Just posted Preface & Chapter 1 for Real Immortals on Facebook. http://on.fb.me/Qt7iY1 Take a look and tell me what you think? The book has gone through two pain staking long edits so far and we are not quite done yet. I hope to have it completed and ready for Amazon sometime in May.
I recently went through a rather painful copyedit for my first book “Real Immortals.” I was totally unprepared for the critique and to be quite honest not ready for anyone to tell me my novel needed work. I was extremely busy at work and allowed that to distract me from really putting the effort back into rewriting specified chapters that the editor felt needed work. Deep inside I just couldn’t admit to myself the novel needed this rewrite to make it a truly great work. I mulled around with the first chapter and started making the agreed-upon changes but my heart really wasn’t in it. Finally, after weeks of going through the motions, I buckled down and got the first chapter rewritten. After sharing with family and friends, I realized the novel is much better and that sometime you need a good outside source to give you the direction necessary. I have no redoubled my efforts and will be finished the second chapter this week. I am hoping for a better review from my copyeditor this week to let me know I’m on the right track.
I would love to hear your experiences about copyediting but more than that I would just like to say: “Don’t be afraid to take a chance and above all have an open mind.”
As most of you know my first book went out for copyedit a few months ago and when it came back many revisions were recommended. My copyeditor (who I would like to officially give a plug) Gary Smailes at www.bubblecow.net emailed me back to discuss his editing of my novel Real Immortals. He really like the story but felt my delivery and more importantly my view for giving information was somewhat overdone. I spent two years working on my first novel and took a lot of additional time to prepare the groundwork for it to be the beginning of a series of books. Having never written a book before I spent a lot of time on finite details. Gary pointed out to me that I had inadvertently dumped most of the backstory straight onto the reader leaving them no space to engage the story line.
So armed with several recommended changes I am busy rewriting several of the chapters to better engage my readers. My point of view was also shall we say “Neutral” meaning I did not have a character telling the story but a narrative neutral point of view. This did not work so well so now I’m busy reorganizing. Giving a character’s point of view allows me to deliver the backstory in a more engaging way and thus gets the reader more involved with the characters.
I would love to hear your stories on copyediting and how you managed to work through all the recommended changes. It’s not been easy for me to literally start over on my first book but I am determined to make it the very best.
This is a topic that many authors struggle with and one that I am currently experiencing. Six weeks ago, I sent my first novel “Real Immortals” off to the copy editor. Last week, I got a short email back from the editor telling me he was about three chapters into my 514 page book, and although he liked my story. In fact, he thinks I have the basis of a really good book (or series of books). He thinks my book needs some major restructuring and rewriting to lift it to the next level. As it stands my voice and writing style are good, but the technical problems really weaken the book.
He would have normally just given the book back with detailed steps on how to improve, but he thinks we can fix the problems if we work together. So we are now working out a schedule to get on Skype and go through what he thinks should be done. My son Trever has graciously offered to help me with this part. He has taken several college courses for writing and will be much better working with my editor.
Here is my delima…I’m very protective of my work and don’t want to change the essence of how my story was written. So my question to all of you is as follows: How far should a copy editor go and when do you say “No.” I really like my editor and he comes highly recommended. I would appreciate hearing from everyone concerning this very important topic. I have also invited my editor to participate with this poll. He is a pretty sharp cookie. Thanks and happy Writing!
Ok…I opened Pandora’s box and now we have no choice but to debate it. Free or Discounting seems to be somewhat of a prerequisite for a new author to get their book out into the market and build Reader Loyalty. So if we give our books away then what? It took me two years to write my first novel. I started on my second book literally the day after I was finished with the first one but it will probably be at least a year before it is complete. So how does a first time author get his novel out there and get New Readers to take a chance on it?
I personally have not finished a single free book I have downloaded. I picked through a few of them but let’s face it…I don’t have anything invested. So how do I build Reader Loyalty, get paid, and continue my write?
I would like to hear everyone’s opinion. But I would especially love to hear from those who have already lived through this situation. Thanks for reading this and happy writing.
What is a fair price for a good fantasy/fiction novel? Let’s face it…if the book sucks it won’t sell at any price. But what if you have a good book that holds your reader’s captive, and they can’t put it down until they finish it? What’s a fair price?
I’m not talking about a 75-150 page short story but a full blown 500+ page novel with all the plot trimmings and left wide open for a good sequel. Well known authors have a built in retention price and generally their e-book debuts at $9.99 or much higher. But what about that first-time author who really has a great book. What would you pay to read it? Is the magic number under $10.00 (that’s my limit), $6.99, $4.99, $2.99, $1.99 or even free?
Free…that opens up a whole new blog to think about and discuss. There are a lot of books out there for free, and they hope to be read and create reader loyalty for the next book. To be honest I haven’f finished a single free book. I believe there are thousands of readers out there that look for those free books, and they end up deleting them when their Kindle gets full. I would love to hear your opinion on what is a fair price. Thanks and happy reading!
