Honey Butter Publication Date Released

This is it, you guys.

My book is getting published in five days… FIVE DAYS! How is this happening?

It’s kind of hard to get it through my head. That I’m completely done. As in, done done. I just finished the last bit of formatting yesterday. (Being me, I turned on some dramatic music when I got down to the last few pages.) A few hours ago, my Dad and I went through everything, and my book is set to publish on the 14th.

I chose August 14th as my publication date for a few reasons. It’s the day that the last chapter of my book takes place, and it’s the day of one of the character’s (Laren’s) birthdays. My book should be available for ordering sometime around August 14!

When Honey Butter comes out, I will host a few different giveaways, a book release party and other promotional events. Also, just a note, the window for previewing the first chapter of my book has closed and if you subscribe to my newsletter now then you will no longer receive the link. However… my newsletter is still pretty awesome without it, wink wink. 😉

To any unpublished authors wondering, actually pressing the publish button for your book isn’t really that amazing, at least not for me. You have to keep going back and making sure you clicked the right buttons and all that. (Does anyone else think that a confetti animation should shoot across your screen when you finish publishing?)  Actually receiving my book in the mail will probably be more magical. I’m very, very, very, excited to get a print copy of my book! So…

So…

Let the final countdown begin!!

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

 

Formatting and Yellow Watermelon

Guess what?!

Yellow watermelon actually exists! I just ate some and it was amazing!

Oh. And my book will be published in a matter of weeks, that’s amazing too. 😉

I just started the formatting stage, and you’d be surprised by how awesome it feels. It’s also very tedious. For example, I spent the last three hours putting italics in the right places. Yesterday I chose the font, page number placement, whether or not to have chapter titles at the top of the page, and obsessed over trim sizes. My Daddy said I was turning into Steve Jobs (apparently he obsessed over fifty different shades of beige to color the outside of a computer).

For those who want to know the technical details, maybe for their own book, here they are:
Trim Size: 5.06 x 7.81 Update: I ended up using 5 x 8 because only white paper was available in the size 5.06 x 7.81, and while I still think that 5×8 is just a tab bit too skinny, it was more important to me to have cream colored paper than the perfect size.

Type Font: Garamond. Type Size: 12 pt. Page Numbers: Bottom Center. And the platform we used to format all this was InDesign. Which, fun fact, can convert into both an Ebook and print file from just one format.

Formatting 101: Make sure nothing about your format distracts the reader from your story. Cool fonts and fancy chapter titles are fun but don’t just use them because they are. Make sure they fit with your story, and even when they do, ask yourself “will this be distracting?”

Formatting 102: Look for at least five other books from your story’s genre and compare the formatting. Consider what you like and don’t like about each one. Also, consider the averages. Do most of them have the pages numbers in the middle or to the side? How big is the font on each? What patterns do you see? Okay, that’s all my advice for today. 😉

Oh, by the way, I hope everyone liked the sneak peek! If you haven’t already checked it out, then just subscribe to my newsletter and you will receive an email with a link to the first chapter of my book. Remember, on August first I will be taking it down, so read it while you can!

Also, just to clear things up my book WILL NOT be published on the first day of August. We have some epic family stuff going on then. I’m not sure about the exact date yet, but it will definitely be sometime in August. Also, just to let you guys know, on the day I publish my book the print version will not be available for purchase because it takes a while for Amazon and other websites to run everything through.

Wow. This is amazing you guys… When I’m looking at the formatting screen, or all the different trim sizes laid out on the table in front of me, I keep thinking “look at this! Look at how close you are! Your life-long dream is literally coming true!” Because it is! And it feels… Kind of insane.

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

A Fool Proof Plan

I can’t believe how close this is getting! Honey Butter will be published in ONE MONTH! This means, however, that I have a lot of work to do. So let me quickly give you the updates.

Update one: The final edits have been completed. And now we’re on to the proofreading stage! My mommy will be proofreading for me, so big thanks to her. We’re aiming to finish the proofreading by July 15. But we have A LOT going on this summer, so we might not make it. Fingers crossed.

