An update on the Styling You book

It’s four months since I signed the Styling You book deal with Hachette Australia.

Can’t quite believe it really as so much has been jammed into that four months.

I’ve been reflecting on that a bit this week and thought I’d share with you here what’s been involved to date and where I’m at in the publishing process.

Let’s start with the now, shall we?

My printed out and edited manuscript arrived on Monday morning.

Exhibit A:

Styling You Unlock Your Style book manuscript

This kind of freaked me out seeing all those pages there as I knew I’d written more than I’ve ever written before on one project but I hadn’t actually printed it out (on account of being in possession of a $100 inkjet printer, the main job of which is to print out invoices and client briefs).

I’m about to get stuck into reviewing the edit and have about two weeks to complete that. My copy editor Elizabeth has marked all the queries and proposed changes and it’s my job to work through them and either agree (after all she knows books – I don’t), clarify or re-jig text.

Note to self: must not drink wine while going through VERY IMPORTANT edit.

So, how did it get this point?

A few weeks after signing the book contract, I started writing the words.

Lots of them.

My publisher and commissioning editor, the fabulously dapper Robert Watkins, set me fortnightly deadlines for delivering the words. And then I set myself an even tighter deadline to have the words finished before my girls’ week in Bali.

I’m a deadline girl from way back and this worked really well for me – even if meeting the deadline was sometimes down to the wire.

I found using online task manager Asana a great way to break down the project into chunks and keep on task for those chunks. Now, I’m using Asana for all aspects of my business. I can’t recommend it highly enough if, like me, you like a bit of electronic organisation in your life.

This organisation and time management was really important to me because I wanted to keep my blog running at the same time as I was writing the book. I aimed each week to do my blog writing Monday-Wednesday, leaving Thursday and Friday for the book.

I say “aimed” as life and procrasti-baking (when you adopt baking as your procrastination habit) often got in the way. On those weeks, I’d steal some weekend time for the book.

I’m also incredibly thankful for my small group of freelancers, who I commissioned to post on Styling You to help further ease the load in the super busy times.

Knowing that this workload and a busy family life (looking for a new home in Brisbane and daughter finishing exams and graduating from Y12) could potentially impact on my already dodgy immune system, I also made a pact with myself to keep on track with a mostly healthy lifestyle.

I’ll write a separate post on what I’ve done over the past five months in that department but, in a nutshell, I made my health a priority through some simple changes and new habits.

It paid off – getting me through to this point in one piece.

Unlock Your Style

My book – Unlock Your Style – will be a bigger and better version than my original e-book version.

It will carry the same title but you will find even more tips, tricks and advice to develop and honour your style – no matter at which stage of life you are.

If you did buy Unlock Your Style in its e-book form, then thank-YOU. It’s now officially a limited edition as it’s no longer for sale.

The new Unlock Your Style will be a full-colour, 176-page book. You’ll be able to buy it in its physical form as well as electronically via iBooks or Amazon.

All that colour got put to good use during the recent photo shoot in Sydney.

I think I’m still recovering from that week – it honestly took more out of me than the writing.

The organisational side of my brain was worked to the max – sourcing and calling in fashion pieces and beauty product to match my already-written words – plus sourcing clothes for my “models” (Norlin, Dee and Jo) and I to wear.

If you play along on Instagram you would have caught some of the action … if not, here are a few photos from the shoot.

Gina Guirguis makeup artist | Nikki Parkinson Styling You in | Mela Purdie top from Zambezee Boutique | Dinosaur Designs necklace | Hair by Schwarzkopf

 Mela Purdie top from Zambezee Boutique | Dinosaur Designs necklace 

Makeup by Gina Guirguis Hair by Schwarzkopf Australia

Now if only makeup artist Gina Guirguis and Schwarzkopf’s Theresa could arrive every morning and work their magic!

