Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interesting links: Ways to Turn Blog into a Book

I thought this was a very helpful article and had some great ideas. I think after blogging for several years and accumulating hundreds of posts, this would be a good idea to make a bit of money from that writing. Giving the book away might also be a smart marketing strategy.

The author, Nina Amir, also has a book about this available for sale on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Value of Good Editing to Your Work

Writing is writing whether you do it from home, work, in your closet, in your bedroom or in the car. And those of us who are driven to put words on paper do it because we’re compelled to do so. You can be a writer your entire life and never publish anything. It doesn’t take courage to put your words to paper. Not until you start putting your words out there for others to read.

Publishing what you write probably takes more courage than the writing process ever will. You’re baring yourself to more criticism with the push of a button than you’ll face for any other action. And those criticisms are going to come from complete strangers if your story isn’t what they expect it to be.

A wide sweeping controversy has been ongoing about whether or not self-published authors are professional writers, and I have to say from personal experience, and from years of observing fellow writers and their struggles, WE ARE.

1. We are responsible for every word in our manuscript. Every plot device, every moment of character building, every paragraph of prose that sets the stage for the story comes from the writer’s imagination. The writer has always carried that weight. Not the entity that publishes it.

2. We spend the same amount of time formatting and editing our work as any publisher does. And sometimes more. I have reformatted my last two manuscripts four times each. I have a different format for every place my manuscript is available. I did that myself, not a publisher because I am the PUBLISHER.

3. We promote our work with more zeal than any publisher ever will. We use every social media device available to us and then some. What mainstream publisher have you seen doing anything but putting the book up for sell? So we don’t just wear our writer-publisher hat but a promoter’s hat as well. It’s me you’ll see on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Goodreads, Blogspot, the radio, newspaper, and any other media I can reach to get the word out that I’ve written a good book and it’s out there to be read.

4. As writers, publishers, and promoters, we who self-publish agonize over every missed comma, misspelled word, backwards quotation mark, and blemish that might detract from the reader enjoying our story. In fact, we agonize over them more because they’re our one opportunity to put our best PROFESSIONAL foot forward with readers.

We supply a product just like any publisher out there. And every self-published writer I’ve spoken to says that the formatting and editing of their books ranks right up there with the strength of the writing.

With that in mind, I put out an all call on several writing loops to get some feedback about the editing resources available to us. As always when you ask fellow writers for help, it comes pouring in with enthusiasm.

From all the feedback, the consensus was that it doesn’t matter how many of your writer friends have pored over your manuscript, a professional editor is the way to go. And I have to agree. My last manuscript was read by nine different people looking for mistakes. They did find some. But my copy editor found every typo, homophone, missed comma, everything that nine other people didn’t see. She gave me the opportunity to put my BEST work out there for everyone to read.

And she did one more thing for me. She lifted the worry I carried of putting a product out there that was less than what it should be. As a writer, publisher, promoter, I have to say that worry was HUGE.

Below is a list of wonderful editors who have helped others do the same thing. And I’m definitely including mine in the list.

The Authors Red Room

Lisa Constantino

Anne Victory

Jim Thomsen

Cathleen Ross

Helen Woodall

Nancy Cassidy

Red Circle Ink Editing

Jane Haertel

Wendy Ely

Faith Freewoman

The last editor on the list, Faith Freewoman, was my editor for TIMELESS, my latest release. She took the stress of worrying about finding all the small, pesky mistakes off my shoulders. And she put a professional polish on my work that made it so much easier to enjoy releasing the book.

The Editorial Freelancers Association  This link can offer you the range of pricing in hiring a freelance editor.

To get each editor’s rate you’ll have to do some research. Depending on what kind of editing you want done, from a deep line edit, to just light copy editing to find punctuation mistakes, the more you ask of your editor the more they have to charge for their time and expertise. So rates will run from a dollar a page to forty dollars an hour, and sometimes more. It will be up to you to decide what you need.

Write on, 
Teresa J. Reasor