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Self Publishing FAQ

  • October 30, 2012

Hello everyone!

Today I’d like to talk about self-publishing. I receive lots of e-mails and Facebook messages every week from writers who are in all different stages of writing and publishing their first novel. Some are just beginning while others have already taken the plunge and clicked the publish button on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, CreateSpace, etc…

I thought I’d share the answers to the questions I’m asked most frequently. I’ll add a tab somewhere so the information can be permanently and easily accessed. I’m also in the process of writing a guest post for fellow author, John Hansen, which will provide a detailed account of my self-publishing journey. I keep promising to get it to him and he keeps pretending it’s not months overdue because he knows I’m super swamped. Did I mention he’s awesome? Because he is.

Before we get started, one of the things that really concerns me is the number of people who write to me and want to know what self-publishing company I used.

I didn’t use any company. I uploaded directly to Amazon (via Kindle Direct Publishing for the e-book and CreateSpace for my paperback), Barnes & Noble (via PubIt!), and Smashwords. On the Island was formatted according to the Smashwords guidelines and was accepted into the premium catalog. This meant that the e-book was also distributed to Sony, Apple, Kobo, and Diesel. I do believe you can upload directly to Apple and Kobo now, but please check because it’s been a while since I self-published and things are changing every day. I also released an audiobook via Audible’s ACX program.

You don’t need a company to self-publish, but you DO need retailers (I’ve just listed the ones I used above).

These are the places you will sell your book.

Cost to upload On the Island to these retailers:

NOTHING.

NADA.

ZIP.

I PAID NO ONE.

Please don’t ever think you need to pay someone to do for you what you are perfectly capable of doing yourself. Self-publishing is not easy, but the actual uploading process is pretty straightforward. There are lots of companies out there that will try to convince you that you need them to publish your book (for which you will pay a hefty fee). They’ll probably throw in a bunch of stuff about how they’ll market your book for you and do all kinds of things you should learn how to do for yourself anyway. So run, run far away from these companies.

That being said, while it’s true that uploading is free, editing, formatting, and a nice cover will cost some money. But there are plenty of talented freelancers who can do this for a flat fee so there is no reason to give an individual or company a percentage of your book earnings to do any of these things for you.

SO DON’T DO THAT.

EVER.

You’ll make me cry.

To recap: You are the publisher. Uploading to retailers costs nothing. Don’t give anyone a percentage of your book sales (no matter how much they try to convince you that you should).

Okay, back to basics. First of all, is your novel complete? I get a lot of e-mail from people who are just thinking about writing a book and would like some advice on how to get started. Honestly, this is the hardest part of writing a full-length novel. For me, it helped to let the idea percolate in my mind (in my case for about 4 months) before I even wrote the first word. Then I jotted down some notes and thought about the story some more. Finally, when I had a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end, I came up with a loose outline and started writing. I hear a lot of, “Oh my God, I could never outline. I can’t be limited that way. I must let my story emerge organically, without constraints.” That’s perfectly fine. If I tried to do that I’d find myself staring at a blank screen every day since I really need to have some idea of what I’m going to write about before I sit down and open my word document. But that’s just me. Part of writing a novel is figuring out the method that works best for you. Whatever you choose, don’t stop doing it until you type THE END.

If your novel is complete, is it revised, edited, and polished? Have you given it to your critique partner and your beta readers and received their feedback? And then revised again? All of these steps must be checked off your list before you’re even ready to begin the self-publishing process. A surprisingly high number of people write to me and say that they’re just thinking about writing a book and want me to tell them how to self-publish it. My answer is always, “Finish the book first, and don’t worry about anything else at this stage.”

The next step is research. I spent approximately two months reading everything I could find about self-publishing. I actually typed ‘self publishing’ into the Google search box and went from there. It may seem overwhelming, but breaking it down into smaller pieces really helps. www.kindleboards.com is a great place to learn valuable information and connect with other self-published authors. And all of the retailers you’ll be uploading to have really great FAQ’s which should answer a lot of your questions. If you’re going to self-publish, learning everything you can about it is also part of the process. When I first self-published, I spent a half hour per day scouring the Internet, reading blog posts from successful self-publishers, and exploring promotional opportunities. That’s not a lot. There’s a myth that self-publishing means you will constantly be marketing and promoting your book, but I don’t think that’s true. If you work smart, it should not take you endless hours per day.

