Giveaway!

Redesigning Rose is one month old today so I’ve decided to throw a party and give a book (or two) away in the loot bag! But you won’t win Redesigning Rose – you’ll win my favourite book of 2013! And if my favourite indie read of 2013 is available for the ereader you use, I’ll give you that one too! I kind of feel like Oprah!

How to enter:

I want to see where you’re reading Redesigning Rose this summer. Take a photo wherever you happen to be reading Redesigning Rose and upload  it to Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you tag me so I can find your entry (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lydia.laceby Twitter: @lydialaceby. And please do tell me where you are in the world! Friends and family, new readers and old are eligible – and that’s not old, old, but old in that you ran out and bought my book baby within days or weeks after it was available – thank you again!

If you head on over and ‘like’ my Facebook page, I’ll give you a second entry. Heck, I’ll give you an entry even if you don’t snap yourself reading Redesigning Rose but just like my Facebook page. Twitter, too! Then enter below with the ever fair Rafflecopter (you just need an email address for contact when you win and to select how you entered.)

I’m not disclosing the winning books. You’ll just have to trust me. If you’re new here, I have plenty of book review experience at Novel Escapes. If you’ve already read my pick, I have a couple of others up my sleeve.  No heckling me to reveal my faves. I may crumble under the pressure.

What are you waiting for, get snapping! I can’t wait to see where you’re lounging with Rose!

The nitty-gritty:

Contest is available worldwide.

Deadline for photo upload is midnight, July 31st, 2013.

Click through to Rafflecopter and tell me what you did (photo, Facebook, Twitter, or the kitchen sink).

Ebook users must show the legible cover of Redesigning Rose on their ereaders.

Ebook winner must show proof of purchase.

The winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.

E-reader winners will receive ebooks and paperback winners will receive a paperback.

If you prefer to show your furry friend reading and remain faceless, by all means. I live with an internet-phobe, so I get it. I’m still not sure why he married an author, though.

If you already own the books I selected, we’ll discuss some of my runner-ups.

3 ways to enter: upload a photo (one entry per person, per purchase of Redesigning Rose), like me on Facebook and/or like me on Twitter.

Good Luck!

Enter here: A Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Buddies

When I began working on the cover for Redesigning Rose I sat down with my beautiful and talented friend, Jane Speed, at Carte Blanche Creative to brainstorm. After her insight and suggestions, I took to the internet to gather some more ideas. I spent hours studying stock photos. We hadn’t even intended on using one. But when I stumbled across a photo that haunted me for the additional dozen hours I continued searching, I decided I had to use it. I didn’t believe there was a better image that represented the novel and when a select market survey came back with “freedom” as the word it evoked, I knew it was perfect.

It turned out author Kathleen Long thought so, too, for the cover of her novel, Changing Lanes. When I emailed her to say ‘Hi’ and let her know we were cover buddies and send her my best wishes that she sell oodles of novels with the beautiful image, she responded in kind. She also told me she had the image in her design folder for forever and was surprised someone hadn’t snagged it earlier. So was I. It makes such a perfect contemporary women’s fiction cover and could fit a multitude of stories. I also found out this isn’t the first time Kathleen has had a cover buddy!

“I’ve encountered cover buddies (love that term!) on multiple occasions – with both my traditionally and independently published titles. I believe readers are savvy enough not to confuse books with similar covers from different authors, and I think the fact a stock photo appealed to more than one designer is a strong indicator the image will resonate with readers. Who doesn’t hope for that?!” –Kathleen Long, USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Changing Lanes

Redesigning Rose - Cover ImageChanging Lanes by Kathleen Long

When my friend, and fellow book blogger at Novel Escapes, Sabrina-Kate, first alerted me to my cover twin she wrote in her email ‘uhm, this is kind of awkward, but…” and spilled it. Being on the beach on my honeymoon, I was relaxed enough not to freak out. But more than that, I knew this happens – more frequently than anyone wants to admit. I knew the risks going into a stock photo. Anyone can buy and use the same image. I just didn’t anticipate having a cover twin so soon, although I was certain it would occur at some point.  But I shrugged, knowing this happens – and not just to self-published authors. Traditional publishing houses have been using stock images for some time now, a fact I knew because of a Facebook post by Sarah Pekkanen, author of  The Best of Us and three other fabulous novels, including one of my favourites, Skipping a Beat. When I reached out to her to thank her for posting about this issue because it lessened my devastation to know I was in good company, I also asked what her thoughts were.

“This has actually happened to me twice, which is amazing – my editor has never had this happen to any of her other authors even once! For my first book, THE OPPOSITE OF ME, the cover was very similar to a new book out by Julia Glass. There was still time to go back and recreate a new cover from scratch, and it ended up working out for the best, since I liked my second cover so much better and felt it was more suited to the story inside. With THESE GIRLS, we kept the cover and my book was published around the same time as a young adult novel with a nearly-identical cover. At first I was a little worried this would confuse readers, but a year out from the publication of THESE GIRLS, it has been a non-issue. And the other author and I emailed about it, and eventually laughed and shrugged it off. We even bought each other’s books!” – Sarah Pekkanen, author of THE BEST OF US.

Since Sarah’s Facebook discussion of this issue, I’ve discovered these keep popping up. Lindsey Kelk, author of the fabulous I Heart series and another favourite of mine, The Single Girl’s To-Do List, has a cover buddy and finds it a little strange.

