Sunday, September 28, 2014

You mean I have to do…that? (or—how I spent my summer vacation)

While a whole bunch of wonderful Indie short story writers visited my blog over the summer (And if you missed reading these great interviews please refer to the archives), I was writing, reading-over stuff, finding mistakes, editing, writing, finding more mistakes, reading again, re-writing whole sections, reading the whole durn thing aloud until my voice got hoarse, moving paragraphs from here to there, making corrections, having my Mac Book read it to me, and making more corrections, having my tablet read it to me. (How the heck did I miss that ending period the last 50 times?) Repeat the above process a few more times, and you will know get a bit of an idea of how I spent my summer vacation. 

In two weeks I will be releasing Night Watch my very first full-length mystery novel as an Indie author. If you are a blog reader of mine, you will know that I released Strange Faces, my collection of short mystery stories on my birthday this past May as a bit of a trial foray into the Indie world. Actually, it was sort of a birthday present to me. 

This Indie journey? It's not what I expected. It's way more work. Since the early 90s, I have published 18 novels with traditional publishers, and here is a list of all the things I never had to think about before:

Covers: That didn’t stop me from mightily complaining when my publisher came up with a cover I didn't like, but the buck stopped with them. Not me. If readers rolled their eyes at me and said, “What about that cover of yours?” I merely nodded knowingly. It was them, not me. Now, however, it’s me. Scary. 

Editing: I knew enough to hire an editor and a good one right off. 

Copy-editing: Oh my. This is still ongoing. Two weeks out from when Pre-Order turns to Order on Night Watch, and I’m sure there are errors - still. This, basically was my summer. (Read first paragraph. Re-read it. Now re-read it again. Get it?) As a full-fledged Indie author, the buck stops with me. If there is a misplaced comma, it’s my fault. If I’ve left off the ending period or quotation marks at the end of speech, it’s my fault.

Back cover copy: The what? You mean I have to write that? I’m terrible at that! That’s not my gift. Not my calling. I want to retreat to my turret and write the Great Canadian novel. Well, hello real world. 

The book description blurb for sites like Kindle and Kobo: See above paragraph.

eBook formatting: Since I am married to a professional book formatter, I can wipe my hand across my brow and say, "Whew! Got that covered." He, actually, has taken all of my OOPs that I’ve been able to get the rights back to, (Ongoing. Stuff of another blog…) and put them up as eBooks. 

Marketing and Promotion: Since traditional publishers also demand this of authors these days, I had a bit of a clue when it came to this. However, (and a big ‘however’) I have no one to blame but myself if plans fail. 

If you are a reader of books, (and you're probably not reading this unless you're a reader of books),  this is a little behind-the-scenes look into what we go through. It's not all writing anymore. Two thirds of the actual time you spend on the book will be all this other stuff. But as a famous Canadian comedian has said, “Keep your stick on the ice because we’re all in this together.”

Even with all of this, I can't think of anything else I would rather do. I get to sit here in my pajamas all day.


  1. Funny. You should write a comedy book next time, Linda. Perhaps you can tell us in a few months if it's better to go traditional or Indie.

  2. Thanks Laurie, I will! That'll be further down the road, though.

  3. Well, you certainly have the energy and passion to do what you are called to do. Carry on - the world waits.