Update from the Writing House

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

This week brought me back into working on the manuscript for The Bully’s Way, the second book in The Way Series. I figured if I have time to read another book for a review, then I should reading and working on my own.

I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) in November of 2015. It is a world wide online writing project where you commit to write 50,000 in 30 days. The goal is to have completed a manuscript for a novel by the end of the month. If you make the 50,000 word goal, you do what they call “win”. My “win” was I created The Bully’s Way.

So, last week I started my first read through of the manuscript since I originally wrote it. I learned a lot since then about editing and how my own writing quirks. I saw many of those quirks in this rough draft, and made the appropriate changes. With all that I have learned so far, I’ll be able to make this manuscript a cleaner read for my editor than the first one was. My increased knowledge about the editing process will not replace my editor though, just make things easier for her and make my writing better for me.

The other part of my work this week is the promotion of The Hard Way. I have been doing some reading about good places to market my book. Even with the number of people on social media, there is a lot of additional networking that needs to happen inside and outside social media. The other part of marketing success is a luck. any random answer or question can lead to making connections. You may be in a thread of one of your social media profiles about publishing and see someone who works with the audience you are writing for. Do you take a chance to ask that person a question? I’m the type of person who will ask, in a nice way of course, and let that person make the choice to help or not. You just never know where it will go if they say yes.

Networking is about putting yourself and your book out there.  I’m learning not to be afraid to ask. It is ok of the answer is no. Just need to keep trying and see what happens.

Enjoy your week. I will take this opportunity to plug my first book, The Hard Way.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

Week 3 – Countdown to Book Launch – The Hard Way

27 days to go!

Under a month to go!

The name of the self publishing game is choices and making the right ones. Thank goodness I have Facebook writers’ groups I follow and other sources through networking I have done that are able to guide me on my publishing journey. There are many options for becoming a self published author. I have been researching all sorts of ways to do it and have learned a lot.

Don’t pay a vanity press to be published. The number one rule in the process. Now, to make your book ready to be published, there are expenses that can be incurred along the way. After you have put your time in writing and self editing (which has a price to it, even though it seems free since there is no actual outlay of money involved), as a self published author you will need to pay for an editor and cover. If you can find an agent and publishing house that will take your book on, they will typically take care of these costs for you.

When I first had the dream of doing this as a kid, I’m sure I didn’t have any idea that it would cost me something. I figured every one would love my book and publishing would just magically happen. I believe I have a good book in my grasp, but I may have to make the effort and invest the money to get it out there.

It isn’t a cheap endeavor. I waited a long time before I took the plunge to publish. I started writing this book almost four years ago. Like I talked about last week, I wrote two drafts for two more books while I waited to publish this one. Don’t let the costs or the time that it may take do it discourage you. If it is what you want, go for it!

The other thing I will caution you on is don’t shortcut the self publishing process in the name of being in a hurry or to cut costs.

Don’t try and edit your own stuff or have your friend do it (unless they truly are an editor). I have read a few self published books that tried the self editing thing and it doesn’t work. You are too close to your own writing to do it. I have learned a lot from my editor and see the issues that my own writing has thanks to her. Depending on the type of editing your project needs and how many words it is will determine the price. Line editing (primarily grammar and punctuation) can range between $300-$600. Developmental editing (story line adjustments and content reading) can range between $1200-$2000.

If you are not a cover designer, pay someone to design your cover. This will be the first thing your readers and potential buyers will see. It can make or break a sale for you. There are many designers that have premade covers for $50-$75 that may fit your book and budget. Otherwise, they are also able to do custom covers for more of a $200-$300 price tag. In my opinion, it is money well spent.

The one thing I have noticed is that some editors and cover designers are able to do payment plans to help you get these jobs done. I did a payment plan for my editing piece of this project and it is what ultimately made it affordable for me to do. However, if I would have known about these costs beforehand, I would have been putting money aside for it as I was going along.

Where am I at in my process?

I finished my final read through of my manuscript yesterday and sent it back to my editor. She will do a final look over and get the final formatting done. I may have to look at it one more time to make sure that the spacing works.

My cover designer has my cover set for me to look at. I’ll be able to take a look and see if the spacing works or if I feel it needs to be tweaked. I still need to decide on an author picture. Since I’m writing with a pen name, it seems kind of funny for me to use my photo, but I’m still the person writing the book.

