Publication Day #2 and Lessons I have Learned!

thevineyardinalsacePublication Day of my second novel The Vineyard in Alsace has come at last and I have managed to co-ordinate the Kindle and the paperback versions to be published at the same time, something I didn’t quite achieve first time round. As regular readers will know, this book has been a long time coming but it’s here now, indie published again, and I couldn’t be happier.

Some of you may have read my interview with my good writing friend, Susanna Bavin which was posted this weekend. Sue has been such a good friend to me, always cheering me on and boosting my confidence. I am truly grateful to her for her support. If you haven’t seen the article, do pop over and have a read if you can.

On Friday 10th March, I will be appearing on the French Village Diaries website, talking about my love of France, which I am really pleased about. It’s so lovely to discover a new website dedicated to some of my favourite things. So if you like all things French as much as I do, don’t forget to pop on over and have a look. Jacqui will also be posting a review of my book a couple of days later so look out for that. You can always get your own copy now though, if you can’t wait! Just click here.

Next weekend, I will be on fellow romance author, Abbey MacMunn’s blog, talking about the inspiration behind The Vineyard in Alsace, and the Monday after, I will be on my friend, Sam Russell’s blog, talking about how I came to write a book about a vineyard from the rustic viewpoint! I have another couple of guest blogs coming up in the near future as well but no dates for those as yet.

Amazingly, it has only been seven weeks since I first spoke to the designer and proofreader I used this time round because, as my book was already edited, it was pretty much ready to go into the final phase. However, I have learnt a few lessons since last time and I thought it would be good to share them with you.

  1. In retrospect, it would have been better to get the proofreading done and out of the way before engaging the designer. This is because when you come to sort out your paperback version, you can’t get the number of pages of your book until you upload your final mansucript, and your designer needs this for the width of the book spine. It may sound obvious to some people but if I came across this last time, I’d forgotten!
  2. If you have a foreign language in your book, like I do, and you want your proofreader to check it, make sure the one you want to use is available by speaking to them a couple of months before. By the time I spoke to my original choice of proofreader, she was all booked up. To be fair though, I hadn’t planned this very much in advance so I didn’t even know two months before that I was actually going to indie publish again. I found another wonderful proofreader but she was very honest in telling me that she wouldn’t be able to check the French. I got round the problem but it’s a lesson learned for the future.
  3. As many of you will know, I write in Scrivener which is so great in terms of generating a .mobi file. It also generates Pdf files which can be uploaded directly to CreateSpace but I really couldn’t work that out last time so I uploaded a Word document instead. This time, I was determined to do the Pdf to save some time. However, a Pdf is like a photo of your file and you can’t adjust things, like empty lines at the top of the page or widows and orphans. I have reviewed my file using CreateSpace’s online reviewer tool (when it finally decided to work for me) and it looks acceptable but with hindsight, I wish I had just gone for the Word option. A proof copy is on its way to me and if I really can’t stand it, I will swap the files over. All this adds to the time it takes to do everything, of course!
  4. I put my book up for pre-order again as I did last time and was surprised to see that I can now see a report at any time on just how many pre-orders I’ve got and how that compares with last time. There’s a lot of talk about whether it’s worth putting your book up for pre-order and my conclusion is that it is worth it. It generates a bit of a buzz and a sense of expectation and even if you don’t sell many, at least you can see sales coming in 🙂 I’d be interested to know what you all think about pre-orders from a sales point of view and as a reader? Is it a Marmite situation or do you think it doesn’t matter either way?
  5. The other thing that I did last time was to create a book trailer using Stupeflix. I think a book trailer is a good thing to do but crikey, it’s so time consuming! I’ve looked at a few other software programs like Animoto for example but didn’t find them any easier so the date for the book trailer is TBC 😉

And so, there it is. All in all, it has been a bit of an easier ride this time round but it’s amazing how much you forget in two years. I really do hope to publish my FHTN novella this year so I hope it will all remain fresh in my memory till then!

Thanks for all your support and to everyone who has bought my book especially!

22 thoughts on “Publication Day #2 and Lessons I have Learned!

    • Thanks, Kim. Yes, my brain is full of all this new technical stuff that I hadn’t expected to be learning just four short years ago! Still, it keeps it working 😉

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  1. Congratulations Julie! It’s a wonderful achievement and I’m looking forward to reading it. I did pre-order, and it arrived on my Kindle at 12.30am this morning. As a reader, I think pre-order is a great idea and, as a writer, I agree that it does generate a buzz for launch day. Good luck! Looking forward to hosting you in my Farmhouse Kitchen next week!

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    • Thanks, Sam! We’ve both done so well to get this far on our own 🙂 Thanks also for your thoughts on pre-orders – it gives you a kickstart to your first day’s sales as well, which is always nice. Can’t wait to come and ‘visit’ you in your kitchen next week! Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment xx

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  2. I, too found it easier second time around. I didn’t do preorder in the end. I’m still undecided about it. I downloaded my copy before the crack of dawn because I was awake. Enjoying it already and will be taking it with me to France when we go later this week. 😄
    Very best of luck with it. Well deserved. Xx

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    • Yes, definitely a bit easier. We need to publish regularly though so it all stays in our mind! I know what you mean about the pre-ordering but the sales boost on your first day is especially nice 🙂 So glad you’re enjoying ‘The Vineyard in Alsace’ already and also that it’s going on its first trip to France! Thanks for all your kind wishes and support xx

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  3. You’re generous as ever with your advice! I only pre-order if it’s an author I’m familiar with, and I know I’ll enjoy the book – which is why I didn’t hesitate to pre-order yours! Otherwise I tend to wait until I can ‘look inside’ to see if the story and writing style grab me. Huge congratulations on your second publication day! I hope there are many more. x

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    • Well, that’s what it’s all about 🙂 I know what you mean about the pre-ordering and have to confess that I probably feel the same. It’s annoying that you can’t ‘Look Inside’ while it’s on pre-order, isn’t it? Thanks for your congratulations, and for your support xx

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  4. Happy publication day, Julie. Really interesting blog post. I’ve found creating a word.doc the easiest for the paperback version but then I have an on/off relationship with Scrivener.
    Good luck with it all.
    Sue

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    • Thanks so much, Sue, for visiting the blog. Yes, although doing it in Word was still quite a faff, I might have to go back to that next time. I do love Scrivener though!! Thanks for your good wishes xx

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  5. Many congratulations, Julie. An honest and informative blog, as always, which will be of enormous help and value to anyone in a similar position. Thank you for mentioning me. I’m so glad you feel I have supported you. It is a real pleasure to have you on my blog at this time so I can share in the excitement. While I’m a bit envious of the readers who have downloaded, I do prefer ‘real’ books and I’m happy to wait a few days for my paperback. Will you sign it for me when we next meet? Sending you all good wishes xxx

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    • Thank you, Sue and it was the very least I could do to mention all the support you’ve given me. I really hope you don’t have to wait too long for the paperback to come and you know I will gladly sign it for you when we next meet up xx

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  6. Good luck with your release, Julie! I am very much looking forward to reading your novel. It’s exactly the kind of story I love…And by the way, the cover is beautiful!

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    • Thanks so much for your good wishes, Marie! I really hope you enjoy it when you come to read it. I’m so glad you love the cover! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment too xx

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