Sunday, April 24, 2011

Final draft - complete!

Or should I say abandoned? ;) I made my first deadline - my editor has my final draft, and I must say, it's both exciting and terrifying. I know I could continue to edit and revise probably forever, but really, it's time. Also, I know I've mentioned that I love to travel - it's a wonderful "muse." I'm currently in Mozambique, Africa & after taking a dip in the Indian Ocean yesterday, I feel a short story coming on...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

How do you...

Original post is at, please comment there.
…revise your manuscript’s final draft in a week and be happy with it?
The answer is, you can’t – and I suspect the same would apply if I had a year to work on it.
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Thanks for the quote, Bryan. :)
So, I’ve got a deadline – a date where I must finally abandon The Human, or, in other words, get it to a state where I’m mostly happy with it. The truth is, I’m mostly happy with it now. Yes, there are problem areas, and things I know need to be fixed & I will address those before I turn my novel into my editor – but, I think that I could potentially revise this thing for years and never be 100% happy with it. So I’ve decided to turn it in & move on to the next book in the series, The Hunter.
I know the writer I am now is writing a drastically different version of The Human than the writer I will be in 10 years. But in 10 years I’ll be writing other stories. For this one, it’s time.
And just because I’m not about keeping good information to myself, this is the due date timeline that my editor has come up with for a June 22nd release at Origins:
I checked out the CreateSpace community and found this:
The average seems to be 3 weeks for uploading it, receiving a proof (a lot of people skip this step, but I refuse!), okaying the proof, ordering copies, and receiving them.
3 weeks back from June 22 is June 1. I’d feel more comfortable starting that process no later than May 23. Cause, you never know. Memorial Day is in there, and holidays tend to bugger up schedules. So… Yea. My goal for having files uploaded and proof requested is May 23. That means our DROP DEAD DEADLINE for having all files finished is May 22. So there’s a hope that you could have finished books in your hand by June 15.
That said, it’s time to get strict.
Janine, I need your latest (3rd?) revision no later than April 24. My goal is to have the editing and interior layout done and back to you for review by May 8. Since I want to be uploading the final files and requesting a proof on May 23, we have two weeks between May 8 and May 23 to go back and forth approving edits and making final changes. Obviously, if we get done sooner, that’s GREAT, and I can upload files and order your proof earlier.
Betsy, I need your finished artwork that Janine is 100% happy with by May 8.
-I’ll also be posting links and whatnot as I go that you might find helpful. Feel free to ask me any questions about this process & I’ll do my best to answer them.
-Now 19 people “like” me on my Facebook Fanpage. I like all of you too. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

And then something awesome happened...

SO, I posted on on my previous entry that I had a goal publishing date of somewhere around the end of June or beginning of July so that I could have my book ready for Dragon*Con.
Good plan, right? it gave me some time to finish my final revision, and maybe a month or two to play with to make sure everything was ready for D*C.
But then this amazingly awesome thing happened – a couple days later Bryan and I were corresponding with our mutual friend Mike Stackpole, and he invited us to attend Origins as author guests, pending our books being ready by June 22nd.
My reaction to his email went kinda like this:
To say that we were excited would be a HUGE understatement – I think I was unable to speak coherently for a bit there!
I immediately contacted my editor and my cover artist to see if this new timeline was even remotely doable. They both said we could do it… as long as we did NOT delay.
I’ll get into the new timeline, and the whipcracking from Kelli in my next post. But for just a bit I just want to enjoy this amazing opportunity – War of the Seasons: The Human, my first novel, is going to be released at Origins, where I will be among dear friends & mentors.
Also, I have a totally big head now, and made myself a Facebook fanpage… But so far only like 5 people like me! *CRIES ALL THE TEARS* Help?
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time to get organized!