I strongly encourage you to pay for outside editing. Because you are the publisher, you’re responsible for the same things that all publishers are responsible for: editing and copyediting. I also believe in hiring a professional editor. You may have a friend, relative, or co-worker who thinks they are perfectly capable of editing your manuscript, but unless editing is their profession, they’re not qualified. And you really, really need a good editor. Someone who is an expert when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation, not to mention the general rules of fiction writing. I’ve seen so many self-published authors skip this step but it catches up to them eventually when the low reviews start pouring in. This is a really bad thing and I don’t want it to happen to you. Take pride in your work and edit BEFORE you upload. Even a handful of reviews citing a lack of editing may be enough to turn potential readers off. One more thing: proofreading is not editing. We can all spot typos (they’re surprisingly easy to see in others’ books but somewhat more difficult to find in our own manuscripts). Proofread your own work carefully, but hire a copyeditor to catch everything you missed.

For developmental editing, I used Alison Dasho. A good developmental editor will do several things: check your manuscript for pacing, plot problems, characterization, prose, etc…If you’ve got tense changes or head-hopping or repetition that does nothing to move your story forward, they’ll tell you about it.

For copyediting, I used Anne Victory at Victory Editing.

Feel free to contact Anne or Alison for a quote. They are awesome. If they are booked there are many freelance editors out there (just make sure to do your due diligence so you know that they’re qualified). I also outsourced my e-book formatting to Guido Henkel. He’s amazing and affordable. He will format your e-book beautifully and give you a nice, clickable Table of Contents (which I feel strongly you should have). Tell him Tracey sent you (not because I get any kind of kickback, but just because I like him so much).

You’ll also want to register your copyright at www.copyright.gov. It’s the best $35 you’ll ever spend. And you’ll need an ISBN which you can get at www.bowker.com (you’ll need a separate ISBN for each retailer and another one for your print edition).

After you’ve done all that, it’s time to make your cover. I used this site to choose my cover image. For On the Island, I bought a photo (it was an actual beach in the Maldives) and my awesomely fantastic friend Penne applied the text for me. You can do whatever you want, but you should spend some time on this step (and whatever your budget allows), because people really will judge your book by its cover. My cover image cost $360 because I bought the 300dpi size (which you will need if you’re going to release a paperback). Otherwise, you can buy the 72dpi size. Sarah Hansen is a fantastic cover designer. You can find her here.

You will also need to write your product description (AKA your blurb) on Amazon, B&N, etc… I cringe when I read a blurb that has grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors (I had my copyeditor take a look at mine to make sure it was okay). If your blurb has errors, readers will assume your book probably does, too. Please pay extra attention to this step. Along with your cover, this is often the only thing potential readers have to look at when they’re considering whether or not they want to buy your book. It’s important.

FAQ’S

How did you market your book?

To get started, I used a combination of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and my blog) to do a book launch. What I did not do is send DM’s on Twitter asking people to read my book. Twitter is for making friends. If your profile information includes your book title, people will check it out if they want to which is preferable to you asking them to check it out. Ditto FB. It’s okay to make sure people know about your book by posting a link on your page, but let them take it from there. You should also set up an author page on FB.

After I launched the e-book I did a giveaway on Goodreads for four signed copies of the paperback. I also purchased paid sponsorships on Pixel of Ink and Kindle Nation Daily, both of which paid for themselves in increased sales.

I think there’s a misconception that following a specified formula will automatically equal a successful self-published book. On the Island was largely a word-of-mouth book. There is no promotion that will ever be more effective than a large number of readers talking about your book. If there’s any secret to a successful, self-published book, that’s it. It doesn’t mean that everyone will like your book – because it’s impossible to write a book that every single person will like – but if there are enough readers who connect with your novel, and they recommend it to other readers, you’ll probably do very well.

