Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking Back on 2012


 I have to say that this has been one of the better years in my life. On the whole, more good things than bad happened. I've been caught up in the holiday rush, stressed over getting things done, and came down with a cold, so, when I first started thinking about 2012, the bad things popped to the top of my mind. I'm a half-empty kind of person at heart, struggling to see that glass as half-full--kind of like that optical illusion where some people first see a goblet and others see a couple.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I know I kind of just disappeared this month. I've noticed lots of bloggers posting hiatus notices for the month of December, but I didn't even get around to writing one of those. So, a little late, I'm posting a hiatus notice along with my holiday greetings. I'm going to take a couple of more weeks off from writing this blog while I celebrate the holidays and finish up my tasks for 2012.

One of those tasks is to publish the ebook editions of my edgy Christian mystery, Faith, Hope, and Murder. Since this is the first time I'm doing this, I've had to learn a lot of new skills. I'm in the home stretch now, but formatting is going to take a wee bit more time.

I'll be back in 2013 with an update.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

In Praise of Copy Editors

My self-imposed deadline for publishing my first novel came and went yesterday. I'm a little disappointed, but I'd rather publish a good book a little bit late than an okay book on time. One of the reasons it's going to be late is because of my copy editor, Christina Miller. Oh, not because of her computer problems, although that contributed a few days. It was what she did with my manuscript. I suppose it's really not her fault I'm late. But I'll get back to that later.

When I decided to self-publish my book, I realized that I could spend anywhere from zero to several thousand dollars. It all depends on how much money you have available and how much work you want to do yourself. You can whip up a cover in PowerPoint or you can pay a cover designer anywhere from fifty to a thousand dollars. You can learn how to format your book to upload or hire a book formatter to do it for you. And you can trust that what you remember from eighth grade English class will be sufficient to produce professional prose, or you can hire an editor to go over your work.

I'm old. Eighth grade was a long time ago. So, even though I thought I was fairly expert at grammar and usage, I decided to invest a not-insignificant amount of money to hire a professional editor.

It was with fear and trepidation that I opened the Word document Christy returned to me. I had no idea what kinds of things she would find. Oh, I had a few areas I was uncertain about, like when to italicize internal thoughts and how to format the combination of dialogue and action mixed in a paragraph, which is why I wanted an editor to begin with. Would she fix these things for me or would I still be confused when she was done? What other things would she change or question?