Update two:

Doesn’t that look awesome?! My Dad helped me put together five quotes from Honey Butter, I will publish a new one every Saturday in July on my Instagram account. If you want to check them out, my username is millieflorenceauthor.

Update three: So, you know how I had to explain to everyone where to find the subscribe button on my site. Well, it is now in a much easier to find spot. Right at the top of the screen in the mobile version.

And now for the biggest and most exciting update…

I’m giving you guys a sneak peek of the first chapter of Honey Butter!

All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter. In your confirmation email, there will be a link to the sneak peek. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂 Note: This is only valid for ONE MONTH. Anyone who subscribes after July will not get this offer.

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

Own Your Words: How to Deal with Being Embarrassed by Your Old Writing

Hey, guys! So. I’m doing something a little different this time. Updates on my book will be in the next post, but for now, enjoy! I hope my advice helps you out!

Rejection is a big topic in the writing world.

Getting over the fear of your writing being rejected. Rejected by your friends, family, publishers, critics, etcetera. But I think there’s another kind of rejection not touched on quite as much. And that’s being rejected by yourself.

I’m not really talking about what you’re writing now. We know our writing isn’t perfect when we write it, but as authors, we usually get over it. We have to if we ever want someone else to read it. But that’s a different topic.
What I’m talking about are past writings. Past stories, books, and poetry.

Because obviously, whether you are twelve or twenty-one, your writing improves over time. And before long, what you wrote a year ago seems pretty terrible compared to what you’re writing now. And when you get to the point when your past writing feels terrible, often authors start a writing re-call.
If you posted that old story online: You take it down.
If you self-published it: you take it down.
If you gave a copy to a friend: you get it back and throw it away.
If it’s a draft: You completely re-write it.
Sometimes, if it’s really old, you might delete it entirely. (Do NOT do this. Ever. Seriously, you will regret it.)

Inside, you are cringing with embarrassment, and hoping that no one you showed your story to will remember it.

I’m not saying that this isn’t a valid feeling, it is. I’ve felt it too. But if writing is your passion, and especially if you want to make it your profession someday, then there’s something you need to consider.

Every author ever feels this way. And I’m not just talking teen writers and self-publishers. I mean everyone.
I once asked a traditionally published author I know: “Do you ever feel embarrassed by your book?”
His answer: “Yep. Every single day.”
And I’m willing to bet he’s not the only one.

Think of all your favorite authors’ names. J K Rowling, Kate Dicamillo, J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis, and Shakespeare. I bet that they all looked back on their books, the ones you love, the ones you read over and over again, and cringe.
Actually, I don’t need to bet. I know. Here’s what Stephen King said about re-reading one of his older books.

“…As a result, I was not surprised to find a high degree of pretension in Roland’s debut appearance (not to mention what seemed like thousands of unnecessary adverbs).”

But what would have happened if they started a writing re-call? Can you imagine “Harry Potter” or “The Lord of the Rings” Disappearing from the market because the author was too embarrassed?

But I’m not as good a writer as them! You might be saying.
Okay, maybe you’re not. I think we can agree that very few of us could match their writing quality. But when it comes to embarrassment, writing quality doesn’t matter; all writers go through the same struggle, no matter how good their books are.

And please don’t say that nobody really cares about your writing. They do. Even if only three people ever read your books, those are three intricate, unique, wonderful individuals, with lives as complicated as your own. And they chose your story out of millions.

Don’t deny your readers the gift of your imagination because you’re too embarrassed by your story. You are your worst critic, and will always judge yourself the harshest.

Here’s something else that the author I know said.

“Millie, someday you realize, you’re going to feel embarrassed about your writing. You may even think it’s terrible. I don’t think of it that way, I think it’s really good. But you probably will, because it’s a sign you’re getting better at writing. Just remember, at some point in life, you have to own your words. You have to acknowledge that ‘this is what I believed at the time, this is what I said at the time, this was my best at the time, and I’m okay with that.’”

