Is editing worth the price?

I keep asking myself if editing is worth the price. Other people have asked me, "Is editing worth the price?" Of course, your mileage will vary as will the cost. But, looking at this screen shot, I'm going to have to say, "Yeah. Pretty sure it was worth it." Letting Go changes

This is a view from Microsoft Word's "compare documents" feature. All the red indicates changes between the first document I sent my editing team and the final document that I published. I removed the "formatting changes" from this view.

As you can see, there's not a whole lot remaining from version one.

So, is editing worth the price? For me, it is.

Keep on keeping on.

I've been trying to figure out what readers really want to see on my blog. I doubt most of you really care about my struggles to deal with software or computer issues. I suspect only a handful of you care about my writing process, and I KNOW there are lots of blogs out there with more helpful advice for writers than this one. So really, what is it that you guys visit my blog for? I'd love to know so I can provide something interesting for you to read. I need some direction. Tell me what you'd like to see.

Since I'm here, I'll share a bit of what's new in my life.

Professional: I'm a full time writer now. Well, as full time as a person can be with 3 small children, 2 dogs, 3 cats, a husband, and too many hobbies.

Health: I've lost about 15 pounds in the past 6 months and have never felt better. If you'd like more details, let me know!

Family: We had our third child (our second daughter) in August 2013. She's currently teething and cranky. Our eldest child (our son) is going to start 4K in September.

Pets: We're holding steady at two dogs (Dogues de Bordeaux) and three cats (all rescues).

Writing: I'm currently working on edits for Letting GoAlaskan Hope, and an unnamed novel. I also have several ideas I'm mulling over.

An update on some projects...

Alaskan Hope has been sent off to the editor. I'm sure she'll have a ton of suggestions for me, but at least I'm moving forward with it. Letting Go finally resembles a cohesive novel. I had a lot of trouble getting it to work the way I wanted it to, but I think I'm there with it. Again, much work needed, but the hardest part is done. My editor intends to start working on that the first week of January.

Now, I'm trying to decide where to go next. I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. I have a very rough idea to work with. But I'm excited about it.

That leaves me roughly a week to find something else to do with my time. I'm not sure what that's going to be. There's plenty of chores I've neglected which I could do, but... I think I'll look over my list of writing projects and see if any of them speak to me. I'm sure I have something in the trunk-o-writing-junk that can be salvaged.

A general update on... things

I see it's been nearly a month since I posted anything. Well, you probably didn't know, but I've been hiding out in the mountains of northern Idaho, near a historic silver mining town, gathering berries and story ideas, while avoiding the people who wish me dead. No, seriously, I'm still where I always am, doing what I always do. I've just being some prioritizing. In case you didn't know, I'm currently awaiting the arrival of my third child, who is due to arrive almost any day. My belly makes it hard to use the laptop (my lap seems to be missing). And it's uncomfortable to sit for any length of time at my desk to use the external keyboard.

I also have returned to work after six months of being laid off due to lack of work. While it's the same position I held before, with the same company, some things have changed in the six months, which leaves me struggling to do some things that used to be simple. It's good to learn new things though.

Other than that, there's not much worth discussing from my personal life.

If you're curious about the progress of my writing (and really, why else would you read my blog), I have been plugging away at my revisions on Alaskan Hope. I have also shared it with a couple of friends who are telling me all that's wrong with it. They think they're hurting my feelings, but I LOVE all the information and feed back they've given me so far. (Thanks Jennifer and Shelia! You ladies ROCK!)

And now, this is where I admit the truth. I'm so far behind my self-imposed deadlines, I don't have any idea when it'll be available. Right now, I'm forcing myself to focus on making it as wonderful as possible instead of being done as quickly as possible.

Please be patient. I honestly believe it will be worth the wait and will be much better than my previous books.

