The Printed Fox: 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Reblog: Angella Graff, From the Editor's Corner

I'm reblogging this because, after I read it earlier today, I just couldn't let it pass me by without sharing it far and wide. There's just so much to this.

This comes from editor and colleague Angella Graff,  who is an amazing author and my spirit animal.


Being in the indie market, self-published authors have one luxury most authors in the Traditional Publishing or even Small Press market don’t have.  We choose when our book is going to be released.  It’s part of the Power is in My Hands draw of that publishing market.  As an indie author myself, I love it.  I’m not bound by contract or dates, and when my book is ready to head to print, within twenty-four hours, it’s available to the public.

But it also comes with drawbacks, some of which I’ve seen in droves coming from the indie market.  I’ve seen it first hand as an editor, and as a networker to a lot of my indie friends. Publishing too soon.  I can’t tell you how many manuscripts I’ve had to reject in my editing inbox simply because the author requests an editing job done for a release date two or three weeks away.

When you’re an indie writer, the ball is in your court, one hundred percent.  That also means you’re obtaining all of your services freelance.  Book covers, editing, formatting, marketing, etc.  And all of those things are necessary to bring a professional, worth reading, book into the market.

Traditionally published books often have release dates years out and those going straight to ebook, if they’re lucky, maybe six to eight months.  There’s a reason for that, and the reason is– those necessary elements to making your book professional take time.  Freelance editors, at least the good ones, are often booked up months in advance.  My own personal queue is fully booked through June, and I’m not even accepting new authors right now.

So the very idea an indie would choose a release date just weeks away from when they begin to send out editing inquiries is beyond me.  I don’t understand what the rush is.  I know, you’ve poured your heart and soul into this book, and everyone who’s read it so far loves it, and you can’t wait to release it out into the wild.

Believe me, I know the feeling.

But good work isn’t fast, and fast work isn’t good.  Neither is cheap work, or rushed work.  If an editor tells you it’s going to take four weeks to finish your manuscript, take pride in the fact the editor is using their precious time to give your book full and absolute attention.  You need a buffer, you need time to not only apply the edits when they return, but to finish re-writes, to perfect those tiny nuances of the book before you hit that publish button.

I find a lot of indies think the editing process is finished the moment the book is back in their inbox.  They just hit accept all changes and that’s that.  If you’re doing that, you’re doing your book a massive disservice.  A lot of times when I do copy editing, I will offer content notes.  I can’t help it.  Yes, I’m being paid to look at grammar and spelling, but I’m still reading the book, and if something stands out, I will mention it.  I can tell you with certainty, I’ve never edited a book, even just a copy edit, that couldn’t use a few plot or character changes.

I realize, for some indies, this is hard to hear.  Indie authors are some of the most sensitive I’ve ever come across.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, or a harsh criticism, it’s just a fact.  I’ve had scathing emails in my inbox when, after being paid to do a full critique, the author was unhappy I didn’t find their book to be anything other than absolute perfection.

Trust me, as an author myself, I know the sting of critique.  I pass on a book which I believe to be the very best I can do, and when I get back comments telling me where I’ve failed, it hurts.  But I take it in stride, and I give myself time to make the necessary changes to my work, because despite my desire to have my first draft be absolute perfection, I know it won’t be.  I know changes are necessary.
I don’t want to rush my work out.  I want to spend days pouring over my text and making sure I am one hundred percent satisfied with what I put out into the market.

To tell you the truth, most good editors– and by good I mean editors worth hiring– won’t comply with release dates.  At least, not unrealistic ones.  I will always ask when they plan to publish, and if the answer is anything less than eight weeks (barring a previous agreement and my queue being completely empty), the answer will always be no.  Always.  Even with a manuscript assessment, I can’t fully predict how long it will take me to finish an entire book.  Without psychic powers, I also won’t be able to predict the little curve balls life throws at me, and it’s important to remember your editor is human.  Sometimes things happen, and it will delay your book.

My advice, use the fact that you have total control over your book and don’t choose a release date until your edited manuscript is in your grubby little hands.  Then give yourself several weeks of cushion to apply your edits, to go over it line-by-line.  Use those weeks to line up release promos and book tours, and build up anticipation and excitement.  Don’t rush.

In the end, you’ll thank me for this advice.

Trust me.

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Awesome Tweets.

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did I Just Get Slut Shamed?

Okay, so, on Monday afternoon I was told by one of my relatives that "since [I] write what [I] know," I obviously must have done everything in my books. The implication being that I'm either loose, a slut, or a deranged and perverted freak.


Well, she got me. I'm here to tell you that every single act of sex, depravity, and abuse in my books is something that I have personally done or experienced because I have absolutely no imagination, nor do I have any idea what this "researching thing" is.

And while I'm coming out, before y'all get all knicker-twisty when my first paranormal comes out later this year or early 2015, you heard it here first: I have killed entire families and eaten them for breakfast. See, this one time, there was this article, and it was about a guy who totally ate this other guy's face off. I thought that was kinda cool but didn't really have that special "oomph" I was looking for, so I thought I'd just do the whole family.

