Thursday, February 13, 2014

How I Wrote and Published a Romance Novel in 25 Days #selfpublishing #amwriting

Remember my Steamy Story in a Month class with Mina Esguerra? The story I wrote, Taming Romeo, is now published and live on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

Title: Taming Romeo
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Heroine: Evie Sanchez, medical student on temporary leave of absence
Hero: Romeo Garcia, Filipino soap opera actor on location in San Diego for three weeks
Primary Setting: Evie's family's Filipino restaurant
Trope: The One Who Got Away
Steam Level: Three
I took the challenge twenty-five days ago to write a first draft romance by February 15th. At that time, I figured I would write a short story, not much more than 5000 words. Doable? Pretty much.

A few days later, I realized I had a lot more story than 5000 words. I documented my progress in a series of blog posts and before long, I had over 50000 words, a full fledged novel. I finished writing February 3 and put the story away to work on my other novel and look for a cover. However I couldn't stay away from Romeo and Evie and in a few days, I had already revised it twice.

My cover designer, Rebecca Berto of Berto Designs, surprised me by finishing the book cover in a few days. Well, heck, now that the cover was done, I figured I could publish it. Fortunately, when I called for beta readers, many of my friends jumped to read and two of them even edited for me. Of course I also edited and did three rounds of proofreading.

Could I finish this love story and release it by Valentine's Day? My beta readers and critique partners gave their opinions back in record time and I went on to revise my story two more times, take editing from several sources and proofreading along the way.

I format my own electronic files and that was the easiest part of the process. At 10:00 pm February 12, I uploaded to Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. No time yet for Smashwords, but I did order my Createspace proof today.

Jan 20 - start first draft
Feb 3 - finish first draft
Feb 6 - finish two revisions, format and send to beta readers and editors
Feb 7 - hire Rebecca Berto to do the ebook and print cover, proofread pass 1
Feb 11 - cover ready, edits done, two revision passes, proofread pass 2 [read backwards]
Feb 12 - last proofreading pass, formatting .mobi/Kindle, .epub/Nook/Kobo, and Createspace print, upload ebooks to Amazon, Kobo, Nookpress
Feb 13 - Ebooks live at vendor sites, approve Createspace proof and ordered it

Still to do: Smashwords and Apple formatting, blog tour, book launch posts

I'm still reeling from this schedule. I never set out to publish within a month, but with the help of my writing BFFs, my cover designer, editors and beta readers, I was able to do it. A big XOX to all who helped.

My 2014 motto: "Don't Say You Can't."

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day and may all your Romeos be tame today. [Knowing Vera is free Feb 14 on Amazon, Taming Romeo is 99c]

Since I wrote and published Taming Romeo in 25 days, I am going to offer a free online writing class - "Romance in a Month"  where the participants, YOU, will embark on a journey with me to write a romantic story in a month. Sound exciting???

The class will start May 15, but I will start taking signups now. I'll form a private Facebook group to post the lessons and hold the class discussions and schedule a few Google Hangouts for participants to ask questions.

Please email me at ayala (dot) rachelle (at) gmail (dot) com or contact me at my Facebook page or the Romance In A Month Group page to sign up. The class is no pressure, fun only, and motivational. We will, as a group, inspire and support each other. There are no wordcount goals, nada. You may write a flash romance to an epic romance, or finish with an outline or synopsis. The important thing is to go through the experience together and know that you CAN do it!


  1. You rock Rachelle. I look forward to reading the book.

    1. Thanks Kim! Can't wait to see what you have coming next.

  2. I'm in awe, Rachelle! You're amazing. Congratulations.

  3. Thanks so much Carol. I always enjoy working with you. :)