Author Events, Don't Call Me Kit Kat

Book Launch Celebration for Don’t Call Me Kit Kat

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Please join me tomorrow evening to help celebrate the release of my new YA novel!

What can you expect if you attend this online party?

  • Multiple Giveaways from the following YA authors!

Calista Smith – Author | Casey Bond | Evelyne Stone | Erica Cope-Author | Jo Michaels | Kelly Hashway-Young adult, middle grade, and picture book writer | Author Kristin Albright | Author Michele Tucker | Rachel Barnard, Author | Stacey Nash | T.H. Hernandez

  • A chance to win a paperback collection of some of my favorite YA novels!

kit kat book collection

  • A chance to win one of two signed copies of Don’t Call Me Kit Kat!

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  • A $25 Visa gift card! (Awarded to the guest who invites the most participants.)

Click here to join the event!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1431157570519315/

Don't Call Me Kit Kat

Now Available: Don’t Call Me Kit Kat

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Thoughts from readers:

“I like to read books that I can take something away from when I’m done. Don’t Call me Kit Kat is more than a story about a girl working through her problems. It is more than plot and structure. This book delves deep into what it means to have an eating disorder.” – Rachel Barnard, Author

“Readers learn eating disorders don’t just happen overnight and don’t have economic boundaries…This gripping story delivers believable characters dealing with real issues.” – John Kurtze, Goodreads Reviewer

This book took me right back to junior high. All of the insecurities and fear that young girls have; it all felt so real.” – Alicalynn, Goodreads Reviewer

Amazon

Goodreads

Author Events, Book Promotion, Don't Call Me Kit Kat

Don’t Call Me Kit Kat Release Party

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Please help me celebrate the release of my new YA novel Don’t Call Me Kit Kat!

Date:  Thursday, May 21 6:00-9:30 PM (CST)

Venue:  Facebook

Event Page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1431157570519315/


* Enjoy giveaways from the following YA authors:

Calista Smith – Author | Casey Bond | Evelyne Stone | Erica Cope-Author | Jo Michaels | Kelly Hashway-Young adult, middle grade, and picture book writer | Author Kristin Albright | Author Michele Tucker | Rachel Barnard, Author | Stacey Nash |T.H. Hernandez

* Invite your friends to the party for a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card! (Awarded to the guest who invites the most people.)

* Participate for a chance to win a collection of some of K. J. Farnham’s favorite YA novels.

kit kat book collection 2 kit kat book collection

*Even if you’re unavailable from 6-9:30, please join the event. All of the giveaways will remain open until midnight!

Visit the event page on Facebook for more information. Hope to see you there!

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Don't Call Me Kit Kat

Cover Reveal: Don’t Call Me Kit Kat

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Available May 15

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Description:

Junior high is where things really start to happen. Cliques form and break apart. Couples are made and destroyed. And a reputation is solidified that you won’t ever be able to escape. Everything you do and say, and everyone you spend your time with, matters.

Katie Mills knows that. She gets it. That’s why she tried so hard to get in with the cool girls at school. And why she was so devastated when those efforts found her detained for shoplifting and laughed out of cheer squad tryouts.

But Katie has more to worry about than just fitting in. Her parents are divorced and always fighting. Her sister never has time for her. And her friends all seem to be drifting apart. Even worse? The boy she has a crush on is dating the mean girl at school.

Everything is a mess, and Katie doesn’t feel like she has control over any of it. Certainly not over her weight, which has always topped out at slightly pudgier than normal—at least, according to her mother.

So when she happens to catch one of the popular girls throwing up in the bathroom one day, it sparks an idea. A match that quickly engulfs her life in flames.

Is there any going back once she gets started down this path?

And would she even want to if she could?

Add it on Goodreads.

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

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
Author Events

4 Paws for Piper Book Auction

book auction

Please participate in this book auction! All funds will be donated to 4 Paws for Ability, a non profit organization that trains service dogs for individuals with disabilities. This organization will provide Piper, who battles Autism and Epilepsy, with a multipurpose service dogPiper’s service dog will be trained in behaviors disruption, tethering, tracking, search & rescue and seizure alert work.

Over 140 authors have already donated books. I am donating two paperback copies of Click Date Repeat and two advanced reader copies of Don’t Call Me Kit Kat.

Visit the event page to sign up as an author, to RSVP or to make a monetary donation.

You can also click here to become a member of the 4 Paws for Piper Community on Facebook.

