Thursday, December 20, 2012

Writing is Lonely. Publishing Takes a Village!

Writing a novel requires endless hours spent alone in front of my computer. When things go well, the time speeds by. When I'm stuck, I can spend hours procrastinating: getting another cup of coffee, checking Facebook, streaming yet another episode of Cake Boss. For me, writing is rewriting. I rarely speed through writing chapters and keep going. I write forwards and then go backwards; sometimes I jump ahead.

Publishing is a different story. I'm not a techno-geek, so I can't do it all myself. When the book is finished, writing becomes a collaborative effort. 

I usually work with an editor who can help me spot plot holes and who will offer advice to strengthen then story. After another rewrite or two, I ask fellow writers and readers to read the manuscript--usually I print it out, because I find reading on a printed page helps to spot typos. After I get feedback and make corrections, I may send it to a copy editor for proofing. It constantly amazes me that ten people can read a book, and typos still slip past.

Meanwhile, I send the manuscript to my cover artist, Jeroen ten Berge, so he can start getting ideas. Covers are extremely important, and Jeroen always does a great job. Making a cover work in thumbprint size is a challenge. Initially, Jeroen came up with a cover that you can see on this blog, but after receiving feedback from fellow writers like Blake Crouch (he told me the cover had to feature a dancer), Jeroen went back to the drawing board and came up with the current gem.

Finally, I send the book to my formatter, Terry Roy of TERyvisions. She's the person I torture most, because she has to deal with my nit-picky changes and corrections. Terry is close to a fact, she may truly be one! And she does a terrific job for eformatting and paper. 

Rosy presented additional challenges, because I decided to name each chapter for a song and link the chapter heading to an MP3 download of that song. First, I contacted Amazon to make sure that was okay. They gave me the green light, but after doing some research, and learning how litigious the music industry can be, I became nervous about being sued. I contacted several lawyers via the internet.

Kirschner Law advised me that lyrics are copyrighted, but song titles are not--they advised me to check each title for trademarks. Todd Mouser of Mouser Law was exceptionally helpful, giving me further advice regarding trademarks--not all of them are easy to determine. Todd advised me not to mention the artists in conjunction with the song titles, because that might be construed as an endorsement. Todd also advised me to delete all lyrics from the text, which I did. If you need advice regarding intellectual property, I highly recommend Todd Mouser. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

After determining that I would probably not be sued, Terry linked the Chapter Headings, and I downloaded Rosy: A Novel.

Then author, Mel Comley, who'd downloaded the book, was kind enough to let me know about a number of typos she'd discovered! 

So guess what? 

I had to bug Terry Roy again.

Early this morning, I downloaded the new file to Amazon. Hopefully, it will be published in time for the 3 day FREE promotion beginning December 21 (tomorrow) at midnight!

Writing may be a lonely process, but publishing is not!

Many thanks to everyone who's helped me!

Please pick up a copy of Rosy: A Novel. FREE on Amazon, December 21-23.

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