Pen and paper

edited-paper

I’m a little over 200 pages into my sci-fi adventure story and I’m already looking ahead to the daunting task of making it readable.  By making it readable I mean editing, because it’s going to need a lot of work.  I purposefully didn’t do much in the way of editing while I was writing because I wanted to get the whole story down before I started going through it.  Knowing myself, I probably would have gotten so bogged down by the revising that I would have gotten fed up with the project and never finished it (I’ve made that mistake before).

The longer the story gets the longer the process of making it readable will be.  For as long as it takes to write a page, editing and shaping that page will probably take twice as long.  At least.

As I’m thinking through this process, one thing keeps coming to mind: there’s no way I’m going to be able to edit this on a computer.

For the most part, I’m a Luddite when it comes to technology.  I’m interested in it only so far as it can improve my life, no further.  For example, writing on a computer is far faster for me than writing with a pen and paper, so I write on the computer.  It’s also far easier to edit and produce short works on a computer, like blog posts.  However, with longer pieces in the past I’ve always printed them out to edit them.

I’ve always edited on paper because being able to flip through the pages, make notations in the margins, put sticky notes on the important scenes, and physically hold the papers has been a vital part of the editing process.  So, I can’t imagine trying to edit this 200+ page story on a computer screen.  There’s no way.

Yet, printing out 200+ pages and going through them by hand -only to make the corrections on the computer and have to reprint the entire manuscript for the second phase of editing- seems incredibly wasteful and inefficient.

So, where’s the middle ground?  I’m thinking that I will end up doing as much of the editing as possible on the computer, spell check, grammar, etc.  Then when I’m through with the minor things, printing the manuscript and looking for the bigger changes.  It still doesn’t seem very efficient but I’m not sure how else to do it.

Is this something that other authors have faced?  If so, I would love to hear suggestions because I’m still very new to this and I’m already feeling a little intimidated.

 

**Photo from Curriculum Design for ELL**

How to create a Kindle ebook with Scrivener

There are a lot of tutorials online that go over using Scrivener to format to .mobi, the problem with most of them is they’re written for Mac, not Windows.  Scrivener was originally a Mac-only program, so a lot of the support and information isn’t applicable to Windows users.  I wrote a little bit about this in the previous post, The coolest thing I’ve ever seen.  Eventually, I figured it out and put a draft of Larry’s Dead onto my Kindle.

The process isn’t difficult but it was tricky, so I thought I would write out specific instructions.  If you have any issues, contact me and I’ll walk you through it. Continue reading “How to create a Kindle ebook with Scrivener”

The coolest thing I’ve ever seen

I had another post I was working on but this was just too cool to put off.  Seriously, probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.  It might not be all that big of a deal to anyone else, but it’s definitely high on my list.

Alright, I’ll start at the beginning.  A couple days ago I read a post about how Scrivener (the writing program I use) can format to different ebook types.  I started playing around with it and got really frustrated.  To format for Kindle you have to download the KindleGen program from Amazon, then go back and link Scrivener to the program before it’ll work right.  I’ll probably do another post specifically on that process later, it was kind of a pain.

So, I got all that set up and went back to trying to compile the manuscript for Kindle.  It asked what I wanted to put for the cover, so I messed around for a while and made up a draft cover.  I did the drawing by hand, edited it on the computer and did the formatting (1:1.6.  Best for Kindle is 2820 x 4500 according to their site, that’s what I used). Continue reading “The coolest thing I’ve ever seen”

A Few Thoughts on “Marketing”

One of the reasons that I started this blog was to interact with other authors and learn a bit about writing, publishing, and marketing a self published book.  I’ve only been on this site for a few weeks now, but I’ve been reading and researching everything I can find.  And now, I have a couple thoughts on some of the things I’ve seen and read.  Of course, take it all with a grain of salt since I haven’t published anything yet.

One of the reasons I decided to write this post is that I realized today that I have never, not once, bought a book because of something I’d seen on social media.  Maybe that’s just me, maybe I’m in the minority, but none of the “techniques” I’ve seen so far made me click the link to check out someone’s book.  Sure, I’ve only been on here a short while, but as soon as I signed up I was following every site I could find that might have anything to do with indie authors and self publishing.  I’ve seen countless interviews, reviews, blog tours, etc.  There have only been a few times I was tempted and that was because the author caught my interest, not the book, and I was curious to see what they had written. Continue reading “A Few Thoughts on “Marketing””

Amazon’s Unlimited program

I just read the newest post on the Smashwords blog, Is Kindle Unlimited Bad for Authors?  As it mentions in the title, the post is all about Amazon’s new program and potential effects on indie authors.  In case you’ve been under a rock for the last week and haven’t heard, Amazon has just started “Kindle Unlimited”.  It’s a subscription program where readers pay a flat rate and read as much as they want for the month.

The catch for authors is that if you want your book to be in the lending pool you have to be part of Kindle Select.  Kindle Select is fairly controversial in writing circles because to be in the program, and have access to the benefits, that book has to be exclusive to Amazon, you can’t put the book up anywhere else.  If you’re in the program you get access to promotional tools and benefits, and will be included in the lending library and the new Kindle Unlimited.  One of the most powerful promotional tools included is 5 “free” days every 90 days, where you can give away ebooks to draw in new readers.  Being included in the Unlimited program would be beneficial too, giving readers a chance to access your works without paying anything (yet the author will still be compensated for it). Continue reading “Amazon’s Unlimited program”

Started a new project

(Image from an interesting post on Good E Reads)

I hadn’t realized how tied up my brain is with my daughter’s book until last night.

I was really trudging through my writing time, just struggling to add a couple new pages to her story.  It wasn’t writer’s block, nothing that serious, but it was work.  The words were reluctant, difficult, and stubborn.  I got my pages done and then closed the word processor with relief.  Done for the day, whew.

But there was another document open. Continue reading “Started a new project”

Welcome!

It’s been an interesting few months leading up to me starting this blog.

I’ve been a voracious reader and writer for many years now.  It started in High School when friends and I would exchange stories, usually horror stories that involved gory death scenes.

Since then, my problem has been that I get really excited about a project for a few weeks but then I get another idea.  The first idea gets shelved and I start working on the new one.  And repeat.  None of them ever made it past a couple dozen pages before another project came up or life got in the way.

Recently though, I started writing a story for my daughter.  She loves to read, so I thought it would be something fun to do.  She’s been the motivation that got me to dig into a single story and not let go.

It’s been a whole lot of fun and it’s really inspired me to get more serious with my writing.  There is so much more I want to learn about writing, publishing, and developing as a person and a writer.

J. M. Payer