Thanks everyone for the great posts! I have much to think about before pricing my novel. Please feel free to have your friends comment on this blog as well. Happy writing, John
Amelia was visibly shaking as she looked into the eyes of her son for the first time since leaving him on the doorstep of sanctuary Metigo as a baby. So many thoughts were running through her mind; she was having trouble focusing on just what to say to him. What could she possibly say to her son that would erase the pain of all those lost years? Would Stephen even want to know his real mother after being forced to live without her his entire life? The thought of being rejected by her only son was weighing heavily on her mind and being unable to cope with the situation Amelia began to cry. Tears started rolling down her cheeks, and she was having difficulty facing him. The shame of her decision to leave him twenty years earlier now tore at the strings of her heart. The hurt was so deep it caused her to falter and turn away.
It would have been easy for a lesser person to have felt abandoned, bitter and extremely angry at a woman who left him practically at birth. Stephen had felt those same feelings many times while he was growing up. Leah helped him keep things in prospective because of how she’d lost her parents. Then things started becoming clearer after he met Rashad Bembee and learned firsthand about his mother. Stephen’s feelings had done a complete 180-degree change in the last few days, and he was more than ready to meet his mother. When Amelia started crying and looked away that was all it took to restore his once broken heart. He immediately dropped his shield and placed the cell door against the wall. With one simple expression Stephen would start the healing process for not only himself but Amelia as well. He reached his hand out to her and spoke a single word.
…Amelia almost stopped breathing when she heard the word “Mother” coming from behind her. Her knees were shaking so badly Vetis was supporting nearly all of her weight. She turned back to face him again with tears streaming down her face. When she saw his hand extended it gave her strength. She reached out and took it, and immediately her legs stopped trembling. Stephen slowly pulled her to him and wrapped his arms gently around her. She melted into his embrace and held on tight finally realizing that this wasn’t a dream. Amelia had been reunited with her son, and he was now holding her in his arms.
Following along with my earlier blog about getting a book published. Let me give you all my thinking concerning book & mortar publishers vs self-publishing options. I spent months researching many different options and after spending hours pouring through the information I decided to self-publish. Book & mortar publishers (if you can get one to take your book) want complete and utter control over your work. They call all the shots, and the author takes what is given to them. If the publisher wants a complete rewrite or wants to add a co-author you are at their mercy. It can take years to get your book published and then if it doesn’t sell within a few weeks they pull it without notice.
Just to get the book proposal in proper shape takes a lot of time and effort. Then you must submit…submit…submit and hope one of the publishers will at least take a look at your book. I received some really positive feedback from Real Immortals, and with some work could have probably gotten a publishing opportunity. Let’s face it…if the book is no good it won’t sell no matter how you market or publish it. Interested readers will take a quick look, and then your book will fade into the darkness. I prefer to market and distribute my books myself through Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords. I have the control and instead of waiting forever to have a Book & Mortar publisher finally print my work, I can build my reader following. For me, it was an easy decision, and I feel very strongly that e-book sales will far outpace the old-fashioned publishers. They are dinosaurs on their way to extinction.
There are a couple of upsides that must be noted about a conventional publisher. #1 when it comes to paperback and hardback sales, they can really move the book. #2 movie deals and New York Times Best Sellers still take the path of book stores, Target, Walmart, etc. I think e-books are not far behind but in those two areas, conventional publishers are still holding some cards. But a first time author’s cut on a book is practically nothing compared to some good returns if you self publish.
Let me know what you think.
I’ve spent several months and many reading assignments looking for the best distribution for my book. There are several good DIY publishers out there and long as you stay with the top 8 or so I think you will be fine. Createspace, Lulu, Outskirts, are just a few and I don’t endorse any particular one. For me it was about getting paperback coverage and maximizing coverage on the growing ebook market. For paperback distribution I chose Createspace because of their pricing structure and shipping costs. Feedback for their services was strong and Customer Service very good. Very similar for Lulu and they were rated very strong as well. Neither does hardback covers so keep that in mind. Createspace was also an obvious choice because of their Kindle connection. Amazon is the 600-lb gorilla when it comes to ebook so that is an absolute must. You can get this accomplished through other means but Createspace was the easiest to administer.
I chose smashwords for all the other ebook distribution. They handle everyone else and have a nice system to get your book in the right formats. They also have decent pricing so you can actually make a little money on your ebook. Again there are several companies out there at all go a good job and I’m not endorsing any one company over another. These are my personal choices.
I would love to hear from other authors out there who have done similar. Thanks, and Happy Self-Publishing!
After researching for weeks and looking at Createspace, Lulu, and several other self publishing sites I opted to get a more professional cover done. I came across a book titled “Self Publishing 101″ by Shelley heitz http://amzn.to/Htt1ss. There was a short listing there for custom covers and I saw 99designs. After going to the site several times and looking at all the covers and art work I went ahead and started a contest for my cover. You can view it at http://bit.ly/IEIHIM. There is a period where artists entered there work and then I picked three for the final postings. I then selected Paganas who was fantastic and worked with me to make several changes and uploaded the final artwork.