Sunday, 29 July 2012

How I edit

Do you have a plan for editing your mss? I didn't used to, but now that I get proper edits for my YA ebooks I do.  I recently got my edits back for my third Angel ebook and it consists of a lot of work for me to do.  Here is my plan of work for it:

1. Round one: Line edits, where I work down the ms line by line typing the changes.  Then I print the whole thing out.
2. Go through the edits, reading the comments and write down changes according to them. Type them up and print it out.
3. Read through the letter of comments from editor about major changes to make eg the train needs to become closer and closer each time. Write those changes, type them up and print it out.
4. Another major change.  It is currently in two stories, Lizzie's pov then Danny's.  My editor says that the reader will lose interest as it is boring and repetitious, and it is better to have them interact.  So I will go through it, delete any scenes where it is repeated, then work in Danny's pov with Lizzie's pov.  Write those up, type them and print it all out again.
5. Then I will read it through from start to finish, to see if it all makes sense to me and readers. Jot down anything that I think sounds wrong, type them up and print.
6. Hopefully last edit for me, which is my read aloud edit. I read it aloud (when I am on my own) to hear if there is anything that sounds wrong, repetitive or doesn't make sense. Jot those down as I read it, type it up and print.  Read it all again, silently.  Then send back to editor.

I am currently still on round one of the edits. Started yesterday, continue today and next week.  I hope to get them all done by this time next week, so I can continue working on Don't Get Mad once more.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Me and Asperger's - Communicating with staff in a small office

When I first started work back in 1989, the dept was small and there were only six staff members.  The Registrar and his PA, and the two Assistant Registrars and their assistants. I remember my interview. I am sure that I was quiet and didn't hear what they asked me properly.  When I come to think of it, I am positive it was this quietness that made them decide to employ me, and for the AR on one of the sections (there were two - medicine and dentistry) to be able to bully me.  I later found out after a couple of years, that no one liked the AR for medicine. She was one of those people who could be nice to you one minute, then later on talk down to you as though you were beneath her.  The other AR I couldn't talk to really as I felt she was too posh to do so but she seemed nice.  The rest of the staff, inc the Registrar, I got on well with.  One of the assistants whom I shall call Y, was nearer to my age and I got on really well with her and ended up confiding in her about the problems I was having with my dad at the time.  We often talked on the train home as her nan lived near to me.  The other assistant I also got on really well with, so well in fact, that at times I would take the mick out of her accent - she came from Yorkshire.  I also got on well with the Registrar's PA, who teased me sometimes.  The Registrar was nice too, and after a year or two he allowed me to call him by his first name, much to the Medicine AR's shock. She wanted me to call him as Mr...

I remember one occasion when I tried to stand up for myself against the nasty AR, whom everyone hated.  I can't remember exactly what she said, but it must've been in her condescending tone as per usual, that she said something to me, and I tried to retaliate by replying to her in the same tone of voice. It didn't work.  She had a go at me, and I ended up walking out in tears.  I hated her.

A few years later, she got her just desserts.  She caused a major row in our busiest time of year (registration) and was suspended pending investigation.  I was off with a bad cold at the time, and was phoned to say that she had resigned voluntarily.  IMO she was forced to resign, as things couldn't have gone on like they were.

Thinking back now to those first few years of working there, I now know that I did communicate better with a few people instead of a dept of 20.

Next time I blog about Asperger's it will be about something different - sensory overload.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

RNA Meeting on 7 July 2012

On 7 July I went to a RNA chapter meeting. It was meant to be a talk by Kate Allen about festivals, but she couldn't make it. So instead we chose the topics ourselves and then talked about it. 

We had our usual round robin of who is who and what we have got up to.  I mentioned my romance ebook coming out and the letters I have had published.  A few others have self-published ebooks with Amazon and Smashwords, and this was mentioned as a possible further topic to talk about in another meeting - opportunities and self-publishing. 

The first topic mentioned was how to get reviews.  It was said that you should target sites for your genre, but make sure you look at that site first before you target them.  Goodreads is a good site to do giveaways (printed books only), and when you send out your book, you can ask the winner to kindly review your book. (My note: I put my Angel ebooks up there and got reviews without asking.)  You can put review links from Goodreads on to your website.  Your local press is a good option to getting reviews, but not national press.

Another subject was how to send large Word documents to people.  It was suggested to try Google Docs for large downloads.

Then we had our raffle, while we scoffted chocolates and the others drunk champagne, which were brought by Pia, who had a book launched that day. I ate chocolates but didn't drink because I can't drink alchohol.

All in all, it was a nice day.  I enjoyed meeting other authors who have self-published ebooks like me.

Friday, 6 July 2012

My non-fiction brand

I have finally worked out what my non-fiction brand is.  I have just read 'Tricked out toolbox', an ebook by Melissa Bourbon and Tonya Kappes, and something I read in this made me figure it out.  It says that for non-fiction, your brand is your platform and credentials.  So I got thinking.  What is my platform?  And it is natural health, healthy eating and being green.  My credentials are as follows (in that I have had letters in these magazines):

Green Parent, Natural Health, Healthy and Sainsbury's.  These are the main magazines that I have had lots of letters in over the last several years. I have also had letters in local and national papers about the above subjects and TV programmes about the subjects.  I have just started to write about wildlife, as I have got a letter in the last issue of The Lady about the ravens at the Tower of London.  Come to think of it, I write short stories about a kitten and a squirrel, and articles about the types of birds I get in my garden, for a small press magazine.

So, here is what I think my brand for non-fiction is:

Author of natural health, healthy eating, green and wildlife non-ficion

So, do you write non-fiction?  If so, what is your brand, when you think about your platform and credentials?