Tag Archives: Publishing
When I set out to write my first novel, I admit I was a bit apprehensive. Being used to pinning only short stories, you understand my hesitancy. Once I began and discovered the difference between the two was not as astronomical as I had originally feared, the process smoothed considerably.
After the book was written, it was edited with the help of numerous people more adept in the ways of blah, blah, blah, yackity schmackity grammar type things.
Having a completed manuscript in my hands, I began the search for a publisher (grueling search ensues), located a small press, and they agreed to publish my work.
Fast forward a year, I am holding a finished novel in my hands. It’s got all the great stuff: title, cover art, back matter, teaser, acknowledgements, dedication page, and lots and lots of words that I personally wrote.
I stare at the novel cover. With 800 new titles released each day according to one statistical estimate and 4500 according to another source, how do I get my book in front of the many eyeballs that I need to read it? Looking at it through my eyes that’s a lot of books released every day.
The answer . . . MARKET! MARKET! MARKET! When you think you’ve done enough, that’s when you know you’re just getting started!
Once I completed and published my first novel, Rising Tide, I decided the ending left a question the reader could use their imagination to determine. This would leave an air of mystique surrounding the book’s conclusion and therefore, not be a good candidate for a sequel.
After being asked if there would be a follow-up to Rising Tide, I was hit with “A light bulb moment.” It took four months to complete the rough draft of book two titled, Eden’s Wake. Without a break, I began the first re-write. It went fairly well, but I knew I needed some time away from the book. I obeyed my “time away” inclination and turned to work on other projects. Needless to say, this new path didn’t last long and I found myself working on Eden’s Wake’s third re-write. After completing this stage of what was becoming the abyss known as Eden’s Wake, I began to pen the third book in the series, Deadly Reign. The new manuscript went surprisingly well and I found myself pleased with the first draft.
From time to time I would delve into my dark side for a good dose of self-abuse and pull out Eden’s Wake for yet another re-write. During this time of back and forth I completed Deadly Reign, including re-writes. I was satisfied the third manuscript in the series was ready for submission; however, (and this is important) when you are writing a series, the books are normally numbered 1,2,3 and so on; therefore, you can see my conundrum.
After another re-write or two with my parasitic twin, Eden’s Wake, I began a stand-alone science fiction manuscript titled, Terminal Core. As I wrote this new offering, I continued to work on Eden’s Wake. I finally made a decision that surprised even me. Being too hardheaded to trash the troublesome manuscript and having invested years, I made major changes. My new mantra was, gut, re-write, gut, re-write. This worked and seven years after Eden’s Wake’s conception, it was published, April 27, 2015 and I was finally satisfied.
I’m Gonna Write Me One of Them Thar Books. Can’t Be but So Hard, a Word Here, a Word Thar a Period or Two and You Got It…I Reckon
I had a notion in my mind
It couldn’t be a waste of time
A book I would attempt to pen
Publish, get rich, repeat again
I tap, tap, tapped on my computer machine
My first manuscript was about to be seen
By some lucky agent I would certainly find
How hard could it be they’re a dozen a dime
I wrote and rewrote til my draft was perfected
Sure there’s no chance that it was rejected
I concocted a query, a letter unequaled
Correspondence so grand it deserved its own sequel
I awaited response knowing it’d take a while
Though confident my quest would end with a smile
The agent responded in most record time
The answer received was nowhere in line
With my expectations they could not be right
How could anyone reject a story so bright?
A novel so brilliant it outshone the sun
The nerve of this agent to say it was done
I tried once again this time I sent two
Two agents at once, surely one’d see it through
Then replies filtered back, not all at one time
I could not grasp when I saw none sublime
How could they turn superior work down?
Couldn’t they see the best seller they’d found
It doesn’t matter to me the funds they won’t glean
By shunning the best work that I’ve ever seen
I made up my mind to play hard and fast
I’d send multiple queries as long as they’d last
I thought I may run out of agents that way
But I found they make more of them every day
I queried and queried and queried for years
Then verified one thing in common I’d feared
The agency letters all started with charm
By the end they gave way to a sense of alarm
Would I ever find a place for my work?
