"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author Kari Lee Townsend (Giveaway too!!)

When I was looking ahead at the new cozies coming out in August the cover of this book just called out to me.  I was not familiar with the author Kari Lee Townsend so I went to check her web page and found she writes a series for teenagers featuring Samantha Granger but Tempest in the Tea Leaves was her first cozy.  I knew right away she had to visit Dollycas's Thoughts for Cozy Wednesday.  I mean look at the cat on this cover, he definitely has to be a key player in the story.
So brew yourself a cup of tea and help me welcome Kari Lee Townsend!
Welcome Kari!!!

Thanks for inviting me.  I thought I would share a little today about being a published author.  I hope you and your readers enjoy it.

The First Year After The Sale!
So you’ve sold a book! Yay, that is so exciting. “Now what?” you ask. Well, sit back and let me tell you J

It all depends on whether or not the book is finished. If you sold off a partial, then your editor will give you a deadline to finish the book. It could be 3 to 6 months, or longer, depending on when they want your book to come out. Ideally, a publisher needs a book 12 months before its release date, but definitely by 9 months before the release date. Many times you won’t talk to your editor at all during the time you are finishing your book. Of course they are always available if you have questions or need guidance, but pretty much they let you do your thing. One note here…if you do have questions, don’t go through your agent and have them to ask for you. (Unless it’s a problem you’re upset about, etc.) You need to develop a rapport with your editor. There’s no reason to be afraid of or intimidated by them. They are on your team, not your opponent’s. I know this is a business, but editors are also human. And it’s human nature to want to do as much as you can for someone you like.

By the way (in case you’re wondering) you usually get a chunk of your advance when you sign the contract. Then another chunk when you turn in your book, your edits are done, and it’s officially “accepted” by your editor. Then the final chunk when the book comes out. And royalties happen only after you’ve sold through your advance. Those are usually paid a couple times a year.

Once you turn your book in, do not sit back and wait for your editor to read it and give you feedback (and never hound them to hurry up: remember you want your editor to “like” you, not roll her eyes and dread your emails or phone calls.) They are insanely busy people with several authors in different stages. Depending on when your book comes out, is where you’ll go in their lineup. This can take a couple months. If you’ve landed a multi-book deal, then get started on your next book. If you haven’t, then still get started on a new book. If your book or your series does well, they are going to want to know if you have more Not to mention, when your book finally releases, you should be insanely busy with promoting it. So don’t plan on writing during the month before and the month after your release date, that’s why it’s a good idea to budget your time and get a jump on that next deadline while you can. An author wears many hats…get used to that now so you won’t be overwhelmed later.

Once you have your edits (and you WILL have at least some edits…no book is perfect), set your work in progress aside and jump on those. Your editor deals with “story” edits like issues with plot, character, pacing, etc. It might take one to three rounds of edits before a book is officially accepted. Once it’s accepted, you’ll get paid, and the book will go into production. Also, when you turn in your book with your edits, this is when you can add your dedication and acknowledgement pages at the beginning, as well as a bio for the back. Next, a cover will be created. This happens about 6 months before a book releases, sometimes a bit earlier. That too depends on where in the lineup you fall. Some houses don’t allow any input, but often times your editor will ask for a brief synopsis of the book and for any ideas you might have as to what you’d like to see on the cover. That does not mean they have to use them or that you get final approval of your cover (unless your agent has negotiated that). Same goes for your title. Your editor will have meetings with all sorts of people on your “team” who really do know what they are doing when it comes to titles and covers, etc. Trust her and trust them to know what sells and what doesn’t. It’s just a title and cover…the story is still yours. Once you finish your edits, don’t wait then, either. Go back to your work in progress.

Next, the book is made into an ARC (advanced reader copy with your pretty cover on it) or a galley (advanced reader copy with just a plain cover on it) and those are sent to published authors for cover blurbs, initial reviewers, etc. Your editor might know some people to send it to, but you will be expected to send out requests as well. Be respectful and professional. If it’s a no, be okay with that and thank them and move on. If it’s a yes, celebrate  Next, your book will go to a copy editor. They deal with “polishing” edits like typos, grammar, fact issues, etc. Once you finish your copy edits, again, go back to your work in progress until the next step. Page proofs are the final pages of your book and exactly how they will look when the book releases. This is your chance to catch any last possible final thing someone might have missed, as well as add in any words or lines or change something. Once you turn this in, the book is finished and no more changes can be made. So make sure it’s the way you want it before you send it back.

