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Based in Northeastern, PA, Melissa Koberlein publishes novels that explore the worlds of tech, aliens, and space with humor and heart.

Taking the Plunge into Self-Publishing

I'm finally doing it. I'm self-publishing my first YA book, Fireflies. It's the first in a trilogy. Here's the blurb: Pine Grove has always been a peaceful place, and sixteen-year-old Marley feels right at home in the Appalachians. Things change when a close encounter of the third kind leaves a glowing mark on her shoulder, and a handsome new boy shows up at school. A peculiar green glimmering in his eyes reminds her of fireflies, both captivating and scaring her right out of her boots. When he reveals that he’s a host for alien symbiotes, it sends her running in the opposite direction…that is, until he catches her.

Meanwhile…Will is entering yet another school midyear. He has all his usual problems: acclimate to a new school, deal with his assigned FBI agent, track a compatible human, all the while appearing the normal teenage boy. He can’t believe his luck when his search leads him to Marley, a girl more agile in the woods than in a mall. He reminds himself that he can’t let what happened on his last assignment happen in Pine Grove, not to her…

Book 2- Razers (complete, currently editing) will hopefully be available later this year or the beginning of 2014. Book 3- Mystics (WIP) will hopefully be available at the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015.

There. Now that I've said it, I'm required to follow through. :) So at this point in time I have two very strong emotions:

1- I'm super psyched to put my novel in the hands of real teen readers. I've worked very hard to get this novel to where it is today, and my beta feedback has been positive.

On the other hand...

2- I'm scared to death. O_O I think this is normal for most writers who self-publish their first novel (at least I hope so). The way I see it, there are going to be people who love my book, like my book, are indifferent, dislike my book, and people who hate it. The sooner I accept all of those options, the less scared I will be.

So here is what I am doing to ensure I put my best work into the hands of my target audience:

1. I hired a professional editor. She's awesome. I feared this process, but in reality she's helping me make my book stronger. She found one very important plot hole that needed a plug. I'm grateful for her hard work.

2. I hired an amazing illustrator and designer for my cover artwork. She's read the book and already wowed me with some sketches. I can't wait to see the finished cover. It's going to be AMAZING!

3. I purchased my own ISBN numbers and will be publishing under my husband's company. He creates his own apps and such, so it seems a good fit. Here's his website- www.tapzoom.me

4. I'm researching marketing strategies. This is the part that scared me the most. Do I have the time for this? No, but I'm making the time.

So, in the end I'm happy about this decision. Something about it feels right. In fact, I don't know why I didn't plunge sooner. So if your interested in a love story of the extraterrestrial kind, take a chance on Fireflies. Cheers. :)

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NaNoWriMo (Take Two)