Schwarzkopf hair products used on Styling You's Nikki Parkinson for the Unlock Your Style book photo shoot

Schwarzkopf products used to style my hair

Steve Brown Photographer at work on Styling You book

Photographer Steve Brown making me look book-tastic

Nikki Parkinson Styling You book photo shoot | Camilla cape from Zambezee Boutique | Mela Purdie top at Zambezee Boutique | NYDJ jeans | Dinosaur Designs bangles | Samantha Wills ring | Uberkate bangle | Uberkate earrings

Camilla cape from Zambezee Boutique | Mela Purdie top at Zambezee Boutique | NYDJ jeans | Dinosaur Designs bangles | Samantha Wills ring | Uberkate bangle | Uberkate earrings

Real women models will feature in the Unlock Your Style book to be published by Hachette in August 2014

Four “models” sized 8-16 feature will feature in Unlock Your Style the book – here we’re all wearing the Sacha Drake Catelyn dress – a dress that can be worn a tonne of different ways

I’m so grateful to my girlfriend Natalie at Zambezee Boutique for loaning me most of the clothes that will feature in my publicity and author photos next year.

And boy, oh boy, did the Schwarzkopf Australia team work its magic on my hair. Thanks also to Gina Guirguis for making me look the business in the makeup department.

Photographer Steve Brown was a dream to work with – and we did make him work – 570 photos over three days – as well as a behind-the-scenes video.

I couldn’t have completed it all without the help of the girls at my agency (they happily stockpiled all the requested product that I organised from my Queensland base to be in Sydney in time for the shoot), my publisher Robert and my girlfriend Simone, a former model and model agency owner, who flew down to help all things flow smoothly behind and in front of the camera (and importantly be there for a celebratory champagne at the end).

So, what’s next?

The graphic designer is currently working on the cover and inside design. I’ve seen some early ideas and just love them.

My edited text and the photos from the shoot will be typset into this design and I’ll next see my words looking fabulous in a print-out of the book for any final – minor – changes before it goes to print.

This will all happen in the New Year … 2014 is going to be a big one. I just know it.

If you have any questions for me about the book process, fire away in the comments below.

PS. If you’d like to be the first in the know when pre-orders become available and when and where I’ll be launching the book, sign up here.

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  • Seana

    How exciting… and man what a big job in a short time… I think this will be a unique book in the market and you are able to address so many big issues in the clothes biz with integrity AND experience. Fab.

  • Linda

    Hi Nikki, I’ve been an avid browser/reader of your blog only having stumbled upon it mid this year. I love it. From your nifty shopping and styling tips, honest critiquing of garments (even the high end can’t escape your critical eye), to the ‘real’ Model & Me section which I think many of your readership can identify with. The icing on the cake is the confidence, enthusiasm and warmth which you channel into your writing and photos. I congratulate you on your forthcoming book and look forward to its content.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Linda, thanks so much for your lovely feedback. It is what I try to create here every day and the book will be an exciting extension on that.

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I’ll be looking forward to reading how you’ve managed your health – I’m struggling hugely in this area right now! Congrats on the book being into edit stage :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s a daily struggle for me but think I’ve created a formula and habit that is working for me … stay tuned and thanks!

  • Lydia Sutakowsky

    You deserve all the success in the world Nikki – you are such a positive, inspiring role model to real women.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks so much Lydia for your kind words x

  • Raquel Bebbington

    Can’t wait for the book!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love to hear that Raquel!

  • http://www.lifestylefifty.com/ Johanna

    Well done Nikki! I also can’t wait to get a copy of the book. You are an absolute inspiration – how you’ve managed to get everything done, and keep family life rolling along on an even keel, and manage your health, and keep the blog going is beyond my comprehension. But Well Done! You deserve every success :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Sometimes I think the more we are loaded up, the more we get done. I also had in my head that it wasn’t forever, this period of crazy, so that helped. Thanks so much!

  • Alex

    Nikki, congratulations, this post has me smiling absolutely from ear to ear. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of your beautiful book – maybe/hopefully an autographed one! Hope you’ve celebrated with a French champers several times over.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Alex, that’s so lovely of you to say … there has been much French champagne in my life and I predict even more in 2014!

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  • http://soniastyling.com/ Sonia

    I read this post like an excited child on Christmas morning. I am so flipping proud of you, excited for you and cannot wait to get my hands on that book next year!
    Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes stuff with us. There’s a good chance most of us will never write a book in our lifetime – so it’s a great way to live vicariously through you!
    I have quietly said to myself that 2014 is going to be a fantastic year. And it will be – for you, for me, for all of us! xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It will be a great year Sonia … mind you 2013 was pretty damn good for us too, wasn’t it?!! xx

  • Paula

    PS… crossing the border into Qld these summer hols. Any recommendations on where a girl might get a drink in Brissy? (With a family in tow…)

  • Paula

    Congratulations. Very pleased for you! Exciting times ahead. Where do I queue for an autographed copy???

