Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Things I’ve Learned in the Book Publishing Process - Guest Post by Jennifer Novotney

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Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

July 7th - 31st, 2014

 In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.

Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?

Release Date: July 15, 2014


1. Getting a book ready for publication is a lot of work. Even when you think you’re done, you’re not! I have to admit that I like things done in the most efficient way possible, but I’ve learned that the publishing world doesn’t always work this way. Like any artistic field, a piece of art can always be improved. This is definitely true of publishing a book, especially your first book. I think I learned more about fiction writing from working with my editors at Anaiah Press than I did in college! I really do feel like publishing my first book was like a graduation of sorts. Now, I’m on to the next level and looking back, all the hard work was worth it. 

2. It doesn’t end when you sign the contract. I learned that signing the contract is just the beginning. When Anaiah Press first picked up my manuscript, I had already worked with an editor and refined the manuscript for months. I thought it was the best it could possibly be, but boy was I wrong! I went through multiple stages of editing. Then, there is the publicity and marketing piece of having a book launch successfully, which presents its own challenges and rewards. I also had to establish a stronger social media presence as an author. Signing the contract is the beginning of the adventure, not the end.

3. Get a lawyer, always. Even if you have an agent, it doesn’t hurt to have an attorney look over your book contract. After all, you are signing a legally binding document. It can be tempting to just sign it and get the deal done. It’s exciting to get your first book contract (or second, or third!) but don’t let that excitement cloud your judgment. Be smart and have a publishing lawyer, or an attorney familiar with publishing contracts, look over your contract. It’s worth the few hundred dollars to make sure all your bases are covered.

4. Find friends to help you and support you through the process. I don’t think I would have made it through the editing and preparation for publication if it wasn’t for my husband and my writing friends. Having a friend who has gone through it all before or one who is experiencing it with you is invaluable. We as writers tend to do a lot of things alone. Writing is a lonely game, but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out to your writing community and gain the support of a fellow writer who can pick you up when you get frustrated and support you throughout your career.

5. You will see that manuscript over and over again. You’d better love it! I’ve been working with my book, Winter in the Soul, in some capacity for over a year. First, I wrote it, then came the editing, and finally the book contract. Little did I know that it was just the beginning. I can safely say that I’ve gone over my manuscript more times than I ever imagined. The editing process can sometimes be more in depth than actually writing the story. It would be a much more tedious and frustrating process if I didn’t love and believe in my book as much as I do. Make sure you really, really love your manuscript if you want to publish it. You’re going to read it and work with it more than you ever imagined possible.


Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.


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