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Posts Tagged ‘big-box publishers’

hands on laptop…my road to self-publication that is.

Riverhaven Books forwarded an analysis of my story by one of their editors.

First the good news:

The author has a well-conceived mystery. There are very good twists and turns, especially at the end. The writing is straight-forward and follows a logical structure. There will be little required in terms of correcting punctuation or grammar.

And now the not-as-good news:

However, I think there is developmental work to be done. I would recommend that the author work on character development, backstory, subtlety in dialogue, and that she check with law enforcement professionals on some of the legal practices described, as some don’t ring true.

I can either try to develop these improvements on my own, or hire this same editor to work with me. Her 10-hour contract costs $30 per hour…sounds like a good investment to me!

I’ll keep you posted as we move along!

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ah-ha momentFor the past few years, I’ve listened to well-meaning comments from two writing groups, manuscript evaluators and uninterested agents. After a particularly brutal critique session this past weekend, my brain finally kicked and I experienced an “ah-ha moment”.

I had lost my title character.

A comment made several months ago at a mystery writers conference to “start with the body” sent me off on a major rewrite to move my chapter thirteen to page one. This forced me to re-introduce my potential suspects after the body dropped. What I sacrificed was providing my future readers with a sense of my characters as they responded to each other. Without real-time dialogue, the victim morphed into dreaded and story-slowing back story.

And so, last Saturday, as I drove home with my ego bruised and my head spinning, it occurred to me that all along I’ve been categorizing my story in the wrong genre. Since the first word was put to the page…or more accurately, onto the screen… I’ve considered it a mystery, but it doesn’t start out that way. It’s more accurately defined as perhaps ‘women’s fiction” that becomes a mystery with a dash of romance along the way. I’ve just found a blog called “Women Fiction Writers” and subscribed.

I’m no longer writing for some unknown agent or publisher with an unknown laundry list of what sort of story they are seeking at the moment. I am writing for myself. The story that has been in my head since the beginning has resurfaced and set me free. Will I self-publish? Most likely.

Are my instincts right? Who cares! All I know is that I’m reinvigorated about bringing my original concept to life on the page!

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Yesterday, I attended an all day seminar in Hyannis, MA, sponsored by the Cape Cod Writers Center. The morning presenters shared their knowledge and experience with preparing printed books or manuscripts for e-book publication. It’s much more involved than I would have ever thought. But first thing this morning, I reformatted my entire novel in WORD!

The afternoon speaker from Grub Street spoke about marketing and self-publishing. She sees the big-box publishers as unfair to authors and quickly becoming dinosaurs. There are many relatively-new services out there for the express purpose of helping authors prepare their manuscripts for either or both e-publishing and self-publishing. The expense is not as big as you would think and is becoming more attractive for authors all the time. The payback when your book sells is a bigger piece of the pie than you’d ever receive from a main-stream publisher.

Given my recent disappointment with an agent search, I find I’m leaning more and more toward self-publishing, with the sister offer of an e-book.The best words of advice? Read any contracts carefully and don’t box yourself in with only one distributor!

And so, I now need to master the art of marketing through the social networks!

 

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