Tag Archives: Publication

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?

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 🙂

Nicky Wells talks about completing the first draft of Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy

Congratulations, Nicky,
you did it!

I certainly did, hooray!  For weeks now, I have been posting word counts and little updates here and there regarding my progress on “The Sequel” for my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn.   It is with huge, enormous and almost indescribable excitement that I can announce that I have completed a first draft.
And yes, I really am totally chuffed about it!  Ecstatic, overwhelmed, and ludicrously proud.  I had the best time writing it and it was wonderful to see Sophie’s life develop and move on.

Tell me more…!

At this time, my second master piece is just over 149,000 words long.  That would translate into something like 400 pages in paperback.  Somebody has already told me that this very exciting:  a real ‘doorstop read’ like we used to enjoy in the ’80s and ’90s.  Personally, I am very partial to a long, fantastic read that really involves you and captivates you, and that’s why I have written another one.  (Weighing in at just over 135,000 words, Sophie’s Turn would be about 380 pages long.)

What about the title?  Why aren’t you telling us the title?

Ah, well, now that is a good question.  I do have a title for the sequel.  In fact, I am currently using the third iteration of a working title!  But I am not convinced that I have found the killer title yet.  This, too, will reveal itself to me… probably in the middle of the night some time soon!  For now, I am not in a particular hurry to pin down the definite title.

Why is that, you want to know?  There’s quite a simple reason.  Sophie’s Turn  was born under a different title, and one that I thought was perfect and adhered to for six years.  It was only on the eve of publication–quite literally–that I suddenly realised that the title was somewhat… obscure!  And thus I fell out of love with it.  So I have learnt my lesson and am leaving the title for my next novel fluid and in the air until the last minute… which is to say, until I am finalising cover design with the help of the lovely Jessie Dalrymple.

Ok, but what is “The Sequel” all about?

This novel is Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance trilogy and it continues the story of Sophie, Dan and Rachel, also introducing a couple of important new characters.

The sequel features high drama, comedy moments and two weddings–but whose, and to whom?  If you’ve read Sophie’s Turn, you’ll naturally expect a certain course of events… but life never goes to plan!

Part 2 begins with Sophie’s long over-due thunderbolt-and-lightning moment.  However, just a few short days later, a disastrous ending to her birthday party sees her moving in with none  other than the delectable Dan Hunter.  On a strictly platonic basis, of course, and for a limited time only.  Nonetheless, her stay at Dan’s house sets in motion a series of events that derails everything she had expected to happen.

Best friend Rachel has a much bigger and more important role to play in this chapter of Sophie’s life; but this is not a part that she particularly enjoys.  It also gets her into a lot of trouble.  And Sophie… well, she reaches the point of no return; she’s  just about had enough, and she draws the consequences.

When will you publish your next novel?

I am aiming to publish Part 2 in July of this year.  Here’s my plan of action.  For the next month or so, I won’t be touching the book at all.  Won’t read it, work on it, or consider it in any detail.  I will, however, be busy working on ‘blurbs’ and synopses, as well as the cover, so that I can bring you more juicy information some time in March.

Throughout March, I will be re-reading my work, editing, tweaking, polishing, improving, deleting scenes, adding new ones, plugging holes, streamlining twists (or making them sharper!)… whatever is necessary.  A small group of ‘test readers’ will offer feedback that I will duly incorporate, as well!

In April, I will once more take a break from the novel but May will see the last serious edits and also several rounds of in-house and external proofing.   So watch this space… some time in June, I hope to post a taster chapter right here on this blog!

Wow, that’s a long drawn-out process!

It certainly is!  A great novel is like a good wine.  It needs a lot of maturing!  🙂

I haven’t read Sophie’s Turn yet.  Can you tell me what your debut novel is all about?

Rock Star Romance Sophie’s Turn is the funny, honest and occasionally bitter-sweet story of one young woman’s entanglement with a rock star.

One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter.  But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim.  Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris.  The novel describes how Sophie gets into this impossible situation and how she turns it around.   Follow Sophie on a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will…

You can download Sophie’s Turn onto your Kindle right here.

Amazing!  Thanks for the update!

My pleasure!  Keep watching this space as I will certainly keep you all posted.  Also, get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts or any kind of reaction at all.  I’d love to hear from you!

XX 🙂