Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Again...courtesy of the Rockville 8

This week the Rockville 8 ( welcomes Emelle Gamble! She's been an invaluable resource for me, personally, and I am thrilled about her new book, Secret Sister, hitting the virtual shelves. You can find her at and on Facebook at

On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, Secret Sister by Emelle Gamble went on sale at Amazon.

It's  my first new book for sale in over a decade. I won’t bore you with the details of why this is (but it is spelled L-I-F-E), but let me say that, while it's just as exciting now being a ‘new author’ as it was the first time,  it’s also a lot more nerve-wracking and challenging the second time around.

In my past life as Harlequin Intrigue writer M.L. Gamble, when I got a new  idea for a book (always the ending first, then the title), I’d get a thrilling, chilling little ‘pop’ of excitement inside my head. Sharp inhale. I knew the creative process had begun.

Very soon after that I’d begin plotting, outlining, and note card noting…The evenings saw the first pages blooming on my computer screen, the next weeks would find me bundling those exciting ‘first three’ chapters off (surely they were perfect) to my critique group. This would be followed by hearing from my honest, supportive and encouraging critique group that the chapters were, in fact, not perfect. So I wrote and rewrote, suffered middle book malaise, last chapter loathing, and re-evaluation jitters, but completed the first draft. And the second draft. And the fifth draft.

A few days before the contract deadline (most of the time) I printed the whole thing out on paper. Addressed a big-ass envelope. Drove to the United States Post Office. Bought postage and insurance (“It’s a manuscript, I’m a writer.” This sentence was always worked into conversation with the postal worker). Watched the now impressed (surely) postal employee throw  the package in a bin, giddy with the knowledge it was going to end up on my New York Editor’s desk in 48 hours.

Over the next few months, after a couple of exchanges of edits, and proofed copy checks, art approval (which meant saying, “Yes, I like it” even though my concept of a hot guy on a motorcycle turned into a psycho bowler - see If Looks Could Kill cover), the creative work was done.

Then four to six months later there would be a knock on the door and you’d get a box of books. Beautiful books. Your books. This was the reason for the long hours and hard work.  (The reason you lived!)

Exhale. Delirium. My book will be read, my story will be shared. I’m a new author.

Now, ten years later, the creative process hasn’t much changed, except for the fact it’s done electronically instead of on paper. But everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING else has changed.

Though I am still contracted with a publisher, albeit a smaller one, in this new publishing environment I immediately discovered that there was much, much more I had to do to give my new book a chance of success. For many publishing houses now no longer support authors as they did in the Wizard of Oz olden days when I was at Harlequin. Publishers expect you, as an author, especially a new author, to not only write a great book, but hunt down your prospective readers and introduce yourself..

On behalf of Secret Sister, I’ve personally contacted hundreds of blogs, review sites and readers with email pitches for review consideration. I’ve asked friends, family members, and fellow authors to read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) and consider posting a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and have offered to spend the time required to read others’ books and return the favor.

I’ve spent many, many hours working with a pro to set up a website, without a pro to set up a Facebook Author page, a twitter account, a Goodreads Author account. And a blog. (Worth the ten hours it took figuring that out just to see the look on hubby’s face when I explained what a blog was. HA!)

I’ve designed storyboards to help create a book trailer and put it up on YouTube. I’ve talked to half a dozen local book sellers, three librarians, and two newspaper columnists about Secret Sister. I’ve spent money on a website, book covers, copy editors, and a top notch review/ARC giveaway site, Netgalley. I’ve spent money on a Facebook ad campaign and a Goodreads ad campaign and a publicity Blog tour campaign with a highly recommended company named Goddess Fish Promotions. (And I have the surreal Paypal receipt for the IRS to prove it!)  I spent money on an ‘expert’ social media consultant who advised me to do everything I’d already done. And frankly, I have no idea if any of this effort is going to result in my finding an audience for Secret Sister.

Which brings me back to Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

Exhale. Delirium. My book is being read, my story is being shared. I’m a new author. AGAIN.

Secret Sister by Emelle Gamble is a romantic novel with a paranormal twist. It came to me (with that thrilling, chilling little pop of excitement) when I thought of a single question… “  What if everything about you changed, would your true love recognize you?

It’s a contemporary story set in Southern California about Nick and Cathy, happily married. And Cathy and Roxanne, best friends forever. It’s about faith and friendship and true love, secrets and lies and the ties that bind. And an extraordinary twist of fate.

It’s a brand new book from a brand new author in this brand new world. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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