Originally posted at  Please comment there
I’ve decided to chronicle my adventure/journey through self-publishing my first novel – hopefully you’ll find this useful, or at the very least entertaining. 
So, with my decision made to self-publish War of the Seasons, Book 1: The Human , I realized I needed to get organized – and this, my friends, is where I really see the benefit of going through a publishing house.
While, with self-publishing, I have all the control I could ever ask for (cover, book size, paper, release date, price, etc), it also means I’m ultimately responsible for these thing/for my final product. (I am not a control freak – I am a control enthusiast).
I suppose I could do all these things on my own, but since I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, this was a project that I felt needed other people. Fortunately, I have many talented friends that were willing to help me get organized & to divide & conquer.
Let’s go over the current cast of characters:
Bryan Young, My partner-in-crime for this project. We met camping out for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace back in 1999 & have been friends ever since. We agree on almost nothing (Politics, Fandom, Movies) except for the fact that Star Wars & The Beatles are awesome & self-publishing is something we should try – so we’re doing it together.
R. Thomas Garner, my lawyer, and more importantly my handsome husband of over 10 years now. He’s pretty much awesome!
Rich Sigfrit, my mighty webmaster & one of my oldest friends. We met back in 2003 through the Star Wars FanForce (hmm… I’m sensing a reoccurring theme here) and we attended our first Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention together. Been friends ever since.
Kelli Neier, my editor/book put together-er/all around go-to gal & my friend now since 2008. She’s had the misfourtune of having to read every variation of The Human. Hopefully she approves of the current version now. 
Betsy Waddell, my cover artist, and dear friend since 2009. We met at Dragon*Con & bonded over a shared love of pretty fabrics & Harry Potter villains.
On Friday, April 8th, Bryan & I decided we wanted to have our books ready in time for Dragon*Con this September to begin selling & promoting them. With both our books in the middle of their final revisions, we figured that a June 30th goal date for publishing, while aggressive, was something we could do. Heh, well, let’s just say that things have become a bit more aggressive, but I’ll post more on that later.
So, once I identified my team, and asked all of them if they’d be interested in working with me (they were, YAY!), I had to figure out what needed to be done & who needed to do it. This is what I came up with (after a LOT of their input):
Kelli- Copy editing, ePub formatting, hard copy book formatting, cover graphic design stuffs (I have no idea what the official term for “putting the title & stuff on the cover” is), flyer graphic design/editing, listing the book on all the appropriate websites.
Rich- Website, audio & visual book trailer, audio book
Betsy- Cover artist
Bryan- Help me navigate through this & promoting each other/manning booths/panels together at Cons.
R. Thomas- Draft contracts between the various parties as needed (because even though we’re friends, you should still have a legal contract whenever there’s money involved).
Me- Finish my final revision!
I’m certain I’ve forgotten so many things that need to be done – but that’s why lists are great, right? They can always be revised!
So, as my refrain from the last few days has been… SO EXCITED!
The Beatles Hello Goodbyw
We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Decisions, Decisions...

Originally posted at:  Please comment there
I was hesitant to post this, because I was afraid that people would JUDGE ME, but then I realized I’m being silly.
The truth is going to come out eventually.
And the truth is, I’ve decided to self-publish my first novel.
Yes yes, I already hear the collective gasp of horror from y’all: SELF-PUBLISHING IS A CAREER KILLER!
But is it?
It doesn’t seem to have killed her career… And yes, I know that’s only ONE example, and she did go to traditional publishing in the end – after a bidding war from the major publishing houses for her books!
I’m not saying I think this will happen to me, but I do know one thing – I’ve got a great product. There is definitely a market for The Human, and its sequels (The Hunter and The Half-Blood) – I just need to tap into it.
Good thing I’ve got a plan!
So I suppose this blog will now be more of a chronicle of my adventures in self-publishing – I hope the ride will be fun.
I’ve learned a lot over the last two years about the publishing world, and I know I still have so much more to learn, and I’m looking forward to it. I just feel that for now, this path, the self-publishing path, is the one for me.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost