Category Archives: Cover
Today’s one of the happiest days of the year – a publication day. One Summer in Italy is sent out into the world … well, it’s sent out to shelves and portable devices, anyway. I hope you like my latest book baby.
The jokey term for a novel ‘book baby’ came into being for a reason, I think. Though a fantastic, joyful event, there’s a lot of hard work involved in giving it life.
Here’s the bullet-point version from my perspective:
- Get an idea for the premise of the book. For One Summer in Italy this came when I was in Italy at Arte Umbria, where I have taught courses and led retreats for several years. The chef and I happened to be taking a break at the same time, sitting in the sun with our feet in the pool, and she told me about being a seasonal worker. I thought, ‘What a great thing for one of my heroines to do’.
- Work on characters and planning.
- Research. Yes, this did involve being in Italy again and taking a host of pictures. ♥ But also a lot of finding and absorbing information on seasonal workers (employees and employers), ex-pat families, the hospitality trade, laws and regulations, web development, homelessness, motorbikes, blood groups, watercolour painting and even Italian cemeteries.
- Write the first draft. This takes months and is punctuated with constant distractions and interruptions. I was thankful for last year’s writing retreat where I wrote nearly a quarter of the first draft and had the joyful experience of being in the place I was writing about … more or less. My imagination added a town and a hotel.
- Write another draft or two
- Send book in
- Receive structural edit. The structural edit covers all the large changes my editor feels will make help me produce the best book I can. Discuss with editor; make decisions on how many suggestions I’ll take up; perform structural edit.
- Send structural edit back
- Receive line edits. Line edits deal with smaller matters, continuity and timeline. I’m timeline-blind so this stage often involves a lot of head scratching whilst wearing a grumpy expression – on my part, anyway. Probably it’s the same for the line editor.
- Send line edits back.
- Receive copy edits. Copy edits deal with punctuation, grammar and anything that hasn’t yet been picked up in another edit.
- Send copy edits back.
- Receive proofs. To proof a book I have to read the whole thing again and indicate any errors I see.
- Send proofs back.
- Write acknowledgments and any dedication.
- Write any backmatter (bonus material) requested.
- Breathe a great sigh of relief.
- Start another book. This usually takes place betwixt and between the above tasks.
I can’t tell you in the same detail what the other side of the process is, carried out by the fab Avon team, but it will include the all-important cover (I LOVE the cover of One Summer in Italy), editing, scheduling, typesetting, promo, marketing and blurb writing. I’m involved in some of those areas too, mainly the promo.
Underpinning the process on both sides is respect, co-operation, negotiation, discussion, and a whole heck of a lot of emails!
But it’s worth it when this is what we end up with:
Here it is! I’ve been dying to show you this for ages – the cover of Just for the Holidays.
I’m thrilled with such a stunning cover.
The paperback, which will be released on the same day as the ebook, will have lots of lovely purple foil and I can’t wait to have a copy in my hands! (For those of you who like audiobooks, it, too, will be released on 18 May 2017.)
Here’s the blurb:
The #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…
In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…
A glorious summer read, for you to devour in one sitting – perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
Whether your holidays plans this year will involve somewhere exotic or a ‘staycation’ at home, I think that Leah’s holiday will make your summer look better. You can already pre-order Just for the Holidays. Grab your sunscreen!
And for those of you who followed my adventures in a helicopter, it’s this book I was researching!
Since I decided to give Ava Bliss in The Christmas Promise the career of milliner I’ve taken a lot more interest in hats. Before I go further, here’s a quick summary of terms:
But, basically, Ava makes hats for people, to order, by hand. Abigail Crampton of Abigail Crampton Millinery was my research source and now she’s making a couture hat for me! A cocktail hat, very evening-y and gorgeous. I’ve had the first consultation and on Tuesday I’m visiting her studio again for a fitting. (Pause for excited shiver.) I had a wonderful time trying on Abigail’s sample hats and choosing colour, fabric, shape and decoration. I can’t wait to see the next step!
