Nine Months to Publication with @shewritespress . . . and Counting

For those interested, I’m going to chronicle my publication experience with She Writes Press, a hybrid publisher for women writers.

On November 7th, I signed with She Writes Press. Immediately, they welcomed me with a lovely email. The email also asked to fill out an information sheet about me and my novel. They needed my bio, a photo and a synopsis (actually two, the back-of-the-book copy and a full, true synopsis) for my story. On December 4th, I joined my first SWP Authors call. After the call (which included a webinar), I was sent a tip sheet to fill out (Yep! More homework already – just like you’d expect from a publisher). This requested even more information about my book such as keywords and the BISAC category (i.e., where people will find it on the shelves – both virtual and physical).

On December 15th I was sent my editorial schedule which told me me my publication date will be October 4, 2016. WOOT! Did you hear that? I said, “My publication date.” How I do love the sound of that phrase.

Anyway . . . I digress! I explicitly requested a publication date of October because it’s my favorite month.

October is the month that holds my birthday, my wedding anniversary (to the most amazing man ever), and my favorite holiday (Halloween). And now it will hold the birth of my debut novel! I couldn’t be happier.

This is one of the wonderful things about She Writes Press. Do you think any one of the “Big 5” book publishers would have taken my wishes regarding my publication month into consideration? I think not.

And thanks to my editorial schedule, I know what’s coming and when deliverables are due – both what I owe the publisher and what they owe me. For example, on December 11th I was sent the first concept for my book cover. (Even though they weren’t due to me until January.)

I loved it immediately!

My novel is a science-based thriller. The artist really captured the mystery of the story. It just needed a bit of tweaking to give it a more mainstream “thriller” vibe. I liked it so much I printed a 4 1/4″ x 7″ color copy of it and pasted it onto a book so I could see what it will look like on my bookshelf. (I created the spine too – it’s very realistic!) This is visualization at its finest, my friends.

After I’ve started working with my publicist, I’ll post images of all these things so you can see what I mean in full-color.

Speaking of publicists, I’ve elected to go with BookSparks. She Writes Press and BookSparks are both a part of the SparkPoint Studio family. I interviewed other publicists but none of them seemed to have the personal touch that BookSparks does. My contract with them begins in January.

My manuscript is due to the publisher on February 2nd. My husband generously offered to read it out loud to me. Thankfully, we both enjoyed the story and found no major plot problems. (Whew!) Thanks to his feedback, I spent three days on minor edits (mostly having to do with word choices, etc.). If he stumbled or stopped when reading an awkward sentence, that was my cue to fix things. It was an excellent experience. I’d advise other writers to do the same. Even if you have to pay someone!

Next up, I’m writing a bit for the end of the book where I’ll discuss the science behind the story in the tradition of Michael Crichton’s State of Fear or The Sixth Extinction by James Rollins. I’m hoping readers will want to know more about the science.

Because isn’t that why we love science-based thrillers?

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