Author Advance Copies


My advance copy of Margaret  finally arrived! So I sat her on the piano and took a picture!  :-)

My advance copy of Margaret finally arrived! So I sat her on the piano and took a picture! 🙂

Woo Hoo – it finally arrived, my author advance copy came in the post and I have to tell you it was SO exciting!   Now this is not my first book, I’ve written several business books in the past, and the first couple of times, they were very exciting too. But there’s a whole different feeling when it’s a story of fiction, and you’ve allowed the story to unfold and emerge from you – it’s a bit like meeting your baby for the first time. You know her, have grown to love her, and as she’s developed and grown, you know that she’s your own creation and you love her even more as a result of that.

When my advance copy of Margaret arrived, I was dancing around the room, whooping for joy.  And delighted to find it was all I hoped it would be, I proceeded to call a few friends, took a photo of it, and then made sure I took it with me everywhere for the last few days and showed it off to anyone who would take a peek at it.   I felt like a proud new mum for sure.

Author advance copies are for FINAL checks to ensure everything really is ok before the final print run is authorised.  To be honest with you, if at this stage you find something slightly out of kilter, you might as well let it go and remember that perfection is the greatest enemy of creativity.   Hold ups for getting a book 100% are hard on the publisher, the printer, and the author.   I did notice a word I’d have changed on the back cover if I’d noticed it during earlier proofing, but I didn’t, and do I decided to let it go.   We’re on a tight deadline anyway, and sometimes you just have to ‘not sweat the small stuff’.

I know there are bound to be people who let me know about other errors – VERY small ones I hope – but I also hope that anything that does get picked up by readers now, is not only fixed for a subsequent print run, but is forgiven and does not interfere with anyone’s enjoyment of the story.

For the perfectionists out there – 10 or more passes of the book by professional and amateur readers and editors is pretty standard for a book like this – and I do sincerely apologise in advance for any frustration that you may suffer from if all the checking, rechecking, rechecking, and further rechecking of this manuscript didn’t quite nail it to a level of perfection that maybe this story deserves.

The Challenge of Launching a Novel

As these final days leading up to the launch of Margaret whiz by me, I’ve been reminded that the author’s role in promotion of any book is fundamental to it’s success.   Often we think that the publishers will just ‘get it out there’ and do all the PR to make you an overnight success, but this is rarely true.

Even great authors like Diana Gabaldon, and JK Rowling had to rely on their own efforts at the start of their writing careers to ensure their first books were successful.  It’s only after you become a mega-star of anything (stage, screen, paperback) that the agents and media will roll out the red carpet.

So the challenge of launching a novel for me means that as Margaret nears her Debut Day, I am busy doing things like, Tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, and I’ve just discovered this wonderful site called Goodreads.     One of the wonderful things about Goodreads is that it’s global, packed with enthusiastic authors and readers, and there are books galore.   Joining up at Goodreads means activating yet another social media presence, but this one is a bit like a cross between Linked In, Facebook, and your local book club.

Another challenge is getting the advance order process working – and for me, that meant a late night last night, when I was alerted to the fact that my shopping cart had a big glitch  and the whole thing had to be reinstalled, tested, and re-tested.

The good news is that you can now order an advance printed copy of Margaret – A song out of time and I’ve extended the FREE Shipping option for another week.  

The Official launch day is now set for the 6th March.   That’s coming up very fast…   so one more thing for me to do today is check in with the PR people and answer any last minute questions they have for their press releases and media contacts.

Ok – gotta run – but I’ll be back with more about this journey.  Now – must remember to chill champagne!  I can feel a celebration coming soon!





Counting Down the Days Now…

Yesterday I checked the final proof of Margaret – A Song out of Time, and commenced the final steps towards becoming a published author of my first NOVEL.    I’ve written and published books before but these have been business books, (and not under the name Dixie Carlton), but this is a STORY I wrote, and everything about it feels very different therefore.

This is like the first time I wrote something at university – when I waited (im)patiently for it to come back with an A+ on the top of the page (It didn’t!).   Actually, it was more like waiting for that boy in the corner to smile back once upon a time, or that travel itinerary to arrive the first time I went overseas.   You just know it’s a moment filled with potential, but when it finally arrives it still leaves you feeling a little breathless and squeaky when you speak.

So I wrote a story – and to be honest with you, I LOVED the process of allowing this story to unfold.  It was a new way of writing for me.  And I wasn’t really convinced I COULD write a long story (jeesh – nearly 300 pages is a long story) until I finished it.

And now, we are only 5 weeks away from Launch Date.  Woo hoo!

I’ve now completed my end of the bargain with my publisher and created a serious website and Facebook page dedicated to my writing, and invite you the visitor, and hopefully you are also about to be a reader of at least one of my books, to snag my RSS feed, follow me on Facebook or Twitter, and most of all, ENJOY reading my stories.

I’ll continue to post extracts from what I’m working on – currently it’s finishing off book #2 – Beyond the Shadows, and I’ve started on book #3 – The Other Side of the Story, plus I’ve also started thinking about the sequel to book #1… yes there will be a sequel in late 2015.

I’ll also keep you up to date with anything else planned around my writing – including book signing events (keep an eye out for me in the UK in September – to be confirmed).

And finally, THANKS for being part of my journey – your dropping by here is a part of that.