Tag Archives: Business

Road to Publication #7: Dealing with the Dreaded Line Edits.

I’m glad I slept on it before working on the line edits.  You definitely need time to separate yourself from your initial emotional response before you deal with something like this.  Your initial desire is to roll up your sleeves and fight for everything.

But I know that wouldn’t have been right.  In truth, 85% of the edits they made were spot on.  I wouldn’t have seen that in “angry author mode.”  I definitely needed to calm my little creative butt down.

What I did was this:  The day after looking at the marked-up copy that made me want to rant and rave and throw things… I sat down, and calmly opened the “clean” copy.

The clean copy is the version of what my MS would look like if I accepted all of the publisher’s suggestions.  It made it easier to read, without seeing my own words slashed out in red.  It made the process much less “emotional”.

I read along, and saw their changes.  Most were fine.  Move this sentence there, transpose that sentence.  Delete this word… no biggie.  Like I said… 85% of the changes were fine.

I remember another author telling me once, “Choose your battles while in the editing process.”  So, I sat back, and decided which were really so terrible that I could not live with them… that equated to about 15% of the changes.

There were a few things here and there that really bothered me.  They were silly editing mistakes, like changing a word to something else, but that word is already in the following sentence making it repetitive.  In cases like this, I changed it back, and wrote a note as to why.

Now here was the biggest problem.  At one point, it is important that a character rips her dress.  One page at the end of the scene shows how she rips her dress.  The editor didn’t like the scene, so they cut it.  However, they realized that it was important, so they added the line:  “Her dress was soiled and ripped after…”

I cringed.  The editor removed the “show” and replaced it with “tell”.  Nope… sorry.   Not in my story.

I didn’t change it back word for word, but I did re-write the scene to make it shorter, and flow better.  I did agree that it didn’t fit too well at first.  Now, however, it seems to flow better, and it is a quarter of its original length.

There were a few more sections where they cut out parts of conversations, leaving the end-product… umm, let’s just say that I had to re-write.

Before I submitted, I made sure to explain why I made all the changes.  I didn’t want to seem abrasive, but everything I “Fixed” I felt strongly about.  I would have been embarrassed if it was published the way it had been edited.

Now?  Well, I do think it is tighter after this editing.  It wasn’t all bad.

At the moment, I am just waiting on their reaction to my comments and re-edits.

Road to Publication #5: The Marketing Plan

Today I received one of those big-scary presents from my publisher.  The Marketing Plan.

I don’t know if this calls for a squee or and EEEK!

I was a little surprised by the magnitude of it.  Everyone says writing the novel is the easy part.  Now’s the time for the work.  And this isn’t something you can’t put off.  Anything you do wrong (or right) now can affect how your novel sells.

I have a 20 week marketing plan leading right up until the release date of December 3rd.  20 weeks equates to 50 pages of reading.  Did anyone else just cringe?

The good news is a lot of this I have done already, or have already planned to do and it is on my schedule.  The bad news is, there is a lot of stuff that I haven’t done, and some of it is scary.

It’s time to plow ahead.  The good news is that I can draw on experiences of others, and I am not floundering in the dark.

Keep your fingers crossed!

The Road to Publication #1: The Contract

Wow, did I TOTALLY not expect to be writing a heading like that so early this year.

This will be a series of posts, but it will most-likely not be weekly.  Honestly, I don’t know everything that’s involved yet, or how often I’ll even have anything I can tell you.

Why am I writing this?

I realize that I am in a position of extreme interest to most of you.  As always, my mistakes, or my good fortune in this case, are an open book for you all to learn from.

To start with… the contract.  Wow.  Nothing makes things more real than seven scary pages filled with very serious sounding words like “Breach” “Grant” “Term” and “Indemnification”

Yikes!

Luckily enough for me, part of my day job is reading contracts, so this wasn’t as scary as it could have been.  I would highly suggest that if you DON’T have a background in contracts, or have a clear understanding of the publishing business, to bring your contract to a lawyer to get it explained.

Luckily for me, J.Taylor is a great publisher.  Their contract is concise and fair, and there are things in there to protect me and my family, as well as them.  Everything that I wanted was already there in the contract.  Whew!

Be prepared that there is a lot of negative stuff in the contract.  This is because the document is made to protect both sides if something “bad” happens.  It can be a little daunting to read all the stuff that can go wrong, but don’t worry.  This is just part of business, and is standard for almost any kind of business agreement.

What I really liked is J.Taylor Publishing softened the blow of the contract with a pretty “Welcome packet” wonderfully written with an air of excitement outlining some of the things that they will expect of me, and all of the great services that they offer.

After all I have heard about publishers dropping marketing in the lap of the author, leaving them to flounder on their own, I am tickled to find out that My publisher will be creating a marketing plan, and will do everything in their power to make sure the work is a success.

Marketing your novel while querying.

How do you do this?  Should you do this?

Everything I’ve read, and every author I’ve spoken to says: “Yes.”

When I pressed the submit button to the Publisher for my novelette LAST WINTER RED, I mulled for a little while about how important Marketing was to them.

Now, don’t let that surprise you.  All publishers are interested in authors who are marketable or able to market themselves.

As I’ve said before, my Facebook page stinks. (From my perspective)  My website/blog, however, I spend a lot of time on, and I am very proud of it.

I hoped they would see the value of that.  But then, as I thought it over, I took it a step further.

I decided to post my LAST WINTER RED query on my website.  I gave it its own tab.  But that was boring, and I don’t do boring.  I need to spruce it up a bit.

As most of you have noticed, I have an arsenal of artwork, and I am more than capable of manipulating graphics and text to bend to my will. (All of this artwork is copyrighted and paid for, by the way.  Don’t copy it—that’s stealing)

A short while of scanning brought me to a model that looked just like my MC Emily.  Throw an ashen Victorian dress on her and plop her into the snow in the middle of the woods.  Perfect.  Now, add the red cloak, laying on the snow.  Pout, Emily, you’re sad and confused.  Walla! Instant marketing piece.

If you look long enough, and if you are willing to pay for it (it’s not too costly) you can almost always find exactly what you need.

Now, I plopped this “advertisement” up really quickly, and spent more work on the art than the text since I used the actual query that I submitted to the publisher.  I’m not crazy about the tone of the query for the advertising purposes, but I wanted to get it up quickly, in case the publisher stopped by.

In the next few days, I tightened the query to be a little more readable, and make it look better visually in conjunction with the picture.

A little extra effort shows that not only am I marketable, but I will also be willing to, and have already, marketed my novel.

Please take a look and let me know what you think!

Is this a great idea?  An awful idea?  Whattya think?

Click the LAST WINTER RED tab in my title bar or click HERE to take a peek.

Flash Fiction Friday – On Tuesday – The Pink Monkey

I’m a grown woman, a corporate executive—with a pink monkey in her office.  He hangs there from one arm, attached to my cubicle wall with a Velcro hand.  He stares at me with those goofy eyes.  He warms me inside.

Toys at work?  How unprofessional.

I smile.  It’s not just a toy.  It never really was a toy to me at all.  There is a heart embroidered on his belly, and he’s pink.  My favorite color.

My son won a prize at school.  “Pick anything you want.”

He saw that pink monkey, with a heart on its chest.
His mother’s favorite color.

He could have taken an airplane.  He could have taken a super ball.  But he picked up the pink monkey, and bought it home.

He gave it to me… for no reason.

“I love you Mommy.”

“I love you too, Baby.”

No, it’s not a toy.

The monkey stays.