What’s Going On With My Novel?


As you may have guessed from all the Q&As, I’ve been gathering as much info on self-publishing as I can.

After reading Jenna’s responses to our Q&A, I decided to engage CreateSpace to design the interior formatting of my paperback. I’ve uploaded all the files for their review. We’re going to do a quick conference call at some point and then they will provide me with a mockup of the first few chapters to approve.

I get to include images inside the book and really make it a personal experience for the reader. I’ve visited every place in the book so I have my own photos to use.

I’m engaging Kirkus Indie Review to write a review of the book prior to publication. This will push the publication date into May, but I think it’s an important step to give readers a little more certainty about the quality of my book. I’ll be including a Kirkus blurb on my back cover.

Jenna’s and Audrey’s posts also made me feel confident enough to take on the e-book formatting myself in March.

Audrey’s and August’s posts made it clear I wanted a great cover, so I asked my website designer, Jian Chan, to take on that task.

One thing I took away from all these amazing Q&A posts was the need for an editor and a copy editor. I have one person I trust completely with my novels. My critique partner, who has always given me top-notch advice even when it took me a few months to see the genius in it, Katrina Bender. Having seen what her edits did for my YA story, she’s the only person I wanted to work with on my adult novel. She talks to me in a way that I don’t just hear what she says, but I understand what she means.

My copy editor is my mom. She’s a grammar stickler and catches every little mistake. Even the intentional sentence fragments. But I love her eagle eyes.

I’m really happy to have had such awesome people help me make the decision to self-publish and to have such a talented team help me move forward!

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47 Responses to What’s Going On With My Novel?

  1. kathils says:

    It’s an awesome journey. Congratulations, and have fun!

  2. berry says:

    Wish u the best. I want dozen copies. Love ur writing. Good luck.

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    Given your thoughtful planning and dedication to detail, I have no doubt your publication will be a success. Good luck!

    • Aw thanks Carrie! I’m really glad I gave myself several months, there are so many moving parts to coordinate. And even in self publishing there is a good amount of hurry up and then wait. 😉

  4. This is really exciting, Kourtney! I’m very happy for you, and will be watching and learning! Best of luck. Will it be available in paperback as well as e-book? I want to buy a copy.

    • Naomi, I will be offering a paperback as well as an e-book. The paperback will be more expensive than the e-book, but that’s because of Createspace’s costs to produce a POD book. I’m including bonus content that won’t be available in the e-book. It will be available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my website. I’m going to buy a bunch of author copies and sell them at a discounted price for my readers too via my website. 🙂

      It’s a really amazing experience and plays well to my project management background. I’m loving all the creative control I have.

  5. I am selfishly excited that you have gone this route because it means I know for sure I will get to read the book! I’m glad some of my stumbles were helpful to you. I’m right behind you with my next one 🙂

  6. klynwurth says:

    it’s great to glimpse your process with the novel. I’m looking forward to buying and reading it! Your interest in self publishing has stimulated my own. I’m actually thinking seriously about doing it myself. Keep us posted!

    • Thanks Kelly! I’ve watched some amazing bloggers take the plunge into self-publishing and it made me realize once the book is the best I can write, it’s time to explore all my options. 🙂 Oh, that’s very excited–let me know what you decide. 🙂

  7. Wow. It sounds like you’ve really done your homework, and I hope you’ll keep us posted on how it goes.

  8. Love following along. So exciting ( and moms make good editors)

    • Thanks! She’s brutal but it makes me a better writer. Dad was far worse. Red penned all my high school papers to death. But I wouldn’t be here without their time and support. 🙂

  9. Elliot says:

    Wish you all the best. Hope it goes well.

  10. jmmcdowell says:

    I’m taking notes with every post since I’m almost certain (99.999%) that this is the route I will take, too. It sounds like you’re doing everything right, and that will lead to positive results.

    I love the idea of extra content for the POD version. That seems like a great way to help offset the higher cost of the paper version.

    Can I ask if you’re getting ISBN numbers directly or going through an intermediary?

