It’s that time again for a quick update. The most exciting news this week is that Mike has finished the first draft of Book 2 ‘The Story of Eris’! Final word count 98,641. Woohoo! We celebrated with a bottle of the bubbly stuff.
It’s now sitting on my desk for first edit before getting it out to beta readers most likely in the New Year.
Mike has nearly finished first re-writes of the first manuscript, ‘The Spirit Room’ before it goes to beta readers on 1st December. We will be having our first play with the new Scrivener software later in the week to get it all formatted properly for Kindle.
We’ve found an editor
We are also absolutely delighted that the fabulous Novel Doctor, Steve Parolini has agreed to work with Mike on his first manuscript. We know how vital having a professional and expert eye is to the success of the book and Steve comes very highly recommended. He’s not available until April, which pushes the launch back slightly, but we recon it’s worth the wait.
Choosing an editor was an interesting process and it was really helpful to pick up some tips from various blogs on what sort of thing to bear in mind.
Firstly we wanted to make sure that we had a personal recommendation from someone we trust. Steve came recommended by a friend Joanna Penn who really knows her stuff and had experience of working with Steve on her first novel Pentecost.
It was important to work with someone with experience in Mikes Genre, the right professional credentials and good feedback. There was lots of choice out there and a fairly wide range of pricing options. Some people pricing on the basis of word count, others depending on time it took to edit and others on the type of package that you went for.
Once we had decided who we would like to work with we then needed to check that Steve wanted to work with us. I sent him an email with a brief intro to Mike, a link to this blog and the draft back blurb for the novel so he could get an idea of what it was about. He then asked us for a sample first 30 pages which we sent over and from that he said he’d like to work on the book. The whole process took a couple of days and we were of course really pleased, if a little nervious at the prospect of working with Steve next year.
We have opted in the first instance for his editorial review service at what we thought was a very reasonable $600US. Depending on what he comes back with we may then decide to go for the slightly terrifyingly titled “Red pen of life and death” option, which is a far more detailed line edit, but mike needs a few more gigs over the next few months to put the pennies in the bank for that one.
From what we have read/heard/picked up on the writers grapevine, when working on a limited budget it really pays to invest in a quality edit and a professional cover artist. So that’s where we’ve chosen to invest initially. Meaning my desires for fancy logos and web branding will have to wait a bit until we’ve got a couple of books on the virtual shelves.
For more detail, theres a great article on vetting an independent editor on the Writer Beware blog here.
Sourcing an artist
We rather serendipitously met a very talented local artist at our favourite independent local coffee shop @cafeafrica. We got chatting about possibilities at a really successful first meeting and as a result he is doing some funky stuff with the crow image for the web banner. All being well, he’ll move onto the logo and other artwork for the site after Christmas. We will hopefully be putting sample artwork on the blog for some feedback so watch this space. I’m also looking into professional cover designers for the series.
So what now? After finishing re-writes of book 1, Mike is having a couple of weeks off the main manuscripts to write a novella that will be available as a free download. A trip into the big smoke the other week also provided some inspiration for a number of short stories that wont be part of the Planets or Assembly series so no rest for the wicked.
My warmest as ever and good luck to those doing NaNoWriMo this month