Category Archives: Publishing

Proofreading Four Pack, Part III  

With self-publishing comes great responsibility. Whether you self-publish or go the way of an agent/publisher, you want to be sure your manuscript makes it to readers as cleanly as possible and makes sense from Chapter 1 through to The End.

Or perhaps you have an important corporate letter or a letter to the editor you want to send off? Maybe you are writing a school bulletin, family newsletter, or a web page for your new business?

Here’s a handy DIY – the third part in a four pack of proofreading and copy-editing tip lists.

Hiring a proofreader/copy editor  

Planning – Start looking for a proofreader the minute you start your book or soon thereafter.  Don’t decide you need a proofreader on Monday and hire one on Tuesday. Shop around. Ask other successful writers for recommendations.

Ask for Specifics – Ask the proofreader to outline exactlywhat they consider “proofreading” and “copy editing.” These differ significantly throughout the industry.

Put away the hatchet, please – When I proofread and edit for a client, I prefer to suggestchanges; I do not make edits for the writer. You should direct how the edits come to you or be amenable and agree to how the editing process works. 

Research online – Look at the proofreader’s website, Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and blog. Are they positive? Do they share tips and links? Are their online pages clean?

Stylebook – Ask them what style book(s) and references they use. If they hem and haw or say, “Oh, I don’t need those things,” run away.

Testimonials – Get testimonials or references and then look at the publications of the testimonials. Contact the people who have provided these testimonials.

Turn-around – Look at the turn-around time – if a proofreader says she’ll have your 100,000-word work of art back to you in two days, that’s just not gonna happen.

Contract – Sign a contract. I would caution that if the proofreader doesn’t use contracts, again, run away. Be sure you can accept the contract payment terms, turn-around time, cancellation terms, additional cost for phone consultations, etc.

NDA – Ask the proofreader to sign an NDA – non-disclosure agreement. You don’t want your hard work to end up in someone else’s book or in the proofreader’s e-book.

Have you worked with a professional proofreader or copy editor? What did you like and what did you NOT like about the experience? 

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Filed under Editing & Proofreading, Editor Spotlight, Publishing, Quick Editing Tips

Find YOUR Sharkies

 

Then

In June, 2015, I gathered a handful of fellow writers, bloggers, and editors at my brother and sister-in-law’s home in Newark, Delaware. People I had been corresponding with and writing with and editing with for years before that. 

Because I was hawking myself as The Word Shark, “The Sharkies” became a reality. Each professional and experienced attendee had their chance to present, share, and educate the others. We had robust writing exercises and discussions. 

Now

We come from North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. 

Even with covid, we have managed to continue to meet about every quarter to share, encourage, and commiserate on our successes and failures, via zoom. 

We had one such meeting yesterday, Saturday, 11/13. 

Sharkies rule! 

Always

I always come away from these get-togethers with a clear vision for what else I want to do, what else I need to do, with pages full of notes and inspiration, and an I’m-oh-so-grateful feeling for this group. 

If you’re a writer, 

Find YOUR Sharkies.

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Filed under Blogging, Editing & Proofreading, Personal Articles, Publishing, Quick Editing Tips

I’m published!

noboundariescover-frontonly

 

Here’s a holiday selection

From my collection

(changed slightly to accommodate Thanksgiving)
**** 

Holiday Dinner

Chicken runs round the farm yard,

Wishes he was the duck.

Duck runs round the barn yard,

Wishes he was the pig.

Pig runs round the pig sty,

Wishes he was the horse.

Horse smiles, relaxes in stall.

Thanksgiving Eve, he’ll mourn them all.

****

My collection includes Family and Friends, God Bless Our Military, Limericks, Beautiful Earth, Art, Imagination, & Miscellany, Haiku, and My Funny Bone.

To order, go to “No Boundaries” at Amazon.

 

 

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Filed under Book Cover Design, E-books & E-publishing, Personal Articles, Prose & Poetry, Publishing

A little push for “Painted From Memories”

Barbara Forte Abate PFMY’all know I worked with Barbara Forte Abate on her “Painted From Memories.” I feel so strongly about this novel, I have been assisting with the promotion of it.

Reviews

A great way to get the word out about your novel is to give the book away to a handful of people who will write a review (hopefully a good one!). Elizabeth H. Cottrell of Heartspoken.com writes wonderful, in-depth reviews about the books she reads.

Read Elizabeth’s “Painted From Memories” review.

Interviews

Another good way to get your novel into the hands of others is to participate in author interviews.

Shells Walter posted a great interview with Barbara Forte Abate on her Shells Interviews blog.

With Shells’ permission, I am sharing that interview below.

***

Could you please briefly tell the readers what “Painted from Memories” is about?

Catherine is the emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, and yet she’s found happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett. With the promise of a freshly polished future in her grasp, she feels compelled to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband.

Now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling, and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger, and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.

Catherine seems like a very layered character. Where did the idea of her character come about?

Cat is a composite of several people who have passed through my life and left a mark. While I purposely steer away from writing anything autobiographic, it would be a big fat festering lie to say Cat exists only in fiction. She is determined and strong, yet vulnerable and weak. She is as deeply conflicted even as she is resolute. A survivor without her consent. The more she evolved over the progression of the book, the more I felt I knew her. I absolutely loved writing her and was fully absorbed in worrying how things would turn out for her!

What did you find the most difficult when writing “Painted from Memories?”

Getting the words right! How to write a story with characters who love one another madly, yet without truly knowing each other? Who are equally strong and, purposeful, yet deeply vulnerable. As passionately as Cat cherishes her future with Gray, there is the inescapable awareness that she has, and continues to be, dishonest and deceptive. And so was the quandary of how to convey all of this while keeping these characters sympathetic and inherently likeable.

There seems to be a lesson in this story. How do you feel this would help women who may be in this same situation?

Can anyone hope to build their own “happy ever after” on a foundation of carefully placed falsehoods? Cat created what she believed to be a perfect life with Gray by purposely omitting all those things she believed too hideous to reveal. It’s pretty much saying that as much as she cherished his love for her, she didn’t trust it as being true or durable. Real love is honest love. Many, if not all of us, carry around a quietly concealed box of secrets, but it’s the big things we keep hidden under the stairs that can emotionally cripple. Cat holds to the erroneous conviction that certain stains on her history have left her hideously flawed—a lie that is altogether counterfeit to the promise and purpose of real love.

If you had one thing you wanted readers to get after reading “Painted from Memories,” what would it be?

That we’re never as alone as we sometimes believe we are. There are experiences in life that can leave us feeling very isolated, hideously damaged, or eternally soiled. But life’s unfortunate events do not necessarily define us. Truth, honestly, love, trust … these are the things we can claim and in turn offer. Unconditional love—what an awesome gift to give another person.

Where can readers buy “Painted from Memories?”

Barbara Forte Abate

Barbara Forte Abate

“Painted from Memories” is available in print from your favorite online retailers, or can be ordered through brick and mortar booksellers. The eBook is exclusive to Amazon—but only for a short while—after which you’ll find it hanging out in all the other places where books are sold.

Are there any future works you would like to share with the readers?

I am currently weeding through notebooks scribbled to bursting with a tangle of ideas—so I’m still percolating the next book. I do wish I was a faster writer, but I’m more the tortoise than the hare.

***

Shells Walter reviews

Shells Walter, author of horror and bizarro, does writer interviews at her blog, Shells Interviews. To contact Shells about interviews, click here. Her interest in learning more about Jack the Ripper has found her in many a site and involved in many adventures.

 

 

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Publishing