Thanks so much for having me here today, Sam! Publishing my first novel and publishing my second novel have been wildly different experiences. This stands to reason, though, because I had a publisher for the first one, and the second one I’m doing on my own. Fashioning a Romance was released earlier this year by Musa Publishing. After I got The Call (which was actually The Email) and signed the contract, it was probably about four months or so before we really got down to business.
I had a fabulous editor, and the manuscript went through a couple of rounds of edits which mostly entailed changing the British spellings to American ones. You see, Fashioning is a romantic novel told in the third-person, and I flip back and forth from the perspectives of my couple. She’s American and he’s British, so (being a bit OCD) I wrote her parts in American English and his parts in British English. My editor wisely suggested sticking to one nationality’s spellings, so we gave it an all-American makeover.
Apart from that, there was the issue of the cover. Musa welcomes input from authors on their cover art. In fact, they ask a whole slew of questions about what we want, what we don’t want, what our characters look like, what settings are important, etc. I knew I wanted a cover that was both romance-y and chick lit-ish, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.
Musa hands the responsibility of coming up with the tag line, the blurb and choosing an excerpt over to the authors. I went through a few different options with the tag line and the blurb and ran them past as many people as possible before I settled on the ones I now have. For the excerpt, I must confess: I asked my editor what section she thought I should pick, and I took her suggestion without a moment’s hesitation.
I chose to publish my second novel, Unmasking Maya, on my own. Like with Fashioning, I went through a couple of rounds of edits after finishing Maya and then sent it off to my beta readers. When I got their feedback, I edited it some more. The only difference was that I didn’t send it off to the publisher after I’d finished.
When Maya was completed and polished, I put it away and focused on the other tasks at hand. I researched cover designers and arranged to have the fabulously talented Laura Morrigan design mine. I converted the manuscript into PDF, .mobi and ePub formats. I wrote my tagline and my blurb. And I embarked upon the tedious, endless and soul-destroying task of searching Google for every review blog under the sun. (Sorry for the drama queen outburst!) As I added to my list of review bloggers, I started sending out requests. I’ve gotten a very good response, so there will be quite a few reviews out for Maya come December. Here’s hoping they’re favorable!
And that pretty much brings me to today. I still have a lot left to do. I need to choose an excerpt, work on my acknowledgements page, put the manuscript through one last round of edits, set up a Shelfari account, get the final cover art, send it out to my review bloggers, create a blog tour button, finish my guest blogs and interviews, send them all out, create Maya’s Goodreads page, upload the book to Amazon, pray that I’ve got everything in order and then click to publish. Phew!
It will be interesting to see how Maya fares in comparison to Fashioning. On the one hand, I have high hopes because I think it’s going to get close to a hundred times the amount of exposure that Fashioning did. And this is not an exaggeration. On the other hand, I’m terrified about the idea of releasing this book without having gone through a publisher. Lots of exposure doesn’t guarantee favorable exposure, of course. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see. And keep my fingers crossed!
Faced with a man so smooth he can charm the clouds from the sky, will Caitlyn be able to stick to her strict No Players policy? Dedicated American fashion girl, Caitlyn Taylor, can't stand players, and has successfully dodged them like enemy fire all her life. And then she meets fun-loving British CEO, John Harrington. Not only is he her boss's brother, he's the charismatic kind of womanizer that nightmares are made of. Worse still: he's exactly Caitlyn's type. As if his being the Superman of sex appeal isn’t enough, he's also got that quirky something-something that she adores. Not that she's even considering falling prey to his methods. No way.John can’t fathom how Caitlyn can be impervious to his charms, given the extraordinary chemistry between them. The more she resists, the more determined he is to break down the walls she’s built up to keep him out. Forced to get creative, he orchestrates a “surprise” weekend in Paris for the two of them. Game on!
Defamed, disgraced and displaced...Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?Not so much. She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self. As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?
Born and raised in the Midwest, Libby Mercer’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city that she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion – first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper. She also dabbled in design for a while. Even through the crazy fashion years, Libby never let go of her dream of being a published author, and has since developed her signature writing style, crafting quirky chick lit/romance hybrids. Fashioning a Romance was her first published novel, and Unmasking Maya will be her second. Libby has a third novel, The Karmic Connection, scheduled for release in 2013.
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