The Afterglow: What Happens After the Editing Process Is Finished?

Last time I talked about my experiences up to and including the editing of my first book. My best advise is:

1) Don’t be too quick to send your first draft in to your editor. I did and drove my editor nuts.  It ends up being more frustrating and a lot more work than if you went over the first couple of drafts yourself then send it in.

2) Get an editor that you can work with.  It makes for an easier process.

Now, after the editing process…

Woo hoo! You have your edited manuscript in your hands (well maybe not in your hands, but on your computer). What’s the next step? You need a launch team.  A launch team is a team of individuals who read the Advance Readers Copy, or the ARC and give feedback on the story. After that, it’s all the publisher’s baby.  He gets his team to work on the layout, etc.

At the same time, you gear up on marketing.  I went online and asked  blogs to review Harry on their blogs…first, the cat blogs that I already knew from doing a cat blog for years.  Then I hit the fiction and mystery blogs.  We mustn’t forget the podcasts (although I haven’t had much luck with those). You notice that I use the present tense because it is a never ending process.

Sometime during this process, you will get the hardcopies in your hot little hands.  Congratulations!

Then the cold calls come.  I am starting to call bookstores, etc. to do book signings.  Now I’m finding that not all stores are open to them, especially the small, local ones.

Yesterday I put 10 signed copies of Harry up for a giveaway on Goodreads.  In 18 hours I had almost 500 entrants.

Finally, I am booked to go to Washington DC for my first conference. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.

So, now you are up to speed with all that I’ve been through.  It has been a nail-biting, rollercoaster ride that, at times has made me ecstatic and at times has made me want to pull my hair out.  It’s never dull and I love it!

BTW, I’m working on the next book in Harry the Wonder Cat Series. In this one, Harry goes to Jamaica and falls in love with a beautiful beach cat named Luna. Follow along Harry’s trip with Nikki, Heather and the gang.

If you missed the first book, Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond, you can still get it here.

What to Expect When Publishing Your First Novel

I’m Denise, the creator of Harry the Wonder Cat, and the author of The Legend of the Pink Diamond.  For the next couple of weeks I thought I’d just talk about the steps leading up to that all important publication date and what it feels like when you actually hold that first book in your hand.

One thing that not a lot of my readers know is that all of the cats, with the exception of Harry, are based on the real cats that take care of some of the readers of my Facebook page. As soon as I realized that Harry needed a gang, I opened up auditions on Kitty Tales and a slew of cats came running for the curtain call.  I, being the ultimate cat lady, gave the parts to all of the cats that applied.  So each cat will be named or featured in at least one of the books in the series.

Casting taken care of, you need to write the story.  You should write at least two drafts before sending the manuscript to your editor. I sent the first draft and was sorry I did as, by the time we got to the final draft, the book had changed into a totally different story, which drove my publisher crazy.

I believe you need to have a bond, call it chemestry, with your editor because, after all, you are going to be joined at the hip (figuratively speaking of course, otherwise you wouldn’t get much writing done) for the next few months. I was lucky in that my publisher made sure to “fit” me with another cat lady.  Suze loves Harry almost as much as I did, therefore she handled him with kit gloves.  The result was a book that showcased Harry’s purrsonality, quirks and all.

During the editing phase, which involves a lot of time sending the manuscript back and forth for rewrites, etc., my publisher’s design team was working on that all important cover, again a lot of changing until we all agreed that it was purrfect.  You can judge a book by it’s cover, and Harry’s cover is great!

Meanwhile, I looked for a professional photographer for the picture on the back of the book.  I ended up using it on my profiles for my social media.  Get your face out there!!

Next time I’ll be going over what happens after the editing.  No…the process isn’t not over yet.  It’s only just begun!

The Cat Kingdom

Hi everyone.  Can you believe it’s only a week until my book, Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond , which introduces me and some of the people of Harrot Reef, comes out? You can preorder it at a discounted price on Amazon for this week only.

Now that the big announcement is out of the way, I wanted to take you on a brief tour of the Cat Kingdom.

You need to know that no one actually knows where the Cat Kingdom is. To get there, you need to be escorted by an official messenger of the Cat King.  You simple touch his back, close your eyes and when the official tells you, open them to a brand new world.

