Busy June

IMG_6417The arrival of summer has brought with it the chance to spend more time on my writing. And June was definitely a busy month. Between finishing the final drafts of my YA supernatural thrill for Lerner and devoting many hours to the continued promotion of Casey KC, I’ve been putting in a lot of time at the computer. The typical routine is a morning walk or bike ride to either Panera or Caribou followed by several hours of work and coffee drinking. And on other occasions I enjoy work time in our beautiful screen porch, looking out over our yard, listening to the birds, and soaking up the beautiful Minnesota summer weather.

My work on the Lerner YA book is complete. Now things are in the hands of the copy editor, the proof reader and the design team. I’ve been told that the novel will be released in April, 2017 – a long time to wait, but the publishing world just works that way. It will be a treat to see the finished product hit libraries and schools around spring break time next year!

Writing a manuscript for an established, world-class publishing house like Lerner has reminded me how different things are between that type of publishing and publishing a book independently. It’s so nice to be in the capable hands of a team of professionals who are nurturing the story, guiding me through the process and who will give the book wide-ranging promotion once it’s released. For Casey KC, I had to do all of those things myself – devoting hours and hours to finding an editor, finding a cover artist, preparing the book for publication, and then promoting it completely on my own. The jury is still out on my experience with Casey and whether I will choose to continue to publish upcoming stories independently, but for now it’s a welcome experience to have written another story that is being guided along by professionals.

Casey KCSpeaking of Casey KC, I have lots of promotional plans in the hopper. I’m reaching out to state-wide student choice book award committees to see if they’ll consider Casey for their awards lists. Those awards include the Maud Hart Lovelace award in Minnesota and the William Allen White award in Kansas. I’m also continuing to try and secure reviews by major review sources like Booklist and School Library Journal. This is much easier said, than done, however, since journals like these receive thousands of review requests each year, most from major publishers. They rarely review independently published books. Lastly, I’ve been contacting libraries, including my local Hennepin County library system, to ask them to consider acquiring Casey for their collections. This, again, is an up-hill climb because libraries depend on reviews to make decisions on acquisitions. So it’s a bit of a Catch-22 thing – you can’t get into libraries without reviews and you can’t get reviews without having a book with an established publishing house. But…I always knew publishing Casey KC independently wouldn’t be easy so I am, by no means, even close to ready to move on and call the experiment over. I’m optimistic I’ll have some breakthroughs with review sources, or awards or libraries in the upcoming year. Wish me luck and anything you can do to help spread the word would be much appreciated!