Finally, your book heads to the printer. ARC’s and/or Galleys are exciting enough…but absolutely nothing can compare to the feeling you get when you receive your author copies in the mail. This usually happens about 1 month before your book comes out. The final finished product in all its glory! Basque in it, enjoy it, savor it…and then get busy promoting the hell out of it! (PS plan your promotion plan 6 months in advance—bookmarks, blog tours, book clubs, etc--so you will be ready to execute it when the time comes) No matter how big your publisher is, it’s still your job to do everything in your power to get the word out the month before your book releases, and keep the buzz rolling the entire month after your book releases. Then turn in your next book and get started on another new one as the process for book two starts all over.

Good luck and hope to see you on the shelves someday J


Thank you so much Kari, it is always so much fun to find out what happens behind the scenes. It also helps all of us understand the time frame because with series books, we, the reader, always want the next one right now!

Cover Illustration
by Lisa French
Cover Design
by Lesley Worrell

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group

A Fortune Teller Mystery
A Brand New Series
Available Now

In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal—and her predictions can be lethally accurate…

Sunny is a big city psychic who moves to the quaint town of Divinity, NY to open her fortune-telling business in an ancient Victorian house, inheriting the strange cat residing within. Sunny gives her first reading to the frazzled librarian and discovers the woman is going to die. When the woman flees in terror, Sunny calls the police, only she’s too late. The ruggedly handsome, hard-nosed detective is a ”non-believer.” He finds the librarian dead, and Sunny becomes his number one suspect, forcing her to prove her innocence before the real killer can put an end to the psychic’s future.

I fell quickly and fell hard in love with Sunny and Morty. You can't help it.  Sunny, her real name is Sylvia,  but she is only called that by her parents, has her hands full. She has moved away from her home, her parents and their money to live a life of her own.  Her parents believe she is just going through a phase.  

Wonderfully written. As a mom, I know her parents are only trying to protect her.  As a daughter, I completely understand the need to strike out on your own. This whole relationship adds a lot of humor to this story, as does Sunny's unique relationship with Detective Mitch Stone. The big tough cop who is afraid of a lovable harmless cat.

The murder mystery itself was full of plenty of "red herrings" that kept you guessing.

I have not been a fan of paranormal mysteries until recently and then relatively tame ones.  The psychic elements of this story are very light and fun and I loved it. 

I rarely give the first book in a series a five star rating because I believe you have to get comfortable with the characters and watch them evolve, but I absolutely love the characters in this book. Especially Morty, closely followed by Sunny of course. I hope we won't have to wait too long for another trip back to Divinity.  As you can tell from my rating this book is the purrfect escape!!! 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime, A Division of Penguin Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions stated are entirely my own.  I am stating this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255. "Guides Concerning Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising"  

Thanks to the fabulous people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of this cozy to giveaway!!
U.S. and Canadian Residents Only
Followers will receive 5 bonus entries!
If you leave a comment for Kari
you will receive 5 bonus entries!
If you publicize this post or giveaway on 
twitter, Facebook, or another blog 
you will receive an additional 5 entries !!
(links required)
Winners chosen by Random.org
Contest Ends September 7 at 11:59 p.m. CST


Margaret said...

Sounds like a great mystery! Best of luck Kari!

Liz V. said...

Congratulations on getting your book through that long process and best wishes for success of Tempest in the Tea Leaves. Have seen nothing but good reviews.

LuAnn said...

This one is definitely on my to read list, so winning a copy would be great!

holdenj said...

Wishing you continued success Kari! I enjoyed the behind the scenes look at what is quite a process. Tempest in the Tea Leaves looks like a good one! Thanks!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Awww thanks guys! I love this series, it's soooo much fun! Can't wait for Corpse in the Crystal Ball to come out, but that won't be until June 2012!