Should I query agents with my self-published book?

I would advise against this. If your self-published book sells well, agents may very well reach out to you. At the very least, you will need to have sold 50K+ copies on your own in order to garner any interest from an agent (and subsequently a publisher).

Will you read my book if I send you a copy? 

I love reading, and I would love to read every book that is offered, but my TBR pile is in serious danger of toppling over. I also have manuscripts to beta read and/or write blurbs for, and those take precedence over everything else. And I’m one of those authors who can’t read anything when they’re at a certain stage in the writing process. But if I’m not under a deadline and the book being offered is in a genre I regularly read, I’d love for you to send it to me (although it may be a while before I get a chance to read it). Thank you so much!

Will you review my book for me?

I don’t write reviews anymore. Authors writing reviews for other authors is starting to come under fire as a conflict of interest which is unfortunate because writers are often voracious readers and when I love a book I want to shout it from the rooftops (and leave reviews on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads). However, in light of some recent changes to review policies I will no longer be writing reviews. But if I enjoy your book I will definitely recommend it on my personal Facebook page and also my author page.

Can I be your beta reader?

The beta reading stage is one of the most important stages on the way to a book’s publication. It’s also extremely stressful for the author (or at least it is for me). This is my baby, and showing it to someone for the first time can be quite nerve-racking. I used a lot of beta readers for On the Island and I gave out a lot of ARC’s.  There are many people who have asked to beta read Covet, and I have all your names on a list. However, I will be adhering to whatever guidelines Penguin asks me to follow which may involve reducing the number of people involved at this stage.

Can I send you my manuscript? 

Unfortunately, there’s really nothing I can do with your manuscript. Sending it to me (especially unsolicited) will not get you any closer to your goal of publication because I’m not an agent or a publisher and therefore cannot do anything that will help you. If you want to pursue a traditional publishing contract you’ll have to write a query letter and send it to agents. If you want to self-publish, you don’t need anyone’s help because you are the publisher.

I have a really great story to tell, but I can’t write. Will you write my story or co-author it with me?

Unfortunately, I’m unable to write anyone else’s story. I take the ideas I can’t get out of my head and turn them into books, and I have enough ideas floating around in my brain to last me for a long time. I don’t know that I would be capable of turning someone else’s idea into a novel, but I encourage anyone who has a story to tell to give it a try themselves – they might be pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoy getting their story down on paper.

When will the On the Island movie be out? Do you have any say in the casting? 

I don’t have any movie news to pass on at this time. MGM has optioned the rights for a feature film and screenwriters have been invited to pitch the studio. I’ve been cautioned that Hollywood moves quite slowly, but if/when there is any information to pass on I will definitely post it on my blog, FB, and Twitter. Unfortunately, I do not have any say in who is cast in the film (but I’m going to lobby hard for John Goodman to play seaplane pilot Mick because he would be super awesome).

Should I enroll in KDP Select?

It depends. This is really a personal decision and I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer. I did not enroll On the Island in KDP Select because I am a firm believer in making your book available through as many retailers as possible. If you enroll in KDP Select, you will only be able to sell your book on Amazon. After having the amazing Guido format my book for several different retailers, and uploading to them, the last thing I wanted to do was take the book down from those sites.

I’m sure Nook owners wouldn’t like that. Or those who prefer Kobo or Apple or Sony or Diesel.

I am a BIG fan of Amazon KDP, but less a fan of Select. Also, the ability to make my book free for a certain number of days was actually a turnoff to me. I know that some authors have used KDP Select’s free days to their advantage, but I simply can’t fathom giving something I worked 18 months on away for free. But again, this is a personal choice and you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons. It sounds like Select has lost a bit of its oomph lately, so do your research and see what other self-published authors are saying about their results.

