I promised to give a more detailed update of my self-publishing journey in July. Since it’s the last day of July, my day of reckoning has come.

Where am I in the process?

It’s summer so I’m going to use a roller coaster analogy. You know that part of the coaster ride when the chain lift pulls your car to the top of that first, uber-tall lift hill? Well, I’m almost at the top of that.

Shutterstock, roller coaster, Image ID:197772362, Copyright: MyImages - Micha

What the heck is a “lift hill”?

In publishing, it’s EVERYTHING THAT GOES INTO GETTING YOUR BOOK READY FOR LAUNCH, which includes:

  • The book:
    • Outline/Research/Buy 12 month supply of coffee, wine, M&Ms… whatever you need to power through
    • Write it! (if this is where you are, DON’T QUIT!!! It’s like getting off the roller coaster before it peaks on the lift hill. Don’t you want to ride the ride?! 😀 )
    • Edit/Revise: I hired Betsy Mitchell to help me and her comments and notes have been terrific. She’s worked with some amazing writers and I was really excited when she said she was interested in working with me. In many respects, it’s been a lot like working with my former editor, Jessica Wade (who I still miss!!). Betsy gave me a four page editorial letter and a marked-up manuscript. As I’ve done with each of my past manuscripts, I started with the localized, easy fixes and am working my way toward solving the bigger, more systemic problems. Revisions are less daunting that way.
    • Proof/Format
    • Design the cover
    • Create the book “extras”: praise page, copyright page, author’s note, discussion questions, acknowledgements, bio, back cover copy, etc.
    • ISBN
  • Distribution plan:
    • Decide what formats you want to offer (I want to offer both digital and print versions, although I might offer the print version a bit later… not really sure yet)
    • Decide where you want to offer your book (I still need to decide whether I want to enroll in KDP Select or go for wider distribution. Have thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments!)
    • Price. I haven’t set this yet but the digital version of Noon #4 will be lower than previous digital versions of books in the series (current Amazon prices for those, which are NOT set by me, are $7.99 for B2 and B3 and $8.99 for B1 – !!) If you have thoughts on price — what you’re willing to pay, what you think readers are willing to pay — let me know in the comments. The price for the print version of Pocket Full of Tinder, on the other hand, will likely be higher than the mass market versions for the first three books. But it’s still nice to have the option to offer print books.
  • Marketing plan:
    • Cover reveal: would be nice to do this when I have my pre-order links ready, but I’ll have to see if this makes sense once I’m at that point (hopefully, soon!)
    • ARCs / advance reviews: this one, I’m still thinking about. LOTS to consider – timing, logistics, etc…
    • Blog tour
    • Release day event
    • Other events: I mentioned already that I’m going to attend HallowRead. Due to my work schedule and the still-uncertain release date, I might just be hanging out in the audience, soaking up all the awesome genre goodness with everyone else. Will keep you posted though — and will let you know of any other places I might be this fall. It’s always fun to meet readers and other writers!!
    • Advertising: I’ll probably buy one/some, but gotta keep it reasonable. While I think ads can be effective in terms of letting readers know what might be available, I’m already worried about blowing my budget. I mentioned before that continuing the Noon series on my own might be a fool’s errand (not because the character, world, and stories aren’t compelling, but for business reasons). I’m determined, however, to release Pocket Full of Tinder and make it the best that I can!!

Newsletter winner

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Thoughts on my newsletter sign-up pop-up? Are any of you blog subscribers annoyed by it? I hope not! If I designed it right, it should only pop up the first time you visit and then you shouldn’t see it again. But let me know if it’s not working the way I think it is. Obviously, newsletter subscribers are really important to me, but I care about my blog subscribers and casual drop-in visitors too!

Hope everyone’s having a nice summer — full of reading, writing, roller coasters, and other favorite things!