Thursday, December 29, 2011

Revising and Editing your Manuscript

I probably spent more time reading and revising my manuscript than I had spent writing it. Until you actually go through this process, it is difficult to grasp just how many hours are involved.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend who read every chapter, over and over, along with me. This gave me an outside voice, and an opinion that helped me examine what I had written. I did not make every change she suggested, but her comments helped me make necessary adjustments, pointed out missing details, and so much more. (Sometimes there were details that I knew about the story, but had failed to share with my readers).

Using my Kindle (Amazon e-reader), I listened as it read my story back to me. Paying attention to the flow of the words and catching an occasional spelling mistake, I really appreciated this feature. When we read the story aloud, we can add missing words or skip over other mistakes without even realising we’re doing it. The Kindle proved to be an immense help.

Once these steps were covered, I shared my manuscript with a larger group of readers. I chose a group of readers, both male and female, that included every possible age group and genre. In writing a YA adventure, I knew that giving my manuscript to a Stephen King/Dean Koontz fan I was setting myself up for an interesting review. Imagine my surprise when she told me she had really liked it!

Taking my work one step further, I sent the manuscript to a professional for editing. Before she started in on all my hard work, she warned me that if she didn’t think the story was up to par she would not waste her time (or my money) on it. Which I thought was fair.

Holding my breath as I awaited the return of my precious package, I was thrilled to read the six-page letter that accompanied the manuscript. She liked it! She said she had thoroughly enjoyed it. After allowing myself a huge sigh of relief and one of my biggest smiles, I started on the revision of my manuscript once again.

One last time, I shared it with my reading group and awaited their comments.

Finally, I was ready to submit my manuscript. I could have continued to read and revise, but at one point you start changing words, only to change them back…a sure sign that it’s time to stop.

I’ll cover the submission stories in a later post.

For now, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The promotional steps to climb when publishing your book

Wouldn't it be nice if we could find Boxing Day sales on agents, publishers and marketing packages?

The truth is, promoting your book takes a lot of time and energy, unless you have the resources to pay someone to do it for you.

Yes, of course there are many websites that offer help in this domaine, (often for a price), but that still leaves you with the work. So what are the steps involved? Here are a few, and in no particular order.

-Let your friends and family know
-Use social media, facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.
-Create a book page on these sites and maybe an author page too. ( I am only on fb because the thought of managing more than one site (for now) still seems overwhelming. Do I really want to just "copy-paste" the same stuff everywhere?)
-Ask your friends on fb to share the link to your book page at least once (no one likes to be harassed)
-List a book giveaway
-Let your local newspaper know they have a new author living in the area
-Ask those who have read it to post a review...not as easy as it sounds ;o)
-Create a goodreads account and include an author page (you can list a giveaway here too)
-Make a book trailer (video) (Windows media has a good program, but unfortunately mine stopped working and I lost my video. Adobe pro is a little pricey but Roxio is reasonable and fun)
-Create a blog
-Link everything together, so your trailer, and fb page can be found on goodreads and the other way around
-Join local author groups, and ex. if you wrote a sci-fi novel, join a sci-fi group as well (these often have fees, though)
-Join book pages and such on social media sites
-Go to your local library, give a free book and ask about doing an author presentation
-Offer the same deal to your local, high-school library

-Most of all, enjoy the process and don't forget to breathe. Go at your own rate because it can quickl become overwhelming...and remember, you are NOT alone!

Happy New Year to one and all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marketing Your Book

It's Dec 22nd, and I still have lots of cooking to do before Christmas Eve, yet here I am, on my computer. As I have mentioned before, I thought writing the book was my job and contribution to the process. Although I decided to go with assisted publishing, for the simple reason that I could get my book out there faster, (a good 18 months faster) than traditional publishing, the marketing process landed in my lap as soon as the book was published. (I am told it would have been the same either way).

I was ecstatic to find my book offered in over 100 online bookstores, I would not have known where to begin or even how to do that on my own. I was offered all sorts of marketing options, and each one came with a price. That’s when I began to spend more and more time on internet, researching my marketing options. I created a facebook book page, offered a book giveaway, made a book trailer and now here I am, writing this blog.

I had no idea how to do any of these things before I sat down and tried. I still wonder what to do or say on my fb page, but the giveaway went well. After spending all week on the book trailer, the program crashed and refused to open. I spent another week learning to use a new program and remaking the trailer. I wasn’t able to manipulate the images in my slides as I had in the first video, nor could I access the slides to see what I had written on them. For now, I guess it’ll do. I am still learning and trying new things.

Although I graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature, and was guided through the process of preparing my manuscript, queries, agents and publisher submissions, none of these touched on book marketing.

Will my book ‘make it’? I don’t know. I hope so, because I believe it’s a worthy novel. My offer to you, as a travel companion, on your journey through this scary and overwhelming world of writing and publishing, is to share my experience with you. I would like to share my questions with you as well. I found that having as many sources as possible is a life saver.

Enjoy this Holiday Season with your friends and family. I’ll be back soon enough.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I am pleased to introduce you to my book, Amethyst Eyes. Although I have been writing stories since high school, this was the first time I sat down to write a book. While I was a student, at the Institute of Children's Literature, I decided to write this book alongside my ICL lessons.
Amethyst Eyes had been an idea I carried around for close to ten years before finally putting it to paper. I felt as though I was an observer, writing down the story as it unfolded before my eyes. There were times when I remembered thinking, "Oh, that's cool," as the scene played out before me.
Although this is primarily a YA novel, young and old alike will find this to be an enjoyable adventure.