Unemployment != Lots of Time to Write

I've always dreamed of having the chance just to hang out and plenty of time to write, with no other employment obligations. What writer doesn't think, "Wow. If I didn't have to do X, Y, and Z for 40 hours a week, I'd be so productive. My  writing would take off like crazy because I'd have 40 hours free every week just to focus on my imaginary worlds." In December, I was informed by my boss that I'd be laid off at the end of the year due to lack of work. I was excited, knowing that I'd collect some unemployment and have "free time" to write. I assumed I'd get a couple rough drafts completed, start revising, do an outline of a new idea, and even get in the habit of blogging regularly (on both my blogs).

After a couple months, I accepted that I was delusional and reassessed my goals. I would be happy if I was blogging regularly and finished the rough draft I've been focusing on lately. If I could move along with Alaskan Hope, that'd be a bonus.

However, in the past five months, I've got so little accomplished that it's embarrassing. I should have finished at least a draft on one (two would be better) stories that are all outlined. Instead, I've been spending my time sleeping and playing facebook games. I've also compiled an enormous list of things I'd like to buy. Funny how much I think I should purchase when I have no paycheck.

I could make a pile of excuses like:

  • My husband has been working lots of hours, so when he's home (and needs to sleep), I have a hard time saying, "Hey, watch your kids for a few hours so I can concentrate on writing."
  • I'm pregnant and tired.
  • It's hard to concentrate with two little kids running around.
  • I don't sleep well, so when I get a chance I want to nap.
  • I'm not inspired. And when I do get inspired, it's generally at some ungodly hour of the night and I know I have to get up with my kids in a few hours, so I make a note and go back to sleep. By the time I get a chance to work on the idea that inspired me, my interest has waned.

But the truth is, I'm not doing what I need to be doing in order to get my stuff finished. I have three novels completely outlined, rough drafts of two others that need some major work, and ideas up the proverbial wazoo. But nothing is getting done. I'm not sure if it's because I lack any sense of urgency to complete my current projects, I've lost interest in my projects, or I just plain enjoy being lazy and spending time playing with my kids.

While I'm not going to end up living in a cardboard box when my unemployment runs out, money is a nice commodity. I applied for a few jobs in my "chosen profession" this week. And I suspect if I get hired, magically, all I will be interested in is writing. But for now, I still want to sit on the couch with the dogs and kids while playing Words with Friends.

Does anyone else have issues being productive when there isn't a deadline looming? Do you work better under pressure? Have tips to force myself to work?

Faceoff of the Heart is now available.

I did it! I did it! Faceoff of the Heart is done and ready for you to read!

There were a few days when I wasn't sure I'd have everything done on time, but as you've probably noticed, I haven't been posting lately. I was spending that time on finishing up Faceoff of the Heart. It's been uploaded and approved and is ready for you to purchase at various locations. :)

Some locations do not have it yet, but hopefully it'll be ready everywhere soon. As of right now it is available in the following locations:

Me (paperback, ePub, Kindle, and PDF available)

Amazon (currently available for Kindle, should be available as paperback within a week)

Barnes and Noble (currently available for nook, should be available as paperback within a week)

Smashwords (many ebook versions available)

Createspace (paperback)

Kobobooks (still waiting for notification of availability)

iBookstore (still waiting for notification of availability)

Bestseller Bound Friendship Blog Hop

   

“Friends helping friends isn’t the same as taking advantage.” Maggie’s eyes sparked, and Cam knew she was still upset with him for canceling the meeting she’d arranged for him with her son, a scout for the Colorado Avalanche.

 

The above passage is from my upcoming novel, Faceoff of the Heart.

I, like Cam, suffer from the fear of taking advantage of my friends. I've always been afraid to ask people for help because I believe they're going to be annoyed with me.

I know how busy everyone is with their own obligations and projects. I feel guilty to ask them to add something to their crazy schedule for me.

I'm trying to ask for help when I need it. I hope people will tell me if they don't have time to help me, but I've realized it's not my place to decide what a person can fit into their schedule. It's their responsibility to know when to say, "No."

I'm so happy to have found BestsellerBound and become a member of their community. It truly is a great bunch of people, who are always willing to answer my questions and provide guidance to me on this journey of writing.

