Awesome Author Updates

Awesome Author Updates

It’s been a little bit of time since I posted here, so I figured I might as well break the ice by doing some author updates.anniversary-1x

  • I have been on WordPress for one year! Yay! During that time, I have received over 23,000 views, which is about 2,000 views per month, so it’s not too terrible.
  • I have finally finished doing a myriad of edits for When Stars Die’s sequel, The Stars Are Infinite. I have cut out over 11,000 words, just from copy editing alone. I have sent it off to my publisher and am just waiting to hear back. More edits are probably going to be needed, because there’s only so much you can do by yourself, but hopefully the edits won’t be as severe as the ones I had to do to get rid of a bunch of those words.
  • My author website has been entirely re-vamped. The editorial tab is still under construction. I do have a rough draft contract, but I just haven’t sent it off to be looked at. But here is the link to my website. I hope you all adore it as much as I do.
  • My most popular post on Tumblr thus far has over 1500 notes, and I have over 1600 followers on Tumblr! For me it’s been easier to get followers on Tumblr than on here, but it’s probably because Tumblr is that one platform that has been successful for me. However, the SEO tags on WordPress are great, plus my Tumblr and WordPress are both connected to my Twitter and Facebook page, and my WordPress is also connected to my Tumblr.
  • Mike Evans has started a Kickstarter campaign. He will be a future editorial client of mine and is seeking donations to help him with the publication of his book, The Orphans. I’ve done a sample edit, and I can tell you it’s going to be a fun zombie read. Just donating a few dollars will help out–and spreading the word, especially.
  • When Stars Die has finally reached 70 reviews on Goodreads! It’s slow-going with the reviews, I know, but it’s nice to know that at this many it has a rating of 4.36. That tells me I definitely did something right.  Screenshot (56)
  • The Turning Pages will be hosting my books at their own personal books signing and awards event. I won’t be there, because I can’t afford it, but if you’re in the Orlando area, stop by and check out my books. They’re all autographed and you can pick up some flyers, which can be used as bookmarks. You can buy tickets here.
  • Youtube channel! Yes, I will be going back to my Youtube channel. You know why? Because I spent 78 dollars on the best HD webcam available on Amazon (#1 Bestseller!), so you better believe I’m going to start some vidoes. A lot of my episodes will be inspired by what my Tumblr fans would love to see, but you guys can also give me inspiration as well. My first video will be an introduction to me, and I’ll answer a few questions some of my Tumblr fans have asked.

Well, that’s all for the author updates! As for my personal life, I started online courses, which I definitely prefer over going to class. I’ve had to step down from pointe work due to an ankle injury, but I can still do ballet–I’m just very limited in what I can do. Jumps are one thing I definitely am not allowed to do.  It’s OS Trigonum Syndrome, which is just having an extra bone at the back of my ankle that didn’t properly ossify when I was young, so it either fused to my talus or is being held in place by cartilage. But pointe work did me in with that one. It just started crushing it, basically, although it’s not as violent as it sounds, even though it is painful. Just cross your fingers that I don’t need surgery. Research tells me that most dancers have to get it as compared to other athletes, just because pointe work puts a lot of pressure on the Achilles tendon anyway.

The Importance of Freelance Editors

The Importance of Freelance Editors

I mentioned in my post on expectations for self-publishing how essential freelance editors are before you actually decide to publish your manuscript. I’m not going to reiterate the obvious reasons. Instead, I’m going to point out an essential reason why many writers, not just those going the self-publishing route, should hire a freelance editor.

I tend to chase my clients with a scythe in an effort to get them to understand. I don't think it quite works.
I tend to chase my clients with a scythe in an effort to get them to understand. I don’t think it quite works.

Freelance editors can function as writing tutors and will give you an enormous boost in your writing skills that can take years to gain from beta readers alone. Georgia McBride was my first freelance editor ever, and she worked on the sequel to When Stars Die (which was originally going to be the first book). It was called Witch Tourniquet, and while she only got through half the book before I decided to shelve it in favor of making it a sequel, I gained textbookfuls of knowledge from her services alone. Yes, I’ve learned from beta readers in the past, from reading and writing, but I was stunned at the enormous boost I gained in my storytelling skills–and the majority of it came from the first chapter alone.

Freelance editors will give you legitimate ideas on how to make your book better. They simply won’t point out what’s wrong and tell you to fix it. They will give you strong ideas, and that is what Georgia did. My first chapter changed dramatically from her advice. It went from a third person narrative of a girl simply travelling to a safe house, to a first person narrative of a girl contemplating ending her own life because she was slated to be burned due to witchcraft. I was able to nail this chapter on my first re-write because of the enormous lesson I learned from Georgia’s critique. She even told me that not many of her clients are able to do this. For many, it takes several re-writes, especially because the first chapter is so essential due to its hooking (or lack thereof) properties. A poor first chapter can lead to loss of reader interest.

In any case, the job of an EXCELLENT freelance editor should be to teach you how to edit on your own (which, for self-publishers, does not mean bypassing a freelance editor. This just simply means you need to learn how to take care of the major issues on your own before hiring someone to polish it). For those going the traditional path, you want to learn this on your own because you don’t want to have to depend on a freelance editor to solidify your skills. This makes you look bad and makes agents and editors wonder just what your writing skills are. For those going the self-publishing route, this will keep you from having to spend enormous amounts for editing. By learning how to take care of the big stuff on your own, you will simply need an editor to help you polish it and you hopefully won’t need that editor more than once.

But they are invaluable as learning opportunities. I would argue one critique for a manuscript is worth an entire novel prose-length writing class (with the assumption there aren’t other writing classes on novels)–and possibly more, considering the one at my uni only expects one chapter for the entire semester.

As a freelance editor myself, my job is to teach you how to edit so you will not continuously need my services; however, this takes work on your part because you need to choose to learn from my critique. This is a gift in itself, considering not everyone wants to learn from their mistakes and improve from the advice of others.

Now will everyone going the traditional route need a freelance editor? No. Some grow from beta readers just fine, if they’re lucky to find strong ones. I never was, but Georgia did my manuscript for free because I interned for her. There was no monetary loss on my part, but I did hire her previous intern, and she helped me polish my copyediting skills so that way I could learn to fix structural problems on my own.

It is your job as a writer to judge just what kind of growth you need.