Since I’m a big e-book guy who believes in sparing the trees and making electrons race instead, many will be surprised by the headline. Hey, so am I, but I had to do it. I had to go print.
Tag archive: Editing
Don’t ever enter the Amazon Break Through Novel Award if you’re prone to anxiety. The contest starts with 10,000 entries in March and whittles them down through a series of cuts to one grand prize winner. The names of the five lucky semi-finalists in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Kitchen Sink category were announced today.
I’ve watched with fascination over the last four years as self-publishing changes. In the early days (2010), when many authors still feared self-publishing, selling novels on Amazon was much easier. My short stories used to go at the rate of one or two a day. Now, even getting people to download your free novel by the thousands (which also used to be easy) is a challenge because the market is so crowded.
There have always been vultures in the publishing world. Phoney agents charging “reading fees” to consider your novel for representation are a classic example. One of these agents actually listed a skill on his website as “tug boat captain.” This agent could never have sold anyone’s novel to a legitimate publisher, but I bet after collecting his reading fee, he’d have been happy to recommend unsuspecting authors to equally unqualified editors and book doctors.
Just when she thought she and mom were going home, the Redemption Brigade came for them. Margaret didn’t understand who they were at the time because she was only seven, and up until that day she had always assumed that all humans were friends, could never hurt one another or shoot one another. Only the rippers were evil. Only the night needed to be feared.
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
Blogging requires commitment, and all the experts warn me that abandoning a blog for a month or more is the kiss of death. Stupid experts. Okay, maybe they’re right, but last month I had to decide how long I was going to make my fans wait for book two of the 1000 Souls series. I was overdue, buried with work, and the kids were getting out of school for the summer.
So I decided to stop blogging until the novel was finished. It was ‘finished’ on July 4th, but I’ve been in editing and re-writes since. Now it’s so finished that it’s off to the editor and out of my hands until he’s done. Alas, my editor just gave his publisher two weeks notice and (being the conscientious guy that he is) he’s busy wrapping up his day job until July 27th. The good news is that means he can edit like crazy the next week, no day job in the way.
But that means that I must again push the publication date, this time to mid-August, a month and a half late. The good news is the cover artist is just about ready, and the cover looks great.
The other good news is that I’ll have lots of time to blog, and I’ve lots to tell you about, actually warn you about, regarding one too many free days and Amazon’s promotional algorithm.
Good thing I’ve got another novel coming out.
The biggest similarity between my vampire novel and the vampire movie Priest is the concept of a religious order that has trained specifically to fight vampires.
The use of monks to fight enemies of a religion is not new, of course, as anyone who has read The Monks of War could tell you. In fact, my sister gave me that book after I had first described my novel to her, and its one of the reasons my protagonist is referred to as a crusader.
Other than the religious order, Priest is very different from my novel. The vampires are another species and would fit into the movie Alien easily, but not so much into Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The whole setting is also very different from our Earth. It’s meant to be either an alternate history or another planet–take your pick, and the Catholic Church is Big Brother.
In fact, the whole society is an Orwellian dystopia set after environmental degradation and nuclear war, very different from the leafy green of my post-industrial, post-apocalyptic world.
I’d still like to capitalize on the movie’s marketing campaign, but I’m reluctant now to tell people that my novel is just like Priest. Firstly because it’s not accurate, and secondly because now that I’ve seen the movie, I’m not sure that will send people flocking out to buy similar stories.
The movie is more like an expensive TV pilot, with a lot of Matrix-like big freeze shots and the anti-gravity stunts that have become the norm of Hollywood sci-fi action.
I’ve finished going through Fogel’s edit of my novel (it was brutal) and my proof-reader and I are making a last pass. With luck I’ll launch Monday, over a week late, but Priest isn’t going to make or break this novel.
People are watching the movie Priest as I write this, but they aren’t reading my vampire novel because it’s still in my hard drive. I’ve been slogging all week through the editor’s notes, and all I can say is that I don’t pay her enough.
But I’m close. I’m four-fifths of the way through, and my cover artist has delivered a great cover. I’ll finish with this round of editing over the weekend and then it’ll need another copy edit to catch any typos from the changes.
It’s a lot of work, but I don’t want to be a Howett, the writer who self-published an e-book with so many typos that the reviewer, Big Al, had trouble reading to the end.
So while I wanted to launch the same day as the vampire movie, Priest, I’ll just have to accept that I’ll be a couple of days behind. Better to publish a great book three days late than an unreadable one on time.