Frequently Asked Questions
Hello and welcome! I love talking about writing and publishing, but if I gave every question I get the amount of time it needs for the comprehensive answer you deserve, I wouldn't have any time to write more books!
So please take a look at these answers and see if they will help you with what you need. If they do, great! I wish you the best of luck in your writing and publishing pursuits.
If you still need help, feel free to email me and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can! If you have a more urgent need for advice about your writing and publishing journey, consider booking a coaching call with me. These bookings go straight into my calendar the moment you chose a time block, so you can know exactly when we will be able to talk directly so you can get the answers you need.
Best of luck!
FAQ for Fellow Writers
Can you read/critique/edit my book?
I wish I could! Writing a book is an incredible accomplishment, and you should be very proud of your book. And getting feedback on it is the next step to making it as fantastic as you can. But unfortunately, I already have several critique partners and am not able to commit to reading for any additional writers at this point.
But! You absolutely should pursue getting feedback on your manuscript before publishing it. I'd recommend paying a professional developmental editor to really refine your book's structure and character development. But first, I'd recommend finding another writer to swap manuscripts with before paying for an editor.
What is your advice for working with critique partners and editors?
Through writing more than ten books and independently publishing three of them so far, I've refined my editing process to what works perfectly for me. I'm happy to share my process with you, but keep in mind that this isn't the only way to do it. This is just the process that works best for me.
Personally, I like to revise a manuscript at least two or three times (sometimes it takes a lot more!) until I am absolutely sure there's nothing else I can improve without an outside perspective. It's a waste of everyone's time if I send a critique partner (CP) a manuscript that still has problems I'm aware of. I want my CP to only have to spend time pointing out things I couldn't already see for myself. If there's a lot of silly issues with a manuscript still, then my CP might miss things I'd want to know about in all the clutter I should have cleaned up.
So, after revising as much as I possibly can myself, I send the manuscript to a CP. Then I'll revise the manuscript based on their feedback, and then usually have one or two more CPs take a look at it. Once I've revised based on the second set of CP feedback, the book should be in pretty good shape.
I'd then hire a developmental editor, then a line editor, then a copyeditor, then a proofreader. By that point, the book is ready for formatting and then final pass pages, when I look at each page one last time before ordering a proof copy to ensure that all the formatting is as it should be.
Some editors combine some of the editing types listed above. Use your best judgement when choosing which editors and how many of them to work with. The editing will be the most expensive part of the process for you (probably more expensive than the cover) but I can't stress enough how much you should make quality editing a priority. If you want your readers to feel like they're reading a quality novel, you can't skimp on this.
Can I talk to you directly about my writing or publishing questions?
Yes, you can! You can book a consult call with me and I can answer your questions over Zoom. Because I have a busy schedule with lots of clients and deadlines to juggle, I have preset time blocks available for you to choose from in my calendar.
Please be aware that there is a charge for consult calls. Unfortunately, due to volume of interest and the many other things requiring my time each day, I'm not able to offer consult calls for free.
I absolutely realize that there are many free resources online and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of those. That's exactly what I've done plenty of! I'm also aware that it can be disappointing to find out that you have to pay in order to speak to someone when you just need a couple of questions answered. However, I am only one person with only so much bandwidth. So I have provided this FAQ to answer many of the questions I receive most often, and I've linked to free resources I've found useful over the years in every FAQ answer I could.
But, if you would like to take advantage of the many thousands of dollars I've spent on conferences, courses, experiments, and other education; as well as the countless thousands of hours I've spent taking in the above educational sources as well as every online resource I could get my hands on, learning and failing and trying again and learning more every single day since 2015, I have made consult calls available to you.
What advice do you have for writers and aspiring authors?
I have learned so many things through my writing journey that I could never fit them all in a reasonable amount of space. So I'll just share my most important writer advice here.
1. Writing is challenging for everyone. If you are feeling like it's really hard and maybe you're just not good enough to write, that's great! Welcome to the club. We all feel like that, even people who've published several books and who may appear to be too successful to ever doubt themselves. Self-doubt and imposter syndrome are normal, so don't stop writing because of that.
2. Never compare yourself to another writer! Look up to them and learn from them, collaborate with them, too. But don't ever compare yourself. Writers with more Instagram followers or even more published books than you have likely been writing for longer than you. If not, then maybe they have some difference in life circumstances (no kids, able to work from home, a more writing-focused college degree) than you that has helped them on their journey. Or maybe any number of other things. Who knows. It doesn't matter. The only useful comparison you can make is comparing your current self to your past self. See how you've improved over time, and then make goals to improve some more. Just please don't waste your time comparing yourself to others. You'll just make yourself miserable, stop yourself from growing, and grow so bitter toward people who may not even know you that you miss out on a chance to become friends with them. It's not worth it.
