Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Everything Old is New Again

Well, maybe not everything. My minivan is still really old. But today feels like the beginning of something very new for me. 
Back in 2009, my first book, a young adult novel about a gifted and troubled cake decorating teen, sold to a new US-based offshoot of the UK publisher Egmont. It was a dream come true. THE SWEETEST THING came out in May 2011.
Earlier this year, however, Egmont US closed its doors. Soon after my initial panic/sadness, I found out that because of the closing, the rights to THE SWEETEST THING were reverting back to ME. This was big, because after four years, the book had fallen off of most radars, and there was not much I could do about it. But when I received the rights back, I was given an opportunity to breathe new life into my book.
After conferring with my agent, (who I will thank now, the lovely, patient-as-a-saint Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary), we decided to pursue self-publishing THE SWEETEST THING through Amazon. It was a scary prospect. Traditional publishing had always been my plan. But the writing on the wall couldn't have been clearer. It was time to dip my toe into the waters of self-publishing. And so far, it's been an adventure!
For this new edition of the book, I've done an edit of the original manuscript, taking out references to things like a Blackberry (so 2009!) and tweaking some of the dialogue. Most exciting was being able to write a special extra for the end, which I'll talk about more in a future post, closer to the pub date.
For now, however, I get to show you THE SWEETEST THING'S pretty new cover. Here it is: 
Sigh. I think I'm in love.

I spoke in my post yesterday about it's designer, Kristin Rae. When she and I discussed what I wanted in a cover, my wish list included wanting to make the title the dominant graphic element, and also: NO PINK.
I wanted to throw in elements of main character Sheridan Wells' other artistic interests (other than cake). Hence the watercolor background. I asked for a yellow butterfly (also important to Sheridan's story). Kristin more than delivered on all that I asked. And did you notice the distinct lack of pink? I love what she did. And the back cover (for the print version) is just as gorgeous.
So there it is, friends:
Traditional publishing to self-publishing.
SO Pink to NO PINK. 
Candy hearts to watercolor butterflies.
Old to new.
I don't know what the future holds for this shiny new version of THE SWEETEST THING, but today it doesn't matter. Today, anything is possible!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Big Reveal (not quite, but getting there...)

Here we are, a mere day away from revealing the new cover of THE SWEETEST THING, and here I am, still updating my website so that I have someplace to actually REVEAL it. Sigh. I'm helplessly non-techie, though I'm lucky to have folks in my life who tolerate this characteristic and actually HELP me.

For this website redesign, these 'folks' include my good friend, amazing author and mind-blowingly talented designer Kristin Rae. I told her I needed a new website and something along the lines of "well, I like the beach, and I like these colors." Now make it happen! Please?

LOL, she DID make it happen, and along with tech maven Kim Franklin, turned an outdated, completely non-user friendly website into something gorgeous that I can actually update on my own!

In fact, I liked what Kristin did with my website so much that I asked her if she would try her hand at designing the new cover of THE SWEETEST THING. She was somewhat on the fence about giving it a try, but I think she has great taste and I hoped she would say yes. Long story short -- she did! Wait til you see the result! It was a joy seeing her turn my 'vision' such as it was, into a real, beautiful book cover.

So. Excited.

Okay, so since I'm thanking people, I have to also thank my husband, Michael, who linked all this stuff up so that my old website name redirected to this website and a whole bunch of other stuff that I was happy to let him handle. I'm so grateful for this guy. He can cook too, and those of you who have tasted my cooking know what a bonus this is.

This time tomorrow, there will be a beautiful picture of my new cover in this space. I hope you'll love it as much as I do!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Getting My Ducks in a Row...

to reveal the new cover of THE SWEETEST THING, my young adult novel, on July 1st!