I have not one but TWO endorsements for The Healing Pool! I am so excited I could jump out of my skin!
I was not thinking about endorsements at all until another author I was talking to asked if I had asked around for them. As a young, first time, self-publishing author I have very few contacts. I made a friend on the SCBWI website who writes YA fiction and children’s books. I asked him first and he was happy to help! I might be endorsing his next book as well which is pretty great.
I’ve noticed that endorsements are social creatures. It is rare to see one endorsement unless it’s from something big like NY Times that no one else can top. I needed to find more people. I decided instead of waiting for connections to come to me to go head-first into the world of networking. I’ve made everything about this book work so far. Now it is time to make connections! I found a few authors from the SCBWI website I recognized with books in the same vein as The Healing Pool. I emailed a couple of them and I just got an email from a woman who wants to endorse me as well!
Networking is such an important thing. As a babysitter I have learned from experience that word of mouth is the most powerful method of communication. I have gotten many jobs and met many families from recommendations, and I hope that my book experiences similar success. I need to step out of my comfort zone and give the book a push forward, but hopefully my efforts now will pay off in the future.
Yesterday I finished round two of my editing while listening to the LOTR soundtrack. It was an epic experience!
At this point I have gone through the edits from my content editor twice. All of the changes she suggested I have reviewed and most of them have been applied. The ending of the book is completely different! My editor pointed out that I spent too much time saying good-bye to all the characters (kinda like the ending of Return of the King) so I had to cut 7 chapters while still keeping my favorite moments. I was worried that the ending was not going to come together but I made it work. Let’s just say that Zipha still got her moment. I’ll let you read the book to find out what I mean!
Today I accomplished all sorts of things. I am hiring a copy editor to be picky about my grammar, punctuation, etc. I sent them their downpayment and a signed contract and the MS this afternoon! I also paid my cover artist and sent her back her questionnaire. At this point I am on track to actually be published! The goal is to be published by the end of October. Maybe the book will come out on my birthday! (October 8, you all better remember that!)
My only real stressor at this point is the little blurb for the back of the book. It’s so difficult to describe a whole novel in 250 words or less, especially when its your own writing!
So I have have gotten through the first round of edits. I read through my editor’s feedback on my printed MS and now all I need to do is apply the changes she and I made to the word doc.
It is the most agonizing process! I spent an hour today making changes and getting into the writing. I felt I made a good dent in my MS. I was adding action and detail and cutting sections and feeling good! Turns out I got through 5 pages in that hour.
It’s frustrating how slow the process is, but I do feel that certain areas are improving. The section I spent an hour on today was a crucial section in the plot. I changed a major plot point so I had to eliminate pages of unnecessary text. The remaining sections had actions that happened too quickly and needed better pacing. I think that this section now reads better and is more dramatic and suspenseful!
While I am enjoying getting into this book again, I can’t help but feel annoyed that this editing step is not going very quickly. I thought since I wrote in most of the changes in the hardcopy MS this step would just fly by. Obviously that is not true. The timeline for the book has changed so many times. The editing process alone has taken twice as long as I wanted. At least in the future I will know what to expect. The second book will feel much easier…I hope!
I recently found out that my cover artist is unable to finish the project. I’m really bummed out, but the circumstances were understandable.
On the flip side I think I have found an artist. She designs and formats book covers professionally. She has pre-made covers for sale as well as the opportunity for custom covers. I really like her pre-made covers, but they do not fit the tone of my book. I will go for the custom cover. It’s more expensive, but it will be nice that it was made especially for my book. She can also design bookmarks and banners for minimal cost.
I will have to wait about a month for the cover to be complete, but at least I have enough work to do with the MS to keep me busy!