Mia Kerick on Come to My Window and My first experience with self-publishing ~ Blog Tour, Excerpt, Guest Blog, Rafflecopter Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Mia Kerick for taking the time to talk with us today.

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Title: Come to My Window
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Release Date: 01/17/2015
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Lesbian Romance, Young Adult

Blurb:

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I
wasn’t.

I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.

“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”

“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.

My first experience with self-publishing:

Hi everybody! It’s Mia Kerick and I’m so happy to be here!!

I’ve had many positive experiences with publishing through a small press, but I’ve recently become curious about what it would be like to do it myself. And so, with Come To My Window, my first YA work of lesbian romantic fiction, I decided to give it a try, as an experiment of sorts. What I found was that I really can’t do it all by myself, but instead, self-publishing can be done well with the help of a small, personally chosen team. There was a lot of trial and error involved in the process, and even a great deal of heart ache, but I think I’m almost there.

I went back and forth for quite some time trying to decide between submitting Come To My Window to a small press or to self-publish, a subject I was very unfamiliar with, but, as I said, curious about. The reasons for my interest were threefold:

*Editing- I wanted to have an un-stressful, un-deadlined, and mostly un-structured editing experience that I was in charge of. I wondered (worried) if it would be as effective as the structured editing I’d experienced with a small press.
*Cover decisions- I have loved my covers I received from the small press, and have been in awe of the artists who designed and worked on the covers, however, I wanted to see what it would be like to work directly with a designer specifically of my choosing, where I had total freedom.
*Promotions- I do a great deal of promotions and I wanted to see the difference in sales if only my efforts were used to promote the book.
*And here’s the biggest one: IMPATIENCE
Now for a “come clean” moment—I find it very difficult to wait the several months that it takes for a book to be accepted by a press, and then however long it takes to create the book, which must go according to the publishing schedule of the press. By self-publishing I figured could get the book out to the public in a fraction of the time.

At this point, the results necessary to judge the success of this experiment in self-publishing are not all in, as Come To My Window has just recently been placed on the market for sales. But I will remark on the process of self-publishing itself, and the success/my experience with this early portion of my endeavor.

I found a wonderful editor (thank you, Mel Leach) through the recommendation of a friend. For a very reasonable sum, I had a totally warm and fuzzy editing experience. There was no stress whatsoever. I could email/private message my editor directly without having to go through any formal channels. When I added several additional sections to the manuscript after I had already submitted to her, she happily edited them, and I didn’t feel like I was breaking any rules. I did, however, worry slightly that the manuscript didn’t go through the two or three separate rounds of edits that it normally goes through at a press.

The cover design experience was ideal. I worked with Reese Dante who is exceptionally talented and enthusiastic, and I didn’t have to wonder if I would be assigned to her through the small press, as I hired her directly. I had to fit my book into her work schedule, which required a minor delay, but I used that time to rewrite my story one more time, so it flowed perfectly. Reese was willing to try new things, to make changes as requested, and to allow me to add and change my blurb and my manuscript, as I needed to. It was relaxing for me, once she set me straight and told me to stop worrying so much! And Reese Dante also did an absolutely fantastic job of formatting Come To My Window. To say I am thrilled by these aspects of self-publishing would be an understatement.

Unexpected challenge: The blurb was something I had to write totally on my own, which I didn’t have to do with a press. I was admittedly anxious about taking on this challenge, but I did all kinds of research, which eased my worry. Finally, I used steps outlined in an online article to create the blurb, and then asked my friend Michael Bowler to read it over. He made a few suggestions, which I used, and rewrote the blurb. Then my sister (went to Harvard so I know she is super smart) read it and commented and I changed it again, and was finally satisfied. This step that my publisher normally takes care of for me was time consuming and a bit stressful, but I hope it will be a successful aspect of my self-publishing trial.

Due to a change of staff at the Mia Kerick Company (LOL), I had to alter my promotions efforts for this book. I have a new helper (nameless at this time, but I will brag soon enough) who is working out beautifully, and she referred me to Pride Promotions (I’m impressed, Will Parkinson- you sure know what you are doing!) Thanks to my new assistant’s fast footwork, she corrected some of the troubles that I ran into with ISBN numbers, which I felt forced me to pull my book and cancel my original tour. Huge apology for that—I was just starting to crack under the pressure, but I’m back!! Sneakily, as in, without any fanfare, my new awesome helper has done everything to publish Come To My Window so I don’t have to worry any more!! And Pride Promotions set me up with a last-minute blog tour.

(Thank you for participating and accommodating me so kindly, bloggers and reviewers—I know last minute can be hard.)

So I have survived the self-publishing process to this point, but it is far from over, as NEW AWESOME HELPER is just now placing it on sale at Amazon and All Romance ebooks and other places, as well. And I am crazily writing blog posts—three Mia Kerick books from three different publishers are coming out within less than a month. AAAAHHHHH!!! (I’m okay.) I will soon be able to judge how sales are going, and of course I will have to subtract the amounts I have paid to my team members for editing, formatting, cover and print wrap, promotions and hours spent keeping me sane. I will have to follow this blog post up with a part two, that lists my financial experience with self-publishing. Or maybe you can just wait to see if I self-publish again, and that will answer the question, was self-publishing a financially effective option?

Self-publishing experience comes with different sorts of stressors than working with a press. There is a certain stress to being fully responsible for all of the choices and for all of the money invested in the project—every bit of it falls on my shoulders. There is also a certain excitement that comes with being chosen by a press—which gives an author the confidence that his/her book is worthwhile, and then there’s the pride in publicly declaring the fact that I have signed a contract, and being on a press’s top twenty bestsellers list. There is a feeling of being supported that comes with being associated with a press, as well.

In conclusion, to this point, I will say that I’m experiencing a mixed bag of feelings in regard to the independence of self-publishing. I’m interested to see how my sales go, and to compare the profits with my profits from a small press, but where my subject is very different from my past books, there cannot be a direct comparison. I am glad I am trying this process as I hold to the philosophy, nothing ventured; nothing gained. Not to say some of my ventures have increased the amount of gray hair on my head. However, this is an experiment. Some parts of it have been eye-opening and wonderful, and other parts have literally brought me to tears. But I am learning.

Excerpt:

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother. 

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction. 

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?


About the Author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Blog: www.miakerick.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mia.kerick
Dreamspinner Author Arcade: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/mia-kerick/bio/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6474518.Mia_Kerick
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiaKerick

Buy Links:


Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

Giveaway:

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WillPride

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

10 thoughts on “Mia Kerick on Come to My Window and My first experience with self-publishing ~ Blog Tour, Excerpt, Guest Blog, Rafflecopter Giveaway

  1. Brandilyn and Prism Book Alliance- Thank you for welcoming me as a guest blogger today!! You are Always so supportive to me as a writer!! And thank you Serena- Come To My Window is not the typical book I write, but I really enjoyed creating these characters and their story!

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