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So excited! My second story ‘Where There’s Smoke, There’s Trouble‘ was submitted a few weeks ago to my publisher Riverhaven Books in Whitman, Massachusetts.

In addition to editing and formatting, Stephanie has already created the cover, which I’m showing you here. She suggested a continuation of the 3-word title to coordinate with my debut mystery ‘The Uninvited Guest’. After consulting several trusted readers, I tend to agree. The full title will probably be spelled out on the inside cover and tops of the story pages.

I still owe Stephanie the map of Harbor Falls, the acknowledgements list, and the back cover blurb. All are in the works and simply need some fine-tuning before I send them along.

Fingers are crossed that the finished book will be available this September as scheduled.

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Jan 12, 2016 updated to include complete Amazon address.

 

Well, after years of plotting & writing, conferences & writers groups, TUG Front Cover Onlymy story… ‘The Uninvited Guest’… has been published through Riverhaven Books in Whitman, Massachusetts. Such a thrill to see it listed on Amazon as a paperback and e-book!

http://www.amazon.com/Uninvited-Guest-Debi-Graham-Leard/dp/1937588505/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452610802&sr=1-1&keywords=debi+graham-leard

For the purpose of book signing events, I opted to print 400 books locally.  What a thrill to pick up the ten boxes from the print shop! My trunk will hold a box of books at all times for those unplanned opportunities to place my story into the hands of an avid mystery reader, along with a 2-sided bookmark.

And now onto the task of marketing. Area bookstores, local libraries, senior centers, and women’s groups are on my list to contact. Some of them are bound to be interested in a debut local author to speak about writing a mystery with a book-signing event afterwards.

As it happens, my sister is involved with her local library in eastern Pennsylvania, and has already put me in contact with their Friends president, who is excited about planning an event. After we solidify her date in late March, I’ll approach the other libraries in the Berks County system for a possible event at their location while I’m in the area.

In addition, as a member of Sisters in Crime, I have joined their Speakers Bureau, and look forward to participating in author panels around New England during the coming months.

For all of you who have been following my progress over the past few years, I hope you’re as thrilled as I am!

Happy New Year to everyone!

Debi

 

 

 

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female-hand-writing-red-pen-white-background-35404047Well, the proof of my novel arrived, and for the past week, I’ve been combing through the pages to spot details that needed adjusting. Marked in red ink with the top corner of the page folded for easy locating, I noted missing punctuation, single-word changes, reversal of publisher line-editing efforts, and the return of several paragraphs dropped somewhere along the way.

This past Sunday morning, I drove the proof to my publisher’s home and we reviewed my editing requests, plus font size and format, possible reduction of pages by removing the space between lines, bookmark design, and adjustment of back cover blurb that currently gives away too much of the mystery.

So many details before making the commitment to print a supply of books for my personal sales at a local print shop! At some point in the near future, my novel will also be registered with Amazon as both an e-book and their print-on-demand version.  When that happens, I’ll provide the link for those of you who are interested in reading my story!

The road to first-novel publication has been long and educational, but eminently interesting along the way!

 

 

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A_Woman_Reading_Papers_At_Her_DeskIt’s no surprise that the lady helping me self-publish my first novel has gotten sidetracked with other projects and life itself.

We lost about three weeks in our timeline, but are now back on track. She provided me with the formatted manuscript, and included her own edits for the first half.

When I re-read my story, I found about a dozen places that needed to be returned to my own voice. She agreed to make the adjustments with very little resistance, but brought up two scenes that didn’t sit right with her. I saw her point, and have provided a revamp to take care of her concerns.

And so I’m waiting for her to get back to me with her second half edits, which I will then review and make further adjustments if needed.

In the meantime, I approached a recently-opened bookstore in a nearby town to ask about scheduling my book launch in their upstairs space. Before they will discuss that possibility, their buyer needs a ‘readers copy’ of my novel to determine if they will stock my novel in the local author section. If that decision is positive, then the events lady will discuss a possible book launch.

So many details, but I’m getting close!

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red send buttonWell, a few minutes ago, I pulled on my big girl panties and hit the ‘send’ button.

After months of working with my editor to fine-tune the writing, firm up the plot, and deepen the characters, I’ve sent my story along for the final phase of preparation before publication.

Nothing to do now but watch for the galley proof to arrive. My final opportunity to make sure everything is in its proper place. That nothing has been dropped. That nothing has been added or duplicated. That all eyes are dotted. That all tees are crossed. Forgive my bastardization of those two letters.

While I wait, I guess I’ll turn my attentions to my next story…sigh.

 

 

 

 

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ListWell, now that the editing is nearly complete — my editor was vacationing in Maine all last week, which allowed extra time for fine-tuning –and the cover art is a done deal, it’s time to provide the remaining cover details.

1st… The Story Blurb… this is unbelievably difficult to create! It’s more or less the same as the elevator pitch. The wording needs to hook the potential reader and encourage them to purchase the story. Several versions have passed through my writing group, and it finally reads as concise and captivating as we can make it.

2nd… Author Bio… keeping this relatively simple: name, retired, first novel, where I was born, and my general location now with cat and husband.  My publisher thinks there will be room for the professional photo I had taken a while back.

3rd… Acknowledgement Page … need to be sure I thank everyone who was involved during the writing of my novel, including research sources, writing group members. and assorted friends and relatives.

Gotta go dig into my files to be sure no one is overlooked… more later!

 

 

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woman artistWell, the professional editing is nearly finished, so we’ve reached the point when the cover art needs to be discussed and created.

To that end, I met with my publisher from Riverhaven Books in Whitman, MA, and we reviewed the various aspects of the cover design… images, colors, font style, placement.

 

We created the initial cover based on an online format that caught my eye, but the printers proof didn’t quite do the trick, so I requested four adjustments:

1. Replace the purple surround with a neutral shade so it doesn’t conflict with the red brick of the building in the background of the photograph.

2. smudge the word LIBRARY over the entrance so the reader won’t be mislead. In my story, the abandoned library has been converted to a home.

3. Retake the 3/4 view photo of my step-daughter after making her appear older by tying her hair in a low-sitting ponytail and adding a hat… googled these tips.

4. Alter the rectangular shape of the new photo to an oval that echoes the arched doorway.

With these changes, I’m hoping the cover will have a more pleasing look and grab the attention of potential readers…fingers crossed!

Next chore on my list… find a location for my book launch party this fall!

 

 

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