Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Post: Best Selling Author Jay Crownover


Our guest today is Jay Crownover, Best Selling Author of RULE.  Jay is represented by Stacey Donaghy at the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Today she is sharing some valuable lessons that she learned from self-publishing her first book. A book that unexpectedly became an overnight success and continues to have a stronghold on some best seller lists.

The first thing I learned when venturing into self-publishing is that there can never be too much research. It is very easy to just push the ‘publish’ button, but everything that follows after takes a little bit more work. In my case I didn't give any forethought into my first book Rule being a success by any standards, that means the editing was lacking, I didn't really read the fine print, ended up in a contract that prevents me from profiting on the book in other markets and I had zero plans for marketing and expansion or further stories in place. All of those things were serious oversights that with a little bit of further research I may have avoided and had to scramble to figure out after the deed was already done. I would say start off thinking 1,000 people will buy it and not 10, which is the opposite of what I did, and it’s always better to have faith that the product you are putting out there is great.
The second biggest thing I learned is that criticism is just part of the game and that as a writer you cannot internalize it. Learn from it and respect that everyone has an opinion, but letting it get inside of you is silly and not worth the effort of hurt feelings. As I mentioned above I initially put out a book that had almost zero editing and I got hammered for it, rightfully so, but still sometimes the critique felt personal. I had to make a serious effort to learn to let it go.
The final thing about writing I learned is that if a story speaks to you, then you should just tell it. That’s all I did. I let the characters, their voice and flaws just be the way they needed to be on the paper and it worked out for me. I didn't try and write someone else’s story, or something I thought would sell to the masses, I just told the story as it played out in my head. Have fun with it, writing is work, it takes time and dedication, but it shouldn't ever fell like it’s something you HAVE to do, at least it shouldn't to me. If it ever feels that way then I’ll know for me it’s time to stop.

About Jay Crownover:
I’m a native Coloradoan and if you live here you know why that is a source of pride. I love all the things Colorado has to offer and that is why I choose to set my books in this familiar setting. I try to write about things I know and am familiar with which is why my stories feature plenty of rock and roll and body modification.
I've been in the bar industry since I was in college and I spend over forty hours a week watching the interaction between men and women in a unique way. I think my 9 to 5 job offers me valuable insights into how relationships start and evolve in a social setting. I love it.
I like to write New Adult novels because I remember being in my early twenties and thinking I had it all figured out only to be proven wrong time and time again. When I look back those were the years that defined who I am today, and good or bad those decisions untimely set me on my current path, so that’s what I like to explore in my writing.

About Rule:

I loved Rule Archer since the first moment I ever laid eyes on him. He was everything I shouldn't want and the only person I went out of my way to not try and please. He only saw me as a brat, as an entitled, stuck up princess but worse than that all he saw when he looked at me was his deceased twin brother's girl. It broke my heart because as much as I had loved Remy Archer there was never anything romantic between us and no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that loving Rule was a terrible idea, my poor heart just wouldn't listen. We tolerated each other, barely. We forged an uneasy alliance until one night I had too much to drink and changed the way we were forever. Suddenly lifelong secrets were no longer hidden and the one thing I always wanted for myself seemed obtainable as long as I was willing to go through hell to hold onto it.

Shaw Landon was a class act and I had no idea what to do with her. She was tied to my family, tied to the person that was my other half so I tolerated her and her haughty attitude because I didn't have any other choice. What I didn't know was that a short skirt and too many cocktails on her birthday was going to change my outlook on her for the rest of my life. Some people thought I hid behind all my tattoos and piercings, that I tried to distance myself from my dead twin, Shaw saw through it all and wasn't scared of what was underneath.
We weren't supposed to be together, weren't supposed to be anything except uncomfortable acquaintances but that all changed in the blink of an eye. Now I had to figure out just how a girl like her and a guy like me were supposed to be in love without destroying each other. Add in her custom made ex and two disapproving sets of parents and the whole situation sounded to me like it was more trouble than it was worth.

Follow the Author:
Buy on Amazon 
Jay Crownover's Blog
@jaycrownover on Twitter
Find Jay Crownover on Facebook

We give thanks to Jay Crownover for participating in this tour and wish her many many successes! I know that she continue to make them. 

I hope that you enjoyed this post. I think that Jay has brought up some very interesting points that I may ask her to elaborate on. If you have any questions, please do post them here! The purpose of these posts is to share useful experiences and tips with authors to not only make them better writers but also better business people. Remember information is power, so keep learning! 

I hope that you take a look at them and that you come back tomorrow to meet the next guest. 

Happy Learning! 


  1. A valuable lesson re the necessity of good editing before pushing the "publish" button. I hope other Indie authors take heed. Thanks for the honest and authentic sharing, Jay. Best of luck with your new ventures!

  2. I love this synopsis! Going over to Amazon now to check it out.

  3. "Have fun with it, writing is work, it takes time and dedication, but it shouldn't ever feel like it’s something you HAVE to do." So true. Writing is what we DO. For example, the other night, when I finally shut down around 11:59, I went downstairs to brush my teeth. But I found a few more words in my head. So I ran up, and added them, toothpaste still in my mouth. Then, as I washed my face...you guessed it. At least I dried off first. All told, I think I wrote about 250 words AFTER calling it a night.

  4. As an indie author with at least one bad experience with a disintegrating publisher under her belt, I can tell you I research EVERYTHING now and have even adopted a new saying: Write, publish and be informed!

  5. Love this!! Thanks Jay

    Atta girl!

    Michelle :D

  6. This book really surprised me. It had great ratings so I knew I would like it, but I loved it. First of all, Rule was such a hotty and when the book first started I didn't think I would like him based on his promiscuous ways. I quickly learned I was wrong. The way he looked out for Shaw and was so good to his friends made me fall for him quickly. Shaw's character was refreshing because she was smart, beautiful, and strong. She put up with a lot from Rule, which only made her love for him that much more believable.

    The character development and storyline for this book was spot on and wouldn't have changed anything. I was so glad I decided to purchase this book!