Category Archives: Publishing

Meeting Wendy H. Jones, Scottish crime writer

I just got back from a creative workshop in Elgin. It was organized by the Elgin Writers and the Scottish Association of Writers. The whole Meldrum Writers’ Club was invited, but unfortunately, I was the only one that attended from our group.

The morning started with a talk from Wendy H. Jones, a Scottish crime writer from Dundee. I was surprised to see her here. I knew her through the One Stop Fiction Authors’ Resource Group but had never met her in person. She was fun to listen to and had some interesting insights into marketing. The talk about marketing was the reason for me coming to the workshop and I’m glad I did as I learned some new marketing strategies from Wendy. It was also great to find out what a fun person she is.

You can get Wendy’s first book of the DI Shona McKenzie mysteries here. There are five books at the moment and the sixth one coming out soon!

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Before lunch, we had a talk from a poet (unfortunately I didn’t catch his name) and were given some insight into how to write a poem. We had to fill in the blanks in a cathartic poem and some people read out what they had written. I found it way too personal and nobody is ever going to see what I wrote. Sorry 😀 .

After lunch, we had a talk from Claire Wingfield, a writer and editor. She didn’t have any visuals with her talk and it made it unclear what she wanted us to do in the workshop part of her talk. We figured it out when others began to cite their answers. She also gave us some insight in how she edits writers’ work and this was eye opening.

All in all, I had a great time, met some lovely people, made some connections, and learned some more on the business side of writing.

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Banner photo by Thought Catalog at Unsplash

Thought Catalog

Stupidity

That moment when you find out that you have uploaded your book as a .docx file instead of a .htm file on Amazon…

Missing-Brains

Finding an Editor

As I am in the process of editing my second novel for a relaunch, I thought it would be a good idea to hire an editor to make it the best it can be. I know I fall into repetitions when I say my English is not my first language, but it really sucks at times, particularly regarding tenses (pardon the pun 🙂 ). I also realize you need an editor because you can never edit your own work.

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So where to find one? For my first book, I used someone from Canada (my book is in US English). She wasn’t a professional editor but offered her services to me for a fair price. She did a fantastic job and we have become close friends, still chatting on a daily basis. I don’t know if I got spoiled, but that’s what I’m looking for in an editor. It needs to be a relationship that ‘clicks.’ They need to feel where you’re going to with your story and help you make it better and help you become a better writer as well. Unfortunately, my friend is no longer available for editing due to time restraints and I need to look for someone else.

Usually, recommendations are the best. So I went with such a recommendation. I contacted this editor and she agreed to work with me on my novel. She said she would get a quote to me within the next 24 hours. That was Sunday. After prodding her three days later, I finally received her quote. It was near twice the price quoted on the website where her services were advertised. Two things happened. First of all, there was a short communication on excuses and, of course, her pricing. As the prices on her own website weren’t current either, she agreed on an (above) mean price. The most important thing for me, though, was that the vibe between us was gone. How could I work with her when she didn’t think my work was important enough to keep her word? Even though her pricing was still fair, I had to decline her services.

Trust

So I am looking for another editor again. Someone who likes what I write and feels the same way about it as I do, someone I can ‘click’ with. Anybody?

(Trust image from memesuper.com, by mrs marcia hunter)

Monday Planning

It’s Monday morning and I am on a high. You don’t know this, but it’s a quarter to eight and I’m sitting in the dining room. I just finished breakfast and am sipping a cup of (unsweetened 🤢) coffee.

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This is highly unusual for me. Normally, I stay in bed to nine, sometimes ten o’clock :).  But I had a Eureka moment yesterday evening, so here I am!

What was that moment? I hear you thinking. Well, I haven’t been promoting my book at all as I wasn’t happy with the cover. I tried to contact my cover artist, to no avail. I had wanted to make use of a deal Ingram Spark had until the end of April, so I contacted the designer early March. Plenty of time, I thought. Unfortunately, he has disappeared from the surface of the planet (he lives in America, so I can’t go knocking on his door). No matter how many texts or emails I sent, I didn’t get a single reply. He had mentioned earlier that he had health problems, so I’m very worried about him. I hope it all gets sorted out. In the mean time, I missed the deadline for the Ingram Spark deal.

I had no option but to figure out how to do the cover revamp myself. So I began fiddling in Photoshop. Suddenly, I figured out how to get what I wanted. I found out where the ‘warp’ button was hiding and I could shape forms the way I wanted them to.

