Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in ePublishing: Step 1

I'm following J.A. Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing blog, and more specifically his post on the rules of epublishing as I prepare my YA novel, Into the Shadows, for epublication on Amazon and Smashwords this November. (Click here)

According to Joe, rule number one is this:

1.  Write a damn good book.

He also suggests joining writers' critique groups AND editing it yourself.  He feels that if you're a writer, you should be able to edit as well.

So have I succeeded in properly following step 1?  I think so.  Into the Shadows was written before I joined SCBWI, however, after I joined, I brought many of the chapters into the group for critique.  I even managed to get a friend from the group to read the full manuscript and give me an excellent critique.  It was awesome and gave me a lot to work on, but it made it SO much better.  The book has then gone through a couple of solid revisions.  I'm currently putting it through the ringer one more time.  After having the opportunity to critique other people's writing over the last year and a half, I've gained a much better eye for what works and what is bad, bad, bad!  Add an editing (technical) class at DePaul this spring and I feel like I'm sufficiently qualified to edit this book.

Could a REAL editor do a better job.  Of course.  Many of them would have years of experience on me.  But being that I'm getting my master's in writing and publishing, I should be able to do an editor's job as well.  And those editors had to start somewhere.

Oh, and is the book good???  Well, I like to think so.  It was well received by my fellow writers and out of the many rejections, it did get requested in partial and in full a few times.  I was doing something right to get it requested.  I like to think that it's an even better book now, with all of the knowledge I've gained.  It may not be the book that would be out there if a publishing house got a hold of it, but it will in fact be the BEST book I can produce with the experience I have.  We'll just have to wait and see if that's good enough!

2 comments:

  1. Fascinating! Even though I am a freelance editor as well as a writer, I always want someone else to edit my work. I think of the editor as the person who can look at the work and both think like a reader and spot the places that won't work for a reader. When I'm the author of the work in question, I don't feel I can have the necessary objectivity.

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  2. I tend to agree. Having other eyes on the manuscript gives you a better chance of spotting problems. This is especially true about the "art" parts like characters and scenes. But it sounds like you have had some feedback. Good luck!

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