Self-publishing can be scary, but I'm confident that my friends from BSB will never steer me awry. And I can do this, as long as I remember that it's okay to ask for help.

Now for the fun stuff :)

BestsellerBound.com is a wonderful community of indie authors. Created by Darcia Helle in the late summer of 2010, and featuring resident authors, Maria Savva and Stacy Juba, the community has grown and now boasts over 500 members. Quite a few of the members are active on the forum. The group wanted to celebrate one thing that has kept them all going over the past two years: friendship. Many friendships have been formed on the board. In fact, one of the most common things our members say is that BestsellerBound is the friendliest group of writers they have found. We pride ourselves on that.

To celebrate not only a successful 2 years as a popular indie writer forum, but also the friendships we have made on the board, a few of the regular members have organised a blog hop. The theme for this blog hop is of course, Friendship. If you follow the tour, you can read blogs by each of the participating authors based on the theme of friendship. Some of the authors will be writing about fictional friendships in their novels, others will be writing about real friendships. We are sure it will be an interesting and varied blog hop. We are also offering a big prize! One lucky winner will win the following prizes:

Secrets by Darcia Helle (Print) Haunted by Maria (Print) Harmony's Passing by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick (Print) Belkin Mod Standing Cover for Kindle Fire Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba (ebook) Alaskan Healing by Lana Voynich (ebook) Nexus Point by Jaleta Clegg (ebook)

** This is a tour-wide giveaway, so you can enter from any one of the blogs. Use the Rafflecopter form and follow the instructions for multiple entries. Each author has included a simple question as a way for you to earn bonus entries. The answers can be found within that author?s friendship blog post. You can answer all the questions on one form, or answer from the form on each author?s blog.

This giveaway is open to everyone 16 and older, everywhere in the world. Enter between Monday, November 12 and midnight, EST on Monday, November 26. **

 

Check out the following blogs, for some wonderful stories about friendship, and to find the answers to the bonus questions on the Rafflecopter form!

BestsellerBound Recommends A Word Please - Darcia Helle The Far Edge of Normal - Jaleta Clegg Maria's Goodreads Blog - Maria Savva The Tale's The Thing - Joel Kirkpatrick Stacy Juba's One Stop Reading - Stacy Juba Scribblings from my mind - Lana Voynich

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BIW & NaNoWriMo in one convenient week?

It's November which means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and BIW (Book in a Week). NaNoWriMo started on the first of November and BIW starts tomorrow. The premise of NaNoWriMo is to write the rough draft of a 50,000 word novel in one month. Thousands of people accept the challenge each year and urge each other to the finish line in forums and chatrooms. Faceoff of the Heart is my NaNoWriMo novel from 2006 (with lots of editing and changes).

If you've read my blog for a while, you already know about BIW. ;) Perhaps you remember from last month that I gave up on BIW as soon as I reached my goal, which was Friday afternoon, wasting an entire weekend that I could have been adding pages.

This month for BIW, I set my goal at 200 pages, which just happens to come out to approximately 50,000 words. Conveniently, 50,000 words is the magic winning number for NaNo.

Most likely, I've bitten off more than I can chew. But, it is supposed to be a challenge so there we go. Challenge away. Even if I don't manage the entire 200 pages in one week, I'll get a substantial amount of writing done and that'll make me happy.

I hope to have the rough draft of Mercy wrapped up by the end of the month. My goal for Mercy is 100,000 words, but whatever it takes to complete the story is what will happen.

What are your goals for BIW and/or NaNoWriMo?

Alaskan Healing Interview!

I feel so important! Darcia Helle of Quiet Fury Books interviewed me after reading Alaskan Healing. Make sure you check out the interview and show Darcia some appreciation for tolerating my presence long enough to ask me some questions! If more questions are posted in her comments, I'll do my best to answer them.

While you're on her website, check out her books. I've read two of them (several more are on my "must read soon" list) and she is masterful with suspense.