But my story is really bad! You might be saying.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever take your writing down. (My policy is that original writing stays, but I can do what I want with fan fiction.) But here’s another piece of advice from Mr. King, also talking about re-reading one of his old books.

“In any case, I didn’t want to muzzle or even really change the way this story is told; for all its faults, it has its own special charms, it seems to me. To change it too completely would have been to repudiate the person who first wrote of the gunslinger in the late spring and early summer of 1970, and that I did not want to do.”

So. Be true to your former self, and don’t scorn them. Own your words. It may be hard (just like owning this overly dramatic sentence will be for me) but we’ve got to do it.

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

Cover

Boom.

I have no other words for this.

Okay, that’s not true, I have LOTS of other words for this. Like, “This” and “is” and “amazing”. Or maybe, “I” “finally” “have” “a” “visual” “of” “how” “nine” “months” “of” “writing” “is” “going” “to” “pay” “off”, and “My” “daddy” “is” “awesome!” (He helped me put it together 😉 )

Anyway… It’s not your traditional cover design, obviously. We had some trouble making the camera close enough that you could read the title, while far enough away that you could tell what you were looking at, but I’m pretty satisfied with the end result.

We’re still working on the spine and back of the cover. They’re mostly done, but we still have to adjust copyright info and buy an ISBN number. I’ll probably post a full picture a little closer to the publication date.

Now, here are a few updates that do not concern the cover. 🙂

You may have noticed (If you’re viewing this on a computer, or have scrolled past all my posts on your phone) that I now have a cool little bar which records my progress on Honey Butter. It’s nice, because now you don’t have to pick through my spontaneous blog posts to find out how long it is until you can buy it.

Except that the bar hasn’t moved in a while…

I’ve read my book over about a million times, so it’s getting hard to find things to change. Sorry. But don’t worry, this is where the advantage of supportive parents comes in. I’ll be back on track soon. 😉

Oh, and I also have a social media widget (in the same place as the progress bar) that will take you to my profiles. So far I’m on Instagram and Pinterest, and we should be sorting out Facebook soon, too. If you want to go give those accounts a follow, I would definitely appreciate it.

Anyway. That’s all for now!

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

 

Face to Screen

Yay! You can finally see me! Face to face! Kind of. It’s more like face-to-screen, I guess. Whatever. Now you know what I look like!

 

But like my book club’s motto says; ‘back to the book!’

I have finished all plot changes. Period. Not, ‘I have finished all plot changes for this draft’, I have finished all plot changes FOR GOOD. Which is kind of an insane thought.

I’m not done yet, but man, I’m getting so close! Up next is wording. Making sure the flow of the story is good, and that each individual sentence makes sense: the final changes to anything and everything in the book.

My insides are full of butterflies as I write this. Honey Butter will be published in only two and a half months and I’m on the last leg of the journey!

Stay posted! Major updates will be coming soon!

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

April Showers

As I write this, the April showers are coming down. Hard. And I hope they really do bring May flowers, because some of the roads and fields nearby have flooded. It’s very cozy though, and good reading weather. I’m currently working on ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket.

My family has celebrated a few more birthdays, the trees’ leaves are a wonderfully bright green, and the forest is coming alive around my house. I also now have fifty complete poems, which is halfway to my goal. And I cooked up two new story ideas to write after I finish Honey Butter, but I’m trying not to get ahead of myself.

All in all, I’ve had a very refreshing break from my book, and am now ready to go on to the next stage: evaluating the feedback I recently received from my Beta Readers. (Who are awesome by the way. 😉

This can be a bit complicated, because several people have completely opposite opinions. At the same time, there are easy things about it. Like small things the Beta Readers found confusing or distracting, that can easily be changed. It’s interesting, because often a Beta Reader will point out things that didn’t even cross my mind, which is really helpful.

