Tag Archives: publishing

What do you expect from an editor?

DSC01710And what do you expect it to cost?

My last several potential clients strung me along for a while, asking questions, getting feedback and critique…

When I finally told them my fee, they all balked.

My fault

This is my fault. I should ask straight up –

Have you budgeted for an editor?

What do you expect to pay your editor?

What do you expect to get from your editor?

What do you expect the turn-around time to be?

Full stop, wheels screeching

I’m changing my game plan! I’m going to stop wasting my time (sorry, but it’s true) on writers who know nothing about editing, the costs involved, or what they might expect from a really chop-chop-I-am-taking-an-axe-to-your-novel kind of editor.

Subscribers – can you help me? DSC01711

I have a few questions for you –

Have you budgeted for an editor?

What do you expect to pay your editor?

What do you expect to get from your editor?

What do you expect the turn-around time to be?

No, you’re not having déjà vu – I typed those questions twice.

If you have been edited

What did you get for your hard-earned money?

Were you satisfied?

Was your previous editor not what he/she promised? (Please, don’t mention by name.)

What did he/she miss and when did you discover it?

If this feels icky

If you feel uncomfortable posting comments here on the blog, you can email me – karenrsanderson@midco.net.

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Filed under Blogging, Editing & Proofreading, Publishing

The name my mother gave me

Hi. I'm Karen. This beautiful woman with me in my Mommy.

Hi. I’m Karen. This beautiful woman with me in my Mommy.

Karen who?

I am going back to my maiden name – Sanderson.

Publishing

I will publish a collection of poetry (hopefully this year) with the name that Lois Jane Holmes Sanderson gave me – Karen R. Sanderson.

Karen Sanderson being silly...circa 1960-something.

Karen Sanderson being silly…circa 1960-something.

After the poetry, I plan on pubbing a book of historical/familial short stories, after that a collection of horror.

Realization

I realized I didn’t want my ex’s name on any of my work. Especially since he was no cheerleader or even tolerant of my dreams to write or publish or edit.

Six freaking months old...I'm on the typewriter already! And I have an audience!

Six freaking months old…I’m on the typewriter already! And I have an audience!

Same stuff, different name

The Word Shark blog will be the same, and the website will be the same. And FB, and LI, and Google+ plus, and Twitter, and email…

Except where you used to see Elliott, you will start to see Sanderson.

Moving forward

Over the next few weeks I’ll morph from Karen S. Elliott, The Word Shark, to Karen R. Sanderson, The Word Shark!

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Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, E-books & E-publishing, Editing & Proofreading, Personal Articles, Social Networking, Special Events

How I Got My Writing Groove Back, by Lara Schiffbauer

Lara Schiffbauer Finding MearaWhen I finally released my first novel, Finding Meara, out into the world, I thought I’d feel all kinds of wonderful, warm-fuzzy feelings, joy, exhilaration, excitement. Something!

The reality? I felt nothing. Not a darn thing – be it a good feeling or a bad feeling. I didn’t even feel relief that it was done.  This normally wouldn’t have been much of a concern, but I’d read that a self-published author needs to get lots of work out – fast – so I was feeling pressure to get my writing mojo back. The conundrum? I couldn’t even enjoy the fact that I’d actually published my first book. How on the earth could I get excited to start the second?

Upon the advice of fellow self-published authors, I decided to cut myself a break and not freak out (as I have a tendency to do) but, at the same time, not writing at all wasn’t an option for me either. I needed to find a way to ease myself back into finding the fun in creative writing.  I concluded a visit to my writing roots was in order.

While I’m not good at it, poetry is one form of writing I’ve always enjoyed. A Sunday or two ago, I found a poetry form called a Sevenling in Writer’s Digest and slipped into the life of a unicorn being chased by a hunter. While it’s not a very good poem, I had finished under an hour. I’d played with words and lost myself in another world. There are many poetry prompts on the web, but I like Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides from Writer’s Digest. My friend and poet, JoAnn J.A. Jordan, has daily prompts and photos on her blog which are fun to draw inspiration from as well.

