Then and Now: Metamorphosis of an Author

Do you know that old saying, “what a difference a year makes”?  Well, it’s not even a year–it’s just under eleven months, actually–since I started my publishing journey.  Lately, I’ve introduced quite a lot of changes and have blogged about them as I went along.  I felt it was time to take stock and consider how this here ‘hapless duckling’ has morphed into… well, not quite a graceful, soaring swan, yet, but perhaps one that is poised and ready to fly.

That was then…

The day is 9 July 2011.  It’s Monday morning, 9:30 a.m., and my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, has just this minute appeared ‘live’ on Amazon Kindle.  After four months of writing, several rounds of editing, seven years of maturing, and a frantic few weeks preparing my masterpiece for self-publication, it is finally ‘out there.’  I shed a tear or two; it is a very emotional moment.  Unsurprisingly, however, nothing much happens.  No, Sophie’s Turn does not hit the bestseller lists within days, or go viral.

This was my author platform then:

A cover, lovingly, expertly and painstakingly crafted by hand…

…and a photograph (well, a cut-out).

Nicky’s author image, mach 1

That’s it? you say.  Uhm, yes.  But fear not, I have learned a few things along the way.  Take a look at…

This is now!

I’m a fast learner, and things changed quickly.  I reached out to friends for advice, and then to bloggers. I started building a network, garnering reviews and visibility, making new ‘virtual’ friends.  In October, I was honoured to join the unique and interactive reader/author project, loveahappyending.com.  And in February 2012, I was thrilled to sign with trail-blazing US publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing.  So let’s take a look at my platform as it is today.  Spot the difference?

My slogan.

My glamorous author photo (if I say so myself).
Find out here about the provenance of this photo!

Romance That Rocks Your World! Meet Nicky Wells, Author.

My brand.
Read all about the unveiling of the Rock Star Romance brand here.

My stunning cover.
Find out about the people who helped create this cover here.

My social networking platform.
(still under construction… ever expanding)

So, it does feel like I have come a long way.  Hopefully, I am poised and ready to fly when Sapphire Star Publishing is launching Sophie’s Turn on 6 September 2012.  Thank you to all the many fantastic people who are helping me along the way, not least: Amy and Katie at Sapphire Star Publishing; Jessie Dalrymple; Shirley Mukisa;  Shaz Goodwin; Sue Fortin; Linn Halton; everyone at loveahappyending.com; Deborah Smith; my gorgeous husband; and the many, many wonderful bloggers who support me: know that you make this author’s world go round!

After all this, it still makes me uncomfortable to ‘boast’.  I don’t mean to boast, as such.  I abhor boasting, and would rather hide in a corner.  So why this post?

Well, for one, I simply mean to share my joy and excitement.  And for another, I hope that sharing my experience may perhaps help new and aspiring authors find a shortcut to building their own strategies and platforms.

So here’s the question for the day, Id’ love to hear your thoughts: 

All you amazing established authors out there, what was YOUR biggest ‘aha’ moment along the way?

All you wonderful aspiring authors, what is YOUR biggest challenge on the road to publication?

Advertisements

26 responses to “Then and Now: Metamorphosis of an Author

  1. Oh bless, I loved your original cover! I thought the signpost idea was really original, I can totally see why you rustled that up. I also see why you revamped to go glam, but that original cover had a lot of charm : ) xx

    I’m still in aspiring-soon-to-be-published camp, I guess my biggest challenge is faith & strength of belief to bypass fear – and the prospect of fighting to get taken AS seriously as any formally published writer and doing it all myself to the scale I desire. That’s intimidating. But if i can crack that then I’d like to believe Gunshot Glitter will get the reception it deserves.

    • Hi Yasmin, thanks so much for your kind comments. I had a lot of angst about pulling the original cover. In fact, I hadn’t planned to, actually, it kind of just happened… after I asked Jessie to have a stab at redesign and it wasn’t working. I gave her carte blanche in the end and she blew me away. Sapphire liked it to, and took it to the next level. But that first cover will always have a special place in my heart!

      You have so much going for you already, honey: you’re building a strong and vibrant platform already, you’re thinking along all the important lines. And I am totally intrigued by your title, Gunshot Glitter: so keep trucking. It’s a long, uphill struggle but it’ll be worth it in the end!! xx Thank you for visiting today. 🙂

      • I hope you’ve got a print of that first cover framed somewhere, you really should. It’s symbolic of so much and it really is a proper sweet cover. Thank you so much for your opinion and reassurance on where you feel I am at in the process, that means a LOT to me and this Saturday, curled up on a futon in Banbury, it was a really nice note to wake up to, x x

      • 🙂 I certainly do have the original and shall treasure it always, especially as it was crafted by my wonderful husband. Glad I could spread a little sunshine in your life today…….. x

  2. What a journey! We make giant strides sometimes, and you’ve come a long way, gal!

    Not sure I can be categorised as ‘established’ just yet, as The Cordello Quest was only published in January – but my biggest a-ha moment was *probably* recognising how important it was to get out on the blogs and make connections there, rather than “just” tweeting and Facebooking.