There's a coupon code for Darcia's readers to save 25% off Alaskan Healing at Smashwords. If you know someone who is considering a purchase, have them head over to Darcia's blog and grab the code! The code is valid until November 1st.

Revising a novel

I struggle with revisions. Every time I start revising a novel, I spend time looking for a magic method, a checklist of things to do, and I keep looking until I think I've found the perfect plan. Then I print out my manuscript and start marking stuff up with my pen and the plan goes out the window. I have a hard time keeping things in my head. All the things I planned to fix remain on a sheet of paper next to me and I say, "I'll fix those in the next revision."

I've tried Holly Lisle's One Pass Revision method, and I get bogged down and overwhelmed before I get to the third chapter. I've done Darcy Pattison's Novel Metamorphosis workbook for two different novels. One is still in the Trunk-o-writing junk, awaiting its chance to see the light of day again. The second one is Faceoff of the Heart.

Working my way through the Novel Metamorphosis workbook was helpful to realize what areas I needed to work on, but I still have a huge list (okay, not really huge, but still a full page) of things I want to fix. When I look at the list, my eyes gloss over and I start to freak out that I have these things to check for and fix all the way through the 200 pages of manuscript.

The list sits on top of the manuscript in its expandable folder. I look at it every time I pull the new pages out to be revised. And I sigh, because I haven't really been paying attention to those things. Ugh. 100 pages in and I didn't fix any of the things I'd specifically written on my "Plan of Action."

So tonight, when I pulled out the list I didn't just set it aside. I sat down and read it, and thought about each item on the list.

Plotting. Make sure each scene ends a little worse than the previous scene. Yeah, I've actually been doing that. That makes me feel better.

Characters. Better description. Well, hmm. I've never been good at describing the physical appearance of things (not even real items), but I've been adding more about the characters as I get to know them, so they're becoming more real. Knowing someone rocks back and forth on their feet when they're nervous, or their hands hurt because of early onset arthritis HAS to be nearly as good as knowing they have blue eyes and light blonde hair. Right? I mean, we don't choose our friends based on their eye color in real life. 

Sensory details. Include more details in each scene. Oh. I'm doing that without really thinking of it. Maybe I'm not doing as horribly as I'd thought.

Settings. More description again. fail

Okay. I guess fixing 75% of what I'd aimed to fix isn't awful. I can always go back through and add a bit more description of the settings as I type in all these changes I've made. Right?

What's your method for revising a novel?

Results of October Book In a Week

I know it's been a while , but I didn't get a chance to post my results of October Book In a Week yet. I had set my goal at 100 pages. The week started out successfully and improved each day. My most productive day ended with 25 pages (roughly 6250 words). I knew that I wouldn't be writing much on Saturday because I had a friend visiting from out of town, but I did expect to use 7 hours in the car on Sunday as a chance to get a lot of writing done.

However, I achieved the 100 page goal on Friday evening and didn't write at all for the rest of the weekend. I guess I should have set my goal higher so I'd kept working on it over the remainder of the weekend.

I just checked the results of October Book in a Week and I was the 6th most productive writer for the challenge. The most productive writer completed 280 pages during the week. Wow!

I'm unsure whether I'll be participating in November's Book In a Week. I have a heavy schedule to get Faceoff of the Heart revised on time, but maybe I'll be ahead of schedule with the revisions by that time and will need to take a week away from it. If I do participate in November's challenge, I'm going to increase my goal again.

What do you guys think would be an appropriate goal for Book In a Week? 150 pages? 200 pages? An entire novel (since November is National Novel Writing Month)?

What do you guys think of challenges such as NaNoWriMo and BIW? Is it a surefire way to burn out? Or is it a good way to boost productivity?

Update on Faceoff of the Heart

800x1280_Faceoff of th#1418I finished the first revision of Faceoff of the Heart during the first week of October. Writing some new scenes was part of my 100-page challenge for Book In a Week. There weren't a lot of surprises as I finished those scenes, but a few things turned out differently than I expected. Even with an outline, and notes galore, my characters still managed to change the story a little from what I originally thought it was.

