In three weeks, my second novel Suddenly Forever releases into the world! To say there’s been a lot going on in my world and heart is an understatement. I’ve talked on here before about how publishing a book is like birthing a baby. While I won’t belabor (pun not intended – ha!) that comparison again today, I am full of the weight we indie publishers sometimes carry. Though I do have several folks who help me with certain steps of the process, I am my own marketing, design, sales, and accounting departments!
I’ve heard from a lot of readers that they love learning behind-the-scenes stuff about authors’ process. What it takes to get a book on the shelves. So, I thought I’d share a run-down of what I’ve been busy doing the last few weeks as release day approaches!
- EDITS!!! As soon as my editor sent back her copy edit notes a few weeks ago, it was go-time! Because I set some quicker deadlines than usual, I really put in some late hours to do some scene rewrites and address my love-hate relationship with dangling modifiers. (PS Thank God for editors!!!)
- Once edits were done, it was time to format the Advanced Reader Copy for my street team members and a few bloggers/reviewers. This step is both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking because it’s the first time readers other than my critique partners began reading the story! Here’s a little insider info: I received my master’s degree in English with a concentration in book design through an editing and publishing program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. So, I actually LOVE working on formatting.
- Next up, I designed the cover for the paperback book. I don’t have formal training in graphic design, but it’s been part of my job for more than 15 years. I absolutely LOVE it. I designed the cover for my first book Someplace Familiar and loved doing the same for the cover for Suddenly Forever, too. Incidentally, just this week I also finished up the paperback cover for the Something Borrowed: Christmas Weddings Collection that my novel Somehow, This Christmas appears in (releasing October 20!). Now, I am waiting anxiously for the final proof copy of the novel to arrive from Amazon. Once I thumb through one last time, I can give the final thumbs up for production!!
- Speaking of design, I’ve also been busy designing marketing materials for the book. Social media memes, posts, advertisements, bookmarks, quote cards, etc. Here’s a few I’m really loving so far:
- Marketing for a new book can be overwhelming. There are so many options out there and even as someone who works on marketing in my day job, it’s daunting to know what to pick to promote your book. I’m currently working through a schedule of features on several book blogs, review sites, multi-author promotions, and more. Hopefully, you’ll start to see Suddenly Forever out and about more and more in the coming days and weeks.
- A brand new adventure I’ve embarked on in the last several weeks is PODCAST INTERVIEWS! AH! For an introvert, this has been a HUGE step out of my comfort zone. I’m so excited to be featured soon on the Because Fiction Podcast (September 29), Footnotes with Jaime Jo Wright Podcast, and A Rough Draft Life Podcast! I’ll share the other dates as soon as I know!
- Swag, baby! Even though I don’t craft as much as I used to, I’ve been having fun putting together some fun swag for folks who have partnered with me to help champion the book. I just mailed off “kits” to a few VIP guests who will join me at my BOOK LAUNCH BONFIRE celebration on Facebook, coming up Friday, October 9. Stay tuned for a formal invitation soon! I’m also getting some thank you swag ready for my sweet street team folks.
- Tired yet???? Me, too. HAHA. I feel like I could go on and on and on. It’s another full-time job, this author gig. But I love every minute of it. In addition to the above, there’s been lots of music jams, endless coffee, and prayer!
- Prayer, you say? YES! About this time, with just a few weeks left before the book is “live,” I begin praying daily that God gets the book into the hands of the people who need the story most. I pray for God’s truths to settle into the hearts of those who need to hear them. I pray the book reaches far and wide and glorifies God in new and unexpected ways. This story’s characters have all been touched by grief and search for hope. So many of us can relate to this longing, so I’ll continue to pray that ALL readers will find just that — hope — in these pages.
If you’ve read this far, you get an extra gold star.
Thanks for peeking behind the curtain with me on what life has looked like recently. I forgot to mention that all of the above happens IN ADDITION to my full-time day job. Whew! Be sure to tune into the Because Fiction Podcast episode I mentioned above. Chautona Havig and I chat about what “writing on the fringes” looks like for me.
And lastly…for those of you who prefer ebooks, don’t forget there’s still time to PRE-ORDER Suddenly Forever! When you pre-order you ensure you’ll be among the first to get the book delivered to you on release day, October 6! Like paperbacks? Don’t worry…those will be available October 6, too!