Author Photo Revealed!

I mentioned in my last post that one of the final things I had to do to move my book closer to publication was upload an author photo. Well, I know that many of you read most of my posts on here, so I wanted to give you all the first look at what I think is a wonderful picture.

Before taking the photo I actually did a bit of research regarding author photos. You’re probably wondering what research could I do before taking a simple photograph. And you’re right, when I say “research” I really just mean I looked at the author photos in the backs of my own books. Doing this gave me a good idea as to the kind of photo I needed to take.

Also, this picture will officially become my picture for EVERYTHING. I’ll be launching my own website very soon and actually using my Twitter account that I have neglected for some two years now. I’m still not the biggest Twitter fan there is, but I recognize that it is an easy way for others to stay up to date with my writing and things directly related.  There isn’t much on there right now, but there will be soon enough. Feel free to follow me @JohnGbooks.

Now to the picture. Drum roll please.


Don’t you think I captured the whole mystery writer look? I do.

The Final Stages

Tomorrow morning my book will officially enter the final stages before publication!

The one thing I have left to do is upload an author photo, which I just did! My manuscript and cover will finally be in the hands of my design team! I must say, I lie awake most nights just thinking of the fact that I’m about to become a published author. It’s something that I didn’t think I’d experience as soon as I am. And the fact that I’m self-publishing doesn’t diminish the feeling in any way, not for me at least.

I’m hoping to unveil to all of you the final cover art once I approve it, so you all have to keep reading! And there may be a giveaway in the near future. Maybe.

The cover making process and the interior formatting should be done by mid-October. The time is nearing for all of you to finally get a look at my book! Be excited!

I can’t wait!

Criticism Revealed

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I had one reader who I was waiting to receive feedback from. Well, it turns out that the one remaining reader has chosen not to finish book even after being given more time with it than the others. So I see no reason not to talk a little about what the others who did read it had to say.

I had originally planned to print out a hard copy for each reader so that they could perhaps read with a pen or sticky or notes or a highlighter to mark up the text as they saw fit. I immediately realized how costly this would become after printing out my own hard copy. I was forced to utilize email instead.

Also, I originally had a list of 12 readers who I picked for very specific reasons. I ended up only sending it out to eight, and having only four read it. It certainly isn’t my ideal circumstance, but what can I do? When I sent the book out I included a critique sheet of 12 questions asking about the overall quality of the work, plot, description, and each of the main characters. I tried to cover every major aspect of the book with at least one question.

Now, let me discuss what those four individuals had to say.

First, the feedback was somewhat mixed. For example, one reader gave the overall work a score of 90 out of 100 and another gave it a 2.8 out of 5. The other two gave it a B score and a 7 out of 10. I allowed for them to use whatever scale they wanted as long as they explained their score. So I’d say that I received two good scores and two eh. No worries.

The next question asked about plot and I am happy to say that all four agreed that the plot was solid.

The third question asked about Andrew Banks, the main protagonist. Again, for the most part, all four agreed that he was a solid character who developed pretty well over the course of the book. One criticism of Andrew was how he handled his first case as a private detective, that he was bit messy. But he’s a rookie private eye! That should be expected.

The next questions asked about the other major characters in the book and the feedback was mostly positive. One of the later questions I asked was about the ending. It can’t be a good book without a solid ending, right? Well…according to these four the ending was pretty fantastic. No one had any real criticism of how I chose to end the story.

The final question that I’m going to discuss here asked whether they would recommend the book if asked and all four said that they would.

I expect to talk to two people tomorrow regarding  my cover and interior formatting of the book! I can’t wait!

Feedback Frenzy

That’s what yesterday was! Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.

Anyway, yesterday was the deadline that I gave all of my readers to read my book and offer their feedback so that I could take it into account when making changes for the next draft. The good news is that I received a lot of good criticism. The bad news is that only half of my readers actually read it.

During this process I’ve come to realize that the efforts of just one person is hardly enough to get others interested and involved, which is unfortunate because I would be extremely excited to be a part of something like this for someone else. I’d love for someone to want to base a character in their book off of me. I’d open up and tell them any and everything they wanted to know. I’d love to beta read a completed book for someone in order to help them perfect it. Evidently, though, others did not share that same enthusiasm for my work.