Good luck on the giveaways...can't wait to hear what you think :-)

Nancy B said...

Kari, it is nice to hear how things go once an author hasold a book until it is on the store shelves. I am ready to read!!

Liz Lipperman said...

I can add to the 5 star review with my own accolades for Tempest. Kari, you did a great job, and like the reviewer, I anxiously await book 2.

No need to put me in the running to win a free copy since I already have one.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Kari, thanks so much for the peek into what goes on behind the scenes of being an author! It is something we don't hear too much about. Your new book looks delightful. I will be putting it on my wish list and hope to read it soon. Another great post and review Lori!

dollycas aka Lori said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by. I am so excited to have Kari here today and her guest post is fantastic!!!! Now that I know the name of book 2 I can hardly wait, I am really looking forward to it. Spread the word and tell you friends. This is a story not to be missed!!!

Kuzlin said...

Sounds like a great start to a new series...can't wait to read it.

PoCoKat said...

Sounds great...I am looking forward to reading this book!!

Na said...

Cozy mysteries always look so heatwarming and this book is no exception. Thanks for sharing a bit about the publishing process which I find very interesting.

Carol M said...

Congrats on your new book! It sounds like a great series and I'm looking forward to reading it!

katsrus said...

I love your book cover. May you have great success. I would love a chance to read your book.
Sue B

Stacie said...

Lots of fun hearing about the writing process. Congratulations on the new series. It sounds like fun. Can't wait to read it. I've read lots of wonderful things about it :)

ann said...

I like a good mystery and I like the idea of the fortune teller to

amhengst at verizon dot net

Anonymous said...

Kari, thanks for the author info behind the scenes! This cover looks so intriguing, and I think I would enjoy it! --Rae

mamabunny13 said...

I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway.

Linda Kish said...

I enjoyed your walk through the process of getting a book published. Very informative. I wouldn't have the patience, I'm afraid.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks so much guys. This business is such a hard one, and yeah, patience is key! But it's so rewarding to finally see your book on the shelves. And then to have it do well is amazing and so satisfying. Hopefully, this series will continue to do well and Berkley Prime Crime will buy a ton more from me :-)

Good luck to you all, and whoever wins...be sure to let me know what you think :-)

Margie said...

Looks like a fun mystery. Anxious to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Tore said...

I love mysteries. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

orchid7 said...

Kari- Your book looks great! I've definitely added it to my TBR list! Good luck with this new cozy series!

Rochelle Staab said...

What Kari didn't mention is that Tempest in the Tea Leaves is already a Best Seller! And Kari's charming novel deserves all the accolades it's getting.

Thanks for the great post. (I better get to work!)

Ricki said...

A cozy series about a fortune teller - sounds great!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Awww, you guys are the best :-)

Carol N Wong said...

My grandmother on my mother's side read tea leaves. I am really wondering how she learned to do it!
I know that you did a lot of research on this so thank you for the research and the book that I am looking forward to!


Jessica said...

I love finding out about new authors, I'll add this one to my purchase list.

Kari, thank you for outlining the process about publishing books. I honestly didn't know about all the steps.

Thank you for the giveaway!
jbronderblogs at aol dot com

Darlene said...

It sounds like a great book! I think I would enjoy the touch of paranormal to a cozy-mystery! Combining my two favourite genres is a thumbs-up for me!!

Thanks for the giveaway, and best wishes on your continued success Kari!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Kelly L said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for walking us through the process of how the book goes from you, the writer, to me, the reader. I didn't realize how long a process it was!

Jessica said...

Interesting! I like to know how the process works.

Laura H. said...

Thanks for the giveaway! VERY interesting article!!! I always wondered what the "ins and outs" of publishing a book entailed. Thanks for sharing!


Christine A. said...

This book sounds so good Kari! I enjoy drinking tea and reading a good book. Can't wait to read this one.
your1chef at aol dot com

Chris said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing the process ;)

Keri said...

Looking forward to reading this book. Sounds like a winner!

Keri said...

Looking forward to starting this series!