    Then again, if you asked me again tomorrow, I might say something different lol.

    Best of luck over the next 12 months, Nicky! x

    • Hi Joanna, thanks for your lovely thoughts. I know what you mean about blogging versus ‘just’ tweeting and facebooking. It’s a lot to take in and figure out, and I am still finding my feet, learning new things every day. But hey, we’re all in it together, and helping each other out goes a long way!! 🙂

  3. Fabulous article, Nicky! What a transformation!! I’m kind of in between: signed with a publisher yet still haven’t released my book. But I’m learning along the way. I think it’s the sheer number of things I have to take care of along the way that overwhelms me at times. But I’m keeping up so far. Whew!

    • “Overwhelmed” is the perfect word. My post may sound all smug (alhtough I hope it doesn’t!) and like I’ve figured it all out… but no, I haven’t. I feel overwhelmed a lot of the time, like I’m keeping a hundred balls in the air and mustn’t drop a single one. I think you’re doing a great job at positioning yourself and your book… and what a stunning cover reveal you had this week! Thanks for visiting and commenting, as always. 🙂

  4. I’m neither an author or an aspiring one but I love following your progress – I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie’s Turn so it’s great to see how it all came about! I also really love the original cover, I love the new one too but still that is a great first idea 🙂

    Keep doing what you’re doing Nicky, you’re a real star! x

    • **blushes deeply** Kate, thank you SO much for your wonderful comment. This means so much to me and you’ve made my day. I know you enjoyed Sophie’s Turn… just wait until the sequel hits the decks, yay! 🙂 Have a great weekend….

  5. I’m honoured to get a shout out on this post – thank you. It would be remiss of me to say that it is most definitely a two way thing and I consider all the support you have given and continue to give to me, invaluable.

    As for my biggest challenge, it’s probably self-promotion. I find this aspect incredible difficult to the point it makes me cringe most of the time.

    You’ve done a fantastic job in less than a year Nicky – you should be very proud of all you’ve achieved.

    Sue
    x

    • **waves** You’re so wonderful, Sue, and I’m honoured you are and continue to be my writing buddy. 🙂 As regards self-promotion… I hear you! But you’ll get into the swing of things, your platform is all there ready and waiting for you to launch. Roll on 11 July!!

  6. I think it’s amazing what a long way you’ve come in such a short time! Well done, Nicky, you have lots to be proud of and to shout about!

    • Thanks so much, Marina! Hope you’re having a great day–do you get to see the Jubilee festivities over in your part of the world at all? Sooo much going on, we’re off to yet another street party today. And tomorrow. WOW! We’re partying like it’s… well, 2012!

  7. Fantastic, Nicky! You definitely have come a long way, but you’ve worked hard for it!

    • Thanks so much, Talli–that’s high praise indeed! Thank you for visiting and hope you’re enjoying the ‘jubilation nation’ still (I loved that blogpost of yours!) 🙂

  8. Hello, Nicky! 🙂 Love your blog! And congratulations, you’ve been nominated for One Lovely Blog Award! Well deserved! Check it out on my blog: http://ladaray.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/one-lovely-blog-award/

  9. Thank you for sharing your then and now experience. You really have come a long way and its all something to be proud of. I see your brand, and I think its working! Congratulations on everything, and I guess I have a new read this September!!

    • Hi Bethany, thank you **so** much for your feedback. It makes me so happy to think, to know that the brand is doing something! Roll on September…. but I’m sure we’ll stay in touch til then anyway. Have a great day!

  10. What a star – or rather a rockin’ star in the making! It’s been one amazing journey for you Nicky and I’ve enjoyed watching it! It’s going to be a great year for you. Lxx

    • Thanks so much Linn. I dare say I wouldn’t be travelling this way at this speed if it hadn’t been for your help and guidance, not to mention loveahappyending!! X

  11. Such a great success story! I’d have to say, as a newbie/wanna be writer, my biggest struggle is getting through the edits of my first novel. It’s that internal battle of keeping myself motivated and knowing that if my book ever gets signed, I’m going to be right back here with more edits and rewrites! (but at least closer to the goal) *baby steps* ❤

    • Hi Emily, thanks for visiting!! If you’re writing, scratch the ‘newbie/wannabe’ bit of things: You ARE a writer, full stop. And the editing process shows that you are serious about it, which is wonderful. Take it one step at a time, honey, and ignore the bigger picture for the time being. Yes, there’ll probably be more and more rounds of edits, but consider this: every round makes your work more beautiful, more honed, more captivating. You’ll be fantastically proud when you’re done! Thanks for visiting and commenting, it’s nice to see you here! 🙂

  12. I for one hope that Sophie married the rock star. lol

    • A romantic at heart! It’s not that easy, I’m afraid…. you’ll have to wait and see! Have some smores while you do, fresh off the campfire. Hope you can stay awhile!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s