Working on the website…

Fun!  My husband is doing the codes and Dreamweaver (hope I got that right) stuff and I’m just typing.  At times I feel like I’m babbling or that I am saying too much unwanted info and then at other times I think I am saying to little.  So last night I searched and found an awesome site!  I read a bunch of great advice and wanted to share that wonderful website that I’m sure some of you have seen or read, but it was a first for me.  Here is the one I saved to my favorites…

http://www.sellingbooks.com/how-is-a-hotel-room-like-a-book-author-web-site

If you scroll down and look in the middle area you’ll see a bunch of topics to pick from.  I was happy with my find, I wanted to share.  🙂
Good luck typing, writing, coding, all that fun stuff,
Sarah

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How much is this going to cost…

As most of you know I have been sharing my experience with iUniverse on here, well today kids lets talk about money.  It’s paper yet it doesn’t grow on trees… (deep sigh)

Here is the list of exactly what I spent, what it was spent on, what I saved, and when ~
Aug. 29th 2009 paid for Bookstore Premier Pro Express package spent $1,579.00 ~ saved $920
Sept 6th 2009 paid for US Copyright spent $100 ~ saved $70
Sept 28th 2009 paid for Content Edit spent $3,475.82 ~ saved $0
Oct 1st 2009 will pay for Proofreading spending $1,162.43 ~ saving $0
Total spent/spending = $6,317.25 Total saved = $990 Total would’ve spent = $7,307.25

For the Content Edit it cast $0.035 a word, for the proofread $0.011 a word.  I will also be purchasing the Kindle/Sony Reader option ($99) for the people how enjoy reading that way.  (Like I have said before I think the book and the Kindle can live in harmony, but the Kindle is not a replacement for the book.)

If you chose iUniverse they will not wait for you to save the money for your first edit.  Once you get your manuscript back from the Editorial Evaluator you have 2 weeks to decide and pay.  I understand why, if not they would be sitting on hundreds of ‘maybe laters’ and ‘please wait, I’ll have the cash in X days/weeks/months/years/centuries/eons’.  They will give you a little time for the proofread; they are a little more lenient there.  Best thing to do is have the money saved.  If your book is near 100,000 words (and want about the same as what I have done) save about $7,000 to $10,000 before you go down this road.  Look at what is important to you.  You might wish to save more if you want to buy more books to give to libraries or friends and family.  You might want to buy a book signing kit or a marketing packet too.  They won’t help to make your book better, but they will help with sales.  Those are also things you can purchase down the road.  So if money is tight (I would not recommend skipping the edit) you might want to cut other things you find unnecessary.  The right type of edit, front cover, and the back of the book are all very important things.  People will still read it if it is paperback or if they can only get it online.  But if it looks like an amateur artist scribbled the front cover of the book, people will think an amateur author scribbled on the inside of the book.  If the edit job is poor and the story is great, most people still put it down because it’s too hard to understand.  If the back grabs them and pulls them in, the cover looks good, there are little to no editing flaws, and your story is interesting, then people will enjoy it and speak well of it.  You’ll still have to advertize, but it wouldn’t be as hard as it would be if one of those three things were lacking.  These are just recommendations and by all means this is your story, your decisions, and you are the one that has to walk in your shoes.

Although stores will not be modeled for my book when it first comes out, I saw the importance of my book being returnable from bookstores.  I want people to be able to order them from a store if need be.  I also want stores to feel comfortable with my book so they want to be modeled with my book.  That is why I went with the package I went with.

Note ~ Some of the covers I have seen artist do are lovely!  Some look very professional.  I do not want anyone to think I am saying that all are bad.  Truly though look through some of the places like iUniverse, AuthorHouse, Lulu, and any other self publisher’s site.  You will find a number of good choices as well as some of the worst covers you have ever seen in your life.  Pick carefully.

