My New Years resolution:
I will throw away all my socks with holes in them, drink two glasses of water with lemon juice every morning when I wake up (You try it – it’s disgusting) and I will continue to show readers ways to publish quality books – without spending a penny.
There are four MUSTS for a self published book to have any chance of ‘making it’.
Good Content, Great Cover, Great Editing and Constant, Quality Marketing.
I’m starting today with editing, mainly because that is what I am immersed in right now. I’ll try to concentrate on a different aspect each week over the next twelve weeks. Well. That’s me sorted out for blog content until the end of March.
As usual, to lighten the load, you will find furry funnies at the end. It is amazing how humour can cover up a lack of talent.
In the beginning there was… the word. Then there was another word, and then another.. before you knew it, you had a book.
Independent Authors are still on the rise. Self-publishing pathways are well established now. This is good and bad.
It’s good that people can get their work out there, even if a publisher doesn't recognize their talent, but it’s also bad that many people throw their work at Amazon (who are not too worried about quality) without adequate preparation and care.
Editing is not instinctive, it is learned. I will say straight away that if finance is NOT a concern, you will be better to employ an editor at every stage of the process. I am here to offer help to those who CANNOT afford to employ an editor, but care enough to polish their work to an extent that nobody would know they hadn’t.
There is one certainty. If you want a book to be well received you have to spend either MONEY or TIME – it cannot be done without either. A very high percentage of books that are published on Amazon sell less than ten copies, ever. Most of these authors sit back staring at their blank sales report and wondering why. The fact that you are reading this means you have moved from the WHY? Stage to the HOW? Stage – congratulations.
Now let’s get to work. If you have to self-edit, I suggest you follow this path. I am sure you will find ways to adapt it to your own style and way of working.
Let’s start by presuming that you have finished the book and read it through a couple of times, cut out some dead wood and addressed obvious errors (I don’t mean grammar and spelling, we’ll come to that later)
SORT OUT THE BIG FIRST AND THE SMALL LATER
By the BIG I mean the story line, continuity, which bits are interesting. Which bits are boring? You MUST use beta readers; fresh pairs of eyes. These are not experienced writers, critics etc. Just friends who may give you an honest opinion. If they say “It’s great, amazing. It’s fine as it is.” That means they are ashamed to tell you that they haven’t read it. Try to find five people. Different opinions are good. Remember it takes hours to read a book – it’s a big commitment from them – I reward my beta readers with a mention in my book.
What you are looking for here is broad brush strokes, things like “I liked Emily, I want to hear more about her.” “I don’t understand why xxxxxx did xxxxx, please explain it.” Or “the bit about xxxxxx is boring and you don’t need it.”
You need five people (at least) because there is a danger in just one or two people commenting. Judgments on books are, of course, subjective and just because Fred thinks there’s too much sex in chapter four it doesn't mean that everyone will. Other readers may ask for more sex.
When I started writing I made this mistake. If someone made a comment I would often re write a piece just on the strength of one comment, only to find later that someone else says “Why did you take that bit out, I liked it.” Wait until you have all five (or more) comments back before you revisit your epic. Next week we’ll discuss where you go after that.
Now, it’s confession time. Some of my earlier writings suffer from inadequate editing (and questionable covers!) – the content is still good, but my secret resolution is to revisit them and update them over the next few months. However, DEADLY ELECTION has been properly edited and I am now happy with it – check it out – your comments will be welcome.
Make sure you don’t miss out on any bits of this series – subscribe using the box on the top (and up a bit) – they will go directly to you inbox then.
Happy Writing, Arthur
"As Virgil entered the cave, the crate slipped from his grasp, he stumbled to his knees. The sudden pain in his left side sapped his remaining energy. His emaciated old body crumpled onto the dusty stones. A trail of blood seeped out from under him—the close range shot had shattered his kidney and punctured his lung.
Kodama, the young officer, pointed his Nambu pistol at one of the younger men cowering in the corner.
“You! Pick it up.”
The lad scrambled forward to take Virgil’s place in an effort to stay alive, at least for a few more minutes. Breath came in short, painful gasps for Virgil, but he could see what was going on around him. The screams of his youngest daughter, Racquel, filled the air."
“No. Please, I beg you, no. No hurt me, please.”
This, my first novel draws on my experience of a beautiful land full of lovely people, but dangerous Politicians, Police and Military. Nothing is what it seems. I hope you will enjoy it. Let me know what you think.
You can see more details and buy it HERE (AMAZON), or if you are in Asia, it is cheaper to buy it HERE AT SMASHWORDS
Please friend/poke/follow/like as appropriate - you know it makes sense! - Being particularly ugly, I have decided today to include a picture of my kids, Thomas and Talia. They are better looking than me, allegedly.
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Meet the author
Arthur Crandon is a lawyer, the boring office kind, not the exciting (and much better paid) courtroom type. He worked as a solicitor for a while before embarking on an interesting life overseas. He has spent most of his time in recent years in South East Asia, more recently in Hong Kong. Before that, Arthur lived and worked in the Philippine Islands.
He loves to fish, and play the piano – but spends most of his time writing, eating, drinking and sleeping
– usually, but not always, in that order.
His first book, Deadly Election, draws on his strange imagination and his
experiences, together with those of others, in a land that, beneath a veneer of civilisation, operates like the Wild West and is very
dangerous to innocent and gullible foreigners.
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My thriller - Deadly Election - is now on sale at Amazon. Anyone who buys the book and leaves a review will get a signed paperback. Please subscribe to my blog and newsletter here