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Holy cannoli, it’s getting real now. I’ve been working with an AMAZING couple who have a business helping authors to finish off their books in the best way possible. They design custom covers, do editing/proof reading and will format the final product so it’s ready for upload to all the different platforms.

Mark took the design I had mocked up in Canva many moons ago and turned it into something that I can literally see on a book shelf next to other “real” books. I can’t wait to share it with you guys. Hopefully he’ll have the full version back to me soon and I can post it.

He came up with two versions of the design for me, one was black and white, the way that I had originally envisaged it. The other was…well…blue. Kind of hard to explain. I crowdsourced with my friends and co-workers (because who can make a design on their own these days, am I right?) and we all agreed that the blue cover was the best!

I had a dilemma, then. I’d mocked up all four books in the Cruise Control series and the others were all meant to be black and white as well. Okay, so the one for book four pretty much screamed “I’m a self-published author!” but the ones for book two and book three were bang on for what I wanted and I couldn’t imagine anything better for it.

So, I told Mark this. I told him that I loved the blue cover but couldn’t envisage how it could possibly fit with the rest of the series. What did he do? He sent me back a mock up of the cover that is PERFECT for ‘The Wedding’ (book 2). It was everything that I didn’t know I wanted for the cover and more! It fit perfectly with the blue cover for ‘The Album’ and again, was totally something that I could see on bookshelves in actual stores.

This is a pretty terrifying time for me. I’m writing as much as I can and on the precipice of releasing ‘The Album’. I’ve read so many stories about people’s successes and failures. It seems as though the big successes were a combination of talent, persistence and often a decent amount of pure, dumb luck. There seems to be just as many talented, persistent writers who are publishing and just selling minimal copies of their books.

I’m paying a real editor, cover designer, etc. out of my own pocket because I believe in this story. I believe that other people will love Ariana and Gabe and the rest of the Cruise Control band family…but what if they don’t? What if no one buys it. Will I have done all of this just for the vanity of having a book with my name on it and my story inside?

From what I can tell, my success of lack thereof lays solely on the shoulders of the readers. I need them to love it. I need them to share it with their friends and family if they do. Word of mouth will be crucial. I am doing everything I can to make this book and series the best it can possibly be but if what I’ve written and done isn’t enough to make people want to read, to want to share it, then it will probably die amongst the hundreds of thousands of other self-published novels out there in the world today.

Wow…that sure was a cheerful end to this post! Love your guts if you’re actually reading this!

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