Don't Call Me Kit Kat, Self Publishing

Processing Beta Reader Feedback

Beta reader feedback for Don’t Call Me Kit Kat has started to trickle in.

The good news is that much of the feedback has been positive and quite useful. From little things like “change fuzzy fashion boots to Uggs” to bigger things like “go a bit more in depth about X, maybe Y happens to Z,” I am pleased with the quality of the comments. On top of providing top-notch suggestions, one beta even pointed out a handful of pesky typos. (Some authors have their betas proofread for typos, but I didn’t ask mine to.)

The not-so-good news is that one reader disliked the main character (nooooo!), and a few others have suggested that I put her in ninth grade instead of eighth. I’m sure you can understand why a reader disliking the MC is bad news, but why is the grade level suggestion such a downer? Well, not only would a change like that involve A LOT of revisions, but it would also leave me feeling a bit disconnected from the story. Don’t get me wrong, I am willing to put as much effort as possible into making this novel the best it can be, but after much deliberation, my heart continues telling me that Katie is an eighth grader. She just is, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I realize that future readers might share the same opinion as the betas who feel she should be older, but it is a risk I’m willing to take to tell the story I envisioned telling from the beginning.

So, here’s a little advice for new authors who plan to use beta readers:

  • Expect conflicting opinions.
  • Don’t take criticism to heart. Use the feedback to fix what can be fixed!
  • Be ready for some aha moments.
  • Be prepared to make a lot of revisions and possibly some tough decisions.
  • Consider every suggested change.
  • Listen to your heart. If a change doesn’t feel right, don’t make it.

The cover reveal for Don’t Call Me Kit Kat is scheduled for Friday, April 3. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate, please sign up via Xpresso Book Tours.

Not familiar with what a beta reader is or does? Check out these blog posts:

Self Publishing

Author Press Kits are Key to Getting Media Coverage

This is essential information for self-published authors. Thank you Readers+Writers Journal!

readers+writers journal

Are You Missing an Essential Weapon in Your Book Promotion Arsenal?

How to create a press kit for self published authorsAny self published author promoting a novel, self-help or non fiction title knows that, after the work of writing, the real work comes when you’re marketing your book.  You are undoubtedly (or should be) contacting book blogs, professional reviewers, Amazon Top Reviewers and the traditional press in hopes of getting a mention or a review. Those bloggers are just as busy as you are, and if they have to hunt around for information about your book, they’re less likely to bother.

You Need to Create A Handy Press Kit That You Can Easily Send to Potential Contacts

Information about you and your book should be readily accessible so that any information a blogger, retailer, event planner or reporter needs is handy. Below are the 10 essential elements of any press kit (sometimes called media kit – they are the same…

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Self Publishing

Self-publishing Timeline

Are you a new author with a completed manuscript and you’re not sure what to do next?

Photo Credit: Jonny Wikins on Flickr
Photo Credit: Jonny Wikins on Flickr

That was me last spring after I’d completed my first novel.

My solution was to ask my developmental editor, Leah Campbell, for advice. Leah is a published author, so she was able to fill me in on what I needed to do.

  •  Create a cover, or hire a cover designer.
  •  Hire a line editor.
  •  Read through my book. Again. For the 80 billionth time.
  •  Figure out which print-on-demand service I wanted to use. (She suggested CreateSpace.)
  •  Format my book for paperback publication.
  •  Format my book for e-publication. (Or hire someone to do it.)

So I did everything she suggested, and shortly after uploading my book to CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, voila. My book became a best seller within a few weeks.

Just kidding.

In reality, it took about four months to complete all of the above, and my work was still far from complete. Plus, I hadn’t even gotten to the most difficult aspect of self-publishing: marketing.

Slowly but surely, I learned new promotion strategies and came to realize that marketing a book is an ongoing job. I also realized something crucial. Marketing should begin months prior to publication. In light of this fact, I’ve done a lot more in preparation for my upcoming novel.

My Self-Publishing Timeline for Don’t Call Me Kit Kat

Summer 2014

  • Completed an outline of chapters and a descriptive list of characters.
  • Booked Okay Creations to design the cover in February.

*I booked the cover designer extra-early to take advantage of a promotion she was running. Otherwise, I would have waited until November/December to make the appointment.

September 2014

  • Started writing the first draft.

November 2014

  • Set up my website/blog. (This should have been done much sooner!)
  • Sent the first 30 percent to Leah.

December 2014

  • First blog post about Don’t Call Me Kit Kat.
  • Re-named the book. (It was originally The Me I See, but people thought it sounded too self-helpish.)

January 2014

  • Added a Don’t Call Me Kit Kat page to my website.
  • Sent the completed first draft to Leah.

February 2014

  • Revisions, revisions, revisions.
  • Blurb was written.
  • Set up my author Facebook page. (Up until then, I only had a page for CDR.)
  • Cover design began.
  • Found beta readers.

March 2014

  • Sent revisions to Leah.
  • Added book to Goodreads.
  • Scheduled cover reveal.
  • Sent book to beta readers.
  • Cover completed.
  • Find ARC reviewers.

April 2014

  • Cover reveal.
  • Post cover to all of my social media sites.
  • Set up ARC giveaway on Goodreads.
  • Set up a book blitz and review query through Xpresso Book Tours.
  • Make changes based on beta reader feedback.
  • Upload final draft to CreateSpace.
  • Order ARCs and get them out to reviewers.
  • Schedule a Facebook party for release day, and collect giveaway items.

May 2014

  • Make any final changes.
  • Format for KDP upload.
  • Upload to KDP.
  • May 15 – Release Day!

Post Publication

  • Continue to market, market, market! (Specifics to follow in another post.)

For more information about preparing a book for publication, check out the following posts from Jo Michaels and Cynthia over at Goodreads. Jo is extremely knowledgeable about self-publishing, so I also recommend that you subscribe to her blog if you’re a new author.

Marketing Plans
How to: Make Sure the Timing Is Right