This has been an interesting day to say the least. The book came out just after midnight and went straight into the top 500. At the end of the day, it finished at number 32 and peaked at 31. For a first time author with no history or following, I’m extremely pleased with that and am indebted to my publisher Joffe Books and to their publicist Jill Burkinshaw.
Jill has been organising blog tours and FB events (great launch party!) and all kinds of stuff to get me out there so a big thank you to her. I’ve long heard that Jasper Joffe has some kind of magic dust he sprinkles on his authors and I think I got an extra helping. Big thank you to the man himself.
If you’d like a copy, the launch price is just 0.99p so grab it while you can from Amazon. It’s also available to take away on an iPad in a bookshop (apparently…)
So….I’ve almost finished book 3 now and I’m pretty much near where I wanted to be in terms of word count. I went back over it and realised that I’d need to put in a few more chapters to explain a few things and tie a few ends up and that, coupled with a growing realisation that I’m more of a tell-er as opposed to a show-er, got me to re-think one or two of the scenes.
Now, I know that the conventional wisdom is to show rather than tell and, for the most part, I’m good with that but I’ve noticed that so many authors drag their stories out with sooooooo much description that it does nothing but point me in the direction of the nearest sofa to get my head down for half an hour. Hands up who gives a rat’s arse what colour the sugar shaker is? Anyone care what the pattern on the carpet is? I fu#king don’t! All I care about is the story and how it engages me and whilst I can understand that some people like to flower up their prose and find clever analogies, I’d rather say that the ‘shotgun blast cut him in two.’ Doesn’t need to say how the blood matched the curtains or how ‘the spray of blood reminded him of a Jackson Pollack bestseller’. We all know what happens when someone cops a shotgun blast at close quarters, don’t we? We’ve all seen enough Arnie Schwitz-Swhazzzen- Shwartzer- that Terminator bloke- to know what happens.
So,it seems to me that the best writers have nailed the art of balancing their show ‘n’ tell and got it just about right- enough showing but not so much that I’m off for a kip. Balance is the key here ladies and gentlemen, balance. I guess that takes awareness. I’m off to become more aware.
Right. I’ve done my editing so I’m sending it off to Joffe tomorrow and keeping my fingers crossed that it’s good enough to move forward to the next stage which I believe will be copyediting and proofreading. After that, a cover, some blurb and off we go (I think!).
Oh, while I’m at it, I’ve also been writing my third book and that’s near to completion so now I’m planning out my fourth. Does anybody else use the same sort of hi-tec solutions to planning out a book as me?
So, the book came back from the editor (Anne) and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. Very pleased with myself. Okay, she cut about 7,000 words which a huge amount but when I read the revised manuscript, I never really noticed they were gone. The mark of a good editor and a lesson for an overwriter.
It’s interesting because when the MS came back, it came back in full markup mode and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the number of changes – deletions mostly but, still… Not good for the blood pressure when you see it for the first time. What did shock me though was the number of corrections made to things like commas, quote marks etc. I thought I had a pretty good eye and had caught most of them. Nope. Anne caught a helluva lot more. I wonder if it’s because we get so familiar with the document over such a long period of time that become word-blind – don’t see the mistakes that are right there in front of us. A good reason to get it checked by others before it goes anywhere.
The report was good, full of positives, but I will be asking a few questions for clarification only. Overall, I’m extremely happy with how it turned out and I honestly think it’s a better book for it.
Joffe moves fast! Listen to this. I submitted my MS and after four days, Jasper Joffe the owner sent me an email. We spoke on the phone and after some correspondence between us and a couple of calls, I signed. The whole thing was done and dusted within a fortnight. Compare that to traditional publishing…
The manuscript for my first book is currently being edited and I should have it back within a week or two. It’s nerve wracking knowing that an unknown individual (Anne, is her name) is poring over my book and whilst I’m a little uneasy, I’m also very excited. I think I’m a good writer but not brilliant. The thing is, wherever I am on the writing scale, I just want to be better and I know that my editor is working away to make that so. For that, I’m grateful.
My second book is finished- has been for some time and I did pay to have that edited. Good move? Not sure, but what I’m looking forward to is seeing what Anne makes of the book when she eventually gets it and how it compares to the previous editor’s report.
Book three is underway and I have finished the first draft in the last couple of days. I’m currently self-editing the double-spaced white bastard of a manuscript which I both love and hate in equal measure. One minute I look at it and think ‘Yeah, that’s the stuff’ and the next ‘Yeah, that’s total shit!’ I guess that’s what we writers do.
My plan is to get it into decent shape by the 1st of June and, if the timing works out, start the fourth book in July with a completion date of 1st January 2019. That should give me the chance to make the edits in the first three books whilst drafting the fourth. Lots to do.