Monthly Archives: July 2014

Deadlines

For a couple months I was saying I wanted to have my book published by the end of August. For the past couple weeks I’ve been saying I want to have my book published by this fall.
Now? I have no clue when I will publish my book!

I am self-publishing, and since this is my first book I am taking this experience as a trial-run. The only deadlines I have I have inflicted upon myself, although it kind of sucks that they keep changing. Part of the problem was I was not expecting the edits to take as long as they are. I should have taken that into account. I also was not expecting to plan on hiring another editor. I was hoping I would be in the clear after hiring one editor, but my love of run-on sentences and other not-as-little-as-one-might-hope grammar things makes a copy editor a good investment. I want this book to look professional. I’m not going to give self-publishing a bad name!

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that deadlines are tricky. I do want to have my book published by the fall (late September) but it’s hard to say if that is going to happen. It is also frustrating to not have someone holding a concrete deadline over my head. I want to say when my book will be published and ready for reading but I honestly don’t know. I am planning on having the edits applied to the book by the end of next week and hopefully by then I will have heard back from the copy-editor I contacted. Then, well, who knows how long it will be!

Does anyone else have deadline issues? I can’t be the only one! 🙂

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Almost Heartbreak

As I chew through my edited MS I am faced page after page with the knowledge that this person wants me to eliminate words/paragraphs/chapters from my story. I crafted every word in this story, it is as close to my baby as paper and ink can get…then why don’t I feel so bad?

Part of me wants to be that defensive author who defends each aspect of my story, but in reality a cut here or a tweak there can really elevate the story. It is hard to admit that an original MS is not perfect. Parts of my book I spent a lot of time crafting when in reality they are not doing much for the story. While it’s sad to say goodbye to some scenes that are irrelevant to the plot or characters that only show up twice, it is nice to get a perspective that reins in on what the story needs.

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Time to tear up the story!

Photo on 7-20-14 at 1.42 PM #2

Got my MS back!  Look at how much work I get to do!!!

 

 

 

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Edits Update!

I received a letter from my editor about my MS in general. She’s sending me a paper copy with all of her extensive edits but for now she emailed me a basic write-up of what she noticed. I went into reading this with an open mind, and while I occasionally gave myself a little kick in the leg, I agreed with the overall points she made.

It looks like the most work I need to put into the book is in moving the plot. I was reading a lot of Tolkien as I wrote The Healing Pool, and some of the slow-paced moments from his influence worked into my book. While I personally like taking time middle-schoolers are less patient. They are my future audience. Their opinions matter more than anyone!

I will need to make many cuts in the book in addition to clarifying all of the characters and their locations. This is do-able but my one sadness is that I think it will take more time that I was planning on. I want this book to be good, and after reading the editor’s notes I know I’ll need to be extra vigilant and picky to make this work. I’m also a little upset that it looks like I really need to hire a line-editor. Apparently I have an affinity for run-on sentences. Oh well, maybe I’ll ask for a line-editor for my birthday…

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Rejection is not all bad

Rejection letters are hard to receive but they are not the worst things ever. Rejection letters are typically professional and vague but not insulting. There’s usually an apology for the cookie-cutter rejection letters for being non-specific, but no matter what there is usually a bit of encouragement to keep writing and to keep looking for the right person to represent the book.

 
I received a rejection letter last night from an editor I forgot about completely! S/he did not choose to represent me, but this rejection was the most encouraging letter I have received thus far. There are so many variables when it comes to commercial publishing and this agent was simply being honest. I respect that.

 
I hope that you have received good rejection letters. They are learning experiences, not slaps on the wrist. They are not insulting (even if they are disappointing) and they should be taken with a grain of salt. We all have books we hate and books we love, it is not out fault that a few agents don’t like our MS. That is normal and expected. There are only so many agents while there are millions of readers. Agents cannot speak for everyone, they are just honest about the market and their own opinions.

(This is the actual rejection letter!)
Dear Linnea,

Thank you for your query, which I enjoyed reading because I thought you wrote well.

I have to commend you for a strong first chapter and your choice of characters. Your excerpt was action-packed and it definitely kept me reading on and on.

However, I will have to say no in this instance because I didn’t think the plot was compelling enough in today’s competitive market.

Remember that this is only one opinion and your work may be just what another agency is looking for. I wish you success in your future publishing efforts.

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Aaaaaaand we’re off!

I have officially sent my first MS to my editor! I found a free-lance editor online who focuses on content editing and I am very excited to hear what she has to say. My editor has published YA fantasy books so she is familiar with the genre for my book “The Healing Pool.” This is my first time working with an editor so I am interested to see how the editing process goes for my first book. I don’t know how much more I will be communicating with my editor or how specific her edits are going to be. I get my MS back the middle of this month!

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