Duilleog is back with the editor. Nikki Rae over at Metamorphosis Editing Services did an excellent job at cleaning up the typos, syntax and formatting errors and helped me identify some really serious point of view issues I had failed to recognise. I’m such a noob. It only goes to show that writing takes practice and without it you suffer.
If I am lucky I will have the second look-over completed in a couple of weeks, made the last corrections, and then I will be able to publish for the Kindle. This will be followed by the Nook, Smashwords and Kobo versions. eBooks are extremely easy to create and having a program like Scrivener makes it more so.
For those wanting an actual paperback of the story, I’m sorry, but you will need to wait a little bit as I sort out the formatting. When you self-publish the author has to do all the work for formatting the book and creating the cover. You could pay for someone to do that for you but that is just more money. And, anyway, I consider my designing skills to be “not too bad” and I am proud of my designed covers. Formatting for Amazon CreateSpace is a simple process but it takes time, attention to all the little details, and it is all online and you won’t really know if you got it right until you get your hands on the author copy to verify the product before letting it go to print. All this takes time, time, and more time (and the delays due to snail mail). So maybe mid-July for the paperback version?
The final revision is in the works! My editor returned my manuscript and I am digging in. The revision is not too bad. Less work than I thought except for Part Two. That section has a point of view flaw that I need to fix and it will be a timely one. No worries though. That is what revisions are all about: making sure the story is ready for print.
Best case scenario is looking at perhaps a month of work. Then I need to decide if I return the manuscript to the editor for a last ‘once over’.
Anyway, I have a move back to Canada to plan. School work to focus on. A new job to consider in Ottawa. Many things on my plate. So say we all.
So I have missed my own assigned deadline for my first novel. It has sat untouched for a few months now. I have lots of excuses though. I wrote a cookbook and had it printed. That’s one excuse. I started a Distance Learning staff course in September and that may have been the biggest mistake.
I’ll complete the course – I have no choice – but it was a mistake because it thrust me firmly back in military writing AND it eats up just about all my spare time. More accurately it eats into the spare time I had allotted to writing. And to be more honest, the course demands a lot of writing and after a while you get tired of writing.
I haven’t forgotten my book. It won’t let me forget. It whispers to me all the time. Spooky stuff. My goal is to get it to my editor BEFORE I turn fifty.
The good news. There has to be some, correct? The good news is that I am more ‘sure’ that the first novel is correct in its present format. It is in two parts, you see. The first part is all lovely fun stuff with a great character. The second part is really gloomy stuff but critical stuff. I was thinking of merging the two and I have really thought long and hard about that. I have decided not to. I am happy with the way it is. So there nagging brain voice. Shut up already!
More good news. I have solved a problem in my other novel. My sci-fi one. I just need oodles of time to write it now.
Lastly, I have the most amazing gem of a new idea for a story in my head. It makes me giddy just thinking about it. I mean, it really excites me and I need that to write it. Its urban fantasy and life after death and other stuff and it just kind of hit me one night as I was trying to go to sleep. Why is it that all my great ideas happen when I am trying to go to sleep? And why is it that I solve my writing problem whilst I am running? No idea.
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 http://www.the-efa.org/.
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.