1 - This picture of me sitting with Shawna Romkey, currently writing angel YA, was taken last Friday at a dinner to welcome Executive Harlequin Editor Birgit Davis-Todd to our local writers' group. I'll have more on her visit for next week's Thursday Thirteen.
It was a great weekend, and I had the usual light bulb moments go off in my head during Birgit's workshop, and also during the other workshops held while she took story pitches.
I didn't pitch anything - because I'm self-publishing and have a lengthy list of things to take care of. Birgit helps to steer a publishing corporation that sold $3.8 million dollars' worth of storytelling might in the last quarter. So far, I'm an entity of one juggling a myriad of jobs which publishers like Harlequin assign to departments filled with experienced professionals.
2 - So what have I been up to?
After my mega-revisions marathon over the Labor Day Weekend, I handed my manuscript to a final reader for story content, and to a proofreader/editor for style and technical adherence to publishing conventions.
Once they come back to me, I'll make any last adjustments to my manuscript.
3 - I sent a request for a quote to one of my favorite authors. Considering that she writes historical romance, I was nerve-wracked that she wouldn't want to give a quote for a book outside of her genre.
Now, to backtrack a bit - this writer is one of a handful of historical romance authors that are on my sigh-worthy list. She writes dark, passionate stories with truly tormented heroes.
I met her in blogworld before I read her books, so I felt comfortable sending her the request - I just wasn't sure whether my very dark vampire genre would be something for which she'd want to give a quote.
Imagine my delight when she got back to me with a totally rockin' author quote. I'll be putting it on my book cover and on my website. I'll be able to share once the cover is completed.
4 - I contacted my book cover designer, and he's been tweaking the layout for the wraparound cover, meaning the front cover/spine/back cover for the paperback hard copy.
5 - Still on my to-do list for the book cover: write a back cover blurb so enticing, it will raise sunken ships from the bottom of the sea.
6 - Also for the back cover: apply for an ISBN number. Did that on Wednesday.
7 - Start to formulate my dedication and acknowledgements page.
8 - Think about that all persons fictitious disclaimer page - you know the one: "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."
But I have to make sure it's in the final manuscript document, before it goes to the formatter.
9 - Write my author bio page.
10 - Get a physical agenda and start writing down which blog appearances are going to be on which day, once the promo tour begins.
I'll be honest - I'm going to be using the backs of returned instruction sheets and other re-usage paper from work. I've got a ton of it. Might as well use it for something.
11 - Once the formatted file is back, I'll be giving the final page count to the graphic designer so that he can calculate the width of the book spine. At that point we can upload the cover and the formatted document onto the Kindle and Create Space sites.
12 - Create Space will mail a proof copy of the paperback version out to me for final approval, before it gets locked into its Print On Demand format.
13 - Start spreading the 11 - 11 - 11 release date throughout the land.