Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I’ve started this blog to coincide with the release of my book Pleasure Island which is a contemporary romance published by Siren Bookstrand, due out on the 13th March. I just finished looking at the final edits today and now it’s just a matter of waiting for it to be released. It’s all very exciting!
This is my second published novel. My first book Shadows of Yesterday which is a romantic suspense was released by Breathless Press in November 2011. As you can probably tell, I’m still finding my feet as an author and trying different genres to see what works for me. Both novels were enjoyable to write for different reasons and the publishing process had been very smooth and stress-free with both publishers.
As a newbie author I really had no idea of what to expect, and here are some things that have surprised me:

·         How much input I have had into editing. I really thought that an editor would snatch my baby from my hands and that I’d have very little input into the changes that were made. Maybe it’s just the two great publishers I’ve worked with, but I’ve had approval over everything, right down to commas and full-stops. All suggestions for improvements have been precisely that. – suggestions - which I have not felt pressured to accept. This has been a very nice surprise, although the approval for every single extra full-stop can get a bit much!
·         Along the same lines, I was pleasantly surprised at how much input I’ve had into cover design. Once again I thought this would be out of my hands but both my covers have been pretty much exactly what I asked for. This has been great for me as I absolutely love planning covers. I’ve read about authors with big publishing houses who have been really disappointed with the way their books have been marketed through their cover art, but they’ve been powerless to do anything about it. I’m guessing this level of involvement must only be possible with smaller publishers.

·         How hard it is to write blurbs. I thought query writing was painful enough, but blurbs are a nightmare. When you know the blurb is one of the things that will make or break your book it really puts the pressure on. How many times have you looked at a book that appeals to you only to be turned off by the blurb? You really only have one chance to grab the reader and very few words to do it in.

·         How much effort authors have to put into marketing themselves. I just assumed that you wrote a book, it got published and you moved onto the next book. Maybe in the old days when publishers did most of the marketing it worked like that, but now authors have to be ready to go into cyberspace and really beat their own drum. I’m not experienced at self-promotion but for the sake of my books, I am now pulling on my boots and venturing into this brave new world with my blog (and website which is also on the way). I hope you will accompany me on my journey!

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