I began my writing journey creating short stories, and moved into flash-fiction because you can complete an entire story in a short period of time. It’s actually hard to write a good flash-fiction story, and I just happened onto a couple of wonderful blog posts about how to write effective flash-fiction and short-stories around the same time I began drawing a story together. It must have been fate. The first is a three-part series called “How to Write a Sci-Fi Flash Fiction Story” by Lydia Netzer. Although it’s geared toward Sci-Fi, the information relates to any flash-fiction story you might want to write. Another article I found helpful, which I actually read long ago, is “Tripping the short fantastical: some tips for writing short fantasy and supernatural stories” by Sophie Masson on Writer Unboxed.

Finally, I read Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland, and became so excited to put the tips I’d learned into use that I started to have that itchy, get-writing feeling. Yay! So, that’s how I got my writing groove back. Tonight I’m going to work a little on the second of the Adven Realm Adventures. Now that my motivation is back, hopefully the muse will come for a little visit too!

Lara SchiffbauerLara Schiffbauer is a writer, licensed clinical social worker, mother of two, wife of one, and a stubborn optimist.  She loves Star Wars, Lego people, science, everyday magic and to laugh.  You can find Lara on several different social media sites, with all links listed on her website, laraschiffbauer.com. Her debut novel, Finding Meara, a contemporary fantasy, released in March and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes.

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Publishing

Weird and Wonderful Words, by Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn 1Article by Lisa Steyn

While I was in a state of zwodder, I ran to the kitchen to get my Coke Light(I know it’s bad for me, but that’s my poison!) as I had xerostomia. My next morning ritual was to turn on the computer and trawl through my emails.

There in my inbox was an email from Karen asking me to guest blog as she had enjoyed my posts about weird and wonderful words. I felt very honoured – thank you, Karen!

So here – in all its glory – is my list of weird and wonderful words. The first 25 are from the book The Horologicon, by Mark Forsyth. The rest, I sniffed around and found them in various places. Enjoy.