One thing to remember: Self-publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve had several people tell me how amazed they were that On the Island took off so fast, but it really didn’t. I’ve seen other authors hit the top 100 on Amazon within 3 weeks of publication. It took my book 6 months to get there. Be patient. If you write the best book you can and put out the most professional product you’re capable of, readers will follow. Start your next book and don’t worry too much about it. And a word of caution: this business is not for the faint of heart. It’s not easy and there are no shortcuts. Start developing a thick skin because you’re going to need it. But it’s also incredibly fulfilling and there has never been a better time to be a writer.

I’m sure there are questions I’ve forgotten and I’ll try to add to this FAQ as I remember them.

Good luck!

Tracey

Giveaway!

  • October 20, 2012

I’m doing a giveaway on my FB author page today. Head on over to http://www.facebook.com/tgarvisgraves and “like” my page. If you want to share it on your Facebook wall that’s fine too, but you don’t have to. I will be giving away a signed paperback of On the Island as well as this funny grammar T-shirt.

The giveaway is open internationally, but you can only enter once. Good luck!

xoxo,

Tracey

Book Clubs, Signings, And Miscellaneous Appearances

  • September 25, 2012

My favorite season is here! I’m a cool-weather girl and always have been, and I’ll take fall over summer any day which probably makes me sound really weird (I’m especially fond of cold and rainy fall days. See? Weird). I’m really looking forward to my first fall as a full-time writer because as soon as it gets cold enough, I’ll be turning on the fireplace (yes it’s gas. Yes the real thing would be better). My writing chair is conveniently located right next to it and there’s nothing I love more than writing in front of the fireplace.

Anyway, this fall will also be insanely busy. Many of you have asked about Covet; I turn the manuscript in to my publisher on November 15th and the days leading up to that deadline are going to be intense. Not because I’m in danger of not making the deadline (the book is almost done), but because the revision stage (which will begin around October 1st) is all-consuming. I love the revision stage, but I have a hard time sleeping and/or concentrating on anything else which can make me appear reclusive and anti-social. Also ungroomed (if you see me at the grocery store at 10:00 p.m. in my pajamas with no makeup and a ponytail, please don’t judge).

Also, many of you have asked about the release date for Covet. I had originally planned on self-publishing Covet this fall. But because of all the wonderful things that have happened in the last six months I would have been hard-pressed to make that deadline, and had I not signed with Penguin I would have undoubtedly pushed the release back to winter 2013. I spend 3-4 hours a day working on things related to On the Island: answering reader e-mails, responding to tweets and Facebook messages, and fulfilling requests from my US, UK, and Canadian publicists (interviews, Q&A’s, etc…). On top of that, I still have to actually write. A year ago, when I stated that Covet would come out this fall I had no idea what fate had in store for me, and I’m eternally grateful for all the good fortune I’ve experienced. But it has required adjustments to my timeline and I hope you’ll understand my need to be flexible. Also, Covet will be released in hardcover and Penguin/Dutton will need time to make sure they have completed all the steps necessary to put the book on the shelves of bookstores everywhere. As soon as I have a firm release date, I promise I’ll share it with you.

After I turn in Covet I’ll attempt to take the rest of the month off from writing to enjoy Thanksgiving and my daughter’s birthday. But in December I’m launching right into another project that I’m very excited about. I can’t tell you about it yet, but I’ll provide all the details as soon as I can. Hint: there might be something this spring that will tide you over until Covet is released. It may involve another character from On the Island

Okay, now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, here’s what’s going on in September and October:

Tuesday, September 25th – Skype chat with the RGV Book Junkies.
Wednesday, September 26th, Book Club – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 27th, Dallas Center Library – 7:00 p.m (presentation and signing).
Friday, September 29th – Sunday, September 30th, TFEIC event in Chicago, Palmer House Hilton (Saturday’s author meet and greet is from 12-4). This event will be epic! Read all about it here.
Thursday, October 4th – Chick Lit Twitter chat – 8:00 pm. EST (use the hashtag #ChickLitChat).
Tuesday, October 9th – Book Club – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 11th, 7:00 p.m. I will be at The Book Vault in Oskaloosa. Click here for details.
Tuesday, October 16th, Skype chat.
Sunday, October 28th – WOW (Wonder of Words) Festival, Des Moines. I’ll be giving a presentation at 5:00 p.m. Click here for details.

