Book Production · Books · Christmas · Memories · My Thoughts

Revising my Christmas book in July: Imagine That!

Christmas in July - revising

Revising my Christmas book in July seems absurd, but I have been. You see—to get a book out for the holiday season, now is the time! I have been working on it for a couple of months! Here’s what’s happening!

Last year, I researched popular e-book genres and found out that travel books and Christmas books were on the list. I thought, “Wow! I have both hidden away!” Then I let it go!

So in the early spring of this year, I researched the best time to publish a Christmas book on one of my favorite writing/publishing apps, Publisher Rocket. I thought it would be October or November, giving me plenty of time to get it finished. No, I found out I needed to get it out into the hands of holiday readers by August/September (see chart below).

This app has guided me in a variety of ways as a self-publisher, and I respect Dave Chesson, who created this app and this helpful website:

So, with this in mind, I moved forward, contacting my editor I’ve used for my last three books. But I didn’t hear from her, and I was still suffering from neuralgia from the shingles I had in April 2022. Being on pain medicine for the neuralgia fogged my brain and my ambition, so I let it slip by for a month or two.

When I finally heard from my editor, physically I felt better, so I created a timeline with her: I sent my manuscript off to her on June 19, 2023. She sent back her critiqued version on July 12. Then I read her email comments and highlighted specific suggestions. After that, I went through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, enjoying her comments and accepting her revisions.

She suggested I write a couple of adult Christmas memories because I had just a few in the manuscript. That spurred me on to write four new chapters, enjoying the remembrances. Then I sent it back to her and am waiting for her final comments.

During this time my editor had my manuscript, I focused on the book cover and description. I paid 100 Covers to do the cover (see cover, but title isn’t exact).

Hair on Fire cover - revising

I paid Bryan Cohen’s Best Page Forward to do the description. Gladly, I have finals for both of them. I need to tweak both before finalizing them.

I have wrestled with the title using a website, my book coach, and coaching group to help me. This is my title and subtitle so far: Hair on Fire: My Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir.

But here are other options for the subtitle. What do you think?

  • A Christmas Memoir
  • A Heartwarming Christmas Memoir
  • A Heartwarming and Humorous Christmas Memoir
  • A Joyful, Heartwarming and Humorous Christmas Memoir
  • Hair on Fire: A Head-Warming Christmas Tale

Now I am waiting, waiting, waiting for my editor’s final response. Then I complete my editor’s suggested revisions in August. I love this back-and-forth process. She assured me it would be back by August 8-10. When the manuscript looks exactly the way I want it to, then I use Vellum, a Mac app, to create the interior of the book. Finally, I upload it to Amazon and various other e-book distributors.

Holding the proof copy in my hands always gives me such a warm sensation—I almost have to pinch myself to see if it’s a dream. If it looks good, it’s available to buy.

Here’s your chance to pre-order this book,

Finally, I love revising my Christmas book—rereading those precious memories touches my heart each time. When you get your copy, I hope it touches yours.

Have you ever thought of writing a book? Which subtitle did you like the best? Let me know!

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