What To Expect When You’re Expecting A Book – After the contract is signed
I’m starting a new blog series, taking you on the inside journey of a first time author. Stealing the popular title read by expectant mothers the world over and giving it a new twist.
As aspiring writers, we dream of that day when someone finally says “YES” they want to publish your book. My journey toward that elusive “YES” took 16 years. Now my debut novel, MARRY ME, will finally be read by someone other than me. I finally get to introduce myself as Kristin Wallace…Author. There is A LOT of information about how to get published. There are workshops and classes and books on plotting, character developing, GMC, synopsis writing, query letters, pitching to editors/agents, self-editing, book marketing. It’s endless.
Knowing what to expect when you finally to sell? Seems harder to find. So here’s my crack at explaining this next step in my journey.
Pre-Edits…Or I used “really” how many times?
Pre-Edits. Part of my “Welcome” packet from Astraea Press was a document on pre-edits…meaning things I needed to fix before it went to my actual editor. This meant changes. Some were technical changes to the formatting. When you’re talking about ebooks the text has to be formatted so it looks uniform and normal in an ereader. One thing I learned is that the standard two spaces between sentences many of us learned is not the thing for ebook formatting. It’s one space. So now I have to retrain myself not to hit the space button twice. Not supposed to have a space after the end of a paragraph of line, either. I didn’t realize how often I put a space at the end of a line…until I turned on the tool that lets you see non-printing characters such as paragraph indents, returns and such. I guess it’s a habit to hit the space bar at the end of a line. Another habit I need to curb.
My pre-edit sheet contained a list of words to look for…and remove. One word on the list? “Really”. I learned I use the word “really” a lot. Really a lot. The “search and find” tool in Word is great…but scary because it also tells you how many times it finds a word. When I did a search for “really”, shock and shame ensued as I saw the number. I’d used really a whopping 128 times. Really.
Writers have many crutch words. Words like “very “that” “was” “just” “it”. We all use them and they become such a habit that we don’t even realize it (you see, I just used “it”). Most writers have one or two they absolutely love. One of my favorite crutch words has always been “just”. A critique partner pointed out my overuse of “just” years ago so I’ve worked hard to curb its use (except in the earlier sentence when I just used “just”). Now, I must add “really” to my list of banned words. “That” became another troublesome word, too. Took me days to find every “that” and eradicate them. They lurk in the shadows of your sentences like tiny “that” bombs waiting to make your writing lazy and uninspired.
So for all you writers struggling with your “it” and “was” and “very” and “really” and “just”…my sympathies…and get rid of them now before you’re forced to.
Stay tuned for my next installment…Author Branding!