1. Horologicon – means a book of hours.
2. Uhtceare – means anxiety experienced just before dawn.
3. Aristologist – means you are a person who devotes your life to the study of breakfast. Not sure as this about my next career move!
4. Hypnopompic – means half dreamful, half conscious delusions and illusions. Yes, I experience this often.
5. Oneirocritical – of or pertaining to the interpretation of dreams.
6. Expergefactor – means anything that wakes you up – your alarm clock, your children, the neighbour drilling at 6am (Just for the record I am not a fan of expergefactors!)
7. Snollygoster – one of my personal favourites this means a dishonest politician (well kind of…the technical definition is similar). The actual definition is a shrewd, unprincipled person.
8. Aubade – means a song sung at dawn by your lover beneath your bedroom window. I am not sure that this is going to happen to me.
9. Reveille – means the drum roll or bugle-blast meant to awaken a barracks of soldiers.
10. Matutinal – people who are breezy and bright in the morning.
11. Zwodder – a drowsy and stupid state of mind. As seen in my introduction, I do experience this fairly often.
12. Philogrobilized – this should be used the morning after the night before and conveys a hangover, but you don’t admit to actually having been drinking (this might be my new favourite word).
13. Xerostomia – the technical term for having dryness of mouth (obviously after philogrobilized!)
14. Obdormition – the term used for your arm falling asleep from lying on it.
15. Lucifugous – means light-fleeing creatures that avoid sunlight like vampires or badgers. It is normally referred to in the context of sins and demons…but feel free to use it when you really need those curtains to be closed in your zwodder state.
16. Cunctation – like procrastination which is avoiding the inevitable.
17. Grufeling – to lie close, wrapped up, and in a comfortable looking manner; used in ridicule.
18. Dysania – extreme difficulty in waking up (this definitely describes me…)
19. Clinomania – an obsessive need to lie down.
20. Oscitancy – yawning or unusual sleepiness…(think about that mind numbingly boring conference).
21. Pandiculation – stretching of the arms or body when you’re is oscitancy.
22. Egrote – to pretend you’re sick in order to avoid work.Lisa Steyn
23. Whindle – once your boss picks up the phone, start whindling. This is essentially when you are pretending to groan.
24. Floccilating – means feverishly plucking at the bed clothes. You must of course tell your boss this.
25. Jactating – means you are tossing around feverishly.
26. Risorial – something that causes you to laugh. Yes, I do want a risorial moment.
27. Misopedia – you hate children, but worse even is that this specifically means to hate your own! I do hope I never experience misopedia.
28. Zatetic – to question or ponder upon something.
29. Wheeple – to try and whistle loudly, but monumentally failing! I definitely wheeple a lot…I just cannot whistle!
30. Antinganting – a lucky charm.
31. Aposiopesis – stopping an idea in mid-sentence. Um, yes, I can definitely relate to this!
32. Aeolistic – a person who is very long-winded and boring. I have come across many in my time…
33. Limosis – a strong urge to eat chalk. Can’t say this is for me, but perhaps chocolate?
34. Discalceate – to take your shoes off.
35. Carwitchet – a funny pun.
36. Novercaphobia – an abnormal fear of your step-mother. Is this not normal?
37. Thibble – a stick for stirring porridge.
38. Acclumsid – clumsy, numbed or paralysed.
39. Abligurition – spending an abnormally high amount of money on food. I suspect I might have this problem…don’t we all?
40. Calamistrate – to curl your hair.
41. Dactylonomy – counting on your fingers.
42. Fludgs – hurry up! I would love to confuse the morning chaos with “Come, fludgs”. Do you think that might stop them?
43. Gangrel – when a child is just starting to walk. Perhaps toddler is a bit more user-friendly?
44. Hautain – to be proud or arrogant. I will definitely throw this word into my next meeting with an arrogant person – that could put them off.
45. Infucate – to use make-up. “Hold on darling, I’m just infucating.”

I used a couple of sources to bring all these together, so thanks to The Inky Fool, Fiction Press, Squidoo, and  Brownielocks.

***

Lisa SteynPlain and simply…I am a proofreader, editor and copywriter with an absolute passion for the written word and creating words that work. I have over 20 years experience in marketing, which allows me to look at each project from a strategic perspective. Quite by chance, I was asked to work on a number of content management, proofreading and copywriting jobs. I loved it and the clients loved it.

Take a look at Cape Town Proofreader to get an idea of my experience over the years.

***

Connect with Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Words & Vocabulary

An editor’s life isn’t all buttercups and adoration

tana jung via photobucketRealization

I realize that some writers dread the edit – I’m the type that looks forward to it! I love it when my editor picks apart my prose, my grammar, my dialog.

I love a good dragon-powered edit from my BFE (best friend/editor), Shawn MacKenzie. See Shawn’s editor-at-large page. If you want her new book (and you should!) click Dragons for Beginners.

Hold your breath and cringe

The writer holds his breath once he sends an MS to his editor.

The writer cringes when she sees “Your MS Critique Letter” in her inbox.

What about us editors?

Yeah, we suffer too.

I have been bitched out, effed up and down, slammed against the internet wall, told, “Never contact me again,” and, “You don’t know what you’re doing because my Aunt ______ loves my book!”

Why do so many writers play the “aunt” card?

Just a few curse words

I had a writer curse me out because I wouldn’t give a carte blanche and a recommendation on her publishing company (I edited her book, but I knew nothing about her publishing company).DSC01608

A nice reply

Friend Denise Hisey (who has an awesome blog, you need to check it out) had some very nice things to say about my recent critique letter to her.

What Denise Hisey said: Criticism can be hard to take. I didn’t feel like you were criticizing though, I felt you were helping. I’ve grown too much in other areas of my life not to grow in this one, too! I may never sell a thing, but I want to improve as a writer just the same.

