My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the category “Publishing”

How to Reduce Editing Costs

Recently, I was approached by an emerging writer who opened her correspondence with something to the effect of: I don’t have money but I need a comprehensive editing package. My last editor was more interested in taking my money than fixing my book. 

I can empathize with this writer: she’s hungry to get her product into the marketplace and believes her work experience qualifies her to be a NYT Bestseller. But, as most of us who have tried our hat at creative writing after careers in journalism, academia, technology, etc. have learned, writing fiction requires a different skillset.

Writers are fortunate to have resources available to help save costs while honing their craft. Through the Internet, we can take master-level courses in creative writing and storytelling, grammar, and all points in between at little to no cost. I have personally completed the Creative Writing Specialization through Coursera.org and found it to be one of the best learning experiences I’ve had to date. There are also local workshops hosted by writing groups and universities such as this one in my corner of the world: The Apprentices: Free Creative Writing Workshops at Northwestern University. On social media and apps like Meetup or Scribophile you can join face-to-face or virtual writing groups.

Also, there are literally oodles of books about writing available for free through your favorite eReader bookshop, and don’t get me started on the tens of thousands of titles on Kindle Unlimited alone! And, don’t forget about your library where you can rent ebooks and audiobooks as well.

All of these resources can help writers — newbies and veterans — gain a better command of their craft. This legwork is done so you can save time and money when you reach the editing stage of the publishing process.

As an editor, I hope you’ve used your time wisely and sought advice from early readers and writing partners. I don’t like to have been the only other voice at this stage of the process.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” Stephen King On Writing

What King means is, tell yourself the story in the first draft. Let it rest. Then collaborate to make your story more real through the help of trusted crit partners. Give your manuscript another thorough self-edit or two before handing it over to editors.

Also, check out this post about how to determine what kind of editor you need and how to combine services to save money without negatively affecting your manuscript. In the linked article are alternatives to costly editing tasks. Picking Editors: Can We Combine Steps…? Jamie Gold has a terrific site chock-full of detailed guides and worksheets to help you tell your best story.

After you’ve done all that, give me a holler to discuss your publishing goals. daphne@mypassionspen.com 

 

Jen’s Editing Tips: The Power of White Space

A clever and clear explanation of the importance of an oft-overlooked aspect of storytelling.

Jen's Pen Den

Since I’m now a freelance editor, I’ve decided to start a new feature on my blog: Jen’s Editing Tips. This will give me a chance to share some of the common mistakes and missteps I come across in the work I edit, and hopefully help you avoid them.

Jen's Editing TipsTo kick things off, I’m going to discuss one of my biggest editing pet peeves: White space.

Or rather, the lack of it.

white-space-journal-3As you probably assumed, white space refers to the empty areas on a page. You know, the lovely gaps between paragraphs. The simple, yet powerful tool writers use to present their stories to audiences.

Before I get into the exact reasons why white space is so important, let me show you an example. Below is my 150-word flash fiction piece, Crumb Layer.

Without white space:

When I was little, my mom would let me help her frost cakes. “Remember, Annie,” she’d say, “the first layer…

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Harper Lee To Publish A Second Novel

If this is a dream, please don’t wake me.

101 Books

Hold me. That’s all I can say. I’m absolutely giddy about this.

Here’s a quick summary from the Associated Press:

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Hiring a Freelance Editor: Pricing and Getting the Most for Your Money

The Sarcastic Muse

The Freelance Editor Dilemma: Pricing and Getting the Most for Your MoneyI was chatting with my cousin a few weeks ago about freelance work. He used to work as a graphic designer—doing logos and such—and so he knows how difficult it can be to find work or, at the very least, to find people willing to pay for good work. Business owners would ask to have a professional logo made for next to nothing. And I thought: If that’s all the money they were willing to put into their business, then what does that tell me they think their company is worth?

The same issue occurs in the editing world, too. While many writers do understand that quality editing takes time and doesn’t come cheap, others seem to underestimate just what exactly editing entails—and what exactly they’re paying for.

I understand why writers may wish to find cheaper editing options—monetary issues or otherwise—but as with any business (and publishing novels is…

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The 10 Commandments for CPs

Great post. I definitely need to work more on six and seven.

