Edits, edits and more edits plus a Dymocks-a-thon

I’ve been busy lately. Really busy. Here goes…

Over the last six weeks I’ve edited ‘Impatience’ as it presently hovers around the 120,000 mark. Specifically I’ve performed a complete pass of line edits, that’s reading every sentence and adjusting the structure, grammar etcetera. Secondly I’ve also tweaked ‘Flight’ my latest novel. I’ve made many minor adjustments suggested by my proof readers, thank you one and all, and also added in a bit more detail where I thought the story needed it.

Why have I smashed through this editing now? The answer’s below however please bear with me as I provide a little back story. Over the last six months I’ve become an active member of Writers Unite, a writers group run out of the UK for aspiring and published authors around the globe. During this time I’ve gotten to know a number of authors, almost all either traditionally published or independantly delving into the realm of e-books. I’ve learnt a great deal from them all. Lisa Fender, one of these talented individuals, suggested I contact Susan Uttendorfsky of Adirondack Editing in New York. Susan is an editor with her own business and importantly 25 years industry experience.

Here’s the important part, for 2012 Susan’s offering professional editing for unpublished manuscripts for zip, nada, zilch, free! My limited editing skills means I need professional help (on so many levels) however I’ve hesitated to engage editing services for my larger works primarily due to cost. Line edits in Australia by a proven industry professional cost a typical $3 per page and these novels combined are a smidge over 800 pages. That’s $2400 I simply do not have at this time. I cannot stress enough how important this opportunity is to me as it will move my manuscripts in the right direction. For this reason I’ve focused almost exclusively of late on editing. Over the last week I’ve had times when I thought my brain might explode…

Today via airmail I sent a 4.5 kilogram package containing both books in hardcopy all the way to New York. Mission accomplished, time to collapse…

Secondly, last week I took off the editor’s hat and became a student. A pupil of talking to readers. I spent two days running around Melbourne with Duncan Lay, an Australian best selling fantasy author. I’ve commented before about Duncan’s ‘The Dragon Sword histories’ trilogy. In short the series is a fantastic read and I couldn’t put it down. Duncan was in Melbourne doing instore appearances as part of his tour to promote the first book of his second trilogy. Bridge of Swords kicks off the ‘Empire of Bones’ series and I’ve been dying to read it. Duncan is very affable, an easy going polite and all round nice guy. He has a confident, enthusiastic and positive approach to talking to readers and is well suited to the joys, the ups and downs, trials and tribulations of authorship.

There’s so much more to being an author than writing good books. Promotion, dealing with publishers, agents, stores, readers, reviewers, social media the list goes on and on. To do all of this in an efficient and effective manner is quite a feat. I’ve learnt being successful at this writing game is of itself an art form and one I’m very keen to learn. To have the opportunity to experience this first hand from someone so talented I believe has been time well spent. Over the 2 days we visited 4 Dymocks stores and one independant. Dymocks staff welcomed Duncan and surprisingly myself, warmly with genuine appreciation for the time taken to visit their store. It was fantastic to see Duncan make a reader’s day by offering a signed copy. The personal touch and attention to detail had many customers departing with an excited smile. It might sound a little corny and I’m probably not doing the process justice however I found myself often becoming excited for the reader as they purchased Duncan’s novels. I knew they would have a great time reading and like I did 2 years ago, remember meeting him.

So what now I hear you ask? Well for one thing I think I deserve a short break, before the next big thing. I already know what that is however that would be telling…

Here are a few pics from my time with Duncan however first take a look at the Bridge of Swords stunning cover:

Looks great on the shelf too:

And how do I spell that?

Everywhere we went stores presented impressive displays for Duncan’s books…

Readers lining up to check out Duncan’s books… very cool…

Hey it’s not all work, there’s always time for a smile…


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3 Responses to Edits, edits and more edits plus a Dymocks-a-thon

  1. Moss says:

    Nice pics Jase!
    Hope to see you behind a stack of your own books one day 😀

  2. Christof says:

    Great description of a busy, crazy time. I agree it sounds like time very well spent, and I look forward to the results of that editing.
    C and D

  3. Thanks for the plug, Jason! I started Flight yesterday. :) Susan

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