Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Dirty Little Secret

If you hired a freelance editor to help you re-work your manuscript, would you ever admit it? To anyone?

I've discussed this option with a friend of mine recently, who has hired a mutual acquaintance of ours. With the freelance editor's help, my friend is writing better than ever. There's a prevailing stigma against having a freelance editor, because people often associate them with scams. One of my favorite blogs, The Rejecter, posted a lively discussion about this same topic here. The consensus seems to be that most often it's a scam and that even if the freelance editor helps the author improve the work, there's no guarantee of a sale. Also, even if you hire one, never EVER admit to having done so to an agent or editor, because somehow this makes the work less worthy.

As with anything, I think you have to use common sense in considering a freelance editor and ask a few questions before paying someone to edit your work. What experience does the freelance editor have? Better yet, does he / she have a previous client list they're willing to share, preferably one with authors who've actually gone on to sell the work the freelancer edited? How much is the freelancer charging? Do they do sample edits, and if so, do you feel as though the freelancer is knowledgeable and helpful?

There's such a stigma attached to paying someone else to edit your work, but for those who see real value in it, I wonder, what's the harm?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Build It, Blog It and They Will Come...

...Fans and other writers, I mean, not agents and editors. When you're not published, it can seem unnecessary to establish an Internet presence. You don't have a published work readily available for sale, and it's unlikely an agent or editor scanning the Web will come across your work and contact you (God, if only it were that easy). But it's a mistake to think this way, because then you're missing out on the opportunity to build a future fan base and connect with other writers.

In the last two weeks, strangers, old junior high and elementary school friends, and even the principal of my junior high school who reads historical fiction, have contacted me just because I've established a web presence. And a week ago, I met another wonderful writer who's as interested in the Norman Conquest period as I am, and we've talked on the phone and exchanged emails since then. Most of my writing friends have always provided me encouragement, but there's no denying the thrill I get when a stranger or someone unexpected stops by my website, personal blog or any of the other sites I contribute to, just to say, "I love what you're doing and can't wait to read your published works."

In September, I'll be attending the Writers' Digest Conference: The Business of Getting Published, where a few of the sessions will be on building an effective author website, and marketing and promotion. Clearly, an Internet presence is key to establishing a writing career, especially now that publishers spend less than in the past on promoting authors. I'm excited to learn more, so I can hit the ground running when I get my first sale.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Lovely Blog Award

Since my dear friend Anita Davison was kind enough to mention me for A Love Blog Award, I'm sharing the wealth:

Catherine Delors is a wonderful writer, the author of Mistress of the Revolution, and her blog is Versailles and More, features fascinating articles about life for the decadent French court and the tragedy of the French Revolution.

History Buff, the blog of author Michelle Moran, has great links to items on archaeological history. Michelle's first two novels on Egypt's Amarna period have been bestsellers, and her love of archaeology and history enriches her writing.

And, if you're fascinated by the 17th century, Hoydens and Firebrands, has fascinating articles and biographies of the period.

Somebody Really Likes You When They...

...nominate you for a blog award.

A darling friend Anita nominated me for a Lovely Blog Award. Since I haven't done regular updates (bad Lisa) and have just been moaning to her lately about my struggles (poor, poor, poor Lisa), I wondered what I could have possibly done to deserve the nod. But then I read her wonderful post.

She also helped me put things into perspective, because at the end of the day, what matters most are the people who believe and support, offer a shoulder to cry on when times get tough and cheer at even the smallest accomplishment. That makes any struggle on the road to publication worthwhile.

Thanks, Anita.

Time flies when you're having fun, or writing novels.

It's been a tremendous twelve months. A new job and health issues have impacted my writing time, but I'm still at it, trying to wrap...