Also...I'm a werewolf. I was bitten a few years ago. My name is Howls With A Yip (please don't laugh; my pack already makes fun of me for it and it makes me tuck my tail sometimes). I like long walks in the park, squeaky toys, and the feel of real Gucci leather between my teeth. My dislikes include cat shifters and peanut butter. People just laugh at me when I eat it, for some reason.

So if I forget and sniff your butt instead of giving my paw, just bear with me. My trainer says I'm doing really well, but I'm still really treat oriented.

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

On upheavals

Some of you may already know this, and others are only now finding out that I've recently relocated.

Talk about massive upheaval. All of it was for a good cause, and I'm very glad to say that I love where I am now. So much has happened in the two weeks since I left the midwest, and it's ironic that as much as I use imagery and description as an author, the only thing I can compare it to is like popping a really massive pimple. You know, the kind that you just squeeze even a little, and it bursts all over the bathroom mirror and you have to get the Windex before your mom screams at you because she just cleaned this bathroom and what, were you raised in a barn?!

Seriously. In two weeks I've lost eleven pounds, fixed my plantar fasciitis that I've suffered through since January of last freakin' year, changed my self-image, love looking in the mirror, regained the ability to smile and laugh, and bought a punching bag.

Dude! Me! Meek little pacifist me. I talk a lot, because that's all I really need. Hate violence. Who needs it when you have the ability to reduce someone to their butthurt little inner child in ten words or less?

Well, unless you're a spider, in which case fuck you, I squish you dead.

But yeah, punching bag! Really great for the lats (mine were screaming bloody hell the next day, which was awesome), and really great for repressed rage. Lemme tell you, I thought that shit was buried so far down that only the cold tentacles of the Eldritch Gods would find it in the murk. Nope! One, two, three punches on that thing showed me a shallow, hastily-disguised trap door leading right to it.

Funny thing is, the more I unleash on that Everlast, the more familiar I get with all that formerly-buried shit, the happier and freer I become. I know this sounds like kindergarten "Duh!" type shit, but seriously, in twenty years I have tried just about everything you could think of. Anything that any number of counselors, articles in psych journals, self-help books, and doctors could think of. I thought I was going to have to either die with this shit festering, or live long enough to end up on the 6 o'clock news up in a bell tower with a sniper rifle.

Somewhere back there, I turned a corner. Somewhere back there, I finally learned how to say "fuck that shit" and stick to it. I've even stood up to my dad and very clearly said, "This is my boundary, and you may not cross it. Stop it." And I didn't retreat; he did. That was a transformative moment for me, lemme tell you. Since then, I haven't quivered even once in any sort of confrontation where before I would vibrate worse than those massage chairs they slam you in when you go get a deluxe pedicure.

Somewhere back there, I literally stopped caring about what they think, what they say, how I might come across. I stopped letting my obligations rule me. Hell, I stopped looking at them as obligations because the only fucking obligation I have is to Little Owl. My light, my life, my joy, my preschooler-going-on-teenager.

I used to love upheavals. They were my heaven crashing to the ground, burning the old to fertilize new growth. Somewhere, I stagnated. Somewhere, I gave away my power (again) and tried to be a good little homemaker and fit myself into the person I thought I wanted to be. The person I thought would make my inner child happy. The person I thought would recreate my home as a child with all of the Cleaver Family wonderfulness we used to have, without all the Married-With-Children and Three-Faces-of-Eve crap that went along with it.

Turns out that isn't who I am at all, no matter how good my brownies and sewing skills are. I realized my only responsibility is to be the best example for my daughter, to teach her what being a true, strong, courageous woman really is all about. And in order to do that, my highest duty, then, was to be absolutely true to myself and unafraid to own it. In fact, I'm now afraid to do any less, for fear of teaching her to limit herself.

When it was just me, I could be as weak-spined and full of shit as I wanted. But now those large, hazel eyes of Little Owl are looking up at me, and I can't afford to be anything less than the badass motherfucker I really am.

Holy shit. I'm rather awesome.

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's totally been forever...

...since I posted here.

Lots of stuff going on, most of it personal, but all of it really...really time-consuming.

I finished my current WIP! Yay me!

Seriously. I've been working on this piece for a year, but with school and toddler and everything, I didn't touch it for more than half a year.

Then suddenly, Boxing Day 2013, BAM! Life event causes total breakdown of all motivation killers, and I bust out ten thousand words in two days. In seven weeks, the bitch was done.


It's over 120k words, but still. Damn right it's a parade. 

I'm hoping this means I'll be posting here on a more regular basis again. But The Printed Fox might be one of things I update sporadically, which means I know I'll never get massive traffic here. Ah well.

Oh yeah, and I'm moving. Yayfunjoy. I can't seem to stay in one place very long, apparently.

Anyway, just had to share. Stay tuned, because the editing process for Duchess of War has begun, so look for a release date later this year! I'm hoping my publisher will have it out this summer, but I'll have to seriously kick my ass to get it in release shape by then.

We'll see.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!