  • Housewife in Heels

    Congratulations Nikki- so exciting!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much … hopefully we’ll get to meet in the New Year!

  • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

    Thanks so much Britt … I’ll be back here often but we are looking forward to being a regular family again.

  • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

    Yes, each step it feels more real Kelly … it has been crazy but I’ve come to the conclusion that I work more productively that way!

  • http://www.styleandshenanigans.com/ Vanessa

    How exciting Nikki! The photos are a great little sneak peek. Can’t wait to see more!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Vanessa … was an intense process for the photo shoot but good to be out the other side and have it completed as I had envisioned!

  • Britt Melville

    Love this post Nikki – thanks for sharing the journey with us, can’t wait to read it. Happy moving, Brissie is lucky to have you : )

  • Kelly

    What an amazing experience!! Does it feel more real now you are seeing it all printed out? How much fun is it going to be going into a bookshop and seeing YOUR book there. Congrats Nikki – I can’t wait to see it all come together for you. And thanks for not forgetting about us! Things must be crazy trying to fit the blog, the book and life in.

  • http://justmore.com.au/ Melinda

    Like I wasn’t already excited enough! I love this post and hearing about the ins and out of it all. Can’t wait to see + hear more! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Melinda, was good to share the contents of my head!

  • Amanda Garven

    Congrats, It looks so exciting! I love hearing about the process of things, it takes a lot of work! That makeup! I’m looking forward to hearing how you have been looking after yourself, you look really healthy and ‘glowy’.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh, I’m glad you do like the process stuff Amanda. I know I like reading it about others so was hoping would be the same here. Stay tuned re the health stuff.

  • Alex

    Hi Nikki, well done on your book achievements so far! I am looking forward to getting my hands on it when it comes out. Have been following your blog for a while now and have just signed up for the book/launch updates.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much Alex – glad you’re here and keen to get the book!

  • Daisy

    Congrats on the book! Your hair looked amazing! Were the curls just from blowdrying or something else as well? And did they last?!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      The Schwarzkopf team blowdried my hair first then used styling irons to create the curls – the wave lasted but not as curly as in the photo – was long enough for our shots though. For a super long-lasting curl, I need about half a tin of mousse in it as a base and a bit of setting as my hair drops easily.

  • allyson

    Yeah!!, exciting times, I will sign up and look forward to more updates and the book !!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much Allyson!

  • chrisatpb

    What a huge achievement Nikki- congratulations! It seemed no time at all from when you announced your book deal to when you told us you’d sent off the manuscript to the publisher and I wondered then how on earth you fit all you do in to one day. We’ll done – you deserve a well-earned break – hope you can find time to put your feet up over Christmas. Looking forward to the book launch!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Christa … I’m afraid not much of a break over Christmas as we’re moving to Brisbane January 2. I’ll be knee deep in packing boxes!

  • angie

    So exciting! thanks for the update, I’ve been wondering how the project was going. Look forward to hearing more about the launch date, and I just signed up to the online updates. It will be amazing to see all your hard work in physical form!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Fabulous Angie! I can’t wait to see it either. One step at a time and I’ll get there.

  • Johanne Taylor

    I love that I can already see in these photos that you are wearing some of your (obviously) favourite jewellery (Uberkate) and clothing (NYDJ) pieces, and not just all sourced pieces. It just looks more ‘real’ and like I’m looking at a friend’s glammed up photos.
    Can’t wait to see the finished product.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Johanne … lots of my fave pieces in the book, even the stuff sourced is based on my favourites and what I normally recommend here on the blog.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I just subscribed,I can’t wait to get my hands on your book Nikki! Very exciting and it has been a big year for you,I am so glad you are putting your health first ,very important, I think it comes first ,if you don’t feel well you can’t do other things and all the money in the world cannot make you healthy.
    I have loved all the pics and the little snippets you have shown us of your book ,I know I might be old school but I do love a “real” book in my hands and you have been so lucky to have your friend at Zambezee to loan you outfits.When do you move to Brisbane?? the coast will be a hard part of paradise to leave and wishing you luck on any new ventures you may have in the wings x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Lisa … we move Jan 2 and yes will be hard to say goodbye but ready for a new adventure!

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        Yes it will be and yes a new Adventure!

  • Cilla

    Can’t wait to buy it…

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Cilla!