Monday, May 29, 2017
Nine Years from Creation to Publication - Kara Isaac
As I write this I'm four weeks away from the release of my third book, Then There Was You. While it will be my third published book but it is also the first romantic comedy manuscript I ever started, way back in 2008!
Since it's been nine years from beginning to creation to publication I thought it would be fun to give you some idea of how the timeline has been :)
After being told that chick-lit (the genre of my first manuscript) was dead, I was advised that if I ever wanted to be published I needed to find a new genre to write. Decided to try romcom because I love the movies!
Having no idea how to write a romance I attempted a couple of chapters and entered them in a couple of RWA (Romance Writers' of America) contests to get some feedback. Much to my shock the entry finaled in both contests and ended up coming second in the inspirational category in one and winning the other (I still have the $25 check that came with winning!). However, a couple of judges also provided feedback that even though they loved the story, no US publisher would be interested in a book set in Australia and if I was serious about getting it published I would need to set it in the US.
Kept writing the story and entered it in more contests. More finals! But yet more judges (again) saying that I needed to change the setting to the US. After much contemplation, I reached the decision that the Australian setting was pivotal to the story and so, at 50,000 words I set it aside to work on other ideas and hoped that maybe one day the time would come when it made sense to finish it.
Four years later, my literary agent sends me an email saying that an editor at a CBA publishing house has asked if I have any manuscripts set in New Zealand or Australia. I almost fall out of my chair with surprise! Pulling the manuscript out of hibernation I spent three months rewriting the first 50,000 words and finishing the story.
Editors love the story! It goes to a number of publishing boards but ultimately no contract. The most heartbreaking one being when it got a "yes" all the way through (as part of a three-book deal) and then while the publishing house was finalising the contract the decision was made to review their entire fiction line and the contract was pulled.
After being rejected by every publishing house it is pitched to, I return it to hibernation and focus on other projects.
I get the news that Howard Books will be offering me a two-book contract for the stories that ultimately become Close To You and Can't Help Falling. I spent the next two years focused on them.
The news comes from my agent that with Close To You and Can't Help Falling releasing so close together (six months apart) my publisher won't be making a decision on offering me another contract until they have at least a year's worth of sales figures. With the lead in required for traditional publication that means I won't have a book coming out with them in 2017 and potentially not 2018 either. After much pondering (I was eight months pregnant!), a few people telling me I'd be crazy not to, and some nudges from God, I decide to make a leap of faith and publish Then There Was You independently.
The whirlwind adventure of being an indie author hits (which needs its own blogpost or six!). Finding myself the project manager of everything to do with producing a book I pull together my team of editors, cover designer, proof reader, formatter and give myself crash courses on everything from how to get an ISBN, to distribution options, to who to use to print paperbacks to make them cost effective to sell in New Zealand!
Preorders for the eBook go up on Amazon and promotional efforts begin with the cover reveal. Advance copies are sent out to 35 early readers and I hide behind my fingers waiting for the first reviews to start coming (Phew! They like it!). The early readers also help pick up remaining typos and errors for correction before the final versions are locked down. The paperback is formatted allowing my designer to complete the cover design for the paperback.
June now holds checking the proof copy of the paperback to ensure all is as it should be before it is approved for production, uploading the final eBook version to Amazon and a changing focus to marketing and promotion to get the word out!
For those of you who are romance readers, here's a taste of Josh and Paige's story :)
Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.
Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He's determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.
When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?
I have two advance Kindle eBook copies to give away to two commenters. Make sure you include an email address so I can contact you if you're a winner! Entries open internationally and close 5pm, Friday, 1 June (CST).
Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She is the author of Close to You, a RITA Award Double Finalist, and Can't Help Falling, an RT Review Top Pick. Her next book Then There Was You releases on June 22. When she's not chasing three adorable but spirited little people, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She loves to connect on her website, on Facebook at Kara Isaac - Author and Twitter @KaraIsaac