I’m not adding any more dates on the calendar for now, to allow for time to go through the editing process with my editor and also to enjoy my cold and snowy evenings this holiday season.

But as soon as January gets here, I’m ready to fill that calendar back up again 🙂

Tracey

Hey, Winners. I’m Still Waiting To Hear From Some Of You

  • September 16, 2012

Happy Saturday!

The two $50 Amazon gift cards and the e-readers have been mailed/shipped to the lucky winners of my recent giveaway.

I have also mailed copies of On the Island (original cover) to:

Kristia Miltiadou
Ely Yant
Carrie Taylor
Devi Hadikusumo
Nicole Monack
Rob Zimmerman
Sharon Herbert
Miranda Hoffert

But I still need mailing addresses from:

Michelle
Emily
Megan McGallis Guntrum
Angie Tsiros
Eva

I have also mailed copies of On the Island (Penguin cover) to:

Deanna Pyles
Anaiz Jaramillo
Jennifer Condron
Jenny White
Elisha Sandell
Ashley Chapman

But I still need mailing addresses from:

Erin Arkin
Crystal Alberta
Cupcake
Dan Amsden

If you entered with only your first name and you’re not sure if you’re a winner, e-mail me at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com and I can verify by cross-checking your e-mail address.

And winners – e-mail me! I’d love to send you your books. I will give you another week and if I don’t hear from you, I’ll start selecting more names.

I’ll be waiting 🙂

Tracey

And The Winner Is…

  • September 12, 2012
 

Good morning everyone!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Kindle DX is entry #137, Bobbie Desmond! Bobbie, please make sure to send me your shipping address at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. I’ll order your Kindle right away 🙂

*There will be two winners for the $50 Amazon gift cards because there were so many great comments and I couldn’t make up my mind.

The first winner is Kar, who wrote “A fully stocked wine cellar. I could sleep in it, Sip some good wine while watching sunset, after sunset, after sunset, after sunset. And if anyone came to rescue me I would already have a thank you gift. (I am hospitable like that).”

Wine makes everything better, am I right? I could probably handle everything else if I knew I could have a glass of wine every night while I’m sitting on the white-sand beach, staring at the water. I love the dual purpose of the wine cellar (shelter and a place to store those bottles), plus Kar is very thoughtful and I’m impressed with her hospitality.

The second winner is Sara Queen! I’m in total agreement with her suggestion because I might have a teeny-tiny crush on this man:

 

Oh, Bear Grylls. I’d take you and your mad survival skills to an island with me in a heartbeat. Don’t wash your face. No really, don’t.

Seeing things like this make me not want to kiss you, Bear.

Okay, I’ll totally still kiss you but wipe your mouth off first, okay?  Then maybe swish some water around in it because I’m pretty sure that’s a snake and OMG, gross.

But Bear + wine = I.AM.STAYING.FOR.A.WHILE.

So there you have it! Thank you for a wonderful 4 days of comments and good wishes. If you’re a winner don’t forget to send me an e-mail. 

xoxo,

Tracey

*Those of you that said baby oil made me smile 🙂

Final Day Of The Giveaway – Win A Kindle DX!

  • September 11, 2012

Wow! Yesterday’s comments just blew me away. Reading about who everyone’s favorite secondary characters are was very enlightening. Looks like Bones was the clear favorite, followed by Ben, Sarah, and T.J. and Anna’s parents.

I took notes, everyone. Oh yes I did.

I’m also thrilled to announce that the winners of yesterday’s Nook Color tablets are :

 
Entry #40Whitney B.
Entry #17Gina H.
 
 
Entry #8, Ashley C., already won on day 2 of the giveaway so the rafflecopter chose a third name. I’m sorry, Ashley C.