Ah, Denise. Your email was like a tender spring breeze among the apple blossoms.

Denise also said, about editing and editors: Yes, I imagine it could be nerve wracking on your end, too!

You got that right.

Throwing poo

I don’t just throw editor-flavored poo at you to make you feel bad.

I throw good poo at you – based on what I’ve learned about editing and proofreading, from reading blogs about editing and proofreading, and from reading blogs and industry articles about publishing, books, and writing.

And remember, I read grammar, punctuation, and style manuals for fun.

I hold my breath and cringe too

Every time I send a critique letter or a mass of comments on an MS, I shrink from what might come back from an “offended” writer.

But then I get a great testimonial, like from Elizabeth H. Cottrell. Elizabeth sometimes has me edit her non-fiction articles.

What Elizabeth said: Not only did [Karen] get the work back to me quickly, but the critique she provided was thorough, intelligent, and highly professional. She is very knowledgeable about proper and effective writing in general and blogging in particular, so her suggestions added clarity and energy to my articles. It’s an investment in the honing of my own writing craft.

Elizabeth and I developed a friendship, and we commiserate on many subjects (not just writing related).

So, your editor

How will you respond to your editor the next time?

***

Shawn MacKenzie. She’s an editor extraordinaire if ever there was one.  

Shawn MacKENZIEShawn MacKenzie had her first Dragon encounter when she was four years old and happened upon a copy of The Dragon Green by J. Bissell-Thomas. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Author of The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011), and Dragons for Beginners (Llewellyn, 2012), she is an editor and writer of sci-fi/fantasy. Her fiction has been published in Southshire Pepper-Pot, 2010 Skyline Review, and as a winner of the 2010 Shires Press Award for Short Stories. Shawn is an avid student of myth, religion, philosophy, and animals, real and imaginary, great and small. Her ramblings can be found on her blog, MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest and at her web site.

***

Denise Hisey. I don’t like to define Denise by “survivor,” because she’s so much more than that.

Denise Hisey 2Denise Hisey is a survivor of chronic, severe childhood abuse. Asking for help didn’t come easy, but she highly recommends it. Her memoir is still stuck in her head, but screams to be set free! She lives in Washington State with her husband and enjoys riding her motorcycle when weather allows. Her growing family is her pride and joy! Find her blogging at Inspired 2 Ignite or reading on Goodreads.

***

Elizabeth H. Cottrell. Elizabeth is my most-fave client ever.

Elizabeth CottrellElizabeth H. Cottrell, a.k.a. RiverwoodWriter, is a Connection Curator, collecting and organizing information and resources about the power of connection to present them in ways that provide meaning and value. She is a passionate student of everything related to life’s essential connections: with God, with self, with others, and with nature.

Elizabeth shares her findings, inspiration, and guidance at Heartspoken.com. Elizabeth also teaches small business connection strategies at RiverwoodWriter.com.

Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

***

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. – Aristotle

True friends stab you in the front. – Oscar Wilde

***

Opening Photo – Tana Jung via Photobucket.com.

Quotes from BrainyQuote.com.

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Word Shark Art by Janice Phelps Williams

A special thank you

You may have seen this Word Shark artwork by Janice Phelps Williams on my Facebook page. Isn’t it cool?

About Janice

Janice Phelps Williams has worked in publishing since the early 1990s and has brought over 250 books “to life.” In addition to designing, illustrating, and editing books for others, she is also the author of Open Your Heart with Pets: Mastering Life Through Love of Animals and is working on a middle-grade novel called Finding Pletonia. When not working on books, she likes to create altered books and take photographs.

Janice blogs about creativity at Appalachian Morning.

Find Janice’s book design business here. Book design, blog, editorial services, fine art, illustrations, photographs, and more!