Don't Call Me Kit Kat

Cover Reveal – Don’t Call Me Kit Kat

Question_mark book coverThe cover for Don’t Call Me Kit Kat will be revealed on Friday, April 3.

Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations

Cover Reveal Organizer: Xpresso Book Tours

Please visit the cover reveal sign-up page if you’d like to participate. If you could also share this post with anyone who might be interested, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you! : )

Blurb:

Junior high is where things really start to happen. Cliques form and break apart. Couples are made and destroyed. And a reputation is solidified that you won’t ever be able to escape. Everything you do and say, and everyone you spend your time with, matters.

Katie Mills knows that. She gets it. That’s why she tried so hard to get in with the cool girls at school. And why she was so devastated when those efforts found her detained for shoplifting and laughed out of cheer squad tryouts.

But Katie has more to worry about than just fitting in. Her parents are divorced and always fighting. Her sister never has time for her. And her friends all seem to be drifting apart. Even worse? The boy she has a crush on is dating the mean girl at school.

Everything is a mess, and Katie doesn’t feel like she has control over any of it. Certainly not over her weight, which has always topped out at slightly pudgier than normal—at least, according to her mother.

So when she happens to catch one of the popular girls throwing up in the bathroom one day, it sparks an idea. A match that quickly engulfs her life in flames.

Is there any going back once she gets started down this path?

And would she even want to if she could?

Personal Tidbits, Self Publishing

My Goals for 2015

My one and only goal in 2014 was to finish Click Date Repeat. Now that that’s done—phew!—it’s time to really get to work. This year, my aspirations are much higher. I honestly don’t know how many of these goals I can accomplish, but the first step to meeting any goal is committing to it, right?? Plus, I’m the kind of person who likes to cross things off of lists, so I’m hopeful that putting my goals for 2015 in writing will keep me on task.

Goal #1 – Finish and Publish Don’t Call Me Kit Kat

I started this book in June of 2014 while Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations was designing the cover for Click Date Repeat. (One of the many things I learned about self-publishing: A cover designer must be booked anywhere from several weeks to months before you wish to publish.) However, I realized within weeks that three kids during summer vacation = zero productivity. So when I say I “started” this book, what that really means is I began planning it in my head. By the time September rolled around, I was able to draft an outline. The first third has been through a developmental edit, and I am now two-thirds of the way done. Now that the holidays are over and things are slowly returning to “normal” around my house, I expect to send the entire manuscript off for another round of developmental editing by the end of January.

Goal #2 – Stop Obsessing Over Click Date Repeat

The day after Click Date Repeat went live on Amazon, I did what most self-published authors probably do. I checked first thing in the morning to see if any copies had sold. Then I checked again a couple of hours later. Then again. And again. What’s worse is that I have continued to check at least once a day, every day. There have been times when I was ecstatic at the sight of blue and/or red lines indicating sales/borrows and others when I was devastated to see nothing. This obsession has to stop! So here’s my goal: I will only check sales once a week, on Mondays. Probably still a bit obsessive, but hey, it’s an improvement.

*The only exception is if I am running an ad or promotion and I need to check for effectiveness.

Goal #3 – Finish the First Draft of Click Date Repeat 2

This is another book that I have started writing in my head. I can’t help it. Sometimes when I am working on Don’t Call Me Kit Kat, an idea for CDR2 pops into my head. While this can be quite distracting, these brain lapses tell me that I have no choice but to write the sequel. My goal is to outline the story as soon as Don’t Call Me Kit Kat goes on sale. However, I promised my husband that I would take a break from novel writing, so I won’t begin drafting until August or September.

Goal #4 – Stick to a Blog Schedule

This post indicates the beginning of my new blog schedule. I will post on Wednesdays and every other Sunday. Wednesday posts will be either professional or personal, and Sunday posts will be book reviews. I may occasionally sneak in reviews on non-scheduled Sundays as well.

Goal #5 – Remember What’s Really Important

In my house, Friday nights are family movie nights. Each week, a different family member is supposed to choose the movie; however, I have been skipping my turn for months ever since I got into the habit of writing during the movies. Terrible, I know. Anyway, the Friday after Christmas we sat down to watch Disney’s Maleficent. It was so good that I didn’t type one word while it was on. My son noticed and said, “Holy cow! Mom actually watched the movie this time!” His excitement made me sad because it hit me that simply being in the same room with my family isn’t the same as paying attention to what’s going on around me, even if it is just a movie. So here’s my goal: I will watch the family movie every Friday night, and I will not touch my computer.

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Have you set goals for 2015? Are any of your goals similar to mine?