Or what if I just do something ditsy…

Cool, so I looked at an e-mail (we talk more then e-mail) and it shows what job position my middle man has… he is an Editorial Consultant.  I think that his job title works better then ‘middle man’
Alright, so I sent in my manuscript last night and I made a mistake.  I forgot to un-highlight one simple little word, “man”.  I highlight things that I might change, but am a little unsure of.  So I woke up knowing, just knowing, I left something highlighted.  I run to the computer, turning it on, waited for forever for it to warm up, and found I was right.  And it’s right in the middle of the book too.  It’s in chapter 23 out of 45… blah!  hehe ~ so one of the ‘what ifs’ happened, the ‘What if I mess up something simple?’ one.
So I call my new best friend, Mr. Editorial Consultant, and tell him.  (FIY ~ its 5:45am here and its 8:45am there.)  He told me all was fine and not to worry, to stop dreaming about my manuscript, and take a nice long nap.  He even sent me an email with some info in it and again told me to go back to bed.  LOL.  I felt like an idiot but I did catch the mistake.  My husband laughed at me, because I debated looking over it one last time and decided not to and to just go to bed and put it out of my mind… yeah right, easier said then done.
While on the phone I was also informed of a few things that I hope my pre-caffeine (yes, I’m back to drinking just one soda a morning) brain took in.  From what I understand I will have a whole book team, they will look at everything.  There will be one that is in charge.  He/She is a Publishing Services Associate aka PSA and he/she will be in charge at this point; except I will call Mr. Editorial Consultant at least one last time about the proofread so that can be done.  Mr. Editorial Consultant has been awesome and he let me know I can call if I need info.  🙂  Please forgive the one highlighted word if that doesn’t get caught!  I’m sure it will, but wow I feel like an idiot.  I checked that thing about 1000000000 times… how did I miss it… oh well, at least it’s not a ‘fatal flaw’!
But now I wait and I will be assigned a PSA.  Then I will talk to them and the ‘cover copy polish’ will be underway.
All I know in times and dates is, they might need the proofread to happen sometime in Nov.  I have no clue though as to when it will be done.  I’m still hoping before Christmas.
I just logged into my account and found that I have been assigned a Ms. PSA!
I started this all on Aug. 3 rd, so this is all moving along smoothly… so far.  I just hope it keeps going that way.  I will do a dates chart thingy later, when I’m either done or closer to it.

FYI ~ I have typed this blog in my word first and it has taken me all day due to interruptions… an insane amount!

I caught a bad case of the ‘what ifs’…

I had a nice talk with my middle man and he feels it would be a waste to have them do both the proofread and have the content editor go back over it.  He feels that I only need to have it proofread.  Both cost the same ($0.11 per word) so there is no profit with one over the other.  I think he feels it would do better to have another set of eyes going over it.  I feel safe trusting him, so I think one more read with it printed out, or at least the chapters with the new scenes printed out and re-read.  I might just print out the new stuff for my husband to go over one last time, and then have me go over all of it.  My middle man told me it should be fine right now, but if I fell more comfortable with going over it again, one more time, then to do it.  But since I am having a proofreading done too, 2 times read should be enough.  He did like the idea the content editor gave about printing it out and reading it.

What I loved the most (and found very helpful) was before I submitted it the first time my husband read it out loud to me and we both caught things nether of us had caught before.  It was great.  I highly recommend this to anyone who has someone willing to this for them.  I am so lucky, right now he is reading over some of it for me… lets just hope I can read any of his side notes.  His handwriting is worse then a preschooler’s.  It was the one thing he hated about being in the classroom.

Well I have to get back to work.  I have a few typos I caught, that I want to un-typo.  Then I’ll do the ones Richard caught.  Then I think I’ll submit it tomorrow.  I am so nervous, what if I forgot something, or worded it wrong, or anything, or what if the house blows up and all of my computers die and I can’t do anything anymore… eek!  Or what if our computer beagle, who likes to stand on my husband’s computer and open up his widgets, learns how to delete files on my computer… There are many ‘what ifs’!

Ok, so today I am not AS engrossed in my work…

I have been slowly making a list of what I fixed and what I feel I am weak on, to send to my middle man.  Some of this I change/added so everyone else will understand.

 Key ~
Me = M
Editorial Evaluator = E
Content Editor = C
Husband = H

 List of what I did ~
Double researched everything I was a little unsure of ~ M
Added a little more conflict ~ E + H
Made one more climactic scene where suggested by evaluator ~ E
Made a different climactic struggle helping with 5 character developments ~ M + E
Made odd-ball teen a little more of a problem ~ E + H
Made the jerks a little more jerk-y ~ E
Made the main man less of an idiot and a little more dear ~ M + H + E (I did not mean to)
Made one ‘grandfather’ figure stand out a little more ~ E
Developed 2 good guys just a little more ~ E
Just a little more detail to 3 different places ~ E + H
Had main lady bring up 2 of her personal issues a few more times ~ E
Plus made sure that all of it matched ~ M
Did a better description of a device that the editor misunderstood ~ M + E + H (my bad)
Fixed suggestion made by editor and evaluator ~ C + E
Read it twice so far & read out loud the new scenes/sentences ~ M
Found out what my biggest problem area is, making it ‘flow’ just right ~ M + H
Second biggest problem is sequences in back stories (sometimes get ahead of myself) ~ H
Third is detail, I sometimes just need to add a little more ~ H
Made main lady less teenage-y ~ E

 This was not as much work as it sounds; some of it was real easy.
As you can see some of this I changed because I saw a problem, but most of it was the evaluator’s idea.  It would have been great if I would have had the ability to make the changes before the content editor did everything, but I was in a situation where I absolutely could not.  Sometimes in life we just do not have control.  But (as I have stated in other blogs) I will have it gone through at least one more time with an edit/proofread, if not both!

 Well, back to work… today, I am printing everything out to read it in a binder (that was suggested by the editor).  Then I am done after I read it there.  My husband is going to read it again too.

