Publishing update


Have you noticed how incredibly productive a deadline can make you?  In the past month I have reorganized the utility room, spent several hours in the band shed loft restacking boxes, revamped the weekly/daily cleaning checklist, filed the B&O taxes for Matt’s business, added over 400 books to my Goodreads account, started looking for a part-time telecommuting job, cleaned the chicken coop twice (that’s huge, yo), and once I even backed up the hard drive.But, of course, none of that had anything to do with writing. And I mentioned publishing in the 2014 holiday card letter, which makes it binding. Several dozen people are going to be hounding me about this.  It’s in my best interests to light a fire under my own ass.

So this week I wrote “ELLIPSIS” in big letters on Thursday’s square on the calendar, and outside of eating and doing a load of laundry all I did was work on Ellipsis.  I finished marking up the last two chapters on the print copy and then got all those corrections into the computer.  I am now ready for the next step: beta reading.

A beta reader is another set of eyes to look over your work and find errors, omissions, typos, inconsistencies, and to give an evaluation.  Most betas are avid readers and may also be amateur or professional writers, but because they usually work for free (or for a beta reading swap) they are rarely professional editors.  Since I can’t afford an editor I’m going to use at least one beta reader.  I have never used one before nor have I beta read for anyone else but I am going to offer a swap. Today I’ll be throwing my hat into that ring.

After I’ve had a beta (or maybe two) look over the manuscript it’s time for the nitty gritty part of the publishing: layout, cover design, that sort of thing.

Holy crap, this is really happening!

— Amanda


Publishing update

Things are moving along nicely, I think. Major revisions are complete and yesterday I picked up this bad boy from the printer formerly known as Kinko’s:

Click to zoooooooom.

I did a little dance of triumph when I got home even though no one but Matt will be reading this copy. I’m not going to apologize for my dramatic all-caps warning; if I can’t make this process fun it won’t happen. Also, I’m not going to apologize for my dancing: it’s gotten a lot better since I started studying belly dance. Dude, who wouldn’t be excited to hold their manuscript in their hands — even if they printed it her/himself?

After Matt finally reads this (and no, he still hasn’t read a word of it though this was originally my 2013 NaNoWriMo project) I will shoot off electronic copies to other indie authors so that we can exchange critiques and reviews. Exciting!

I have a mock-up of the cover done and I managed to accomplish all the tweaking and hacking I wanted to do to the website (which is not open yet because I don’t have an official cover or a release date). But for every item I check off my “to do and to research” list I add at least five more. The list is insanely long now and I haven’t the first clue how to put it all in order. No matter. I blunder happily along.

— Amanda

A little update

To assure you that I am not dead.

I am still working hard on the self-publishing thing.  I have chosen a POD (print-on-demand) company and started an account with them.  I have decided on the type of ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and distribution package I want, as well as the paper types and trim size of the physical book (there will be an ebook, too, since self-published ebooks tend to outsell hardcopies).  I have started to investigate cover art and I have verified how to pay my state and federal taxes when I become, essentially, a self-employed small business owner (like Matt).

As exciting as all that is (and I’m in a friggin’ tizzy over it!) the book is going nowhere until the revisions are finished.  Last week I completed the first major revision, which altered the manner in which I had formatted dialogue, removed a silly running-gag sort of a device that supported my original (silly) title, and toned down some of the racier bits.  Now I see that I need to go over it again and cut or redistribute a buttload of exposition.  (I hate gobs of exposition.)  My revisions are still pretty heavy at this point — I’m still working with a cleaver rather than a scalpel — but it’s coming along nicely.  I haven’t written the great American novel, but it’s a nice book — I like to read it and I hope other people will, too.

Then I need to decide whether or not I need a professional editor.  (Ugh)  Ideally, yes, but since editors are a costly venture and this is pretty experimental I may pass.  We’ll see.  All the initial fees (most of which I hope to bypass by doing my own cover art, interior design, and marketing) are coming out of my eBay sales to keep this on a hobby level.  Let’s hope those My Little Ponies sell, because when the book finally comes out I want to throw a pizza/beer/bonfire party!

— Amanda


The decision has been made.  I am going to publish.

The one novel (out of the three I am currently working on) which has been finished is currently undergoing a heavy revision (to purge a forced-in theme that allowed me to give the book a gimmicky title, which has been changed) and when that it done I am going to sign up with CreateSpace and publish my first novel.

I imagine that this will be a lengthy process (if for no other reason that I work very slowly) but I will keep you all informed of the book’s progress.

— Amanda

P.S.  I suspect that having a “real” book with an ISBN and everything — even if I don’t sell a single copy — if going to make me insufferable.  You have been forewarned.