The Write Niche

HOW TO BE A GOOD THE BEST CP:

Great critique partners have great critique partners and writers with great critique partners produce great work. So, the dating process is a little selfish, yes, but there are so many wonderful benefits to having a good CP. You have someone to bounce ideas off of, a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate with, an example of good writing to follow and someone to look over your work when you’ve gone MANUSCRIPT BLIND. With so many benefits, how can we be the best CP possible in order to attract the best CP possible? Here are the 10 commandments for CPs:

moses

1. Thou shalt be encouraging: 

Surely, even in the worst of manuscripts, there is something good going on. Don’t just point out things that weigh the MS down. Highlight the strong points. Tell your CP, I want to see more of…

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Ten New Year’s Writing Resolutions

Confessions of a Creative Writing Teacher

George Cruikshank - January 1838

‘Santa ist tot’ – Friedrich Nietzsche

Hi World. I hope you all had a great Christmas. Please forgive the long silence. Like the stale peanuts, the suspicious bottle of wine, and Noddy bloody Holder, I’m still here. Rest assured that I remain committed, and have a lot more to say about the business of writing. So, as another year slips away like an egg sliding off a skillet, I thought it might be useful to summarise where we’ve got to in the last few months in anticipation of all those New Year’s resolutions to finally write that novel. Nothing too heavy – just a few basic tips to get you started and keep you writing…

  1. A writer writes. Don’t just aim to write every day – want to write every day, to the extent that you become quite out of sorts if something stops you. If you put off this…

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Caveat Venditor—Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors

Too powerful not to share.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rise of the Machines Human Authors in a Digital World, social media authors, Kristen Lamb, WANA, Rise of the Machines

All right, it’s about to be a brand new year and many of you are wanting to finally see your books published. ROCK ON! But, I am the friend who will tell you if there is toilet paper hanging out of your pants. Writing isn’t all glitter and unicorns and I want to warn you of the most common stumbling blocks, because I really DO want you to succeed.

When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost fourteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you.

Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish. In fact, my last book Rise of the Machines (cover above) is much…

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10 Signs You’re Ignoring Constructive Criticism of Your Writing

I found this post through Write Divas and love every word.

A. C. Spahn


Photo By Ambro on FreeDigitalPhotos.net
She doesn’t like his book.

So somebody read your writing, and they had some things to say about it.

Bad things.

Things they thought you should *gasp* change.

Oh, the horror!

You probably think you’re good at accepting constructive criticism. You’re open-minded and willing to listen to others. But you might not be open-minded enough.

Here are ten signs that you’re ignoring constructive criticism of your writing. If you find yourself saying any of these things, you need to take a second look at your work and what people say about it.

1. “They’re not familiar with my genre.”

This is a common defense mechanism writers use when they don’t want to listen to a critic. But good writing is good writing, whether it’s a detective novel, a romance, a Christian living manual, or a paranormal scifi thriller set in 12th Century France. There are…

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What Are the REAL Odds of Being a Successful Author?

I love the honesty of this post.
Yesterday I drafted an essay about my problems with following through. This post has saved me from putting my shortcomings on display. About four years ago, I vowed to change. It’s been great. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but there are inevitable setbacks. That’s when I summon that five-percenter in me and push through the fear and anxiety and tiredness and traffic and whatever else jumps in my way. It’s grueling. It’s painful. It’s fortifying. It’s skill building. It’s life changing. It’s so rewarding.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flikr Creative Commons Hakan Dalstrom Image via Flikr Creative Commons Hakan Dalstrom

I didn’t even consider becoming a writer until 1999 after my father passed away suddenly. Funny how death can make us take a hard look at life, right? Anyway, I recall feeling soooo overwhelmed. I mean my odds of even getting published were about as good as winning the lottery. And the odds of becoming a best-selling author? Well, mathematically speaking, I had a slightly greater chance of being mauled by a black bear and polar bear on the same day.

It was all I could do not to give up before I began.

But, after over 14 years doing this “writer thing,” I have a new perspective. Often it feels like we are the victims of fate, at the mercy of the universe, when actually it is pretty shocking how much of our own destiny we control. The good news is that…

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Authors Supporting Authors Giveaway

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My Passion’s Pen is participating in Authors Supporting Authors’ week-long event. Join us! There are some great prizes that will stoke any book nerd’s fire.

Perhaps you’ll discover your new favorite author. Maybe you’ll expand your network. Or maybe you’ll make some new friends.

Visit The Book Enthusiast Promotions to participate in the raffle. http://bookenthusiastpromotions.com/authors-supporting-authors/

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