 To be truthful to everyone, I am not having any problems with this part.  I have been warned by all that this is the worst part and that I will be sick of my book before I am done.  I’m not.  I’m even planning or reading it one more time for me, with a highlighter, so I can highlight dates, names, ages, laws, rules, and so on before I edit the second book.  Just so I know I’m consistent.  BUT I was prepared for this before I started.  I was not prepared for the query letter or the this might take a while… a long long while part.  That was why I took this road and not the other.  I want to write books, not 2,000 letters, and wait 5 years, no thank you.  This is the road less traveled, but man do I love the scenery.

The edit is done and back in my hands…

I am so happy… that happy is too simple of a word.  Stoked, excited, thrilled, wowed, awesomely surprised, OOoooOOOOooooOOOOOo yeah, overjoyed, tickled, giggly, giddy, just overly happy, so if you’re in the mood to be grumpy then I’m sorry, you might want to read this when you’re in the mood to hear someone who is in a super great mood!!!

After I made the post I made today I (of course) received my finished content edit.  It looks good.  I’ve only glanced at it.  There are a lot of little marks on the side where they changed little things.  I get to decide whether or not it stays like this.  They also sent me a personal letter where they told me that they really enjoyed two of my main characters, working on the manuscript, and they like my perspective.  🙂  They also said that they look forward to reading the next book in the series.  This made me feel really good because none of those were things they had to say.  And when a person doesn’t have to say it, they usually mean it, especially since they are anonymous.  From what I understand I should get a chance to thank them at some point.  But that is a little murky, do I get to send them an e-mail and know their name or what?  At first it sounded like I will know who they are and maybe get to send an e-mail to my middle man (who is awesome) and then they pass it over to them.  Or I might get a chance to tell them thanks on the phone… but really everything there has been a little unclear.  I’ll need to ask again.  Almost everything I have asked has been a great, straight forward answer, so I’ll ask again.
They (iUniverse) offer an Editorial Assistant that would cost $60 per hour and the estimated time for my book is 11 hours.  Mine would then cost about $660.  I could pay for it easily, but I want to do this.  I want to learn what my weaknesses are.  I want to work on my book.  I didn’t write this to have others to do it for me.  I’m doing it and enjoying it, even the little setbacks are a wonderful lesson.  I love it!
They want me to try and do this in 2 weeks.  I talked to my middle man, who is more than just that.  I will get in to all that he does later.  Anyway I talked to him and he told me that the 2 weeks there are to push me.  He said that with the big boy publishers in NY I would not be given a requested 2 weeks, they would be telling me, “You have 2 weeks to finish it.”  I will do all I can to finish it by the ‘deadline’ we’ll see if I can.
My middle man is really cool.  He told me if I get writers block to call him and he will do everything he can to help me out.  He thanked me so much for taking this so seriously.  He complemented me about it and made me blush.  (I don’t do well on complements from anyone; I always blush when given them.)  He has answered my questions pretty well and over all I would give him 5 out of 5 stars for being helpful, professional, friendly, good sense of humor, knowledgeable, and usually explains things very well.  I’m very happy with him, so much so that I plan on requesting him with any of the books I plan on doing with iUniverse.
As I go though this (if I can) I will stop and make small blogs to let everyone know what is going on, how it looks, if it’s confusing, and so on.  If I do not get a chance I will let everyone know when I’m done.
I’m really happy about getting back to work on my book!!!  YAY!!!

Waiting… waiting… waiting…

Sorry it’s been awhile since I have blogged. There has not been a lot going on with my book. I’ve just been waiting. The content edit was done on the 11th, when they thought the 14th, but I have not seen it yet because it’s been reviewed to basically make sure that I was given my moneys worth. I was told the 17th would be the soonest I would see it, but I’m still wondering if I might see it a day sooner. When I do get it back, it might take me only until the 1st to be done with it… or it might take me a couple months. Right now since I am very new at this I don’t know. I’ll keep everyone posted. While waiting I have kept very busy. I was told by my guide or middleman (whichever you wish to call him) from iUniverse, ‘DO NOT LOOK AT, OVER, OR EVEN THINK ABOUT YOUR MANUSCRIPT until you have it back in your hands. Keep busy with other things.’ So I have been writing some of the third in the series, doing stuff with my kids. We did my youngest daughter’s birthday party early; it was at Build-A-Bear. We had 9 kids there and they each spent $33. My mother-in-law paid for it for her. She did my oldest daughter’s, we she turned 10, as well. We did the little ones early because there is always a very large event that happens in our city. It’s the weekend before and after her b-day. It’s sad because her friends can never come to her parties because of it. Now the rest of this week that I am waiting I think I will be cleaning house. I know it’s only a day or two until I should have it back, but I want this house looking great for when I sit down and look over everything. A clean house makes me think better. Now I am off to start my day.

I guess this new post should come with a warning ~ I typed it at 6am… for those of you who are late night people… that’s in the morning!  😛  I was still in the zombie like state of half… no, hardly awake. 
I know it says the time that it was posted… but incase you didn’t look… and truly 6am is very early for my brain to do anything.  I am not a morning person by nature.