Or my constant search drive me berserk
At last I found a fantastic small press
That enjoyed my writing and banished my stress
Alas I have a place to call home
A place I feel I shan’t be alone
The next phase I hear will be but a breeze
It’s marketing something I’ll do with great ease
I’m still pushing forward not with great ease
I found out the hard way, marketing’s no breeze
If someone could help me I’m feeling inept
A marketing gang’s bout to beat me to death
The Theory of Relative Normality Must not be Confused with the Normality Relative Theory or the Other One from that Einstein Guy
I find when I write, there are times the way I phrase a sentence seems to be correct, then turns out unacceptable when read a second time.
For example: I’d eat lobster every day if I could afford to.
The proper way: If I could afford lobster, I’d eat it every day.
I catch a lot of these mistakes when doing edits and rewrites. I call it, “backward dyslexia in reverse.”
In order to understand this phenomenon, we must first realize that everyone is different. At the same time, we must not forget the similarities we find in each another. These situations are based on normality and since what we are referring to is normal, it becomes relative. Since relative can mean anything from tooth picks to steamships, we find ourselves confused, disoriented and just plain out of sorts.
So watch those sentence structures and you’ll be that much closer to a published author…relatively speaking.
I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block…
Imagine acquiring a literary agent. This agent quickly finds a publisher for your first book. You’re given deadlines to complete various parts of your manuscript. Things are going fine until your well-oiled machine slams into a concrete wall. Sound familiar?
Oh no! You’ve run into that immovable force known as writer’s block. This will send the average author screaming toward the hills.
Are you picking up what I am carefully placing down for you…?…Okay, good, let us continue.
What once was on schedule has now begun to slip behind. No big worries so far, but pandemonium may lie in the future if this problem is not corrected…sound familiar yet?
Guess what kids? We’re now in the future which has been carefully renamed the present. Your publisher with much foreboding is insisting you complete the remaining pieces of your manuscript. You assure said publisher the remaining chapters are complete and will be sent next week after your final edits.
Your next move is to write the remaining few chapters.
Next week has come and gone and your publisher is threatening to cancel your contract. Your agent is also threatening cancellation and possible law suites to follow. Now, I ask again, does this sound familiar? If it does, you’re in a world of trouble and should have paid more attention to your deadlines.
As for me, I’ve been unable to coerce an agent so far. I have come close, but we know that close and three dollars will get you a cup of coffee. Until that day I’ll rely on small presses; they’re wonderful to work with.
If you read my blog last week and the week before, you’ll know I’ve been hashing out a novel back and forth with my editor trying to get it to the printer.
As I have mentioned, I thought we were done and the last copy I sent the publisher would be it. Now, one more thing I said, tongue in cheek, was having to read the manuscript another time.
Another thought that comes to mind (one also brought forth in my last blog) is I’ve read the book probably thirty times, including last week, the week before and probably the week before that.
Well, wonder of wonders, I received an email from my publisher saying the manuscript has been sent to the printer and now we have a proof.
Guess what? I get to read the proof (just another name for a finished manuscript), one more time.
Once I have completed this task (as long as nothing goes awry), we will actually go to print.
I cautiously say, “Hallelujah! I’m done and ready for the next!”
I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with this never-ending story but I felt it was something I needed to scrap off my chest…you know, cathartic.
Of course, this is determined by what the proof says.
Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
Until next week, happy trails and whip them cantankerous manuscripts into shape.
Just Because you Think You’re Right, Doesn’t Mean you are…Then Again, it Doesn’t Mean you Aren’t, Just That you Have Some Real Problems, Man
If you read my blog last week, I was firmly in the midst of beating an unruly manuscript into submission. I was mistakenly lulled into believing that this was a factual thought on my part.
Being an optimist, I am frequently pulled into situations that leave me believing that things are going to be alright. Boy, when am I going to learn?
Now as far as being an optimist goes, I think that’s something I’ll hold on to. Thinking everything is going to be alright has its merits and disappointments.