I tried to force them to behave as I thought they should, but it just didn't ring true and I struggled to write the words in those scenes. Once I surrendered to Rhianna, Cam, and Luk, the words came easier.

People who don't write think writers create the stories they read, but honestly, I'm just the middle(wo)man who gets the story from the characters to the readers.

I took some time off over the weekend to redo my office and I'm currently working my way through the second revision of Faceoff of the Heart at my huge new desk.

As you can see there's now a cover for the book. Lori Gnahn captured the image in my mind perfectly and now I'm doing my best to make sure the story is good enough for such an awesome cover.

I'd love to hear what you think of the cover.

I have a new job as freelance writer

I mentioned before that there's no guarantee on my current job past the end of the year, so I'd been checking into work as a freelance writer. The first job I created a proposal for didn't work out. However, I did apply for another freelance job and was hired. It's not glamorous or exciting, but I am making decent money for the amount of time I'm putting in. I've been writing about a variety of topics, learning to write quickly and getting paid to better my writing skills. I'm excited to be writing "professionally" and am no longer as worried about my job as a programmer.

I feel rather validated right now. I never went to college to be a writer, because I was always told I wouldn't be able to make a living writing. That may have been true 15 years ago, but now with the internet and online work, it IS possible.

I am still working feverishly on Faceoff of the Heart to have it ready by the beginning of December. I'm also going to be making a few changes to the topics I cover in my blog, which will hopefully  help build my reader platform and convince people that they really want to read what I have to say.

It'd be great if you guys could tell me what you'd like to read. What are your interests outside of reading? What topics and genres do you like to read about? What blogs do you read regularly?

 

"The Look" blog challenge

Oh Darcia and Marty, I will get even with you both. Eventually. When you least expect it. ;) These two wonderful authors have both tagged me in "The Look" blog challenge. Thanks to them, you (my faithful followers) will get to experience something few people ever get to experience. You get to see part of the current manuscript I'm working on.

You can see what Marty and Darcia posted on their blogs for this challenge by following the links above.

The instructions are: The Look is a writing prompt, a game, another tagging event. This is how U Got “The Look” works: you take your current manuscript, search for the word “look”, and post the surrounding paragraphs. Lastly, you tag 5 blogging authors who you think will be a good choice for the game.

So without further ado, here are a few paragraphs from Faceoff of the Heart.

The announcer finished the Red Wing introductions and moved on to the opposing team's. Rhianna tuned him out until she heard, “Number seven, Cameron Walker, former Michigan State University Spartan returns to Detroit with the Devils.”

Rhianna jerked in surprise and almost jumped to her feet as the player skated onto the ice. Even if she had heard wrong, she would know him anywhere, just by the way he moved. He’d always had a fluid grace to him which was unexpected for someone so large. The row of women looked at her curiously and she forced herself to relax back into the seat, as she said, “I think he was in my chemistry class at MSU.”

Rhianna didn’t hear anything else the announcer said. What the hell was he doing here?

Her voice was calm, but her mind raced. She avoided meeting the gaze of the well-coiffed woman next to her, Teresa, who smiled.

Teresa leaned toward Rhianna and pointed one of her long, manicured fingernails. “I bet there was chemistry with a lot of hockey players.”

This is from the opening scene of Faceoff of the Heart, which is scheduled for release at the beginning of December, 2012.
And now, for my five victims, erm, I mean, fellow authors.

Goal: 100 pages in a week

It's time for BIW again. The time off flew by, and I considered skipping it this month, but I was so productive last month with the challenge that I decided to sign up. I committed to 100 pages in a week. That's a lot of writing, but how proud will I be if I achieve it? That's twice as many pages as I set my goal for last month. And thirty more pages than I achieved last month. And if I write the entire 100 pages for Pucked (I don't know why but that title seems to be sticking, at least in my mind. For now.), the draft will be completed, as long as the characters cooperate and don't change the story on me again.

