Even being a stay home mom I work with clowns…

I was sitting down minding my own business editing when I was needed to run to the store really fast to grab a few things for dinner. I left all my editing stuff out (although I did take my phone with me).  Leaving it all out might have been a mistake.

This is how it looked when I left…

One computer has all my writing (I don’t have internet on it), one has a dictionary/ thesaurus open, and one is just for research. I know I could have windows open for the research and thesaurus, but I didn’t want too. Also I had my phone next to me because I always get phone calls and texts when I’m writing or editing — not because of Facebook or Twitter or anything. I’d never waste time there. 😛 The binder is one of my beta’s with their notes and such, and the list on the binder is my “said list.”

When I returned home from my store run I found this…

Ok, one of these is broken, one is my oldest daughter’s, one is my husband’s, and then they put their cell phones on the high chair… *deep sigh*

Yep, I can’t get away from clowns in my work place. I guess I should be glad that they didn’t mess with anything important.

Note ~ My “said list” is a list of about 100-200 ways to say “said” so I don’t always say “she said” or “he said.” It reminds me to add the extra emotion and use words like words for example “she cried” or “he chuckled.” When I first write the story I usually write it so fast I just over kill the word “said.”

Advertisements

August, September, October, November…

I have not counted days, weeks, and months like this since I was expecting my daughters.
Here’s what my chart thingy/timeline looks like right now.  I still don’t have any clue when my book will be done.  I know I’m close.  I know that even though I am close bad things can still happen.  I know I’ll have one more look at everything before it’s ready to be finished.  I don’t know how long that will take on their side, but from what I understand on my side it should just be a quick check and a stamp of approval.  I’m still hoping everything will be done before the Holidays

Send Marketing Success Workbook 08/03/2009 Ready  
Implement Proofreading Cover Corrections 11/10/2009 Active  
QA Proofreading Interior Modifications 11/10/2009 Ready  
Submit Materials 07/29/2009 Success  
Evaluate Manuscript 08/03/2009 Success  
EE Preparation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Editorial Evaluation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Evaluation QA 08/13/2009 Success  
Send Evaluation to Author 08/13/2009 Success  
Author Review Evaluation 08/17/2009 Success  
Editorial Consultation 08/17/2009 Success  
Submit Revised MS-Post Eval 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct edit 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct Edit QA 09/11/2009 Success  
Send Edit to Author 09/15/2009 Success  
Assign PSA to Project 09/24/2009 Success  
Prepare for Design 09/24/2009 Success  
Polish Cover Copy 09/24/2009 Success  
Setup Proofreading 09/30/2009 Success  
Design Interior 10/01/2009 Success  
Design Cover 10/01/2009 Success  
Author Review Edit 09/18/2009 Success  
Conduct Interior QA 10/02/2009 Success  
Conduct Cover Design QA 10/05/2009 Success  
Submit Final MS – Edit 10/06/2009 Success  
Confirm Proofreading Readiness 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading QA 10/29/2009 Success  
Send Proofread to Author 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Interior 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Cover 10/29/2009 Success  
Submit Proofreading Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  
Implement Proofreading Interior Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  

History line of my book so far…

This is one of the things I see when I look in my MyUniverse.  Every time something is about to start I see a new project.  “Success” is when a job has been completed, “Ready” is when they (or I) are ready to start working on the job, and “Active” is when they (or I) are working on something.  The dates are the dates the project was started, not finished.  I expect anytime to see something to the effect of “Conduct Proofread” with the word “Active” by it.  The proofread could take 2-3 weeks.  I know at all times were my book is in the procedure, and if something is taking longer then it should, I can call and they will let me know what’s going on.
As one can see I started everything 7/29/2009 and one can also see where I am now.  So far there have been very few bumps in the road.

Send Marketing Success Workbook

08/03/2009

Ready

 

Author Review Edit

09/18/2009

Ready

 

Conduct Interior QA

10/02/2009

Ready

 

Conduct Cover Design QA

10/05/2009

Ready

 

Submit Materials

07/29/2009

Success

 

Evaluate Manuscript

08/03/2009

Success

 

EE Preparation

08/04/2009

Success

 

Conduct Editorial Evaluation

08/04/2009

Success

 

Conduct Evaluation QA

08/13/2009

Success

 

Send Evaluation to Author

08/13/2009

Success

 

Author Review Evaluation

08/17/2009

Success

 

Editorial Consultation

08/17/2009

Success

 

Submit Revised MS-Post Eval

08/28/2009

Success

 

Conduct edit

08/28/2009

Success

 

Conduct Edit QA

09/11/2009

Success

 

Send Edit to Author

09/15/2009

Success

 

Assign PSA to Project

09/24/2009

Success

 

Prepare for Design

09/24/2009

Success

 

Polish Cover Copy

09/24/2009

Success

 

Setup Proofreading

09/30/2009

Success

 

Design Interior

10/01/2009

Success

 

Design Cover

10/01/2009

Success

 

 My team is not sitting in idle and this is very nice to see.  I don’t feel like anything so far has been money wasted.

