For about fifteen minutes after I finished the 8th book of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, I breathed a sigh of relief and took a break. Then I got back to work. First, I sent off the manuscript to my content editor, a master at letting a writer know what should be expanded, condensed, moved, clarified, or eliminated. That done, I conferred with the cover artist on the new cover. Then I conferred or rather listened to my publicists on marketing strategies i.e., the blurb, keywords, categories, stuff like that. Then began to implement them.
Once the cover and strategies were decided upon, and waiting for the return of the manuscript from the content editor, I went to Amazon Direct Publishing. I filled in the necessary information and uploaded what I could in order to get a URL for the new book. Once I had a URL, I set up the preorder, posted news of the new book wherever I could post it. Then I created and sent out my newsletter to my readers with all that information. I went online to Bowkers Identifier Services for new ISBN numbers. I registered the book with US Copywrite service. That took half a day, at least, but you gotta do all the legal stuff.
Within two weeks I received the manuscript back from the content editor and made 99% of the changes she suggested because, as I said, she is a master. When it was clean enough for jazz, I sent the manuscript out to my trusted, tried, and true Beta readers. They are just the best. They are terrific at telling me like it is, finding all kinds of typos, and making suggestions. After they gave me feedback, I sent the cleaner, corrected version –– a combo of content editor and Beta readers suggestions –– to the line editor. Meanwhile, I tweeted, blogged, and Facebooked. I had two months to let the world know (okay, not the world, just some of the people who know me in my small world) that The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom was coming out September 15th
I received the manuscript back from the line editor after about three weeks. She, too, is marvelous. Among the other things she found, did I know howler monkeys (and do not capitalize the name, she said) grow to be quite big? A grown howler monkey cannot sit on a man’s shoulder, as it does in my book, and have the man live to tell about it. Uh-oh! I neglected to put in it was an orphaned baby howler monkey. I set out to make the corrections she caught in the story, plus all the other things, like grammar, punctuation, and inaccuracies. I also collaborated with the woman who was writing the Afterword for the book. Once done with all that, the manuscript went off to the proofreader. He is married to and works with the line editor. They are quite a pair. He hasn’t sent the final version back yet, but I know when he gets done with it, it will be cleaner than I ever thought possible. And possibly as done as I’m ever going to get it.
The time came to set up a blog tour with Your Great Escapes Blog Tour. It goes from September 6th through the 19th. This means, of course, I will have to write character guest posts, Heather guest posts, answer interview questions, and convert the manuscript to MOBI, epub, and PDF files for bloggers and reviewers to read. Meanwhile, I continue to push the preorder button to as many reader as I can as often as I can without becoming totally obnoxious about it. And sometimes I walk a thin line.
I also created the print book cover, based on the cover the CA made for the eBook. Making the spine, back cover, not to mention (but I will) writing a shorter, more curt blurb for the back cover took me several days but it saved me 300 plus dollars. Doing a lot of these things myself saves money, but still getting the book out on the shelf, whether it’s a real shelf or an online one, usually costs a couple of thousand dollars. But when you are competing with the big boys, you gotta have a product that does just that.
September 15th is right around the corner and I’m not done yet. Busy, busy, busy. But right now you’ll have to excuse me. I need to take a nap.