If you are one of the winners, please send me your full name and shipping address to: traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. I’ll order your Nook as soon as I have the information. Congratulations!!

A Kindle DX is up for grabs in today’s giveaway. In the comments section, tell me what item you would most want to have if you were stranded on a deserted island. As a bonus, I’ll award a $50 Amazon gift card to the commenter with the most creative answer. Hint: not necessarily the most practical item (so don’t say, like, waterproof satellite phone).

There are many winners from the first two days of the giveaway who have not claimed their prizes yet. Please check this post and this post to see if you’ve won.
 

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Now You’re All Just Making Me Cry – Day 3 Of The Giveaway

  • September 10, 2012

***Update: Winners of the day 2 giveaway are now displayed. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and see if the rafflecopter picked you 🙂 If you’re a winner, please e-mail me at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. I’ll need your full name and mailing address.

Each night, when I’m setting up the rafflecopter for the new giveaway, I read through all the comments one more time. You outdid yourselves with yesterday’s comments about your favorite scene from On the Island.

They made me cry.

Not giant ugly tears like I cried when I wrote some of those scenes. But grateful oh my God, how did this even happen? kind of tears. Once again, words cannot express how much your comments mean to me. Thank you so much.

It’s been over two years since I started writing On the Island, and over a year since I finished it. In some ways I’ve moved on. I’m almost done with my second book and I’m immersed in a new story, with new characters. But reading all of your comments has brought back wonderful memories of those scenes. I remember how I struggled to write some of your favorites. How I re-wrote some of them three different ways before finally deciding which version I liked best. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback with me.

Now for day 3 of the giveaway! Two wonderful readers will win a Nook Color. As long as I can ship it to you (via the Barnes & Noble website), you are eligible.

In the comment section, tell me who your favorite secondary character is. I’d love to know if there were other characters you connected with. Also, who would you most like to see in a spin-off story? Here are some of the choices:

Mick
Ben
Bones
Sarah
Stefani
Henry Elings
Dean Lewis
T.J.’s dad
T.J.’s mom

I’m having a teeny-tiny bit of difficulty with the rafflecopter for yesterday’s giveaway. It’s chosen the winners but it won’t display them. I’m working on it and as soon as I figure it out, I’ll post the names. There are still 7 of you who need to e-mail me your full name and mailing address from Friday’s day 1 giveaway (so send me your info at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com).

After you leave a comment, make sure you also login to the rafflecopter using your Facebook login or your e-mail address so that you’ll be eligible to win today’s prize.

Happy Monday, everyone!

xoxo,

Tracey

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Because I love You All, Day 2

  • September 9, 2012

Congratulations to the winners of the day 1 giveaway! 13 signed copies of On the Island (original cover) will be mailed out this week. If you haven’t e-mailed your full name and mailing address to me at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com, please do so and I’ll get your package ready. Want to find out if you won? Check yesterday’s post and scroll down to the rafflecopter.

Okay, now for the second giveaway. Up for grabs today are 10 signed paperback copies with the beautiful Penguin cover. It’s the one that looks like this:

 
 
 
All you have to do is this: In the comments section, tell me what your favorite scene is from On the Island. Then, make sure you login to the rafflecopter. You must do both to be eligible to win. Once again, this giveaway is open to EVERYONE and if you entered on day 1, you can enter this one, too.
 
You all brought tears to my eyes yesterday with your wonderful comments. I have the best readers in the world. Thank you!!
 
xoxo,
 
Tracey
 
 
 


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Because I Love You Guys, Really I Do

  • September 7, 2012

****The giveaway for one of the 13 signed copies of On the Island has ended. Scroll down to the rafflecopter to see if you’ve won! If your name is listed, e-mail me your full name and mailing address at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com.

I appreciate all of the wonderful comments; they made me cry!!

A year ago last weekend (September 3rd, 2011, to be exact), I self-published my debut novel, On the Island, with no idea what to expect.

It felt weird. Really weird. It also felt good. The availability of self-publishing programs meant I didn’t have to shove my novel in a drawer and hope that someone would take a chance on the next book I wrote. 

