Who edits the editors?

I’ve been looking at lists of editors who work on self published projects. One of the glories of self publishing is that anyone can do it. One of the worst things about self publishing is… anyone can do it. Apparently, this also holds true for editing.

Vermeer Lady Maidservant Holding LetterThe first editor I saw on the list had a website, so I went to check it out. The Welcome page was the first page the reader was taken to. It only had two links. Both were broken.

When I went back to the site where the editor had listed her services, I saw comments pointing out that the links were broken. They had been left months before. Not a sign of an editor who cared about details, even for her own business. I realize the editor might be too busy to fix problems like that, but it makes her look careless about the details. Not something that would make me want to work with her.

Another editor’s website looked presentable, except again there was a problem with the details. She wrote things like, “I provide two types of edits.” And then she listed all three of them: 1) X type of edit 2) Y type of edit 3) Z type of edit.

I understand no one can be expected to edit themselves and do a perfect job. But surely an editor should know this too, and to take it into account when creating a website that is almost the only thing I have to judge them by.

The ONE thing all authors must do

I’m trying out a mailing list pop-up message. I’m told a newsletter is “the” way authors connect with their readers. I’m all for connecting with you, so I’ve added the widget to the blog.

Does it work?

I want to be hip and cool and trendy (so I probably should avoid using dated terms like those). One piece of advice that I hear is that I need a newsletter. (Thanks to Christine Dillion for the reminder.)

After His Forgotten Fiancée, I am going to publish Geoff and Lia’s story. There are other stories in the pipeline after those two. If you’d like to keep track when I have a release out, please do sign up for the newsletter!

I promise I won’t send you weekly pictures of my cat or omelet recipes or anything else except for a notification of when one of my books come out. Or if one goes on sale. I’d send out a notification for that. I don’t know if Harlequin puts their books on sale very often, but if they do then I intend to be prepared.

Apparently, this is the ONE thing all authors must do. Well, that and finish the book.

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NotMyCat wants to know if you’ve set up a mailing list yet.

Update: the path to publication

Demon Roller CoasterI’m not sure if it’s a path, exactly. More of a rollercoaster. Long, arduous climbs up to an exciting peak and then plunging down again. Sometimes feeling as if I’ve been turned upside-down.
His Forgotten Fiancée has jumped through all the production hoops like a champion. Almost ready.
The last few months before publication will involve:

  • Blog posts with excerpts from the story
  • The cover being revealed (!!!)
  • A digital sample of the book available for you to download

At some point, a box is going to show up on my doorstep with actual physical copies of a book that I wrote. Incredible thought. I will post a picture here as Proof That I Wrote A Book. (I’m still trying to convince my subconscious that yes, I am a real writer.) Then I will be able to send out review copies, host a giveaway on Goodreads, etc.

Nothing but good times ahead! Or at least very interesting times 🙂

Quote: All paths lead to the same goal

Battery Dance Festival - FJK Dance (28673655353)There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song – but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.
Pablo Neruda

I’d like to be assertive, if that’s all right with everyone

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Not a picture of the critique group

I signed up to join a critique group. It’s set up so that for every two critiques you give, you get to submit something for other people to critique. Seemed like a good way to get feedback on a manuscript, so I went for it. I read a lot of other people’s chapters and critiqued them, then sent a chapter of my own and asked people to look at it.

Crickets.

A week went by.

More crickets.

I could see that other newbies were having their work critiqued, so it wasn’t that there was no one around to look at my chapter. Something about it wasn’t grabbing people. After a week, I sent my request out again. This time, I asked if there was a problem with the manuscript that might be stopping people from wanting to read it. I want to fix the problem(s) in my writing, but I need to know what they are first.

As soon as I clicked ‘Send,’ the demons of doubt and self-criticism leapt on me. My email was petulant, crabby, whining. I was berating people for not looking at my deathless prose and sounding like a loser at the same time.

It is possible that my email did come across as cranky. I didn’t mean it to, but it’s not always easy to gauge a person’s mood in emails. Even so, it is not evil to ask for feedback. Maybe that’s the lesson I was meant to learn by joining a critique group, how to ask for what I need.

Update: And yes, kind people pitched in to critique my chapter.

Amanda Palmer gave a whole Ted talk on the art of asking. (And a book as well.)