To B, or not to B: that is the question…

I know lately I’ve drawn a lot on here.  It’s been fun but here is a normal blog post… boring I know, but I still needed to do it. 😀 (FYI ~ I couldn’t help myself there’s a funny at the end.)

This is the back and forth topic that a lot of us are now being forced to choose.  The first choice we have is do we self-publish or not.   That is an entire different blog post that many authors have done, and a choice that only you can make on your own.  But if you’ve made up your mind to self-pub, here is the second choice and a new question… Do we go with the $.99 book that Kindle is offering us?  We all keep hearing the rags to riches stories.  And, although we know our work is good, we are also aware that there is only one JK Rowling out there and unfortunately it’s not us. (Ms. J.K. Rowling, if you are actually reading this, please give me a shout out. 🙂 <– Shameless promotion, mixed with wishful thinking.)

To get back on track, I’m going to list the perks and the downs. Yes, another pros and cons list by yours truly. This one is about the 99 cent books which are becoming labeled B books –just like the old B movies.  I shall start positive with the perks.

The pros…

1. Your book will sale. There is truth to it.  People don’t mind wasting a buck on a book when a latte’ costs 4 to 5 times as much.

2. You will make a profit — IF you did it all yourself.  You still might make a profit if you hired an editor, which, no matter what, you should do everything you can to be properly edited, even when it costs 30 to 45 cents a word!

3. Well, there is no three I just felt there should be at least one more…

The cons…

1. You will be labeled as a B author. That is not “you might,” you WILL be labeled.  The truth of the matter is we do not yet know in 20 years if that will matter, but we know right now it’s not a great thing.  If you are planning on NEVER going traditional or you think only snobs will care and bookstores are dead… then being labeled doesn’t matter one bit to you… which is great! Go for it!

2. Traditional publishing is not dead, it’s just a little sick and chances are it will recover. There will be changes but it will recover.  The only indie movement we have to compare this new one to is the one the music world faced years ago.  Music labels and big companies didn’t die, they just changed.  By stating this I’m saying we shouldn’t place all our eggs in either basket.  I think there is going to be a meeting ground.  Why is this a con when we can just about guarantee that self-pubs are here to stay too, you might ask. The reason is we know that self-publishing will not dirty an author’s name, but we have no idea yet if being a “B” author will.  If, by some unforeseen event, the entire self-pub dies out, and one is labeled a “B” author, traditional pubs are less likely to tarnish their name by publishing a “B” author.

3. This is going to sound very cliché, but there is nothing in the world like holding your book in your hands.  It’s very much like seeing your child for the very first time.  You love to just look at it and hold it.  After all you created that book.  I’ve held my book in e-format… not the same.

Here is a good link to read a little more… http://www.publishingebooks.blogspot.com/

Now before everyone gets mad at me for what I’ve said please read this last part.  The reason this blog is up is because for the last 3 months I have taken this topic into the deepest consideration.  I have asked myself, “How fad is it?”  “How bad would I suffer?”  But after long, hard deep, consideration I have decided that I will just keep doing what I’m doing.

Note ~ I cannot stress editing enough. Before you submit to agencies, edit. Before you self-pub, edit. Before anyone but betas read it, EDIT! Have a pro look over it and fix what you, your friends, and your family didn’t see. It is VERY worth it! Your book Your baby deserves a fair start on the selves.

Note Note ~ Yes, I broke a writing rule and used ‘you’ all over the place.  Please forgive me Mrs. Brundidge, you and Mrs. Fleming are still my fav HS teachers! (My hubby is too, but he was never my actual teacher.)

Note Note Note ~ Some people do love B movies! Just NEVER watch Worm Eaters your eyes, tummy, and mind will thank you.

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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.

WOW, What a week…

I have been over at my grandparents a number of times to see family.  I have gone over Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday… sadly I could not go Friday (today) or Wednesday, I had job related phone calls.  I am very much not sad over the calls!  Very happy, very very very happy!  Great phone calls!  😀  I will be published soon, I hope.  It will be with a self-publisher.  It is so crazy.  I have read some awful books that made it to being published traditionally and I have read some slow books, mediocre books, which have also been published traditionally.  Then I have read some so-so books that have become great hits… none of this makes sense to me.  It should not be that hard to get published traditionally.  Oh well, a number of authors/books have started with being self-published and here I go… I hope that I can make it starting this route.

My editorial evaluation had some highs, mediums, and lows.

The highs ~
The story was believable
The story line was very good and worked well
There is lots of potential for my book

The mediums ~
It was a leisurely read (but has everything there to make it more exciting)
It was enjoyable
Two of the characters were very exciting and enjoyable

The lows ~
They wanted to change my main character and make her something she is not
I messed up on presenting one part of my story and made a character look like an idiot
I used too many modern terms (that I did try to avoid) “Barf” and “Humongous” were two of them

It is extremely hard to see the evaluation in its real light, at first all the negatives jumped out and attacked, then the emotional room was not as dark as it once appeared and I could see that they wrote that the story was good, the book was good.  I was not just attacked, nor was my story.  They actually said in the over-all report that my book was good.  I have always tried to be very good about taking constructive criticism.  But when you read something as blunt as an editorial evaluation it’s a little harder than you would think.  I thought before I saw it, I can take anything.  If they say my book is junk I can deal with it… but they don’t.  Their bluntness is in minute details.  It is their job to nit pick.  If they do not like something you have to swallow that large pill without a glass of water while having cotton-mouth and hear the details of why.  I did know this before I did it, but I did not expect any problems where they were and a few where there was none.

I did learn a lot and am still learning.  They wanted this story to be everything that the second book is, and that was great to hear, because I enjoyed the first book the most and was a little worried about number two.  That was a major plus to me, the only problem is they want this character to be everything that a different one is in number two!  Of course the second book is still in rough draft form and not ready yet. 

Another wonderful thing was my husband’s help editing was great!  He told me to add more detail and he was right.  He enjoyed that it was leisurely at times, he like the main character, so he would not have wanted me to change her, and he liked the climatic points as well (there was no complaint from anyone about the climactic points just that their needed to be a least one more.)  He reminded me that theirs was just an opinion, but that his opinion was a little different.  He did agree however with a few minor things that were pointed out that neither he nor I saw… “Barf” and “Humongous” were two of them.

I really want to share with everyone my experience.  I will keep everyone posted.  Good or bad I will share it like I have shared the negative of my book evaluation.  It will be fixed so I am not worried, but I will share as much as I can.