The first thing your senses will take in is the scent.  It’s unlike any other you have known in the human realm of existence.   It’s indescribable really, but if one were to try, it’s a cross of cotton candy, chocolate, and the sweet smell of jasmine. 

Then you will notice the glitter everywhere, on the ground, statues of regal cats, even the castle itself.  The sky is raining down these sparkly, golden pieces of tiny substance nonstop, night and day. The next thing you may notice is the sound of sweet, melodious music.  This music has never been heard before and won’t be heard outside of the kingdom. If you are a special guest of the king, you can look up to the sky and see a rainbow shoot an arc over the castle.

Speaking of the castle, it has a gatehouse where two cat guards stand tall to greet you into the castle grounds.  The courtyard is expansive.  It, too, is covered in golden glitter that sparkled in the sunshine.  The colors of the rainbow are brighter than colors are in the human realm. At the castle door there are two more cats to greet you.

Once inside you will find yourself in a great hall surrounded by portraits of the most regal cats that ruled the kingdom hanging on the walls.  At the end of the hall is an extraordinary room with a golden, bejeweled throne in it and a red carpet leading up to it.  This is, of course, where you will find the king.

Well, that’s it.  The Cat Kingdom in a nutshell.  Next week, I’ll give you a tour of Harrot Reef, where I live.  In the meantime don’t forget to preorder your discounted copy of Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond. 

Harry at Home

As I promised last week, I am going to give you a peek at my home life in Harrot Reef Manor.  The manor house is a huge yellow Victorian with white gingerbread.  It has hardwood floors in some rooms that are so slippery that, if I run fast enough and then lean just right, I can slide right into the next room.  I love this game because it makes my charge, Nikki, and our roommate, Heather, laugh.

The most important cupboard in the house is the “The Magic Cupboard”.  This is where my food and treats are kept.   All I have to do is sit in front of it and stare at Nikki, and she will feed me.  Of course, if that doesn’t work I can always use my magical powers (as long as nobody’s around)!

In the afternoon, Heather gets my brush out and calls, “Brush, Harry, brush”.  I know then that she will brush my long, luxurious fur and I will trill and purr.  When she is done I head-butt her hand and rub my cheek against hers.

I  can hardly wait until after dinner when I hear Nikki pick up the latest Agatha Christie mystery that we are reading together. She calls me to the living room where we share the purple chair that is soft and cuddly. The crackling of the fire in the fireplace is soothing as I listen intently to the sound of Nikki’s voice reading just for me.

Well, that’s an average day in my life at Harrot Reef Manor.  I hope that you’ll come to visit us soon.

Next week:  Please join us for an interview with Sir Aslan, Harry’s grandfather.

Don’t forget to order your copy of Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond.

Meet Dewey

Dewey

Hi there! This is Harry coming to you from the top of The Fence.  The final cat character from the first book of the Harry the Wonder Cat series is the fastest cat in town…Dewey!  Come on out here, Dewey.

Dewey:  *skids to a stop in front of Harry*  Hey, Harry!  How’s tricks?

Harry:  *smiles* Just fine, Dewey, and I see your still living in the fast lane.

Dewey:  It’s the only way to live!

Harry:  Speaking of living, thanks again for your help in the last mission.

Dewey:  Sure, anytime Harry, you know that!

Harry:  Just a couple of questions.

Dewey:  Okay…shoot!

Harry:  You being the fastest cat, it was only right that I used you as the runner in the case.  How do you keep in shape?

Dewey:  Well, that’s easy…a lot of calisthenics and walks on the docks.

Harry:  I can see the calisthenics, but what do walks on the docks do for you?

Dewey:  *licks his chops* Why, all the fish I can eat, of course!

Harry:  *lets out a deep laugh*  Of course!       *clears his throats and waits for Dewey to stop laughing at his own joke*       Do you have another mission planned?

Dewey:  *shrugs his shoulders*  Well, right now I have a date with a salmon.  Excuse me.  *dashes towards the docks*

*Harry stares after Dewey*

Well okay then.  There you have it.  My three pals who co-star in Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond, which you can preorder  on Amazon now.

Next week, it’s an exciting day at home with yours truly.