Meanwhile, the fab team at Avon Books UK sent out lots of fun DIY hat-making kits and here’s what I came up with from mine:
I can see your looks of astonished admiration from here! 🙂 (If I squint a lot.)
Tomorrow (6 October) is ebook publication day, which is mahoosively thrilling. (Trying to find synonyms for exciting.) Oh, go on then, I’ll remind you what the ebook cover looks like:
The paperback and audio book will be published on the 1st December but don’t forget that you have one exclusive opportunity to grab the paperback well ahead of publication at a special event in Nottingham:
Stock has been released to this store for this special event so why not come along and help me launch the book? I’ll be happy to sign all books purchased, of course! (A signed book makes a lovely Christmas present.) NB I will be wearing the hat Abigail makes me to the launch rather than the one I made myself …
Huge thanks to all the lovely readers who have already ordered The Christmas Promise.
If you’d like to buy, too, you can choose your favourite platform here.
Join me in launching The Christmas Promise! Come and enjoy the party and even grab a copy of the book ahead of paperback release (a signed book makes a great Christmas pressie!). The Sillitoe Room is up at the top of Nottingham’s flagship Waterstones store, looking out over the rooftops and I’d love to see you there.
Tickets: £3, redeemable against purchase of the book.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 0115 9470069 or drop in at the store.
It seems like forever since I originated a post for my own blog. I’ve reblogged a couple of things but haven’t managed a new post. Here’s my list of excuses:
- Summer is my busy time as I’ve led courses in Italy (Arte Umbria), Derby (Swanwick) and Devon (Fiction on the Taw). A fact about running courses is that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work, not just preparing the course but being in contact with organisers for admin reasons and perhaps reading work of the participants.
The Christmas Promise approached production and I had proofs to check bonus material to write and promo ideas to talk over. One of the many lovely aspects of being an author.
- I also took a holiday in my beloved Malta. I had beer to drink and sunshine to enjoy. That took two weeks.
- I received a lovely invitation to write a two-part story for My Weekly to go in their Christmas issues (3 and 10 December. Look out for that story because you can win a free book!).
- Throw in the RNA’s conference in the middle of that lot and you begin to get the picture.
Now I’ve realised how much I’ve neglected my blog I can’t really think what to write about! Whenever I’m asked to guest on someone else’s blog I can think of a subject but for my own blog? I’ve come up blank. So, in place of a proper post, here are ten things about me you may or may not know.
- My parents were both in the army. My mum originally outranked my dad and he got in trouble for talking to her with his hands in his pockets. He only rose higher than her when she left the army.
- I can’t ride a bike no-handed.
- I have no tattoos but five piercings.
- Chocolate is my favourite food group.
- My Saturday job when a teenager was in a butcher’s shop.
- I can do the ‘waterfall’ with a pack of cards.
- I find it hard to join in conversations about TV because I watch so little.
- But I know a lot about Formula 1.
- I’m incredibly thankful for good friends.
- I try only to read books I love. Life’s too short for those I’m told I ‘should’ read.
Blogpost done! 🙂
Here’s the cover of The Christmas Promise! I’ve been adoring it in private for some weeks, now, but, finally, I can reveal it in all its beauty.
I always get excited over a cover, even though it’s the part of the book I hardly influence. Or maybe because it’s the part of the book I hardly influence.
I know that skilled people at Avon Books UK have been painstakingly putting together the ingredients that they, with their experience, consider will best serve my work and sell my novel. They have intimate knowledge of the market and the readership – i.e. what fiction buyers will stock and what readers will pick up from the shelf. The cover even impacts on which shelves in which retailers the book will reside. I’m thrilled to have them working on my behalf.
Here’s the ‘wet proof’ that has been sitting on my desk for me to sigh happily over. Lots of bling! And the title font now being gold, the paperback’s going to truly sparkle.
For the sake of completeness, here’s the back cover, too. (If it looks a slightly different colour on your screen that’s because it’s a scan rather than a JPEG, I think.)
The back cover blurb’s also written by an expert in the job. In case you’re having to squint a bit to read it, here it is:
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava Blissham. Sparks fly, and not necessarily good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life.
She just doesn’t know it yet…