I don't really have a plan, other than write like crazy. Again, I have an outline of what the characters are supposed to do. I'm kinda curious whether they'll follow the plan or send me off on some tangent.

I decided to do this Saturday night, so I spent the weekend telling myself, "You're nuts. You have two kids, you have an office to clean, you have a full-time job, you have plans for doing other things." Yet, I kept responding, "Oh pshaw. What's a hundred pages? No problem."

My secret weapon? A long car ride on Sunday. And by "long car ride" I mean around 6 hours in the car. No internet access. No kids. No games on my laptop. And a husband who doesn't like to be the passenger. Surely, I'll be able to finish everything I didn't finish during the rest of the week. And if I complete that goal, well...

I'll find something else to write. Or I'll catch up on my sleep.

That's 14.28 pages per day. What do you think? Is 100 pages in a week possible?

Now I'm contemplating NaNoWriMo. Really, that shouldn't be a problem, should it? If I can accomplish 100 pages in a week, I'd just have to work on my NaNoWriMo novel for two weeks (100 pages in a week times two). OR! I could write 2 NaNoWriMo novels 100 pages in a week times 4). Or one really long NaNoWriMo novel. Really, the possibilities for November are endless.

Entire 50,000 word rough draft in one week? Hmmm....

Censorship and how it affects me

How often have you heard about censorship lately? I know, I know. Everyone believes in their own right of free speech, and some people even believe in free speech for others. Mostly just when their free speaking matches our thoughts. But this isn't about other people, or even the government, censoring anyone. How often do you censor yourself and how much does it affect your writing? How often do you bite your tongue instead of telling someone exactly what you think? How often have you changed a character's traits because you were afraid of what someone important would say?

I often bite my tongue, just so I don't upset people, even if they're upsetting me. So instead of them being aware that they're annoying or frustrating me, I just suck it up instead of them being upset.

I have a hard time writing certain things because I'm always worrying, in the back of my mind, what so-and-so will think if they read it. Will they think I'm talking about them? Will they think I'm insulting them? Or will they be flattered that they mattered enough for me to think of them while I was writing a story?

What's Grandma going to think if she reads something I wrote that has actual sex scenes instead of alluding to them and magically having a scene break right the characters are doing the nasty? Good lord, what if one of my drinking buddies thinks the alcoholic in a novel is based on them? Will they ever believe that I created that character long before I met them?

If I write about a woman who's cheating on her husband, is my husband going to think I'm cheating on him? Or that I want to cheat on him?

All of these questions go through my mind when I'm writing. It's ridiculous; isn't it? At some point, if I want to be productive, I have to get back to where I was writing for myself. The story is what matters and if someone doesn't understand that my experiences all play into my writing, i guess I'll never be able to explain it to them. Right? As for Grandma, I suspect she knows what sex is. She did have kids of her own.

My current work-in-progress has some scenes that I'm uncomfortable writing because I'm worried what people will think when they read it. However, the scenes are demanded by the story and the characters. I don't write sex scenes just to make sure there are sex scenes.

How does self-censorship affect you and your writing? Or even your daily life?

Freelance writing? Is it for me?

I recently received notice that my hours will be cut at my "day job." I love being able to work from home and the flexibility to play with my kids during short breaks from the computer. I'm not too keen on the idea of finding a new job which requires me to get out of bed, shower, and drive somewhere before starting my day. I'm even less fond of the prospect of putting my kids in a daycare for a few hours while my work and Nate's overlaps. I've been spoiled by having a great boss who is amazingly understanding about my family coming first. I did a couple of job searches, just to see what was out there and weigh my options. Pickings are still slim around here. There was one possibility in my current career field, but the wages were laughable. I'd spend more money on daycare (for the few hours the kids would need to be watched each day), transportation costs, and updating my work wardrobe then I would make.

I decided if I was going to change career fields, again, I better make it the right one this time. (Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I do currently, but since there's nothing around here in that field, I'm at a crossroads. Again.)

