Monday, November 14, 2016

Guest post: "Forty Steps from Ideas to Published Book," by Mystery Author S.K. Nicholls

Thank you for having me here to tell my story. Upon learning that I am a self-published author, people often ask me what the process is like when writing and self-publishing a novel. It’s not something I can answer in a few words, other than to say, “It’s much more involved than most people realize.” Especially when you factor in all of the pre-marketing and marketing that is required.

I made of a list of things I did with Naked Alliances. Not everyone will share the same experience, but this was mine and I want to share it with you.
Check off list for writing and publishing process:
1.             Ideas formulate from life experiences.
2.             Spend months taking notes, researching, and scribbling mind maps. Write up a fish bones outline.
3.             Start in word doc, and get myself too confused. Move to Scrivener for better organization and flesh out outline in index card feature.
4.             Write book (eight weeks to first draft working 20/7).
5.             Cry when Alpha reader (who reads two to three crime novels weekly) says book is a two on scale of one to five.
6.             Re-write.
7.             Edit and proof.
8.             Feel better when Alpha reader says book is four on scale of one to five, but not good enough.
9.             Send to Beta readers (ten of them…nine months, back and forth emails on their time, not yours).
10.         Get ecstatic when eight readers love the book.
11.         Cry some more when two readers report they could not read the book.
12.         Edit and proof some more. Continue to build blog platform keeping readers informed of progress and providing interesting content on book settings, feature articles, and writing process.
13.         Put book on shelf and pout (eight or nine months). Read all encouraging emails from other authors and friends, over and over again.
14.         Take it down and read it again.
15.         Send to professional editor for two round of edits and a proofread. (Have tissues handy, six months, back and forth.) Edit, rewrite, edit, proof, read.
16.         Jump for joy when Alpha reader says it’s a five on one to five scale and better than any book he’s read in three months.
17.         Polish text and remove clich├ęs. Get second and final proofread.
18.         Get book cover designed (Saturn 9 with 99 Designs: Hold two polls, one month.)
19.         Decide you should “try” the traditionally published route.
20.         Write synopsis, log-line and pitch for agents. Get coach to perfect synopsis and pitch. Take class on writing log-lines.
21.         Read at Sleuthfest and get standing ovation! Get super excited when four agents request manuscripts and/or partials, decide to definitely trad-publish.
22.         Purchase publicist package at Sleuthfest auction.
23.         Query more agents. (200 over six months)
24.         Cry over rejection letters (50 in six months, figure the other 150 were too busy to respond).
25.         Get copyright.
26.         Decide to self-publish.
27.         Write front matter; Title page, copyright, Acknowledgements, Dedication.
28.         Write back matter; Extended Acknowledgements, Author Bio, request for reviews, thanks for support, links, promo for other book.
29.         Enlist help with Book Publishing imprint logo art. Hold Contest. Select winner.
30.         Seek endorsements??? (BTW, well known authors say they can’t read manuscripts for legal reasons…what’s an author to do? Send out Advanced Reader Copies to authors).
31.         Get endorsements to book cover designer for back cover.
32.         Sign on with CreateSpace for POD version, proof final product (Start to finish, two months).
33.         Get file formatted for eVersion, proof final product, set pre-release, and set release date. (two weeks)
34.         Contact publicist when POD proofs are ready (press release, blog tour, etc…)
35.         Make list of book bloggers and book promo sites, radio shows, and other possibly interested parties. Notify all the organizations I participate in (Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Florida Writers Association, Writers of Central Florida…or Thereabouts.)
36.         Pre-release, build hype on social media. (Complete interviews and guest posts.)
37.         Start actively marketing and promoting beyond blog, FB, Twitter.
38.         Publish and go live. Tell the world!
39.         And it’s only just begun J
40.         Outline next book in series. Start process all over again.

If you are a writer, never give up. If you are a reader, tell us what you think when you’ve read our work. I read all reviews personally so that I may continually write what people are wanting to read. Naked Alliances is Book One in the Naked Eye Series, your feedback is crucial. And thank you for your support. Peace, and keep the faith. ~ S.K. Nicholls


Genre: Mystery
Author: S.K. Nicholls
Publisher: Brave Blue Heron Books
Purchase on Amazon

About the Book: In Naked Alliances, novelist S.K. Nicholls takes readers on a witty, wild, wickedly fun romp that exposes a side of Orlando tourists rarely see. The debut release in The Naked Eye Private Investigator Series, Naked Alliances introduces lone wolf P.I. Richard Noggin. 

 When a young immigrant woman and an exotic dancer are forced to flee men with guns and have no place to hide, Richard Noggin, P.I., can’t turn his back—even if helping out makes him a target. Richard plans to impress an aspiring politician by taking on a big white-collar case that could take him from the streets to an air-conditioned office. Instead, he's handed a cold case and quickly finds himself sucked into a shadowy world of sex, secrets and…murder. Marked for a bullet and stretched thin by his investigations, Richard reluctantly teams up with the unlikely, brassy custodian of the young woman on the run. With bodies piling up, Richard and his companion are forced to go undercover in a most unlikely locale: the Leisure Lagoon, a nudist resort.  Going undercover in this instance will mean going uncovered…but lives are at stake—and this Naked Eye will have to juggle to keep his balls in the air and connect the dots before anyone else is murdered. As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare? The heat is on in this quirky Sunshine State crime thriller.

About the AuthorS.K. Nicholls’ family owns and operates one of the oldest and largest nudist resorts in the nation located in Central Florida, Cypress Cove. Her experience gives her a deep understanding of the lifestyle choice and how it is extremely different from the sex industry, yet harbors clandestine elements of intrigue and fascination. Social issues are at the forefront of her writing. A former sexual assault nurse examiner, she has a special interest in the subject matter of sex-trafficking. A native of Georgia, she lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Greg.

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