“It was a bit strange seeing my cover on another book, two books actually! You always think of your cover as an interpretation of the individual work that is inside and having the same cover on different books really takes away from that. It must be incredibly confusing for the reader. But publishers are always going to use stock photography for certain covers – I had the model from the US edition of I HEART NEW YORK email me and say she loved the book but then a model who would have been on the Australian cover of ABOUT A GIRL refused to release the image! Harsh. I still love the Canadian cover of SINGLE GIRL’S TO-DO LIST and even though the main image popped up elsewhere, I think it fits the book perfectly. The strangest part is I know the people who developed it and how carefully they went through the processes to get it just right – I guess great minds think alike?” – Lindsey Kelk, author of ABOUT A GIRL.

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria ConnellyThe Single Girls To Do List

Francine Lasala, author of The Girl, the Gold Tooth, and Everything, recently discovered – to her utter delight – that she is cover buddies with literary giant, Margaret Atwood. Lasala’s novel, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes, shares the same cover as Atwood’s, The Heart Goes Last, and while delighted to share a cover with her idol, Lasala wondered:

“What’s an indie author of quirky women’s fiction to do when the indelible imagery of her first wacky book will now no longer be fully hers? Now that a superstar, a goddess of letters, will also be using it?” – Francine Lasala, author of The Girl, the Gold Tooth, and Everything.

She posed the question on her blog: Who Wore it Better.  Her post instigated a firestorm of questions, particularly: Why? You can’t be a reader or writer without knowing Atwood’s name and, knowing who she is, you know her novels aren’t of the light and fluffy variety. You might wonder, like many of us did, why her publisher chose to use a stock image that not only could be duplicated, but that is also a rather, uhm, economical way to design a cover? And particularly that image, which, in my humble opinion, is much more suited to Lasala’s contemporary women’s fiction title. Have a look:

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret AtwoodRita Hayworth's Shoes by Francine Lasala

I’m sure we will ever know the reasoning behind the decision of Atwood’s team to use that particular image, but it’s interesting to see a stock image used for such a high profile author. It has definitely left me feeling a little more relieved that my use of such an image is a wide-spread phenomenon in the publishing world, whether you’re of the DIY variety or have a team behind you – not that anything could make me feel discouraged about the cover of Redesigning Rose. I adore it and nothing could change that. Thank you, Jane Speed, for altering the image in ways I would never have contemplated if left to my own devices. For anyone interested, here’s the stock image as it was purchased, and Jane’s revamp for Redesigning Rose’s cover. Isn’t she awesome? You can find her over at  Carte Blanche Creative if you’re interested in having a stunning cover designed.

RR Cover Image - Large

Redesigning Rose - Cover Image

What’s a Girl to do When She’s Published?

Redesigning Rose is finished. It’s in various stages of production, including available for sale at Amazon and Kobo, is in the process of uploading to Kobo, and the paperback is awaiting a cover tweak before final processing.

So, what’s a girl to do one’s she’s shoved her baby into the world to sink or swim?

1. Watch Amazon sales go from zero to one (the one being the copy I purchased this afternoon so I would have one. Okay, it was also to make sure the sales reporting system worked and maybe a smidgen to check how quickly the sales figure updated.)

2. Refresh my Kobo Writing Life page enough times to warrant a system meltdown.

3. Debate how many times is reasonable to post about my book on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

4. Have another celebratory cocktail.

5. Call my mom and moan that I have no sales.

6. Write a blog post about the writing/publishing process. Sneak in the words “Redesigning Rose.”

7. Alienate a few more friends when I link the blog post to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.

8. Hope the rest of my friends will stick with me for the rest of this week. I have no self-control.

9. Can I pay someone to buy the book?

10. Check Kobo again.

11. Re-read lovely reviews and kind words early readers have written.

12. Realize not everyone will love it.

13. Nibble my thumbnail and worry about inevitable negative reviews.

14. Down cocktail and pour another.

15. Maybe I can gift a few copies?

16. Walk away from the laptop. Walk away!

17. Pick up smart phone.

18. Consider moving to the middle of the forest.

19. Wonder if picking up the next manuscript will help.

20. Is it worth the agony of writing another if no one wants this one?

21. Do I have any sales yet?

One Wedding, One Honeymoon and One Missed Deadline

So, I’ve been MIA lately and here’s why:

This happened:

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And then this happened:

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As my niece and nephew call me Lala, I had to endulge in this, the drink of Roatan, the Monkey Lala. This potent concoction contains Vodka, Irish Cream, Coffee Liquor and Coconut Creme. YUM!

IMG_2175IMG_2635

IMG_2595Yep, it all went down a couple of weeks ago and the time leading up to the wedding left me more harried than a mother of two sets of twin toddlers. The good news is that everything (mostly) went off without a hitch. The not so good news: Redesigning Rose is going to be a tad delayed as I was forced to take a hiatus for a month. But I’ve returned from my honeymoon relaxed and eager for life to return to normal – or as normal as can be expected in a writer’s world.

I’m closing in on finishing yet another round of edits after some fabulous beta reader feedback. On its heels will be copy edits. Once completed, I should be done, right? Not so much in the self publishing world. I need some proofreading and then I will embark on a quest to become a formatting genius for my Amazon upload. And then I’ll move onto the other ebook providers. Only once perfected will Redesigning Rose become available and you will be able to read all about my beloved Rose. I hope you love her as much as I do – and her side kick, whiskey-slinging Becky, too. And have I mentioned Scott and Adam yet? I’m told they’re pretty dreamy.

I’m hesitant to set a new release date until I have a more firm idea of when the editing will be completed as I do not want to disappoint and change it again – I am hopeful for June. I’m immensely grateful for everyone who has reached out and asked about my novel, given me a nudge or words of encouragement. I am truly blessed. Thank you for your support! And your patience!