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My manuscript is out on submission!

Before I get to today’s post, I wanted to let you know that my agent,  Michele Rubin of Writers House, has agreed to be interviewed for my blog. I think we will be doing it in the next week or two, so get ready for some secrets from an industry insider! I also have a few other agents who have shown interest in being interviewed, so stay tuned! Now, on to today’s post!

I can’t believe I’ve finally reached this moment! My book is officially out on sub! Sure, I’m so nervous I have heartburn (although that could also be the baby!), but I also have to just savor this moment. It’s been a long road and I can’t believe I’m finally here!

I know it’s going to be a long wait. Michele says it’s next to impossible to hear back before two weeks and it will probably be more like 4-8. Apparently, if they read it and decide they want it, it then has to be run past and okay-ed by many more people in-house.

Looking back, it really has been a long and bumpy road. For those of you interested in the statistics of how I got here, here is the timeline of this writer!

2001- First attempt at a novel, which I don’t finish  Three more unfinished attempts follow.

2007- Start writing what will be my first finished novel.

2008- Submit first novel to Harlequin and receive a a long, detailed  personalized rejection. Also, get married!

2009- Finish rough draft of Drive Back the Darkness. Find out I’m pregnant!

2010- Revise Drive Back the Darkness and have baby. (For the record, having a baby slows everything WAY down!)

Spring of 2011- Start submitting Drive Back the Darkness.  Receive LOTS of rejections and some requests. Continue revising and re-submitting.

November of 2011- Participate in NaNoWriMo and write rough draft of Below the Surface, my contemporary YA.

Rest of 2011- Revise Below the Surface.

Jan of 2012- Start submitting Below the Surface to agents. Immediately start to get requests, which surprises me.

June of 2012- I receive a  long detailed letter from two separate agents asking for revisions. I revise and continue to send out to agents, and continue to receive requests. I receive an offer of publication from a small press for Drive Back the Darkness, which I take.

July 2012- I receive my first offer from an agent for Below the Surface. I notify other agents and receive more offers.  On July 20th, I sign with Michele Rubin.

September- I receive revision requests from Michele.  Drive back the Darkness is published on Sept. 14th.

October- I finish the revisions.  Michele loves them (Yay!). On October 18th, Below the Surface goes out to 6 big publishers! Now, the waiting can begin!

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The next step on the road to publication.

First of all, we didn’t get four inches of snow, but we did get some! Check it out!

Now, on to today’s post!

I know many of my regular readers have been walking with me along the road to publication. Now it’s time to move on to the next step: submission! (Yikes!)

So far, I wrote my manuscript, rewrote it multiple times, and then I queried agents. In August, I signed with Michele Rubin, of Writers House. Then I worked with her to do another, massive revision. Yesterday  I talked to her on the phone, and she loved it! She said she thinks the book is ready to go out!

So what happens next? I will, of course keep you all updated! Here is our plan for now:

1. We will start sending the book out the week after next, not this coming week, because of the Frankfurt Book Fair. If you want to check the fair out, you can find more info here. A lot of editors and publishers are there, so were going to wait for them to get back in the office.

2. While we wait, I have to write an author bio, assemble a few comparable titles, and write a page and a half, pithy description of my book, for Michele’s eyes only.

3. Then, the week after next, we will start sending it out. Michele plans to start with six big publishers. She expects that it will take anywhere from a week or two to several months to hear back from them. during that time I will… wait. 🙂

4. Well, not just wait. We’re going to be talking over ideas for my next book, but I’mm not sure how far I’m going to get on it before the baby comes. We have a C-section scheduled for the 18th of December. I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes early though.

So that’s the plan! I also plan to go to the store and buy about 5 bottles of Tums! I can’t imagine anything more nerve-wracking then waiting to hear back from all these big publishers. It seems much worse than waiting for agents. Does anybody have any advice for getting through the next couple of weeks? I sure could use it!

Win a free copy of my book!

Four days to go until the big book release everybody! To celebrate, I’m going to do a giveaway of my book! If you’d like to win a free digital copy of my book (remember, the print version doesn’t release until December!), please use the “contact me” form to send me your name and email address, along with a message that says something like “contest entry”. All entries must be received by September 13th, 11:59 pm Central Standard Time.  I’ll announce the winner either Friday the 14th or Monday the 17th.

Also, I’m thinking of holding a critique contest at the end of September (if I finish my revisions!). I’d critique ten pages, about 2,500 words, of the winner’s manuscript. Would anyone be interested in that?

