Kensington Books

The Process of Publication

I’ve been wrapped up, enamored with, and possibly swooning over “The Process” of publication.

When I worked at Nortel, a Product Pipeline (it might have looked something like this-but there were many variations depending on the project manager) was often used to monitor the progress of products as they went through various stages of production.  Ultimately, each one reached a final production phase which meant they were ready for delivery to a customer.

I’ve pictured the process of publishing a book similar to what used to happen at Nortel.  Of course there is a ton of work I’m not privy to, but I thought I’d share what I do know, and what was required of me as an author.

Much of the time, there are many weeks of quiet which is great since I’m working on the new project.  Every now and then though, I’ll get an email from someone at Kensington.  This is always thrilling because it’s an indicator the book is moving along in their publication pipeline.

So, starting back in April of last year, here’s what’s happened so far:

  1. Answered Author Questionnaire (April)
  2. Received/signed/mailed copies of contract (May)
  3. Author photo (May)
  4. Completed edits – two kinds, red pencil and revisions to story (July/August)
  5. Received “cover copy” or back flap copy, to hyperventilate over (October)
  6. Publicist assigned (October)
  7. Bound manuscript sent out by Kensington to collect “blurbs” or quotes from other Authors (October)
  8. Completed changes/updates for Copy Editor (November)
  9. Received book cover .jpg to ooh and ah over (December)
  10. Blurbs/quotes from authors started coming in and were shared (February)
  11. Publicist recommends early promotional work such as a web site update, claim Goodreads Author page, create Author Facebook page, etc.  (February)
  12. Book became available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and eventually Indiebound and the Kensington site itself.  (February)
  13. Publicist created a Press Release (February)
  14. Page proofs – this is the step I’m at now.  So, this week, the Production Editor at Kensington contacted me to let me know I would be receiving “page proofs” for DIXIE DUPREE.  They will arrive today.  Page proofs are a Big Deal, as they are the final step, as I said over on my Author Facebook page ( ) where I – or the proofreader- can make any last minute corrections to spellings, or fix errors.  These changes need to be fairly limited.  One point of emphasis was to “try to avoid adding or deleting word(s) that will change the number of lines in a paragraph.”  This is because the book has already been typeset by a printer, and a change like that would be costly, and the publisher reserves the right to decide in the end.  (March)
  15. Advanced Reader Copies (ARC’s) will be printed, and sent out for reviews to national reviewers of all sorts.  Think Netgalley, Goodreads, etc. (Spring/Summer?)
  16. The First Edition printing takes place, which includes any/all reviews received via the ARC’s as well as earlier Author reviews. (late Summer/early Fall?)
  17. The book now exists and is sent out via distribution channels to stores – and a box is sent to me! Pre-orders can be shipped October 25!
  18. Enter the sandwich board promotional efforts by author! Official release/launch November 1, 2016

I have found every part of this fascinating and of course, that has everything to do with the fact it’s my book, but I thought you might like to have a peek behind the scenes.

Right now, it’s a bit like the lull before a storm because I know once I start promotional efforts, it will be all consuming.  I’ve received some “insider” advice on what to do to begin early promotion of the book, so, I plan to spend the Spring and Summer visiting local bookstores to introduce myself, among other things.

Bottom line?  I can’t wait to see DIXIE DUPREE “out and about!”  

Kensington-logoCover DIXIE DUPREE


What’s Next Now THAT Happened?

After making the announcement last month about what I shall forever recollect as The Lovely Book Deal, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about online presence, social media, and what I can do to tie it all together so everything has a cohesive look.  You might have already noted the change in my header picture, sub-header (Little Things From The Old North State) etc.  All that was done before I announced, but, of course, it was at the back of my mind.

There is so much to read online about this.  The main thing I think is it should reflect what a person writes about so a reader is provided with a taste of the author’s personality, as well as an overall style of the works they produce.  All of my stories are set in the South.  The first book, (the one that sold! Can I say it enough?) is set in Alabama.  The second one is set in North Carolina, and the last one – that hair pulling hard crime novel – is set in Mississippi.  With my current WIP, I’ve come back “home” to North Carolina.

But what exactly does it mean to “reflect” what one writes?  How does one go about doing that?  I don’t think it has to be difficult.  For instance, the new header picture for this blog?  I took it while in the NC mountains near the Linville River in September of this year. I suppose that’s a red salamander, or “eft,” I really don’t know.  What I do know is that I love taking pictures, and although I’m no pro, I know what strikes me as appropriate as a “mood” or a way to catch the “flavor” of a setting.  For instance, if I think about the different scenes in THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, which contains back porches, muscadine vines, and pine trees, to name only a tiny bit which are part of the setting, it’s not hard to find pictures to give readers a visual, you know, from that whole “a picture speaks a thousand words,” view.

I certainly could have driven around and taken random shots here and there, but why do that when there’s…PINTEREST!  I created a page for the book early on, searching for what struck me as perfectly depicting various scenes in the book.  Actually, I was suprised at how many I was able to find.  Have a look at it here.

Another big part of online presence positioning is a book cover.  You might have noticed in the DIXIE DUPREE board on Pinterest, I have it as “Cover ideas,” because even with the editor/copy editor/marketing/sales folks, etc, reading the story, the images for what I felt was the right “tone” might have been all in my head.  In other words, it was a way for me to provide the artistic viewpoint, the way to set the mood.  Likely any header pictures will certainly change to THAT, so don’t get too attached to my little red friend.  🙂

Outside of THE BOOK COVER, posting pictures with a few descriptive words seems easy enough, but, I have no idea if that’s what I’m leaning towards as my way of saying, “here’s who I am, and what my stories are about!”  Or not.  I suppose I’m simply mentioning all that’s going on in my head, and all the work before me I will need to do to help things move along when they need moving.  So to speak.

Even with a year to go before the release date of November 2016, I want to be ready.  I was a Girl Scout, you know.  Or maybe you didn’t, but one motto “Be prepared,” well, that’s me.

Girl Scout salute

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