I've spent my entire life wanting to be a writer. I have spent my entire life being a writer, why not get paid for it? Could I be a freelance writer? Would I enjoy freelance writing about various topics based on whomever wants to pay me? Yes! I can do that. (Which reminds me, I did some freelance report writing in high school.)

After a few false starts with "work from home" scams, I found some reputable websites that connect freelancers and contractors.

Imagine my surprise last night when I received a notice that my status had changed from "applicant" to "active candidacy" on one of the jobs I'd applied for. It's a large project for me to start with, clearly not as large as a novel, but more than one article. With a detailed description of the project in hand, I started to panic.

I want this job. I want to look professional. I don't want to drive them away by costing too much, yet I don't want to spend the hours I could be working on my novels, writing for free. Know what I mean? However, I know that since I don't have experience writing professionally, I'm not going to make top dollar. We all have to start somewhere.

Please provide an estimate. Gulp. Estimate? Oh boy. How do I create an estimate? How do I value my time? How do I present the estimate?

Enter, google. This was one time that I didn't get side-tracked. I found some information, but of course it was all vague. "Don't overcharge, but don't undervalue yourself either." Geez, I didn't already figure that out myself? I found a huge price range. Which again was ridiculously hazy. "Freelance writers make anywhere from 10 cents a word to $200 per hour."

So, I went with my gut. I calculated my current hourly rate from my salary, and decided 75% of that would be a fair starting wage. I figured out how many hours I thought it would take to complete each item in the project, added it all up, add 10% (to cover my mistaken belief of how quickly I can accomplish things) and swallowed repeatedly.

Then it was time to prepare the response to the contractor. How do you do that and look professional? Back to google. After two hours of searching and trying to find something that seemed right to me, I found nothing. Blah. I went with a plain business letter typed up in Word, with a break down of costs, a couple questions to be clarified and several untyped prayers to whomever is in charge.

Shortly after midnight, I finished and submitted the proposal. I hope to hear something by Monday at the latest, but until then, I'm checking my email every three minutes.

Alaskan Healing ready for re-release

I did it! Alaskan Healing is ready!

I managed to learn how to format my book (Alaskan Healing) for Amazon KDP, Createspace, Pubit, and Smashwords and have them all uploaded and ready to go before my self-imposed deadline. How awesome is that?

I received yet another proof copy today of the printed version. I made a couple tiny changes and I'm happy to let it "go to press." After that, I was confident I had all my grammatical mistakes fixed, and finally have the correct punctuation included. I'm happy with the formatting and the layout.

It looks like a really awesome book, and I owe a lot of that professional appearance to my cover designer, Lori Gnahn. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lori.

After I was completely happy with the Createspace version, I used that as the starting point for creating the other documents. There are little things that are different for each of the other epublishing sites I chose to use.

So, I saved a copy of my Createspace document, removed the headers (with page numbers, title, and author's name), removed some page breaks, made sure I had the proper Smashwords front matter included, and uploaded that to Smashwords. No errors! Woo-hoo. It's almost like I know what I'm doing.

Then I saved another version for Barnes and Noble's PubIt (for the nook). I removed the mention of Smashwords from the front matter, saved and uploaded. I previewed it on their site and again, no errors!

On to Kindle publishing. I used the nook version of my document, saved as html in Word, uploaded, and previewed. What was I so nervous about?

Now, I wait. Createspace can take up to 48 hours to approve the documents. Amazon, Smashwords, and PubIt all have their own reviews and other things to do before my book appears on their sites.

I have to admit, I was really excited when Alaskan Healing was first released in September 2009, but right now I have this weird feeling in my stomach and I'm practically giddy with excitement. Not because I think I'm going to make more money as an indie author, but because I did it by myself (with some guidance from experienced indie authors).

My sense of accomplishment is through the roof right now. I am so proud of myself. I better get my butt back to work so I can feel this way again in a couple months when another of my novels is ready and loaded everywhere.

Hey! Did I mention that Alaskan Healing is ready for its re-release?