In other news, I’ve been plugging along, just trying to keep my head above water. We’re in the middle of potty training our son, and let  me tell you it’s a LOT of work. I’m in the 26th week of my pregnancy, and I’m trying to keep our house spick and span, because it’s for sale. My husband has a new job this summer and is working 12-14 hour days. I’m crazy busy doing publicity for my book, and working frantically on revising my second book for my agent. I’ve decided to take your advice, my dear readers. If I don’t have my revisions done by September the 18th, I’m going to break down and ask my parents to come stay and help me. It turns out, I’m NOT Super Woman, and I CAN’T do everything myself! 🙂 Who knew!?!?

I also wanted to send a mass apology to all of you readers who have left comments and emails for me. I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to them. It’s not because I don’t appreciate and love you all. It’s because I often find myself asleep with my head on my desk, with no idea how it got there! I do plan on trying to answer some of them over the next few days…

No rest for the weary! I’m off to do some more work. Have a beautiful day everyone!

My book trailer and blog tour schedule!

Here is my book trailer! Enjoy!

Also, I’ve pasted my blog tour schedule below! I can’t believe my book is going to be released in nine days! I didn’t ever really think this day would come. I’m kind of still in shock! Thank you to everyone who has been so kind and supportive!

September 14th: Tara Len Walker (Interview)
September 17th: The eBook Reviewers (Interview)
September 18th: Colorimetry (Interview)
September 19th: Book Briefs (Review)
September 22nd: The Book Lovers Report (Spotlight)
September 24th: Laura DeLuca (Spotlight)
September 28th: Books by Centeno (Spotlight)
October 1st: Ella’s Muse (Spotlight)
October 2nd: The Howling Turtle (Spotlight) 
October 3rd: Reader Girls
October 5th: Reading, Writing, and Roses (Spotlight)

Too much to do, not enough time…

Sorry for missing my Monday post everyone. It’s been a very hectic week. I’ve gotten a ton done though! My book is now through the copy editing stage and on to the very final stage, proofing! Not too much longer now! I think it’s sixteen days until the digital copy is released. Then, the print copy will follow it.

In other news, we have the first official showing of our house today! I think I mentioned we listed it on the market last week? So of course, I’ve been cleaning like a manic. My husband tried to put a cap on it last night when I wanted to run to the store at 8 pm to get fresh flowers for the table. I know he’s worried I’m doing too much. Having a wife that’s 24 weeks pregnant tends to do that to men, right?  🙂

I know some of you noticed that I took my book trailer down. We’re making a few tweaks to  it, mainly shortening it and making it less wordy.  I’m hoping to have it up later today or tomorrow! Have a great day everyone!

Would you consider making a book trailer to promote your novel?

So I’ve been going back and forth on this issue, not sure if I should lay out the money to make a book trailer or not. On the one hand, they’re pretty cool and I want one! On the other hand, I’m not sure how well they work as a marketing tool. Will people really stop to watch a two-minute video with a teaser for my book? If they do stop to watch it, will it help push them into buying my book? I just don’t know…

My critique partner recently had one done. The company she worked with has very reasonable pricing, and turns out fairly classy results. I mean, they aren’t anywhere near as sophisticated as some of the book trailers that are present on Amazon. However, she’s not charging $15,000 either. (Yes, that’s right. I checked up on it. Some of those production companies book trailers START at $15,000!!) Like I said, this other company has nice results and a very reasonable (read affordable!) price.

Last night, I was reading Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking by Steve Weber. In it, he discussed how book trailers are especially useful for YA authors, as YA readers are the most likely to watch a book trailer and then go on to purchase your book. That decided it for me. I’m going ahead with one. Hopefully it should be done by the end of next weekend.

My question for you is, have you ever used a book trailer to promote one of your novels? Do you feel it helped? Did it increase your sales? Or do you think it was a waste of valuable marketing money? Let me know!

I got the cover art for my YA novel, Drive Back the Darkness!

I know I don’t usually post on Thursdays, but there was no way I was going to wait until monday to show you my cover! Here it is:

The process of making the cover art was surprisingly complex. I had to fill out a form that was six pages long, all about the various visual elements of my novel, themes, character descriptions, etc. Then there was a long wait, where I worried I would hate my cover!

Then, a couple of days ago, I got the prototype! It was gorgeous and I loved it! We tweaked a few things, like the placement of my name and the font. Today I got my final cover!

The necklace doesn’t look quite like what I pictured, but they couldn’t change it without throwing off the whole color scheme, so I totally understand where they were coming from. I get to review my book again between copyediting and proofing, so I’m hoping I can tweak the description of the necklace to make it more like the cover.

So what do you guys think? Do you like it? Let me know!