Monthly Archives: October 2014

Getting a Book out the Door

Last November, during the National Novel Writing Month, I wrote a book called Skean Dhu and the Pirates of Blacktom.
When I’m writing fast, as is required in NaNoWriMo, I make plenty of mistakes, leave things out, repeat myself, and confuse characters along with other facts. I make every mistake a writer can make except to stop writing.
During the last several months, I have been editing this work. I put it away last spring as I had too many classes to keep up with at the University. When I returned to it in June, I was still interested in my story. I let a few people see it and, I was encouraged by their feedback.
Finally, in July, I sent to the editor. She sent it back to me all marked up, just as you might expect. So, I made her corrections, then read my book online, making further changes. A week or so ago, I had the book printed in hard copy and began a final edit. Again I found hundreds of changes I wanted to make. I am always surprised how reading a paper copy differs from reading on a computer. Somehow, problems that elude me on the screen pop out when they are in hard copy.
Next week, the work will go to the final editor, a different one that has edited it already. She’s a professional editor with real world experience. I think she will find a few more problems, but not as many as have been discovered already.
This will be book number three to be in print for me. Two others await editing. It is a long process and somewhat difficult to endure at times. But the end product is that readers will enjoy what they are reading more than if I just edited it and turned it loose.
I will be getting the book published before Christmas, this year. I’ll be glad to have it out the door.
As a counterbalance to what I’m saying, I have a friend who is a beautiful writer. I don’t think I will ever be able to reach his level of elegant prose. Sadly, he will never have anything published. He is so sensitive to any level of criticism that he just cannot send anything he wrote to an editor or agent. He did send his book to an editor once and is still incensed at the editor’s comments, and that was years ago. It is sad.

Now that You have a Book, What Next?

A few hours ago I took my fourth book to a local office supply shop to have it printed. I think most everyone agrees that somehow words look differently on the printed page than on a small screen. I always find problems with the written text that I didn’t see on my computer screen.
Now that I have a new book, the question becomes: What will I do now? As I dropped it off and started back home, I was thinking about my next steps. I’ll have to get my book to an editor to get someone else’s perspective. However, before I do that, I’ll have a last edit of my own.
When I get it to the editor, I know she will find problems that I didn’t see. I just accept that. It is always true. That doesn’t mean that I always agree with her, but I certainly give her edits serious consideration.
Next, I’ll get it ready for a ‘proof’ copy. I’ll look at that again and have several other people look at it. Then, when I’m satisfied that it the book is near perfect, I’ll either send it to an editor or indie publish it.
The next phase will be to let the world know it is there. This is where things get complicated. I will make my new book and my earlier ones free on Kindle. Then I’ll announce on my blog and social media they are available for free. Prior to that, I’ll let the organizations I belong to know I have a new book. I’ll also let the local media know.
Hopefully, the book will be available on Kindle and CreateSpace at the same time. The reason I’ll make it free is so that the numbers requested will go up. That should create interest in the book that sales alone will not.
At the same time, I will update my old books and Internet references to include my new book and cross-reference them. I want to make it easy for readers to find my other works.
Finally, I’ll make a circuit through several venues where I take my books with me and sell them direct to the public.