AAAaaa! Book cover… stock art… I’ve been waiting for this…

I just received an e-mail from iUniverse about stock art and that I can look around and see if anything speaks to me.  And although my ears are wide open nothing is talking.  Art for the cover of the book is so very important.  This is more important than the title.  In all of my years working around books, I have found that people will look at the cover before reading the name.  I know, no brainer, you have to see the cover before you can read the words on it.  But too many times have wonderful classics and great books been passed over because of the cover.  I’ve even sold the much more expensive ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ several times because that one had a better cover (the prices of the 2 books were $35 and $10, if memory serves, and both were hard back).  So many book titles have not even been read, or back of the books not been looked at, all because the picture was not grabby enough.  This picture needs to be not just good, but great, and hold on to the person looking at the cover.  There needs to be an element of suspense, a little wisdom never hurts, and the topic has to go with it well.  If I was looking over Harlequin books and saw a cover with a very nice looking robot, I wouldn’t pick it up and read it.  I would think it was in the wrong place and skip over it.  I guess if it said, “Romancing the Robot” I might, now that I’m thinking of the cover… hum?  That might make for an odd but interesting romance with a sci-fi twist.  Truly though, if the cover is not right for the genre it will not sale.  My daughters wouldn’t pick up the anime books (aka manga) if they didn’t have cartoons on them.  Men will, however, pick up sports and car magazines with near nude women on them.  I wonder, if it was a book on how to cook the best meals and do your own laundry with the cover and in the book it was full of nude women doing chores, if they might buy it as well.  As a matter of fact, it might make a few men help out around the house.  Anyway it wouldn’t help my husband; he might help out if I bought him a video game guide on how to help clean house… maybe. … ok back to reality.  Excluding some men and nude female covers, the book cover has to be right or people will think it’s for something different.  The cover speaks to the buyer before the characters in the book get a chance.  So right now my dilemma is… Will I help to make the right choice with my book?  This is not my area.  I can see when things are not symmetrical.  I love art.  Waterhouse is one of my all time favorites, but will I pick out wisely for my book?  I have been trying to go with simple, without plain… this is hard for me.  I do have a ‘cover copy polish team’ but I still say what goes.  I am second guessing myself all over the place… AAAaaa!!!

Warning ~ this was written by a nervous, babbling author.  Any book ideas that are used from this segment must be taken at the readers own risk of possible failure.

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.

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.

Money, money, money ~

Here is the what, when, where, how much of everything right now.
I bought the Bookstore Premier Pro Express (on sale form $2,499 to $1,599) when going with iUniverse.  I would have gone with the Bookstore Premier Pro NOT express, but the express was on sale and the other was not.
I read reviews and ratings for the top self-publishers out there.  I studied Lulu, AuthorHouse, and a couple others and found that there were a few I liked.  In the end it came down to 3 things plus their overall rating.

Three important things to me in order of importance…                                

1. Editing ~ I want my book worth the money spent on it.

2. Cost for the buyer ~ I want my readers to not have to spend a fortune on my book

3. Book return-ability ~ I want stores to want to carry my book and that means they might need to return it.

I found that iUniverse had the strongest reviews with the editing, prices were a little high but nothing I could change, and the books could be returned if I bought the package.  I do wish I could change the price of the book.  I will only be taking 10% instead of 20% making it so bookstores will be able to sale my book for cheaper.  That was the best I could do for anyone.  I wished iUniverse had the same deal that AuthorHouse offers, so I could take a 5% and make my book very cheap, but editing was top on my list.  Without a good edit my book would not even be worth a buck.  If I could have found a review on Wright Book Publishing I might have gone with them.  I did like what they had to offer in their packages.  Please, if anyone goes with Wright Books let me know how it went/goes, I am very curious.
Now I understand (from working at B&N) that books need to be modeled in the store in order for them to be stocked in the store.  I also know from working in a book store that people do not always pick-up what they order and that people do order a lot of books.  So that return-ability is important.  I really don’t know if going with the 10% or 20 % will be help any, but I am trying.
This was a great table to go off of…
http://online-book-publishing-review.toptenreviews.com/index.html
I think it was from early 2009… not sure though.  Lulu was not on it, which surprised me, but I’m sure it’s because Lulu in not technically a “publisher.”  But they still publish books…
http://www.lulu.com/en/help/disclaimer
This info did surprise me, but I still considered them.  I did not find a disclaimer like that on the other sites but I could have missed it.  If anyone finds something like that please let me know and I will update this.
I was shocked that iUniverse, Authorhouse, and Xlibirs did not have more matching items since they were all bought by Authorhouse.  I discovered that in some of my research.  iUniverse still topped out as the best edit wise.
I had the editorial evaluation done and it was recommended that I had a content edit.  That cost me $3,475 and some odd change.  Which my book is in the process of finding the editor to do the right type of job I need.  It sounds very hand picked, which makes me happy.