Not much changed. I still went to my day job. My kids still fought (constantly). And my husband and I still tried to find time to have an uninterrupted conversation (and maybe a glass of wine).

A few months later, things started to change a little bit. Sales went up, although not dramatically. I received some reviews that were so heartfelt they literally brought tears to my eyes and made me smile for days. I received some awesome e-mails from readers who lived all over the world. It was incredibly satisfying and wonderful and I considered myself lucky.

In the spring, things really got crazy. April and May are one big blur…In June, Penguin publishing offered me a two-book deal and put On the Island on bookshelves everywhere. 

A year ago, I just wanted to find an audience. I just wanted the book I spent 18 months writing to be available to those who might want to read it.

One year later:

Over half a million copies of On the Island have been sold.   
On the Island is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. 
Foreign rights have been sold in 23 countries.
MGM has optioned the book for a feature film.
On the Island spent over 10 weeks on the NYT bestseller list, reaching #5 in the e-book category and #12 for the trade paperback.

I no longer have a day job because writing full-time is my day job. I get to spend time with both kids every morning before sending them off to the bus stop. My work wardrobe consists of yoga pants and T-shirts. I spend my days in a quiet house with Chloe curled up next to me.

I don’t even know what to say that will convey my true feelings about this. Or how to thank all of you. Because you, the readers, are the ones who made it happen. I’m eternally grateful and I think it’s time for one big THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

Here’s how it will work: I’m giving away 1 Kindle DX, 2 Nook Colors, and 23 signed paperbacks (13 with the original cover – because that’s how many I have stacked on my dining room table – and 10 with the Penguin cover).

This giveaway will span 4 days and I’ll be using the rafflecopter to choose the winners. And this giveaway is open to EVERYONE. I don’t care where you live. You’re eligible. You can enter every day of the giveaway, but you can only win once.

So let’s start with the signed original paperback. The one that looks like this: I have 13 to give away.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me how you heard about On the Island (make sure you also login to rafflecopter with either your facebook login or e-mail to enter the giveaway). I want to know what led you to this book. And I want you to know how much that has meant to me.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

xoxo,

Tracey

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Totally Unscientific Poll Results

  • August 26, 2012

I took an informal poll and asked readers, via my author page on Facebook, for their input on who they’d most like to see playing T.J. in the film adaptation of On the Island. I’ve tallied the votes and thought it would be fun to share the results with you all.

The actor who received the most votes to play T.J. was Zac Efron. You guys really, really like Zac. I mean, like, a lot.

In second place was Alex Pettyfer (or as I like to call him, Alex Prettyfer, because OH MY GOD, look at him).

One person suggested Justin Bieber “just for laughs” and I have to agree. I’m sure he’s a lovely person and this is a really great picture of him, but, yeah. NO. 

In third place we have Taylor Kitsch, my original choice for T.J. I’ve mentioned this in a few Q&A’s I’ve done recently, and it pains me to say it again, but I think he’s too old to play T.J. which is a crying shame because I really like looking at him.

 
 
 
 
Next up is someone I’ve never heard of: Steven R. McQueen. Perhaps it’s because I don’t watch The Vampire Diaries. Perhaps I should start.
 

 
 


Jeremy Sumpter, Steven Strait, and Aaron Johnson were a few of the other suggestions.

 
I have a suggestion to throw into the ring: Jamie Campbell Bower. I can’t remember how he came to my attention, but he’s adorable and hot – two qualities that an actor playing T.J. will need to have. Plus I think he’s just young enough to pull it off.
 
 
 
It was also suggested – and I wholeheartedly agree – that an unknown actor (paired with a well-known actress a’ la Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon) might be the way to go.
 
And lastly, I’ve bumped Anne Hathaway out of the starring role of Anna, not because I don’t like her, because I really, really do, but because I think one of these two actresses might be a teensy bit better.
 
 
Minka Kelly
 

 
Eliza Dushku
 
 
 
 
Thanks for your input, everyone!!
 

 
 
 
 

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