Monday, June 23, 2014

Publishing Updates and Sundry Other Things

Last week, I finally sent the review draft of the job search ebook to my beta readers. I'm looking forward to reading their feedback, and then revising like crazy. I've decided to find a professional editor/proofreader to help me clean it up before I publish it, too. If you are an editor or you know someone who is... let me know, either in the comments or via email (wandsci at gmail dot com). It might take me a few weeks to get back to you, but I'd like to talk rates and the like.

Then I'll figure out the formatting and publish it. First on Amazon, and then perhaps to Kobo and I'd also like to figure out how to make a PDF available. We'll see how it goes.

Once I get the final version, I'll send it to the people who volunteered to review it.

One of my offline friends asked if the fact that I was self-publishing this book meant that I was going to give up on publishing with a publisher. Not by a long shot! I love my publisher in particular and think publishers in general bring a lot to the table. I'm just curious about how the self-publishing thing will feel, and I'm also gathering information to help me weigh some of my ideas for what I'd like to do now that I've carved out space to pursue some projects.

And speaking of publishing with a publisher... my next kids' book is coming out soon! It is called Petunia, the Girl Who Was NOT a Princess. My publisher has some really cool ideas for promoting it, I've got an idea or two, as well, and I'm just super excited about the whole thing. I really like how this story turned out (BIG thank you to the folks who beta tested it for me- I got some ideas from your comments that I think made the story better). I really, really, really love how the illustrations look, and I can't wait to show you guys. There will be some sort of blog tour/party/whatever we're calling those things these days, so if you're interested in that sort of thing, stay tuned. Details will be coming along once I get them figured out.

I'll have to make sure the job search ebook and the Petunia book releases are sufficiently staggered, so that you don't all get tired of reading posts where I gush about being excited about a book release. Because I suspect a book release will always be exciting to me.

Heck, just reading a particularly nice review can get me all excited. I hadn't checked the Amazon page for The Zebra Said Shhh in awhile, and for some reason, I decided to take a look. First, I was shocked at the sheer number of reviews- it clearly had been quite awhile since I looked! Then, I noticed the review titled Works like sleep medicine for 3 to 5 year olds and I had to laugh, and also feel a little warm and gushy inside. You may not remember, but the story came from my desperate attempts to get Pumpkin to go to sleep. Sadly, the story didn't seem to work on her, but it makes me really happy to read that it works on someone's kids! (Pumpkin has actually started requesting this story again at bedtime, and now falls asleep while I tell it, but I think that is because she now generally goes to sleep easily.)

In other review news, Nicoleandmaggie have posted a review of Taming the Work Week, which I very much appreciate. A couple of the commenters said that the review made them think of Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, a book I confess I have not read (or even heard of before now). I may need to check that out and see what I think. I have some deep thoughts rumbling around about how the issues with how we've arranged our work world may be contributing to some of society's problems and perhaps also screwing with people's health (mental and physical), but I haven't been able to get them to coalesce. It sounds like maybe this book summarizes some relevant research, so maybe it would help get my thoughts on the topic to become coherent. But I have a lot of other books queued up first, so who knows when I'll get to it.

Finally in news that is only related because I figure in it, I posted over on Tungsten Hippo this week. I wrote about how it annoys me when authors who don't usually write sci-fi write a sci-fi book and totally flub the world-building.  Does that annoy you, too? I can't be the only one who finds that a deal-killer in a book, but everyone I talk to about it just looks at me like I've suddenly shown myself to be far geekier than they expected and sort of backs away slowly.

That's all the news, I think. Contracting is going well, but I need to get motivated to go find another client or two. I'll do that soon. I'm also still thinking about whether there is a useful or interesting post in the story of setting up the business. Mostly, it was filling out a lot of forms, and that sounds like a boring post to me. But several people have asked for details, so maybe there is something interesting in the process that I'm missing? Perhaps it is just in figuring out how to trust yourself enough to take the leap. I'm not sure I can help on that, since I took the initial leap at least partly in anger and frustration! I'll keep thinking about this and see if a post becomes clear.

Ask about anything I missed in the comments, or talk about any of the above news, or tell me how much you hate authors flubbing world-building... or anything, really.


  1. I'm a content editor with decent copyediting/proofreading skills--but I do know a few people who specialize in that. No idea what their rates are, but I can see if they're available.

  2. Anonymous7:30 AM

    I know a very expensive (and very good) person. If you don't find someone else you want I can email you her info... Also funny about money has a business .

  3. Congrats on the new children's book coming out! That's wonderful! And I love that your daughter's blog-name is in the title!

    I just e-mailed you my comments on your latest e-book (good job on it, by the way!)

    And finally. . .

    You are not the only one for whom sloppy world-building is a deal-breaker. Inconsistent details stick out and annoy me like nails on a chalkboard (wait, do they still have chalkboards?) Implausible science *really* annoys me. I once read an award-winning science fiction story about an alternate universe where Einstein never discovered his theory of relativity and physics somehow developed on a parallel track which still led to interstellar travel. . . but with no understanding of relativity. So in the story, an astronaut travels to another world at near light-speed and no one understands that time is slowing down for him. . . until the scientists back home finally figure it out. And his wife is distraught that when he comes back to her he'll still be young and good-looking and she'll be an old hag (in her eyes). Anyway, this story was nominated FOR MAJOR AWARDS and I just couldn't deal with it. The comments section was filled with people angry at the scientific implausibility (this future world invented near light-speed space travel and somehow never stumbled across the principles of relativity?!) but I guess a lot of other people didn't care.

    Rant over. I actually can get over hare-brained world-building and massive scientific implausibility, but only if the writer writes prose like Ray Bradbury.

    1. Yeah, one of the books that pushed me over the edge had a zombie outbreak that was supposed to be an infectious disease, but also somehow appeared everywhere right at once. WTF is that?

    2. Anonymous9:05 AM

      It bugged the crap out of me that Jar Jar Binks spoke a creole (that's the second generation of a pidgin language that arises when grown people from different languages are forced to communicate with each other, for example, because they're all brought over as adult slaves from different countries) even though there was zero history of his culture having the kind of history that would create a creole language. The sole purpose was to be racist! (I wrote an undergrad linguistics term paper on creoles and pidgins.)

    3. Jar Jar, alas, was only one of the characters who was a grotesque stereotype. I really don't remember that being such a big issue in the original trilogy, but the prequels are full of them.

  4. Anonymous11:10 PM

    I don't mind illogical world building if the illogic is a key part of the premise, the story is internally consistent, the rules are communicated to me, and something interesting is done with it. I find most s/f and a lot of fantasy fall apart at the seams if I think about them too much.

    But I can't stand it when the story is internally inconsistent, fails to establish its rules, or pokes at the edges of its illogic and makes it impossible to ignore. For me, a good example is the difference between BtVS S1-3 and BtVS S4-7 (with S1-3 being the good example and S4-7 being the bad example, natch)

  5. Iowa Engineer12:00 PM

    Long time reader, first time commenter. My question about setting up your business centers around how you have found your clients.

    I made the leap to contracting in January and also have one main client but have been trying to drum up some other ones to supplement (without any success so far).

    1. Hmmm. I think it is too early for me to have anything at all useful to say on that. I, too, have one main client. I gave myself the summer to not worry about that and focus on other aspects of what I want to do. I'm going to get serious about growing my client based starting in the fall. So... stay tuned, I guess! I can blog about what does and doesn't work.


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