Case in point: Manuscripts you have tricked yourself into believing you have conquered; as if there were such a thing.
My editor and I had crossed wires and we were both speeding the opposite direction down different highways. Things became more misconstrued as we continued to travel.
Finally, we slammed on brakes realizing our conundrum. We jumped on board the same vehicle and I can now tentatively say, we’re on the same page.
This book, just like last week, is my latest offering, “Terminal Core,” which is headed to the printer even as we speak.
I feel as though I have read this book in its many forms 30 times or more. In fact, I just completed the novel last week, the week before and probably the week before that.
The one shining star in the middle of this bedlam is after the proof comes from the printer, I get to read it one more time.
As crazy as this seems, it’s all a part of the process known as…ah…well…I’m not sure whatcha call spending months to pen a novel, months to rewrite and edit said novel, send to a publisher, then spend large amounts of time with an editor thrashing out the final details.
I guess the best way to describe it would be blocks of fun, with intermittent periods of horror. Remember, the underpinning and solid foundation of success (at least in my case) leads me to rely on prayer.
Give it a try sometime if you take a mind to; it just may surprise you.
Don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet, it’s really not as bad as I described. Actually, it’s a lot of fun and I feel fortunate God gave me this task to contend with each day.
Now, where’d I leave that fountain pen?
In “Terminal Core” I’ve taken a break from the “Rising Tide” series and produced a stand alone sci-fi adventure. It was a pleasure and a real bear to write, but so rewarding to watch the pieces fall into place with the painstaking work of my editor and publisher Soul Fire Press. I will re-post as soon as the release date becomes available.
Aon, a solid core planet made from the priceless and most dense element in the galaxy (caladium) is under silent attack. Plans are made by off-worlders to dissolve the unbreakable core using crude oil obtained from 19th century earth. Once the oil is refined the byproduct, gasoline will soften the caladium, allowing it to be collected. It is soon discovered the core is made from living beings created from caladium itself. The off-worlders employ a band of corrupt inhabitant’s to carry on this work. They find themselves in a constant struggle with a small coalition of Aonians bent on saving their home world. Both factions clash with the indestructible core creatures. With horrendous beast’s one step behind and deadly pitfalls ahead, the coalition struggle to finish their journey insuring their races survival.
My Kingdom For a Marketer. My Kingdom For a Marketer. Oh, Loathe The Nasty Bugger, My Kingdom For a Marketer.
I have written numerous short stories, a weekly blog and am in the latter stages of publishing my third novel. Even with this small amount of success, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the writing process.
If I were to break the process down as I understand it (taking the word understand with a grain of salt) then happy is the day I actually begin a new book. This sense of elation stays with me each morning as I arise just chomping at the bit to get started.
Once the book is complete, I move to what I call a continuity edit. That’s where I make sure the first half of the book jives with the second half of the book. For instance, if Hank marries Ramona and has a boy named Lucius in Chapter Three, then Hank dies in Chapter Fourteen, we can’t have Hank and Ramona returning from vacation with a daughter, Lucy, in Chapter Thirty Two. I realize the last sentence was three times longer than it should have been; however, you must remember this is my blog and I do what I want to do. Anyway, you get the jest of the continuity edit (which if I haven’t mentioned, I don’t particularly care for).
Next comes one of my lesser favorite parts of writing, even more so than the continuity edit, and that’s the line by line edit. I believe I would rather have someone set my head on fire then edit a book. Nuff said.
Then comes my absolute nemesis. The period of my life where I turn from Dr. Jekyll into the hideous Mr. Hyde and this little labor of love we refer to as “marketing” begins. With the mere mention of that accursed word (marketing) I feel my blood pressure rising and a wretched anger building from the bowels of my soul.
So with that, I shall drop an adequate number of Valium and make for my happy place.
So long until next week when we will explore…I ain’t figured it out yet, but I’ll throw something together, hopefully for your enjoyment.
The Valium is starting to kick in, so I’m off to my happ……