Janice contributed to my Kids’ Week theme week. Her blog article includes a step-by-step list for working with an experienced illustrator. You can see Janice’s Kids’ Week article here.

Janice and her husband, Mark Van Aken Williams (a writer and a poet) live in Northern Michigan.

About Mark

Mark blogs at Shakes, Shivers, and Dithers. Read about his collection of poetry, Book Circus by Moonlight, and his novella, The Prophet of Sorrow, here.

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Illustrators & Illustrations, Special Events

Kids’ Week – Writer Allyn Stotz

Article by Allyn Stotz

I am so pleased to be guest blogging today and would like to thank Karen for allowing me to do so. She has asked me to talk a little bit about my road to publication. It’s not a very exciting story, but it’s MY story!

My road to publication began about four years ago; I am now 55 yrs. old. As a child, I enjoyed writing stories, inventing them, and playing them out with my siblings. We were always putting on some type of skit for our parents. They were so patient and tolerant! Until now, my career mostly consisted of administrative jobs and/or working in human resources. On those jobs, I wrote several procedures manuals, created newsletters, and did lots of memo writing. Those were always my favorite parts of the job. My husband’s company has transferred us many times so I’ve lived in several cities in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi; therefore that led to me having quite a few different jobs along the way.

My family is made up of several journalists. First is my father, who owned and wrote our town newspaper. My mother helped him with that newspaper and wrote a weekly column. One of my sisters majored in journalism and is now a freelance editor and writer. So I believe that writing was always in my blood, it just never screamed out to me in volume.

The Wow Moment. Then one day while reading my brother’s blog, I came across a story he was toying around with. My brother is not a writer per say, but you wouldn’t have known that by reading his descriptions of a computer game he loved playing. After reading his descriptions of that fantasy game world, I had the big “wow” moment go off in my brain. My first thought was, “Wow, he can really write!” Then I thought to myself how fun it would be to write a fantasy story and I decided to investigate it further.

I did a little research about the subject of writing for children and then sat down to begin. The words just began to flow from my fingertips and have not stopped since!

Submissions and Rejections. My road to actual publication took a little over 1 ½ years, which in retrospect, was pretty quick. Some authors have to wait years before they are fortunate enough to become published. I did a good year of research on writing children’s picture books and enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature. After doing both of those, I finally became confident enough to send out my first submission. I was one of the lucky ones and had that first submission accepted by an online children’s magazine. From there, I spent the next ten months sending out more manuscripts and receiving many rejections. Then to my surprise, I finally heard back from FutureWord Publishing who wanted to publish my story The Pea in Peanut Butter. Talk about thrilling!

Getting published is not an easy process and most times, not quick but it is a journey that is well worth the time and effort. There is nothing more satisfying to me than hearing that a child or their parent enjoyed the words that I wrote.  But everyone’s journey is different and so is the outcome. If you are one of those people contemplating becoming a children’s writer I would say to you that your first step should be to find your truth. Dig deep into your soul and find the real reason you want to write. Then never forget those reasons, get out that pen and write, write, write! Always remember that you can’t get published if you don’t submit your work. But most importantly, never give up.

And on that note, I’d like to tell you all that after my 83 yr. old mother watched me get published, she decided to work on making her dream of writing a novel come true. She and my editor sister have written a book together and the first of the series will be published soon! So if we can do it, so can you!

***

Allyn Stotz

Allyn’s first children’s picture book titled The Pea in Peanut Butter was published by FutureWord Publishing in June 2011. Allyn graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

The Pea in Peanut Butter is available in paperback, Kindle, and coloring book format on Amazon as well as other online retail stores. It is also available at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA, Barnes and Noble, Mandeville, LA, Bible and Book Store and Learning Express, both in the Baton Rouge, LA area. Allyn lives in Baton Rouge, LA with her husband, two crazy dogs and one fat cat.

Connect with Allyn on her blog, Twitter, or on Facebook.

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Illustrators & Illustrations, Kid Stuff & Children's Books