When I released my first book, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, I did a post showing the book cover progressions Cory Clubb and I went through to get the final, official book cover. So many fans responded about how they enjoyed learning the process that I decided to give you a glimpse into the whole process of making a book: covers, editing, typesetting, and setting up a social media campaign.
Creating a Novel
The Making of a Book Cover
May 6th, 2014- Email Jenny with Seedlings Online to request her work on my next cover.
May 8th- sign contract and pay deposit for next two book covers.
May 12th- Send Jenny the paperwork for ideas with book covers.
June 12th- Jenny sends first “comp boards” with ideas.
June 23- Choose and tweak covers over emails
Jun 27- Jenny sends second round of comp boards based on previous decisions.
Jun 27th- show comp boards to friends for opinions
Jun 28th- Email Jenny with decision. Talk license agreements, tweaks, etc.
Jun 30th- Final comp boards sent with requested tweaks. I had her do the line ‘Book Two in the Network Series’ in both gold and white.
July 6th- The front cover for Antebellum Awakening is finalized!
July 30th- I send Jenny a holding blurb, the barcode, my bio, imprint logo, and design ideas for back cover.
August 16th- send finalized blurb.
August 18th- Jenny sends tentative full cover for approval.
The Editing Process
First draft: Started February 25th. Completed April 7th. Word count: 64, 537 words
Second draft: Started April 9th. Word count: 83, 275
Third draft: Started April 22nd. Word count: 94, 678
Send to beta readers @ 94, 170 words.
Fourth draft: Started May 23rd after beta readers comments. Word count 94, 950
Fifth draft: Send to developmental editors June 5th, 2014 96. Word count: 96, 771 words. Developmental edits returned July 21st and and July 5th.
Sixth draft: Apply suggested/needed changes. Send to line/copy editor August 1st. Received edits August 30th.
Send to second round of beta readers while with the editor for line/copy edits.
Seventh draft: Finalized draft @ 97,473. Send to proofreader and typesetter 9.5.14. Edits returned 9.12.14
Designing the Interior
I love that I have control over my book as an independent author, but once I met Chris at Atthis Arts (through reading a fabulous epic fantasy book that he put together titled Spireseeker), I knew that I wanted him to take care of my interior design for Antebellum Awakening.
This is the schedule I gave Chris:
Sept 3-4– Send him the same MS I sent proofreader. He typesets the ARC file with his magic.
Section breaks with dragon filigree from front cover:
Chris was also incredibly patient. Here is the following list of edits I forced him to endure.
9/5- sent him ARC manuscript that also went to proofreader
9/10- Chris returned typeset file so I could process proofs for ARCs
9/30- I sent him 450+ corrections post-proofreader and after I read through the physical book.
10/6- Chris returned edited MS
10/10- I sent Chris 20 more edits after my friend (a 7th grade english teacher) found them.
10/11- returned edited book with final file for publication!
A Social Media Blitz
Detailing all the things that go into a social media campaign would be a crazy task (because there are far too many), so I’m just going to include a list of things that I do to prepare for the release of a book. Not comprehensive, btw. I can’t even keep track of all that I’m doing for it. It’s not in order either, because that’s just crazy.
~ Contact book bloggers (about 20) at least 6 weeks in advance to see if they’ll take on the book.
~ Send advance copies out when available
~ Set up “street team” of exceptional fans of MMSFG to help promote AA. (I ended up with 17).
~ Update website pages with new book.
~ Arrange for ARC’s of paperbacks to be prepared for street team to get in advance.
~ Contact local t-shirt design store to prepare swag for AA.
~ Pick up t-shirts. Send with signed, ARC of book to street team.
~ Answer interview questions, record video interviews as requested, and prepare guest posts. (This is spread out over about a month and takes longer than you think.)
~ Gather official “swag” for giveaway
~ Take professional photos of swag to put on the internet
~ Prepare posts for my own website
~ Start Goodreads giveaway about 6 weeks before book releases
~ Start FB event, Goodreads event, and G+ event
~ Upload swag pictures to MMSFG FB page
~ Put up page on official website for giveaway instructions
~ Contact book bloggers for release day book blogger blast
~ Coordinate swag pictures, cover photos, and title banner shots with all people doing posts for AA.
~ Prepare posts and images for Pinterest
~ Contact BookBub for add for MMSFG during launch of AA
~ Apologize to my husband in advance for how stressed I become