But don’t worry! I’m not mad or sad or anything but excited for my book! It’s all I talk about and all I think about! Well, I just woke from a nap with that damn Miley song in my head, so maybe not 24/7.

I’ve spent a few hours today going over the feedback that I’ve been given and trying to incorporate it into my work. There won’t be any huge dramatic changes, but I’ve changed a few scenes and added things that I feel will make the book better.

I have at least one more reader who I’m waiting to hear back from, so once I receive that I’ll give all of you a better idea as to what they had to say about my book.

My Kickstarter project will end later tonight and ultimately wind up unsuccessful, but my book is constantly moving forward.

We’re almost there!

The Anticipation is Driving me Crazy!

All of my beta readers have now had most of a week with my book. Two have had it more than a week, four received it on Sunday, and the final two on Monday. I know I’m probably just being paranoid but i feel like I’m stuck!

My book is fairly short and I have a pretty good idea as to how long it should take to read, even with busy lives. So now I have two polar opposite thoughts coursing through my head regarding the critiques that I’ve yet to receive. First is “It’s terrible.” The second is “They’re just being thorough like I asked them to be.” Ahh.

I have given all of my readers a deadline of this coming Sunday, so technically they haven’t gone overboard just yet. But I want feedback!

Also, I just finished the first James Patterson book that I didn’t like. It’s posted on my What I’m Reading page. It was the first in his Michael Bennett series and I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series, at least not right now. Michael Ledwidge wrote a decent story, but I felt that he was trying to imitate Patterson throughout and came up way short.

Today I have no reader feedback and by the time of my next post I shall have all I’ve asked for! Stay tuned!

Have a look at Kickstarter project page here to learn a little about my book and maybe pledge. Only three days left!

And we Wait

I wish I had more to update all of you on, but I don’t. My book is currently in the hands of seven trusted individuals and I await to receive their feedback.

The first three all had it by Wednesday of last week and the next four received it today.

I wonder if they have any sense of urgency to get their reading done. Eh, it’s okay. Since I’m not working on the book itself, I’ve been reading a bit. Remember, my goal each year is to read 50 books and I’m nowhere close at the moment. Maybe I can make a little dent in that number in the time it takes for my readers to get back to me.

I’ve also been thinking about book 2 a bunch recently. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to write about, but now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, I still have book numero uno to finish!

Feel free to check out my Kickstarter project page here for any and all information related to my book.

Second Draft Complete!

I finished the second draft while most of you were probably sleeping last night, around two in the morning. And what did I do immediately after, you ask? I opened Firefox to send it out to the first reader in my first round of readers, only I couldn’t access my email because my internet decided to stand in my way. I played with some chords and regained my connection and sent it away!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I currently have four rounds of three readers planned. My first group will be handled a little differently in that I’m giving one of them the true first read. I have my reasoning for this and wont go into detail.

I ended up adding around 400 words to the overall text and correcting a gazillion typos and filling in what I thought were small holes in the story.

My book is now in the hands of my beta readers! Well, until they give me their feedback.

Access my Kickstarter project page here.

Second Draft on the Horizon

So, I have no idea how long other writers spend on their second drafts, but I’ve read completely through my book and found only the holes in the story that I expected and the grammar and typing mistakes that are bound to happen. What does that mean? Well it means that my first round of beta readers will be receiving my precious book very soon.

I had considered printing it out for each reader, but yeah, that’s not going to happen. It’d be way to pricey for me at this point, and they should be happy that I’ve chosen them to be a part of this wonderful process!

For those of you who might be wondering what the most common mistake I found was…well, I used the words ‘just’ and ‘had’ a little too often. There were plenty of typing mistakes and at least sentence that read and thought to myself, “Huh?” That was just the one time.

There were a number of positives. The few places that I tried to convey some humor were mostly successful, to me. I liked how all of the main characters turned out, especially Sydney. She’s hilarious! At least I think so.

Anyway, the second draft will be finished very soon! Wish me luck and visit my Kickstarter project page here to help this book become real!