January 21, 2012

Rae of Hope by W.J. May: Guest Post

Today I have W.J. May on the blog for a special guest post about the process of publishing. Enjoy!

Publishing – going Indie or with a Publisher … The checklist a writer needs to know and do
If you are reading this, the first I need to do is congratulate on you on reaching the point of publication. Writing is a long, hard process from the dreaming of the story to molding it, editing it, perfecting it, editing it, changing a few things to make it smoother, editing it, adding some foreshadowing and co-relation to things you didn’t initially see, and editing it (did I mention the editing part?) ☺ So… Congratulations on reaching this part of the amazing journey.

However, it isn’t done yet. There is a small checklist of things you need to know and do before you are published. Some of them you are probably already doing, others you might not have a clue about.

My YA Fantasy debut novel just recently was released and I’m still learning the process. There are a few things I know now that I wish I knew before. Here are a few words of advice.

Half a year before your publication date:

Start your social networking (it’s never too early)

– Have a website (if you can’t afford one or don’t want to fork money over for a professional one, go to a “free” site like yolasite.com ) Have one set up so it’s ready to go when you need it!

– Have Facebook and create a “fan” page or a Facebook page for your main character

– Twitter – either your own, or one for one of your main characters (or shoot – do two for your two main characters and have them converse together ☺

– Blog – or start one

– Make a Book Trailer (that’s a whole other blog topic on its own!)


– Once your cover is finalized get little adverts to post or hand out or simply available. My book is YA so I had bookmarks, postcards, flyers, magnets, calendars, pens, t-shirts, mugs, decals made up. Everybody loves free stuff. I use vista.com – they have loads of free items and great deals flying around constantly. I used business cards to make little book marks and adverts with the cover of the book, a link to my website and where the book is available.

Three to one month prior:

Your publisher will be doing this as well, but it is very important you do the leg work as well – start contacting blogs to ask if they are interested in doing a review for your book. Let them know the release date so they can work to get it done in time for the release. Reviews on Amazon, Barnes & noble, Goodreads, etc… are all helpful and it helps spread the word of your book. Once people start to see and hear, they’ll look you up (where your website comes in handy☺ and your blog, and all your other social networking that’s already all in place).

ARCs are important and will get the word out on the street about your book before it’s released.

It is REALLY important.

Set up a blog tour for after the books release. This includes reviews but also author interviews, or guest blogs (you can write a few blog ideas while you are waiting and expand on them when you go to visit a blog. Plan some to coincide with some key dates (for example, this blog I’m writing here today is up the same day I have a large book signing in my hometown, at one of our local bookstores). People who purchase your book, or stop by your table to pick up those hand little post cards or bookmarks have the opportunity to look you up on Google or Yahoo, or your website and see the links.

Plan some giveaways for your blog tours – a paperback, an eBook, a coffee mug, bookmarks or whatever else you can think of. Again, people love free stuff (I know I do!)

Schedule a party or book signing for your books release. Make it relevant to the story.

Talk with your publicist regarding their plans for book signings but make the effort to contact local stores and cities around you. Don’t just email, go in and talk to them – give them a face to the name and you’ll be surprised, most stores are really supportive of their local authors.

Send information about your book (like a little media page that covers the information of your book, a back-flap summary and short author biography) and send to local school librarians. Also include some book reviews that have already been done.

Contact papers, radios and set up a good press release.

Have fun as the day and time draws closer. And if you don’t have huge sales on the release day… keep plugging your book – it can turn out like wild fire and spread like crazy! In a super-fantastic way!!

Alrightie, time for my plugs ☺

Genre: YA Fantasy
W.J. May's Website | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Link: Amazon
How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth about the past?

Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is an exclusive, gifted school. Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her.

She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become inked with a unique tattoo (tatu) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatu enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their ink-art. Both of her parents were inked, though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young. Learning about her family's past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope in her own life.

Thanks for stopping by W.J.!!


  1. Thanks for letting me stop by and visit!
    Cheers, WJ May

  2. Great ideas. Worth borrowing! But I do wonder...about facebooking or tweeting in a character's name. First, it would seem the more books, the more characters, the more confusion (for author and reader). Second, I've read how important it is to have readers identify with the author, to make sure you/your name are "branded." Your thoughts?

  3. I agree Larry - You do need to connect as an author. For YA in particular - have characters do the talking is great because they relate to the characters more than the author (as the characters tend to be the same age :) . I've opened a FB page for Rae Kerrigan, the mc in Rae of HOpe and she's been very busy with chats and messages!
    Have a great weekend and thanks for the question!

  4. Golly, I just want to write. How do people do all this and still get their housework done?? Karla


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