i can’t wait to read the sea of tranquility. i’ve heard only amazing things about it.

  38. bforbethany

    i’m a boomerang to the YA book world (it’s been a while since i’ve really read anything YA — hunger games was probably my last obsession and then it’s been full force since). LOVE this blog and the books you highlight–can’t wait to see how this meets or exceeds my expectations!

  39. Keertana

    What an incredible post! I had no idea that this process was so long, but it’s also so inspiring. Thanks for sharing, Wendy! :)

  40. Aneeqah

    Wow, that was a really, really great post! It just goes to show what power blogger and readers actually have in this day and age. This is great inspiration for self-pubbed authors, honestly, because anything can happen if your book is good enough.

    Lovely post! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  41. Lea (YA Book Queen)

    What a great guest post – such an interesting journey. It sounds like her success is well deserved – hard work pays off in the end :)

  42. Danny

    This is such a beautiful story and I admit having water in my eyes. It’s so incredible what is happening right now to amazing authors like Katja! I’m excited to hear such story and … being a big fan of TSoT I can just stand up and applaud and congratulate from the bottom of my heart!

    Thanks for sharing!

  43. Becky

    I had no idea that when I got my hands on this book that it was so new and self published. In the day of e-readers, it’s rare that I buy the physical book when I’ve already bought the electronic version, but I HAD TO with TSoT. I love this book and Katja is an absolute sweetheart (she lets me stalk her on Twitter!) I’m so happy for her success. I look forward to future words from her!

  44. erin

    Thanks for the great post! Congrats to Katja on the new release! I’ve been reading such great buzz about this book, it’s definitely caught my attention :)

  45. Amy

    What a fantastic guest post!! I love knowing how a story starts and how it came to be where it is now. Her story is amazing and I am so happy for her. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this story and I can’t wait to read it!

  46. Taylor Knight

    I’ve seen only great reviews for this book.
    I’m really excited to read it.
    It’s hard (for me anyway) to find a really awesome contemporary book.

  47. Kara_Malinczak

    I just read this book and I loved it. I did only give it 3 stars because of some technical issues, but you know, I got attached to these characters more than I have gotten attached to any characters in a long while. Learning about Katja Millay’s process brought tears to my eyes because it was such an amazing story and I can feel all the emotions behind her words. I am so happy for her success and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

  48. Julie@My5monkeys

    wow I loved learning how this book came to be. I really enjoyed this story so much. I am glad to hear that nothing really changed :)

  49. Sarah P

    Because I’ve heard lots of great things about it and now I know lots of interesting things about its publishing journey!

  50. Karen

    I loved this book so much even though it ripped my heart out at times.

    It’s great to hear the story of how it came to be and that it was Katja’s vision from beginning to end.

  51. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    Katja!!! I am so happy for her. I am so happy that this amazing book is getting the praise and attention it deserves. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post.

  52. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Very interesting journey to publishing! It’s a hard choice to make — do you go traditional or do you try the self-pub route? Especially difficult, since you didn’t already have a social media presence. But congratulations!

  53. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    What an interesting post! I love hearing how TSoT came about and how she decided to self-pub, which eventually led to being picked up. I am a huge fan of this book! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  54. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    HOly smokes self pubbing is quite the process. I have this one on my Kindle and really need to get around to reading it because everyone that I know adores the novel. So great that this happened to someone like Katja she seems like a really great woman. Thanks for sharing!

  55. Lexxie Lin

    WOW, this is really awesome, and I think a lot of new authors who have not published yet (whether they want to self-pub or not) can take quite a lot of advice from this.

    I can’t participate in the giveaway, but I already own the book anyway :) Thanks for sharing, ladies!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  56. Melanie

    Another amazing post. I seriously enjoyed reading this guest post, I’ve always been intrigued about an author’s journey. Katja’s is amazing, and I love how she began writing it. Though I’d probably go all OCD about titbits of paper everywhere and stop completely.

    Thanks for sharing guys, I am so excited to read The Sea of Tranquility! <33

  57. A.J.

    Wow, this was such an amazing post. I was tearing up a bit. So inspiring.

    TSoT is one of my favorite books. I read it last year, and I’m still thinking about it. <3