Writer Inspiration: Indie YA Fantasy Author Learns As She Goes by Beth Barany

Indie YA Fantasy Author Learns As She Goes

By Beth Barany

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”

–Helen Keller

I dove in with both feet, both as an author and as an indie publisher of my own work.

I’m happy to chat here on Musetracks to share some of what I’ve learned on my adventure and to participate as a guest blogger to promote my upcoming release of the print edition of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer, my first novel. Be sure to read to the end of this post to participate in my blog tour’s monthly giveaway and Grand Giveaway.

Pretty much every time I sit down to write I say, “I don’t know what to say.” I start at zero and I’m okay with that. From there I turn to help. Sometimes to my husband to talk it out. Sometimes I look around my environment for inspiration. Sometimes I just set the time for 20 minutes and go!

Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, available on the Kindle and Nook, is a young adult novel that I’ve been working on for the last seven years. It’s 238 pages, for ages 12 and up.

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can’t stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will misfit companions, seasickness, and an egomaniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?

Yep. It took me seven years to get to this point. In that time I’ve learned so much.

As I said, I’m a hands-on learner. I learn by doing.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • how to write compelling and memorable fiction
  • world building
  • how to receive critiques
  • how to edit fiction
  • how to reedit fiction (and again and again!)
  • how to query agents and editors
  • how to handle rejection

And then this January I decided to self-publish and I had to learn for myself (and am still learning!) more things, like:

  • cover design
  • finding my audience
  • what my audience wants
  • how to organize a blog tour
  • how to solicit book reviews
  • and more!

And I didn’t do this alone.

The so cool thing about being indie published — this whole adventure — is we don’t have to do it alone; we are in this together. I have found so many great resources for indie authors, and even created one of my own, a Facebook group for Indie YA fantasy authors: http://on.fb.me/IndieYAFantasyAuthors.


I created this group because I wanted a place to share resources, especially marketing resources. I wanted a place to celebrate our successes and a way to be laser focused on my marketing.

It’s one thing to support all indie authors, it’s another to support authors in your same or related genre.

I love supporting and helping other YA and fantasy authors that are focused on adventure.

As I’ve progressed in sharing the news about my book, I’ve been getting to know my readers better.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned by talking to girls, including my twelve-year-old niece, and her three girlfriends over breakfast, and their moms:

  • teen girls read mostly print books
  • moms are always looking for good fiction for their daughters
  • teens love school visits as long as the presenter is interesting and funny (Funny is important, my niece said.)
  • lots of girls and boys love adventure stories; lots of young 20-something women do too!
  • a good cover that captures the eye produces a fun Wow! response

As I progress in my blog book tour — it lasts through August — I look forward to learning more and to setting up my in-person school visits. (I need to learn how to do that!)

So to learn more about you, and for you to enter my giveaway, please share what you love about adventure stories. Be sure to include your email so you can enter to win a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer (print or ebook), and to enter the Grand Giveaway, a replica of the necklace around Henrietta’s neck. (See book cover)

Want more of Beth and Henrietta The Dragon Slayer? Visit her website
Visit her Buy Links page to Purchase.
And be sure to follow her Summer Blog Tour.  You can find her schedule here.



Beth is also having a big contest as part of her Summer Blog Tour!  Enter for a chance to win a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer and the necklace Henrietta is wearing on the book cover!

Giveaway Rules for the Summer Blog Tour of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany

Contest will run from May through August.

You may enter as many times as you like throughout the summer for the Grand Giveaway, though you can only win one book.

Just leave Beth a comment and you’re entered.

Check out her blog stops and tour schedule Here for more chances to win!
Be sure to include your email address so you can be contacted if you win!

You can receive the print or digital edition of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer. International entrants okay.

She will pick a winner on the last day of each month using Random.org.

She’ll pick a winner for the necklace from all the entries from May through August on the last day of August. If you have won a book you are still eligible to win the necklace!

Individual bloggers may be hosting same-day giveaways. So you have extra chances to win a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer! Be sure to stop by to enter for the Grand Giveaway!


Good Luck!

12 Responses to Writer Inspiration: Indie YA Fantasy Author Learns As She Goes by Beth Barany

  1. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I have never read about dragons before or a dragon slayer. Sounds very interesting. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com


  2. Beth Barany says:

    Victoria, Consider yourself entered! And good luck! Thanks for stopping by.


  3. The book sounds great. I find it disheartening, though, that every time I find a book that’s off the beaten track and original, it’s usually been self-published or pubbed by a small press. The large presses, I’m convinced, are primarily looking for copies of what is already on the shelves.

    End rant. Please enter me in the content.


  4. jbrayweber says:

    Thank you, Beth, for coming to MuseTracks. It is an honor to have you.
    Congratulations on your indie release. And, isn’t today your birthday? Happy birthday!

    Here’s to many soaring sales!



  5. Beth Barany says:

    Shauna, Thanks for the rant. 🙂 You’re entered in the contest!


  6. Beth Barany says:


    Yes it is my birthday! Thanks!



  7. Mary Preston says:

    ‘Henrietta The Dragon Slayer’ looks amazing. Fingers crossed.



  8. Beth Barany says:

    Thanks, Mary! Good luck!


  9. Kristen says:

    You’re a slayer in your own right–taking on the publishing dragons! Best of luck to you!


  10. Beth Barany says:

    Thanks Kristen! And thanks for stopping by. Good luck taking on your own dragons!


  11. BethBarany says:

    Shauna! You’re the lucky winner of a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer! Your rant worked!! I’ll contact you privately about getting your print or e-copy to you! Congratulations again!! Beth Barany, Author of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer


  12. Great news! Thanks, Beth.


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