The First Bump in the Road

The title of my last post was Some News is Better Than no News. And I suppose I believe that, mostly.

My experience through this whole self publishing process has been quite smooth and easy. But today I woke and checked my email, as I do almost every morning, and had an email telling me that my revised proof was ready for my viewing. You can imagine my excitement. This is one of the final steps before publication. I was so excited that I fell back to sleep. Rather quickly.

When I eventually got around to checking the manuscript I thought I was still asleep because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. All of the mistakes that I’d corrected had somehow managed to persist within the manuscript. I immediately rechecked the document that I submitted a week ago to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten to save my work before uploading, I hadn’t.

As I said, though, my overall experience up to this point has been pretty great. I have to be honest, though. When I realized what had happened I started yelling at the wall and at my diploma and at my computer. And the language I used was not exactly literary. So I contacted support and told them what happened and pointed out a few of the mistakes for the lady on the phone. She sounded genuinely surprised at what happened and, if my memory serves me right, she even when so far as to say that it was entirely unacceptable. I could be imagining that part, though. I estimated the number of mistakes that I had corrected and she told me that she’d get my proof back to me within three days. So…that would still be within the original timeline that was given to me in the first place. I’m not overjoyed at what happened, but I realize that my book is not the only one that they have to work on. I’ve still written a full length book and it will be released very soon. I’ll live.

And I’m sure some of you have wondered how come I haven’t revealed to you all which company I’m using to publish. It’s because I intend to write a post dedicated to my entire experience with them once everything is finished. So stay tuned for that.

I’m still waiting for my site to be indexed by Google! So do me a little favor and go ahead and visit my website so that their little spiders crawl it sooner rather than later!

Also, I decided to change my theme after almost five months of my previous one, what do you all think of the change? Better? Worse? Indifferent? I like it.

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 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!

And so it Begins

I said that I would read a handful of detective books before reading my own so that I would have perfectly written works fresh in my head when I attempt to judge my writing from the eyes of a reader. Well, I decided to read only two books instead of a greater number. I chose to read The Widening Gyre (Spenser #10) by Robert B. Parker and Indigo Slam (Elvis Cole #7) by Robert Crais because these two titles most fit into the genre that I wish to write. I have eight more detective stories on my unread shelf, but those are mostly police procedurals and my book doesn’t fall into that more specific category.

I plan on reading with a red pen and sticky notes to mark things that need changing or that I think can be better. I’m not going to stop and correct everything as I go, but rather I’ll mark the place and take a look once I’ve finished the entire book.

I already have a short list of things that I know I want to change for future drafts and I’m sure I’ll find more along the way.

Wish me luck!

My Kickstarter project needs you! Every little pledge will help! Access it here.

Let the Rewriting Begin

Well, kinda.

I am all set to begin the rewriting process the day after I finished the first draft of my first book. But it won’t be what you might think. The first aspect of my rewriting process will be to detract myself from my own work and read at least three books before I take a look at my writing. You might be wondering how come I don’t just jump right in and start dissecting every word, page, and chapter that I wrote. Well, the answer is actually quite simple. I’ve spent nearly three months working on the first draft and I want to be able to evaluate it against other works by more accomplished authors.

I’ll probably read 3-5 books that fall into the detective genre so that I have a real apples-to-apples comparison to make before reading my own book.

I feel that I’ll be able to discern the quality of my work almost immediately by doing this. After i read through my book like any other reader would I’ll start working on the second draft. That will be the one that I send out to my first round of beta readers. I’m thinking I’ll have three or four rounds, all different readers, and all picked for different reasons.

If you’ve gotten to this point of my blog, then I know you must be dying to read the actual book! Help make it happen by checking out my Kickstarter page here!

Every pledge helps!

The End is Near

My Kickstarter project is in full swing! Access it here.

When I first started writing my book back on May 31 I had a number in mind as far as the word count is concerned. Well I’ve come to the conclusion that it is unnecessary for me to hold myself to that particular number. My story is my story, and it’ll end when it needs to.

Now, on to chapter 20! I got a little emotional while writing this chapter. Why, you ask? The remaining two chapters – that’s right, I only have two left – will tie up a couple loose ends that remain. The story is all but finished! Isn’t that just grand?!

That makes five chapters in the last ten days!

Any person who calls him or herself an avid reader has read several books that bring tears to their eyes. I know I’ve read plenty. I was fortunate enough to be on the other side of that equation with this book. I’m not the reader, I’m the writer! It truly is extraordinary.

I’m not going to reveal anything that happens in the chapter because it’s much too late in the story to give any detail away.

Also, you may recall that I posted stats related to my work once I reached chapter ten. I had planned to do the same at chapter 20, but I’m going to hold off on that because it is so close to the end of the book.

If you’ve read this far you HAVE to stay with me! We’re almost there!