Of Loose Ends & Book Sales

Monday, July 15, 2013



Over the past month or so, I’ve been revising a MG book. I’m now doing a read through on Kindle to tie up the loose threads that have probably escaped me until now.

Yeah, they do.

You know when your characters have minor injuries that you forget about or they need something and you forget to give it to them? I also need to verify a couple of things to do with our local justice system. That’s the kind of stuff I’m working on, which is why editing takes forever and a day.


I realized a long time ago that I can’t do everything in a few passes, so I focus on one or two things during each edit. The last round had to do with repeated words and phrases, use of too many pronouns and weeding out extra words. 

With each round completed, I know I’m one step closer to the finish line. That’s when I’ve tempted to put jet fuel in my tank to speed up the process, but haste makes waste. 

I’m way behind on a book that should have been finished by now that only one chapter written, but such is life. I think I’m finally learning how to slow down. Like I tell myself so often, I’m not going to get more done in a day than is ordained for me to achieve.  

On another note, have you noticed how book sales tank when we’re not promoting? More on that next time.


Thanks to Alex, I remembered that today is Writers4Writers and Brinda Berry and Catherine Stine are the featured writers. Hop over to their blogs and help spread the word on the books via Twitter and Fb.

47 comments:

  1. I edit that way too because I often miss things if I dont go about editing in a logical order. Cant wait to read your new book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Clarissa,
      Glad to have you back. Yep, it all has to make sense.

      Delete
  2. Yes, I have noticed that about sales!
    Wish I was better at the layering when I edit. I'd probably catch things faster that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, we all do our thing differently. I find editing in rounds taxing, but it works for me.

      Delete
  3. Marketing and promotion are essential in keeping sales up. Editing is tough but necessary, best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I'm feeling that writing vs. promotion pain right now! Hang in there and get the new one out. :)

    Linda Ulleseit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Linda,
      Hope the promo is going well. It was good to meet the characters from the first book again.

      Delete
  5. It's non-stop, isn't it? Sending some energy your way because I totally get how much it takes to do what you're doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee. I'm better these days 'cause I'm taking things slower.

      Delete
    2. I'm shutting down in September to take a vacation from everything, then finish up a book that's been hanging fire for months. Here's to taking things slower.

      Delete
  6. That round of editing you just finished is the round I hate. Hate!

    And I've noticed the same thing about sales. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hee hee Joy, that used to be the job of a structural editor a publishing house would supply for you in the good ole days. Good for you if you can pick up all those loose ends by yourself. Happy days when it's done, though!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hear you, Joy. It's painfully slow, but worth it in the end. I'm in the middle of yet another round of revisions and that temptation to speed it all up is mighty strong :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Editing... that's the point where I really get bogged down and tend to seriously think about giving it all up. I've read the piece so much I just can't tell any more what's needed/not needed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like the idea of editing for specific things during passes. Maybe looking for everything is why I miss so much!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My CP's catch inconsistencies. I also read my MS many times and catch them. I like your idea of focusing on one or two things at a time. I should try that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yeah inconsistencies can be impossibly difficult to catch. I'm almost to my last edit before my book is published, and they still pop up from nowhere.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've discovered no rhyme or reason to my book sales. I don't really promote. So they come and go in waves all on their own.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think I should keep a list of all injuries for my characters so I can keep them straight. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Carol, yep, that's why I go in these stages.

    True, Denise, I remember with my second ms, the editor had tons of questions as to several situations in the novel. Stuff that I had glossed over.

    Lynda, when I start feeling like I'm gonna hurl if I read one more word of the novel is when I know it's almost done.

    Bish, what helps me is that I always have a couple of things going at a time, so when I get tired of one, I give the other some attention.

    Holly, I learned a long time ago that although I'm so impatient, editing works a lot better for me when I concentrate on one or two things at a time. Takes a seriously long time, but it works.

    Life is lots easier when I take it in little chunks, Medeia.

    Misha, I get chills when I think that I might put something in print that should have happened and didn't or didn't happen and should have. :)

    Hey Mike, for me promos help things move like a steady trickle. Now, if I had a flood, I be ecstatic. :)

    Emily, the worst thing ever is injuries that happen and are never mentioned again.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This post is a reminder for me to do my best and slow down when I can. I'm behind schedule on the 2nd book I'm working on, but that's OK because I'm trying to do some of the things you're doing now with that kindle book.

    "On another note, have you noticed how book sales tank when we’re not promoting?" I can relate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peaches, I like the thought that when I'm done, I'm done. I made the mistake of thinking a book was ready before it was really ready and paid the price for that. It's taught me that I won't regret slow and steady.

      Delete
  17. The editing stage is always a pain, but its soo important. I love the feeling that I can make a story better simply by weeding out a few words.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nutschell,
      I discover all the time that I can live without 'certain' words that I 'just' 'really' like. :)

      Delete
  18. Research and editing are slow, but they're important. Hang in there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think especially as indie authors, it's tempting to get books out there as fast as possible but there's no point if they're not ready. Keep going - slow and steady will win the race. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, so true, Nick and I'm enjoying the book and even adding things here and there that's helping to deepen the character.

      Delete
  20. Joy, there's a little something for you over on my blog... :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ha! Learning to slow down is so hard, isn't it :)

    GOOD LUCK from someone who's actively involved in the same exercise...

    (Must dash :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mark. I keep getting moments when I should be working faster, but I've been ignoring that voice when it speaks.

      Delete
  22. I do notice the tanking!
    Well done on slowing down, I need some of that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think everybody who writes is always in need of rest. Too much going on in the brain along with all the other activities.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Joy, when you have a moment, please pop over to my place, I have something for you! MWAH!
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yes that is a good approach. I edit text for the Royal National Institute of the Blind and i do the same thing. I learned early on that my brain responds better that way. I'm impressed that you have an MG on the go. Good for you Joy!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I spend time editing but luckily it's other people's work!

    All the best Joy!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I know how you feel about editing. I worry about details and love research...but that combo can get me lost in the research stage for too long. I have to deliberately pull myself out of it and get on with the actual editing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I absolutely know the book sales tanking bit. I haven't promoted in a very long time, thus no sales :-)
    I have decided to edit one element at a time, too. That way less is missed and I can stay focused on one thing. Having five projects going at the same time, though, is another story.
    Happy writing!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks so much, Michelle. Hugs.

    Hi, Madeleine, thanks for dropping in. Making progress and only a few more areas to cover.

    Nas, for a writer editing other people's work can be a helpful exercise.

    I can so relate to that, Rula.

    Susan, luckily I'm seeing a trickle and know I have to get back to that side of things at some point. You have lots of things on the front burner which means ages and ages to write and edit. Yup, we're a crazy lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uhuh. I feel I'm way out of things now, but it's all good.

      Delete
  30. Hi Joy, just stopping in to say hello. I hope your edits are going well. I'm in the rewrite stage (still) and when I get to editing it again I'll be doing the same thing you're doing. The 'check on that injury' is one I have to remember to address, so thanks for the reminder. (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope all is going smoothly for you too, Elise. Have to work this weekend so I won't get a lot done.

      Delete
  31. Your Kindle read-through is brilliant! I tried that with an earlier draft, but typing comments was a pain. At the end, though? It makes perfect sense. I'm going to have to try that. Good luck finishing up your revisions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Caryn,

      Doing a paper read through now and I suspect I'll do the kindle thing for the final. Making notes from the Kindle is definitely hard work. Trying to make out my scribbles done in a moving vehicle is murder on the eyes.

      Delete

Don't be shy. I'd love to hear what you think.