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No, that wasn’t the Eureka moment yet. I was very excited though and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. The Eureka moment came shortly after when I realized how much time I was wasting by staying in bed every morning. My DH and I want a greenhouse in the garden. We looked around all weekend, only to find out that what we want, we can’t afford. We decided we needed to build it ourselves to cut the cost. As we already have our hands full with the renovation of the house and we don’t want it all to become a decade-long project, we decided we had to use our time more efficiently. That ‘we’ included me.

In the evenings we normally watch tv and I don’t get anything done (writing or renovating). If I want to be more productive, I need to use as much daylight as possible. The time when there’s nobody else in the house. I need to get up early, just like everyone else. This will mean not going to bed at midnight anymore as I do need my sleep. That was the Eureka moment. That’s why I am up so early and happy that  I will be able to live in a normal house soon and have a book that I am happy to advertise 😊

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What’s happening?!

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My dear family, friends, readers,

Just letting you know I’m still alive! If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been these last few weeks; I’ve been writing. Actually, I should say editing. I’m working on improving ‘Raising A Vampire,’ Book 2 of the Suckers Trilogy. It’s hard work, much harder than writing. At least, that’s what I find. You need to be more focused and it’s not as creative.

So, I bet you’re asking yourself now ‘how long is this going to take’? Um, I don’t know. I got to chapter 6 and decided to start at chapter 1 again. I have ‘discovered’ the ‘text to speech’ option in Word and am using that now to get rid of the flow issues in sentences. I know, I told you about this function before, so I knew it existed. Didn’t mean I used it :). It’s a great feature though, helps a lot. And I still use ProWritingAid. That takes up the most time. Making decisions on what is ‘cleaner’ writing without making it clinical. Tough one.

But I promise you I will be more active on here again. I’m waiting for the files from the cover designer, so I can tweak them a little and will then go into full advertising mode. First for Book 1 and, as soon as the editing is done, for Book 2. I’m hoping to write Book 3 before the end of the year. So I need you guys to spread the word. Help me get more people on my email list! You can direct them here or to my Suckers Trilogy site:

https://suckerstrilogy.wordpress.com/

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Many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Jacky D.

My Book Arrived!

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I’m so happy to announce that my proof book is finally a reality! It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, (and a lot of help from my friends!), but I wouldn’t have done it any other way 🙂 .

There are still some issues to sort out, but they are minor, nitty-gritty stuff. The important thing is that it exists and the order for the first batch to sell at the Winterland book fair has been placed. Now I’ll keep my fingers crossed the order arrives in time!

I will be adding the print version to Amazon soon, so those of you who prefer to hold a real book check it out in a few days.

No posts for now…

My dear readers,

I’m sorry to announce that I will have no posts for at least three weeks. This is due to my deadline of making my first novel printable and ready for the book fair. If I want to pull this off I will have to work day and night!

My apologies for letting you down. I promise I will make it up to you in November!

Love always,

Jacky D.

One Stop Fiction Online Book Club

One Stop Fiction is the baby of OSFARG (One Stop Fiction Authors Resource Group). It is an online book club for readers and writers. They have lots of book available, amongst which 30 FREE books, 20 genres to choose from, and a competition in which you can win a kindle reader worth $110! What more could you want?

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Sign up now and enjoy the work of indie writers from all over the world. If you are a writer you can also advertise your books here. There is something for everyone!

It’s so easy, just sign up here…

This is the current list of FREE books available, if you still have any doubts about signing up 🙂 :

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Email list for my re-vamped book

For those of you who are interested in romance, suspense, vampires, action, drama, and/or a bit of horror; you can now sign up for a FREE copy of my re-vamped novel when it’s ready. I’m already half-way re-writing it, so I’m hoping to have it ready in October (before Halloween!). You can find the form on my home page.

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It’s mainly a romance, but with a lot of suspense for those thrill seekers amongst you! As it’s about a virus turning people into vampires (well, sort of) there’s the paranormal/supernatural theme running through it (fangs piercing necks; check!), there’s the bit of horror (vampires do kill for a living, pun intended 🙂 ), guns are involved in multiple scenes (so lots of action), and as there are four love interest (technically speaking) there is enough drama to make a movie out of it (I think so at least 😀 ). Humour is a tricky one, not everybody’s humour is the same. But I’ve made people chuckle, so I’m confident to say there is some humour in it too :).

Anyway, it’s FREE, so why not sign up! I promise it won’t disappoint you 🙂 .