Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Writerly Way~ The Indie Author's Life

As you can see from the logo, I've joined another blog hop. This one in particular is different than any other I've joined. It's something I usually do anyhow on Wednesdays write about writing and being an indie author. Unlike the others, it runs indefinitely, but it is one blog the second Wednesday of each month. I use quite a lot of pictures in my blog because some people are visual learners. So y'all stopping by because of the hop...welcome.

Now on to my blog... this week I've been talking about editing. I often mention the many hats an indie author wears. This is a biggie. If you want to write books to publish, you have to do what the Big 6 do except you don't have the resources traditional publishers have, or do you?

1 section is how-tos on writing
Not many of us have the contacts or employees that the Big 6 publishers do nor the money to back us up. That's a fact. So we are at a disadvantage coming out of the gate. We research the various subjects, help feed other indie authors or traditionally published authors who publish books in the areas we lack in self-publishing like marketing, copyright clauses and other laws, formatting, and editing. We read blogs, articles, and books by the hundreds just to make it in the indie field.

Not all of us are like me with a degree in marketing, teach creative writing courses, and has been a published author for decades. I have a higher learning and knowledge curve than most. But even I, research new avenues for writing, editing, formatting, and marketing still. Learning is an never-ending process. I'll be the first one to admit that I don't know everything even though I sound like it at times. Compound this with a stroke I had last year, and it's a whole new ballgame. But, I'm not telling my readers anything new about the editing process or about editing your book.

Nothing is absolutely free
Yesterday, I mentioned you did not have to wear all the hats to be an indie author and it's true. But there are free options available to you. This is not the only one, but it is the one I use.

I've been a member of Compuserve's Books and Writers for a couple decades now. If the linky link does not open try http://www.compuserve.com. You will have to sign up to log on. After you get a user name and set the password, scroll down the left side to "Communities." It should be one of the first ones listed. I invite you to lurk the categories and there are a lot of them. Don't be surprised at some of the well known authors who frequent the site. They are all friendly and won't bite until they get to know you better. So don't be intimidated! When you feel comfortable, go into the "lobby" and say "hi." Expect a lot of responses. That's just the way we are.

There is a Writer's Workshop but it's under wraps to protect the copyrights of the authors. There are some rules so familiarize yourself with them. Ask Margaret Campbell for permission to join the group in a private message. She will give you the keys. But be aware critiques are given on a chapter by chapter basis and this process can take a while. We've got authors globally, so there is not a set time table. But hey, it's free. We've got some rather good grammar Nazis, content and continuity critiquers in the group, and many have been around for years. I tend to critique more than I upload because I love to read. At one time, the three crits for every one chapter upload, I had enough to upload thirty chapters of one book twice! There are both published and wanna-be published authors as critiquers, and both traditionally published and indie authors.

After your chapter goes through the wringer, make your corrections based on the critiques and reupload your corrected chapters. You may have the same critiquers or a group of new ones. As with everything, this is a matter of choice. Take the advice, change the text, or leave it. You are always in control of your own book.

I know there are probably hundreds of online groups that do the same thing and if you find one you like that is active, by all means stick with it. Editing is a mountain of a task by yourself and you may be limited by your knowledge. For me, I've forgotten much of what I knew about editing and over the past nine months, I'm finally remembering bits and pieces.

Robert Mankoff- The New Yorker
When you reach a point in editing that you want to give up because to look at your manuscript one more time will make you want to throw it in the trash...it's time to stash it away on your hard drive and work on something else. I used to do this quite often. It is exactly how I managed to write and publish five of the six books I published last year. It seemed that every time I read through my manuscript, I found even more things to change or tweak. Let me tell you, I can tweak a manuscript to death! I'd never publish anything if I didn't stop myself. Finally, I stop and send it to someone else's eyes.

Is twelve sets of eyes too many? Sometimes, it still isn't enough. I'll catch mistakes in my own work after it has gone to press. I recite to myself the "Serenity Prayer" and let it go. I may update a newly edited edition in years to come, but it won't be this year.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

8 comments:

Heidi Garrett said...

I've been a member of OWW and traded the chapter-by-chapter critiques, they are slow, but incredibly helpful. Especially, if you're also critting. I leaned a lot and met great people. Good luck with yours, Heidi

Lara said...

I love the CompuServe Forum! I've learned so much there, and the encouragement of the members really kept me going when I was having doubts about writing. Such a wonderful community!

J.L. Murphey said...

Heidi,
Exactly my point. With that many eyes on a piece, usually, mistakes don't stand a chance.

J.L. Murphey said...

Lara I've been a member of B&W since before it became public with AOL back in 2000. The wealthy of information there is awesome both newbie and experienced authors alike.

Debra Giuffrida said...

I have had an ongoing love affair with B&W off and on for a number of years...I come and go and right now I am overwhelmed with RL so I have been remise in my visits. I love the Writers Workshop but so few are Ancient Egypto-nuts, like me, that my stories leave most of the men that populate the thread cold. And one poor soul actually thought it was SF! :) So I migrated over to Writers Exercises and my personal favorite...Research & Craft. Love the Wall of Shame & Glory! So much good stuff posted there and such wonderful (can I repeat that enough times? Nope!) wonderful people.

J.L. Murphey said...

Debra,
I know what you mean about the forum. I'm am eygto nut! Have been for years.The fact is over the years many writers forums have come and gone, this one has remained strong.

Debra Giuffrida said...

Oh Jo, I knew you were a person after my own heart! I hope to soon have a completed book for you to read!

J.L. Murphey said...

Yeeeeaaahhhh!