After I evaluate the suggestions, of course, I have to follow through with them. Hopefully this won’t take too long. After that I’ll improve the flow and wording, do a thorough proof-read, and then… Publication! (Something I hardly dare to think about.)

Another update is that my Daddy and I have been designing the cover for my book, and some of the formatting. I’m really excited about this, because it makes everything I’ve been working towards finally feel like a reality! When we finish the cover, I’ll post it on here, so stay tuned!

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

Waterfall

Hey everyone! Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? A whole month for celebrating poetry? What an awesome idea!

Anyway, since it’s April first, I thought I would share with you another one of my poems. This one is called Waterfall. I got the idea from when I went hiking with my best friend. There was a waterfall on the trail and we climbed up the rocks behind it, it was one of those moments I just had to write about. So as soon as I had the chance, I did!

Rush and rumble

Crash and tumble

Racing down to the sea,

Crystal droplets thunder down in dangerous majesty.

Behind the rippling curtain I stand.

Just in the clearest spray.

As white water is thrown over the rocks,

Threatening to wash me away.

Strands trickle like ribbons along wall,

Onto my hands and feet.

The storm of diamonds continues to fall,

Where air and water meet.

During the month of April, I would encourage you to try writing some poetry yourself. You can find inspiration for poetry anywhere, you just have to look closely. Remember, I doesn’t have to rhyme if that’s not your thing. If you do want it to rhyme however, there’s this cool website I found called RhymeZone. It’s awesome for helping you find the right word, or a new word that makes you look at something in a way you never have before. You should check it out!

Keep Writing, and Happy Poetry Month!

  • Millie

P.S. This is not an April Fools Joke.

 

 

Or is it?

 

 

Okay, it’s not.

 

 

But it might be…

Beta Testing

Wow. Once again, my dear readers, I have miscalculated my writing speed. Do you remember that I said I would probably finish the third draft early or mid april? Scratch that! The third draft is done! Woo hoo! The light at the end of the tunnel is so close I can almost taste it! And it tastes like mangos and pomegranates (My two favorite fruits )!

I still have a ways to go, but I’m definitely closer. And now I think my brain needs a break from this story for a little while, because I’ve read it about five million times. So I’m taking April off from writing my book. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be making progress on it. Pretty soon I’m going to start working with my Dad to design the cover, and… Here’s the next step in my master plan. Beta readers.

For those who don’t know, Beta Readers are people who will read my book and tell me what they think I should change, what they like, and their reactions to different parts of the story. Beta  Readers are the step to take when, besides wording and fixing spelling and grammar, you don’t have any other ideas on how to improve your book.

I’ve been doing my research on this and am working on a list of questions and a list of possible Beta Readers. I’ll use the Beta Reader feedback to write my fourth draft. Depending on the feed back I get (and what I choose to use) the fourth draft might take a long time or a short time. I still have four months before August however, so I think I can still make my goal date.

Well, wish me luck! I will be posting more updates soon, so keep an eye out. Subscribe to get notified.

Keep Writing!

  • Millie

One Thousand Word Puzzle

I’ve been working on the third draft for a little while, and I have to admit, it feels very different from just writing. More like trying to put together a puzzle of words, except that some puzzle pieces you throw away, and create new ones out of thin air. It’s enjoyable, as all of the writing process is, but it has its difficulties.

Big decisions that I’ve been putting off because “it’s just the first/second draft” have to be dealt with, and I also have to work on the flow of the story quite a bit. I will admit however, that while this part of my writing is hard, it takes less time to do.

After I finish the third draft, I’m planning on reading it aloud to my siblings to see what they think. I’m really looking forward to that,  as some of them have asked about a million times if they can read it yet.

Speaking of finishing, I will most likely complete my third draft by early or mid April. I have yet to formulate a plan of what to do after that, although I do have a few ideas… (And yes, I am going to remain mysterious about those ideas. For now.)

A quick note: I might not be posting quite as much for a while, although I will try to at least once a month. Know however, that I am working hard on my book, and that I will post more once I am closer to getting it published.

Keep Writing!

  • Millie