Category Archives: Sapphire Star Publishing Book Launch

It’s really real, it’s here, and I’m overcome.

Nearly eight years in the making. Nothing but a vague dream, a hopeful aspiration to begin with. An idea. An ambition. And now it’s here. It’s real. The very rushed man from UPS delivered it in the morning, oblivious to the importance of the cargo he was carrying.

I know what’s in these boxes. Tears? Why, of course. I’m all choked up with emotion, and I haven’t even opened them yet.

My book! There it is…
It’s beautiful. It smells gorgeous, that hot-of-the-press smell of fresh ink. And it’s all mine. I did that!

Of course, I had lots of help along the way, and you all know who you are, but this moment… this is mine. And in less than two weeks, it can be anyone’s.

My two boys, witnessing their mummy’s moment of pure joy, decide to capture the occasion for all eternity and grab the camera. Thank you, my lovelies!

And finally… here’s me and my book baby.

What a feeling!

Counting the days…

The Final Proof.

This is it.

It arrived in my inbox yesterday. It took twenty-one instalments of twenty pages at a time, almost a complete ream of paper, two ink cartridges, and a maximum dose of patience to print out on my slow, hesitant ancient little desk-jet printer.
It is the final proof!

It’s a bizarrely strange and exhilarating feeling to hold this sheaf of paper in my hands. Clearly I have done many rounds of proofing before, right up to the final proof before original publication. But this is different. This is a document formatted for paperback publishing; each page is laid out exactly as it will appear in the actual book! This is a manuscript prepared and proofed for me by someone else. In a different font. It looks and feels completely different to the last version of the manuscript that I clutched in my trembling hands. This is final!  When I am done with this, it will go to the printer. Whoa!

What will I do with it? First of all, I shall read it back to front, and bottom up. I’m not looking to read the story this time; I am looking once again for typos, missing punctuation marks, errant parentheses and other fine points of style and grammar. Whatever I find, I shall note down and send back to the wonderful team at Sapphire Star.

Next, I shall go through the proofing sheet sent by Sapphire Star to look through and approve the last set of comments or changes made by the publisher. This, I will do during a traditional front-to-back-top-to-bottom read. So essentially, in the next week, I shall read this manuscript twice. Thank God it’s the school holidays so I have lots of uninterrupted time at my hands… not! 🙂

I am tremendously excited. This is it; this is real. Signing the publishing contract ‘way back when’ in February felt real, but in an abstract way. This is really real. Roll on 6 September when I shall hold, not a proof but an actual book in my hands. Whooooop!

It’s a big deal to me, and therefore I send apologies just in case I’m going on about it in an undue fashion. But it is very exciting… the last step on the way to actual printing.

If you’re an author, how do you feel when the final proof lands in your hand? And what proofing strategies do you employ at this, the end-stage of the process?

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?

Cover Reveal! ~Sophie’s Turn~

This is it! The ultimate cover for Sophie’s Turn.  How excited am I?

Why another new cover, you ask?  Quite simply, another new cover marks the start of a new era for Sophie’s Turn, the first published edition coming out from Sapphire Star Publishing on 6 September 2012.  As for those of you who’ve been following my publishing journey, it’ll strike you that actually, this new, ultimate cover is quite similar to the last version you saw.  That’s because the amazing folks over at Sapphire Star Publishing liked the concept so much, they didn’t want to change it much at all.  Thank you!  🙂  But check out the subtle changes… see if you can spot the differences!  I’m enchanted, personally.

Huge congratulations go out to the original creator, Jessie Dalrymple–see, I told you you rock. 🙂

And here it is! Cover first, but don’t miss the credits below…


Here’s the credits, with HUGE thanks:

Cover design:  Chad Lichtenhan

Original design concept:  Jessie Dalrymple

Image:  “A carousel and the Eiffel Tower lit up at night” by www.unrestrictedstock.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Over the coming days and weeks, you will gradually see this cover appear on all the usual sites, beginning with the book icon in the top right-hand sidebar of this very blog.  Hooray!

So… what do you think?

Sophie has an exciting confession for Dan…

Indeed, it’s party time again!  Did you guess right yesterday?

I feel like a regular party girl these days. Break out the bubbly, have a little treat and join the party!  Oh, and know that while the celebrations continue, I’ll be planning the third part of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy… just how will the story end??XX

~Nicky 🙂

A Working Holiday for Sophie’s Turn

NEWSFLASH! Sapphire Star Publishing Signs “Sophie’s Turn” by Nicky Wells

YES! I want to shout it from the rooftops, and dance on the ceiling.  I want to sing and wave my hands in the air.  I am really excited to announce that I have signed my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, with trailblazing new US publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing (SSP)!

When I first heard about SSP on Facebook early in January, I was immediately intrigued.  Who wouldn’t be, with a catching name and stunning logo like the sapphire star?  I checked out the company’s website and was even more interested: this looked just like my kind of organisation.  Sapphire Star Publishing is a small press publisher dedicated to bringing readers the finest fiction.  The company works closely with its authors to grant each publication the opportunity to reach its full potential.  Unsurprisingly, then, everyone at SSP is really passionate about books, dedicated and motivated, and highly professional. That’s an intriguing proposition, and I was instantly hooked.  And when I discovered that SSP was accepting submissions, well, I was off to my email in a flash.

I submitted Sophie’s Turn and quickly heard back:  would I consider sending the full manuscript?  Of course I would!  And just under two weeks later… last Friday, to be precise, I got the amazing email:  SSP loved Sophie’s Turn!

I literally sat stunned for a good few minutes, reading and re-reading the email several dozen times, trying to make sure that I understood right.  I believe I was then seen dancing round the dining room (which is where my laptop lives on a tiny desk, when I’m not actually writing) and through the lounge, seeming very excited but not making an awful lot of sense.  This was just the most terrific news, and an indescribable feeling of joy. I am simply thrilled to be joining the SSP family!

Now here’s the really important bit:  SSP will officially relaunch Sophie’s Turn on 6 September 2012!!  In the meantime, for a limited time only, Sophie’s Turn will continue to be available in Kindle edition from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com until the end of March. After that, the novel will be temporarily unavailable until the official relaunch of Sophie’s Turn.

Stay tuned and sign up for ongoing updates and news on this blog.  Or visit Sapphire Star Publishing for further news and, of course, to meet the rest of the SSP family: A.L. Jackson; Amy Gregory; Gary Kassay; Mandy Baggot; Linn B. Halton; S. Blue Remy

Thanks for joining me today as I celebrate, and do keep in touch!
Cheerio from
–Nicky XX 🙂