writing

Birth of a Book

As any writer will tell you the road from book idea to publishing is a long and windy road. It’s no different for me. Since I have a book about to be birthed this fall, I thought I’d share with you how it came to be. (Without revealing the title or the cover yet…)

What I CAN tell you about the book is that it is a Young Adult (YA) novel. It dawned on me (before this story came to my mind) that I literally had no books that my teenagers could read until they were much, MUCH older, and some of my books (I’m looking at you, Enigma and The First 100 Kisses) they are NEVER allowed to read.

I had just finished reading a boxed set by John Green, so my headspace was in that angsty teen mindset, so I set off to write a YA. The closest book I’d written to this genre was my New Adult (college age) trilogy, Pulled, Pulled Back, and Pulled Back Again. Too old for their reading tastes for sure.

Armed only with an angsty feel, I sat down to look at a blank page. Before long, I had the first chapter down. The last lines of that chapter gave me the title. Boom. Seed germinated. I started a new notebook for this book, and from there, I followed a loose outline of the type of events that needed to happen. Basic plot structure sort of things. Your main character will fail/succeed here. They need to try a new tactic here, that sort of thing. A vague idea of what the beat should be, but how I achieved that beat was up to me.

In the midst of going through several drafts of the book, cutting lines, adding description, removing plot holes, and date inconsistencies (really, Danielle, there are only seven days in a week, not the eight you wrote) I contacted my cover designer. I gave her the back jacket blurb so she’d have a feel for the story, and a few general thoughts I had about what I thought might look cool but gave her room to come up with something to wow me. And wow me she did. On the first try, she hit it out of the park. I cannot wait to show you this cover. It is my favorite cover of all my titles to date. It’s so beautiful and hits the tone of the story so perfectly. The woman is amazing. Here are the covers of mine she’s done so far.

It took about six months to finish a draft that I thought was ready to send to an editor. And now the book is sitting on the kindles of a few trusted friends who are looking it over for formatting issues or any other glaring issues overlooked.

Then what?

Then, the dreaded marketing of the book. My least favorite part, mostly because I’m no good at it. Ha. Writing is easy, talking about what you wrote is harder.

Starting in September, I’ll start showing off the cover, sharing pre-order links, getting Advanced Reader Copies out, start posting on social media and to my blog/newsletter with teasers and excerpts. I’ll mail out SWAG (because, of course, I made SWAG!) and do live broadcasts of me talking about the book, reading from it, etc. And then, come October, it will be officially birthed. No longer a story held onto by only me and a handful of readers. It will be live and subject to criticism, and hopefully, some praise. It will no longer be my book. It will yours. And that, really, is the reason we write. We write first for ourselves, but then, we give those stories to you, dear readers, to shape as you will. Raise them well.

Danielle Bannister and birther of 14 books and counting

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