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About the Author

Oct 08

Freelance Editor

By donald | Duilleog Volume One , The Art of Writing

Freelance Editor

Freelance Editing

Anyone heard of Freelance Editors?

A few days ago I had an epiphany and it was a pretty obvious one. It came while I was working on one of my chapters and realised that I really hate doing revisions. More precisely: I loathe editing my own work. I’m too close to the work and cannot make unbiased decisions for the life of me.

Then the stars aligned when I stumbled on the world of freelance editing. Before then all my research on editing had pointed to major publishing houses. Then I found an article on freelance editors and heard the pure tone of a single bell stroke.

So what’s the difference, you ask?

Amazon, like most publishing houses, will charge be around $0.025 per word for a full edit using their own editors. Freelance on the other hand charge around $0.0035 per word.  With my book being around 100,000 words, give or take, for Amazon that would be $2500.  For freelance: $350.  Of course you get what you pay for, but, you can reduce risk by spending time on Google and finding and reading reviews of these freelance editors. There are even websites tailored to just that, such as the Editorial Freelancers Association over at

So, with a bit of soul searching, I’ve opted to pursue a freelance editor for my novel, Duilleog: A New Druids Novel (Volume 1). This was a pretty tough decision but it makes sense for all the right reasons. In case you didn’t know: Editors are like rock stars. If they happen to edit a great book and it goes bestseller then their street cred goes way up and they get to charge more. If you are patient (and lucky) you can find a new young editor; still looking to make a name and hungry and eager, and you can get quality editing done for a fraction of the cost. I like to call this Indie Editing. And I love Indie music. So it fits. And let me be honest with myself and you: I suck at editing. Anyone else has to be better, right? Right.

I may have found a freelance editor. First I need to throw her a chapter from my book and then she’ll give me a sample of her work. Then I can decide. My fingers are crossed.

This means that any hope of publishing my book by Christmas is shattered. Why, you cry? A few reasons:

1. I need to complete the first revision before I can think to submit anything to an editor. You CAN’T submit drafts. That is plain rude and I will end up paying for the editing of crap. Crap in, crap out. My first revision will be done by end-November (worst case).

2. I then submit my work to the editor. Editing 100,000 words takes time and I am not just going for a spell check. She will need about a month. This takes us to end-December – but it’s also Christmas and there will be rejoicing – so add a couple of weeks and we’re now at Mid-January, 2015.

3. Once it is edited I need to then go through the recommended changes and either agree or disagree. That will take time. Maybe a month? Hard to say. Depends on how much work is recommended for me to change. We are now into February 2015.

4. Then it goes back to the editor for final revision. March 2015.

5. Then back to me for changes. April 2015.

6. Then I publish. April 2015.  Note: I turn 50 on April 9th, 2015.  Sounds like a great goal to me.

The plus here, the real takeaway, is that it will be published with a much higher level of professionalism. So you will enjoy it more and that’s the real goal. I want my readers to enjoy my work. The $350 and the extra time is worth it to me. In case you didn’t know this effort of mine is not about making money – this is about getting one of the stories from my head out onto paper so that others can hopefully enjoy it. That’s the dream.



Sep 15

Author Facebook Site Is Up and Running

By donald | Facebook , The Art of Writing

Author Facebook Page


My author Facebook site is up and running. Why Facebook? Well, this WordPress blog is my main site but, what the hay, let’s do a FB site, too!  Check it out if you like.  Like the page, too!

I wasn’t too sure about including a Facebook page for my writing but some people live on Facebook and thought I should include as much social media as I can handle.  If you haven’t already done so, please click the Follow Me banner on the side of this blog – it will let you follow my Twitter account @donalddallan.

I love social media. It allows us to reach out and touch/influence so much in today’s world. There are concerns about privacy – and rightly so – be cautious in what you do out there!  The trolls are everywhere – not just under bridges.

So what’s the link?  Here:


Sep 09

Progress Report

By donald | The Art of Writing

I am getting through my first revision much faster than I expected it would take. And, surprisingly, it is actually fun. I thought I would be slicing and dicing but in reality I am adding content more than I am taking away. I also found a small plot problem so that works.

Duilleog (Volume One) looks like it will be around 100,000 words – or about 250 paperback pages. That seems reasonable for a first novel.  I have decided, today, to include an excerpt from the second volume in it at the end: As an incentive to buy the second one, don’t you know. All-in-all its positive progress!

What I wish is that a free editor-person would fall out the sky and say “I’ll professionally edited your book for freeeeeeee!”  That would be something!

Sep 07

So What Happens Next?

By donald | Duilleog Volume One

The fact that I have bothered to actually create a cover for my novel pretty much means that I am getting close to publishing the novel – but, that is a pretty relative statement – I’ve been writing it since October last year.  So almost one year of writing…and maybe three to four months more of effort based on my free time these days. To be honest though, the work has been written in bursts of activity and that is the best result of trying to balance real life with writing – it is hard. If I could just prioritise to writing all the time I would have no worries!  Anyway, I finished the first draft only about two weeks ago when I realised that I was actually well into writing the second novel. It was a weird kind of discovery. I couldn’t wait to finish my first draft and then I went and wrote right past it!  Long story but it can be summarised by saying I didn’t divide the novels up correctly. Too big for one – so I had to split the story into two.

But that is boring stuff. What I can tell you is that I have written over 300 pages in the first book. It is comprised of two parts for which the first part has been picked at by me many, many times. So the transition from the first draft to the second draft shouldn’t take much time. For this reason I hope to get the first novel up for sale on Amazon before Christmas 2014.

The second volume should be out about six months after that. I can tell you that I have about three more novels in my head for this series. Which surprises me.

Also on the back burner, is my first actual attempt at writing a novel. It’s sci-fi and I love the story and can’t wait to finish it.  I wrote myself into a corner and found a way out during my vacation in Canada. But the New Druids novels take precedence now.

After that comes my first urban fantasy novel. That book has been brewing in the back corners of my mind for several years. That will be a hard write.  Its not all flushed out in my head yet. Probably because I read so much urban fantasy these days and I am so much in awe of the tremendous talent out there.

Its late and time for bed.

Leave comments – be honest – keep watching this space!