Once I get the final version back, I’ll be sending it in to copyright.gov and getting it registered for an official copyright.

Be sure to stay tuned for the cover reveal next Monday! We are counting down the days and I’m getting closer to realizing a dream. Pretty exciting time.

Status Update for The Hard Way

Happy Monday! Lately I have been pretty busy with things at my full time non writing job. It has caused me some stress about not having the kind of quality time I want to have to work on my manuscript. Everyone says that you need to make time to write which I believe is true. But with any creative endeavor, sometimes things just can’t be rushed. The delays, self imposed or life imposed, are sometimes a part of the creative process.

I’m lucky the deadline on publishing The Hard Way is on my own schedule. It allows me to tweak things on the schedule if needed. If the editing to make this book the best I can takes a little longer, I can let it. Deadlnes can be very motivating to get things done. Sometimes I think it adds an additional level of stress to a process that may be comprimised if it is rushed.

We had useasonably warm weather last week and it allowed me to start walking at lunchtime again. There is a historical site across the street from where I work. It is called the Cummins Homestead.

According to the Eden Prairie Historical Society website, John Cummins had come to west to Minnesota and bought this 300 acre farm in 1856. Not knowing much about being a farmer, by 1857, he learned that he may have taken on a pretty big project. This house was built for them in 1879-1880. John was frequently trading labor with his neighbors, but John did help with some of the building. John and Maddie never had any children to help them work the farm. I found that interesting. Usually people had big families to help run a farm.

Cummins sold the farm in 1908 to Edwin Phipps. He sold 280 acres for $50 per acre. When he bought it in 1856, he paid $13 an acre. If you want to learn more about the Cummins Homstead, be sure to check out this website Eden Prairie Historical Society. They also have many of John Cummins papers and diaries in the Minnesota Historical Society archives.

I was able to walk around on the grounds twice last week. The walk was good exercise, but it also cleared my head a little to shake off some of the stress I’ve been feeling.

While I sat on a bench at the Cummins Homestead, I was working on an e-mail to my editor with a couple of updates on getting the current round of editing implemented and a read through done. As I wrote the e-mail, it turned into journalling a feeling that I was having about why I write. Here is the last paragraph of that email.

I dream about one day just being an author. Writing books, visiting schools to talk about books and mentoring kids and their dreams. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what those dreams are. I know that some kids need that person to take their hand and get them started. That is where I want to be with my writing someday.

There are many places to go and write. Some find inspiration in coffee shops and others find it at a lake cabin in the woods. I think I found a place that helps me tap into my creative juices and helps them flow. Like tapping a tree for sap to make maple syrup.

On my walk that day, I got some ideas for what would tentatively be book number four in the series I have started. I am only close to publishing the first book. I hope I find the readers who will enjoy and benefit from the stories I have in me to tell.

So for the update…

I sent my edited copy of my manuscript beck to my editor yesterday. We will see what she has to say, but I believe we are really close to having it ready to go and my personal goal of publishing on April 15th is very doable. If so, March will be a big month with a cover reveal and starting the prepublishing hype. I’m scared but excited to almost having my dream come true. I may be spending some more time at the Cummins Homestead in the near future. Not only to get those creative juices flowing, but to start editing book number two in “The Way” series. 

This week at the Writing House

Happy Monday!

Things are moving right along with The Hard Way’s journey to publish. I worked through the recent round of edits from my editor and started on the post editing read through. It is  so rewarding to watch the development of the book as it goes through the different rounds of editing. Having the punctuation right is just one part. Making sure the grammar works and the word choices are the right ones are other parts of the process. All of the work is put in to make their story the best reading experience it can be. That’s the ultimate goal of a writer, right?

I’m noticing even my writing for the blog has changed from things I’ve learned from the editing process. I’m more conscience of my over use of the word that and really, both are extra words which have their place in writing, but are not to be over used.

This week’s quote is a motivator for me to get things with my writing done. I’ve looked at it several times and feel the good vibe it puts out for me. There have been struggles to get through while trying to achieve my dream to publish a novel. But the end is near and I can see the light.

I just need to stay positive and not get frustrated. Need to work hard, which is how I always seem to do things in my life. And, get those things done. Finish the tasks I need to get done to get this story published. As long as I continue to persevere, it will pay off with a self published novel. Have a good writing week everyone!

And Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope all of you can enjoy the day with someone you love, if not a sweetheart, maybe a parent, grandparent or a child. Or a friend, someone who may need a little love shared with them. Hugs go a long way to making someone feel special, and make us feel good too.

Thoughts in the Writing House

Monday night: I’m sitting in my recliner watching some major league playoff baseball; the Dodgers versus the Nationals. Just letting myself relax after a hard day at work.

It feels weird to not have any writing to work on right now. It is a nice break, but I keep thinking that I am supposed to be doing something. Guess I am excited to get working on The Hard Way’s manuscript again.

Thursday: Next batch of edits came from my editor Michelle. I plan to jump into those over the weekend. Like I have said, it is a lot of work, but so cool to see how the clean up is really bringing the story out and making it shine. It also gives me a great opportunity to clarify ideas and fix the storyline that needs fine tuning.

Saturday: I am seeing the colors of the leaves changing and the cooler air of fall settling in. Gives me a beautiful view as I write. Sitting at my computer today with a comfortable feeling provided by an extra sweater. Love this time of year. Will continue to work on the edits as I enjoy a pumpkin spice coffee to keep me warm and comfortable.

Sunday: While watching a little NFL football, I read through the rest of manuscript showing all of the edits from Michelle. I worked through the suggested changes and either accepted them or rejected them. I’ll let it sit for the rest of the night and read through the manuscript a couple of times during the upcoming week to make sure the story line works and everything still sounds right.

The goal is to have this section revised and sent back to Michelle by the end of the month. I think it will be more than doable. It feels really good to be making progress.

This week at the Writing House

Hello! Still at the desk in the writing house this week. I was able to work through the changes that my editor Michelle sent to me and I completed a first read through of the updated manuscript. The process pointed out a couple of fixes that needed to be made.

After I added my editor’s suggested changes, it was like weeding a garden. I was able to read through a cleaner manuscript and focus on the storyline to make sure that it was developing the way I wanted it to. I renamed a couple of things and reworked some sections that smoothed out the evolution of the story itself. It also helped to clarify my MC’s feelings and added some more depth to his character. I think it may have made him even a little more engaging.

I’ll be spending the rest of this week working on a second read through, maybe make a few more tweaks to it before I send this section back to my editor. Then she will send me another section to work through. Although it is a lot of work, I can see the changes helping it evolve into the story that I imagined; and more. Can’t wait until it is ready to publish and then share it with my readers and followers.

Back to the Writing House

Since last weekend, I’ve been working on a couple of formatting changes to my blog, including new categories and colors. Trying to give it a fresh look and clean it up a bit.

After some soul searching last week, I decided to jump back into my edits for my WIP, The Hard Way. My goal is to get the manuscript done and get the novel ready to publish. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time with the blog, which has been keeping me writing. However, I had a voice nagging in the back of my head asking, “when is it time to finish the novel?” I guess I can say that life got in the way, but that seems to happen to me when it comes to my own writing goals.  Maybe I’m scared of achieving my dream or maybe I’m waiting for the right moment to do it. I’m not sure. But I have decided that now it the time to make it happen.

Part of building this writing house is getting the novel done. Not only is it a goal of mine, but it is also a big milestone on my writing journey. I enjoy the writing that I do on my blog, but once my first book is out there, the writing house takes on a whole new look. We will then have to install bookcase in the house, for our own books.

I still plan to do a weekly post for #MondayBlogs and WordPress postaweek, but will be keeping things a little shorter for a while. Now on a weekly basis, I will have status updates on how my editing is going and what interesting things I’ve learned by doing it.

By taking two days of vacation from work and making a four day weekend out of it, I decided it would be the perfect time to get started. So, on Wednesday night after work, I cleaned off the writing desk to get ready to jump back into my Word file that holds the current version of The Hard Way

Thursday morning comes. After getting the kids off to school and Sam off to work, I took care of some things around the house so I could clear my plate to get started. After grabbing a cup of coffee, I sat down to my laptop and the system needed to do some updates. I sighed and decided to do them. One more hurdle to my starting my project. It took quite a while to get those updates done, must have had a lot of them to do. Finally the computer is ready. It is time to begin!

Are you ready to join me on this writing journey?