3 S.R. Johannes: Bookanistas: Guest Post by Elle Strauss (It's a Little Haywire)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bookanistas: Guest Post by Elle Strauss (It's a Little Haywire)

Elle Strauss is the author of Clockwise (YA Time Travel) and her newest middle grade, It's a Little Haywire.

Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka, Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact, the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.

Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?

And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?

I asked Elle to stop by to talk about her decision to publish her middle grade.

Well, I guess the simple answer to the question, why did I indie my middle grade is because I can. I think the most frustrating thing with traditional publishing, at least for me, was having to wait for someone else to say, yes, let’s publish this.

I had an agent. I actually had two agents. And for a myriad of reasons, this never led to a sale of any of my books.

My choices then were to shelve them and move on, or to do it myself. So, I did it myself. I published my YA time travel rom/com, CLOCKWISE last fall and never looked back.

When I decided I wanted to publish my middle grade, IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE, quite honestly, it never even occurred to me to seek representation for it.

Not that its easy to sell middle grade books at an indie publisher especially e-books. It’s not. (And yes, I will put out a print version of It’s a Little Haywire sometime this year.)

My wager is that with ereaders getting more affordable, middle graders will be reading on them. The tide hasn’t hit yet, but it will. Parents are handing them down to teens and tweens, schools are picking them up. It’s just a matter of time.

I realize that my buyers will be parents and grandparents, but that’s usually the case for middle grade anyway.

And for me, doing it myself means it’s actually going to get done and before I grow old and die. J Plus, I don’t have to worry about it getting pulled off the shelf in three months. The virtual book shelf never gets full.

Go and download It's a Little Haywire - it's free but only for 22nd and 23rd.

You can find her hanging out at:

To read other Bookanista posts:

Christine Fonseca  interviews author L.K. Gardner-Griffie
Corinne Jackson announces Change Write Now: Round 2 signups are open
Carolina Valdez Miller adores UNDER THE NEVER SKY - with giveaway
Jen Hayley has a passion for PARTIALS
Debra Driza falls for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Jessica Love shares some TIME BETWEEN US cover talk
Tracy Banghart jumps for CATCHING JORDAN
Stasia Ward Kehoe contemplates middle grade series
LiLa Roecker is enthralled with THE NIGHT CIRCUS


Jemi Fraser said...

I loved Elle's Clockwise! Can't wait to read this one too! I've got a few kids in my class with ereaders they own or share with their family - I'm definitely going to tell them about this tomorrow! :)

Christina Farley said...

I need to read both of her books. I just downloaded her MG on my kindle. Yay! Can't wait to read it.

Linda Jackson said...

Congratulations, Elle. When I read the description of your novel, indie-pub was the last thing on my mind. My first thought was that it's good to see that publishers are still publishing realistic, fun stories for kids. But good for you that you decided to do it yourself.
And you are right. When you do it yourself, YOU decide your book's shelf life. I self-pubbed an MG novel 10 years ago (because I wanted to). And even when I've tried to allow it to go "out of print", someone is always looking for copies. I'm so glad Amazon started Createspace. Now I let them handle my inventory by printing on demand.
Much success to you, Elle.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats Elle! It sounds like a great decision for you. It's so interesting to watch all the new ways people are getting their stories out. Good luck with your book.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I already have this one and plan to feature on MMGM pretty soon! :-)

Elle Strauss said...

Thanks for having me, Shelli!

Kelly Polark said...

Thanks for the free download, Elle! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Marcia said...

Elle, thanks for the free download! I look forward to reading this.