3. Remember to enjoy the journey. If you're just starting out writing, you're not doing it because there's great money in it. You're probably doing it because you love it. That's why I started, anyway. And it can be easy to forget that enjoyment in a sea of discouragements and comparisons and endless setbacks. Sometimes, a break is necessary. But if you love it, remember why you do and keep that in the front of your mind as you struggle through the rough parts. There are fun seasons and painful seasons and some in between. But they're all worth it. So keep it up and make a point of celebrating your wins, learning from your failures, and enjoying every bit of it that you possibly can.
Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Should I?
I do participate in NaNoWriMo! Nano 2021 was my sixth year in a row and I love it. I recommend giving it a try. But keep in mind that Nano is a tool to help your writing. It's not something you have to do to count as a writer or something. It's not something you should get super stressed over. There's a fine line between pushing yourself to meet a challenging goal and getting yourself really worked up and stressed. I can't tell you how to navigate that.
But the Nano community is wonderfully encouraging and a huge reason I stuck with writing in the beginning when it was the hardest and I was the least sure of myself. I know some successful, published authors who are great at fast drafting (writing a lot of words really fast like one does for Nano) and I know some successful, published authors who just don't write that way. It's not a requirement in any way. But in my experience, it's a really fun time.
So I'd recommend giving it a try, pushing yourself but not taking yourself too seriously, and meeting some fellow writers in the Nano community. It's been life-changing for me and I would love for you to have as wonderful an experience with Nano as I've had!
FAQ for News Features
Will you come to speak at my school?
I love doing school visits! Because of the pandemic, my visiting schedule is very limited. Contact me (or if you are a student, ask your librarian, book club leader, or English teacher to contact me) to see what we can work out.
Can you speak virtually with my book club/library/Facebook group?
I love doing virtual visits! Contact me (or if you are a student, ask your librarian, book club leader, or English teacher to contact me) for more information. Please include your organization and the date and time of the event if those are already set, as well as the subject focus (such as how to become a writer, self-publishing vs traditional publishing, or the Odan Terridor trilogy, etc.) in your email to me.
How can I feature you and/or your books?
Thank you so much for your interest in me and my books! I appreciate you taking the time to feature me! Please be sure to tag me (@savannahjgoins on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Medium) so that I can share the feature and your account with my audience!
For my bio and heashots, as well as book covers, ISBNs, editorial reviews, etc., please take a look at my media kit. If you aren't able to find the information you need there or here in this FAQ, please contact me. Thanks!
FAQ About Savannah's Novels
How many books have you written?
As of December 2021, if we're counting completed first drafts, I've written 10+ manuscripts. Three of those have been published (The Gwythienian, The Crivabanian, and The Cathawyr), and about three more of them have been heavily revised and are somewhat close to being let out into the world. I hope to announce my next book in 2022!
Can I get your books at my local library?
Yes! All you need to do is request the books through your library. They will probably request the ISBNs. You can find these in the Odan Terridor Trilogy file in my Media Kit.
Where can I buy your books? Can I buy signed copies?
The best place to buy my books is through Amazon. You can buy all formats there. Currently, the ebooks are also available in Kindle Unlimited. They won't be there for long though, so take advantage of them while they're there if KU is your thing.
For signed copies, I don't have a store available on my website yet. If you'd like a signed copy, please contact me and include which books you want, whether hardcover or paperback, and the name or names of the person or people you'd like them signed to. You'll receive a Paypal invoice from me. Hardcovers are $20 + shipping. Paperbacks are $15 + shipping.
I live way out in the boonies now, so I'm not always able to send out packages right away. I will do so asap, but please be sure to allow time for shipping when ordering a gift.
Are your books available as audiobooks?
Sadly, not yet. I love listening to audiobooks myself though, so I absolutely intend to get them available in audiobook form some time sooner rather than later!
Can I join your street team to receive new releases before the public?
Absolutely! My street team is open for applications. As of 12/2/2021, my next book has not yet been announced. But street team members and newsletter subscribers will get access to all the exciting details before the general public. If you want in on the fun, go ahead and sign up! You'll get an email when I'm getting ready to make announcements for my next novel. Thanks for your interest in joining my street team!