    • I’m lucky to have so many people to advise me. 😉 I’m glad these posts are helpful. LOL. I’m hoping I get some of it right. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes but I’m trying my best. 🙂 My crit partner came up with the bonus content idea. We talked about the pricing differential between ebooks and POD books and she thought a reader aught to get more with the POD book. I’m also including images in the POD book to make it more of a personal reader experience. 🙂

      Createspace provides an ISBN for the POD book. I think I need to purchase one for the e-book. That’s something I need to look into. 🙂

  11. Chris Edgar says:

    It’s inspiring to hear about you taking charge of this process and surrounding yourself with supporters — I went through a similar process a few years back with a book and I think it definitely caused me to grow as a person.

    • Thanks Chris! Appreciate you stopping by. 🙂 It took me a while to have a strong book that I felt confident bringing to market. I’m so lucky to have great people I can draw on–it makes the process so much easier when I can trust in a team of experts to handle the things that I can’t. 🙂

  12. Maxima says:

    It’s an awesome journey.

  13. Gwen says:

    So glad I’m following you. This is going to be an educational journey.

  14. Pete Denton says:

    This is SO exciting! I agree about more information being powerful to those of us who are seriously considering the self-publishing route. I look forward to more posts as you head towards D-day. 🙂

    • Thanks Pete! I think self-publishing isn’t something to rush into because there are so many things to learn and so many different deadlines. On a side note, I’m really glad I spent over a year shopping my manuscript to agents and editors and entering contests. It helped me figure out what wasn’t working and fix it. It also helped me understand that my book wasn’t the type that big publishers are willing to take on right now. After a few industry people advised me to self-publish, it felt like the right move to make. Thanks for your support! I’m keep you updated with my progress. 🙂

      • Pete Denton says:

        I’ve seen a few people comment about finishing the draft of their novel on a Monday and self-publishing it on the Friday. I agree completely that they need time to rest, be polished and let other people provide you with pointers.

        I still think that self-publishing is the new barometer for publishers to pick from. Do well on your own and a deal is more of a possibility. 🙂

        • I don’t understand the rush to put a book out there. If you want to see your name on a book, it makes sense. If you want to provide a great reading experience, the book needs beta readers. It needs agent/editor feedback. It needs time away from you so you can objectively see it. I spent a year shopping this around to agents and editors. Before that I got agent/editor/author feedback on the first 50-100 pages via charity auction critiques. The book went through tons of revisions. All necessary to deliver the best book I could.

          I do agree. Publishers prefer authors to take the risk. If the book does well, they can consider picking it up. If the book bombs, they don’t lose a penny. When you think of how much a book has to make to be successful for an author, publisher, and agent–it’s really a numbers game.

  15. I’m going to be doing the same thing at some point. But the thought of all that strategising makes me blench!

    • When I thought of self-publishing, my biggest concern was the readiness of the book. Once I received enough feedback from agents that the writing was good, but the salability was tough, I realized self-publishing was the best route. It’s not easy. But nothing done well is. 🙂 It a huge undertaking and I have to put aside writing for a couple months. But it’s so wonderful to know my book will be out there in the world. 🙂

  16. Look at your with your team! Wishing you much success with your book, Kourtney 🙂

  17. EllaDee says:

    Yay… it’s time 🙂 I love all these tangible steps you’ve taken. I’m so happy to see you walking the walk. I’m looking forward to turning the e-pages 🙂

    • Thanks Elladee! It feels good to take action and put money behind myself. If your going to take a risk it should be on yourself. 😉 can’t wait to get a book into your hands! Or an ebook onto your ereader.

  18. Congratulations, Kourtney! I’m thrilled for you. 🙂 I know you’ll have much success in indie-land, and your work will be a gift to readers.

  19. 4amWriter says:

    Of all the bloggers I follow, you rank #1 in preparation and planning as you head down the self-publishing trail. Honestly. I feel like you have really been careful and conscientious in your decision, which makes me believe even more strongly that you are going to be a very successful self-pubbed author.

    • Thank you so much Kathryn! I’ve been doing my best to focus on the reader and not myself. It’s helping me get a bit of distance from the project. I really am enjoying this phase immensely. I love project management. It’s been challenging but I’ve never felt more alive or purposeful. 🙂

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