Progress report, and differing attitudes about beta readers

I've been editing the hard copy over the past couple of days--12 chapters done!

I had an interesting moment because, since this is a YA book, I wanted to have my 12-year-old niece give it a read (she's done this for other writers, so it's not a huge, weird pressure for her). So I asked my sister about it. My sister has been putting out books of her own these days, and it was kind of alarming how she was like, "Yes, she can beta it! And this person can beta it! And that person can beta it! And this other person can beta it! Oh, if we're going to have all these people beta it, we can't leave so-and-so out!"

Oh my God--I had to stop her. It's just the difference in process: My sister will take something that she doesn't consider really done and have a million people beta the crap out of it. She's totally fine with that and considers it completely necessary. I wait until I'm basically happy with the book, and then let a couple of people who I trust beta it. Really all I'm expecting them to do is catch things I've missed--like, oops, you never described your protagonist, or oops, you've got some crucial event happening offstage. I feel like if you invite in all and sundry, you'll wind up with people like--well, like me if you asked me to read over your romance novel. People whose input is Less Than Helpful.

I think part of it, too, is that (even though it's been taking me forever to get things done) I do like to be efficient. Waiting for an entire community to weigh in just seems like a big waste of time to me--they can do that after the book is published!

Progress report

Yes! Today didn't start out looking like it was going to be very productive (I was all like, "I've jinxed it!"), but then some time opened up and I was able to FINISH this last edit, as well as spell-check and print out the last few chapters! YAY!

Now I will read over the hard copy, make any changes, and see if I can't lasso in some beta readers!

Progress report

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night, so I just did some minor edits on the YA book, spell-checked, and printed out the first 19 chapters. The cool things is that I'm to the point where I'm about to bother with hard copies! There's only 5-6 chapters left to edit on the computer, so fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Progress report

I edited chaps 10-19--actually it was the old chaps 10-20, but I decided that chapters 19 & 20 would be better off combined.

It's going well! I've forgotten how much easier and more enjoyable this stage of things is....

Progress report

Things are calming down enough that I decided to read over the last few chapters of Trials. Uf, that's a much more complicated novel! I may need to read over it a bit more and give it some more thought--tomorrow's actually going to be busy, but hopefully I can get back writing on it soon.

Progress report

A couple of little things suggested themselves to me as needing fixing on the YA book, so I fixed them. Things are getting hectic again (and kudos to the house and car for picking THE BUSIEST time of year to have problems), so we'll see. If I was working in a vacuum, the reasonable thing to do would be to get back to writing Trust, but of course the entire reason I started editing the YA book was that I was too distracted to write. Fingers crossed that things slow down soon, anyway.

Progress report

I was able to work on the book! Yay! I finished editing the YA book, except that I'm not totally happy with it--the final chapter or two seem a bit rushed, so I want to go back and noodle with it a bit more.

Progress report

Today I edited another six chapters--it's really good and relatively clean. I'm kind of hoping that's because it took me longer to write, so I went over the material several times during that process. That would be the good version. It's either that or I've completely forgotten how to edit....

Anyway, yesterday after I posted I went back to work on the cover and did the text, which I tweaked a bit today as well. I like it--I wound up not using the lettering I thought I would, but I think it's cleaner. The title frames the dragon a bit and makes it stand out more, which is nice.

Progress report!

Whoo-whoo! Because my current situation is pretty unfavorable for writing, I figured I'd start going over the YA book instead. So today I edited four chapters--it actually looks really good, I was pleasantly surprised!

Ugh, 'kay....

I just got a great big new bookkeeping project as part of our recent--I guess restructuring in the word. That will probably snow me under until tax time proper.... I may try to at least get some editing done on the YA book since things really look like shit for writing right now.

Another cover!

Today wasn't very writing-friendly, but I had some time, so I decided to take a(nother) poke at the YA fantasy novel cover, incorporating some handy photos I took this summer of a volcanic wasteland. I haven't done text yet.

Getting the dragon to look like it belonged up there was probably the hardest part, and I'm not sure I've nailed it.

The back cover is just going to be another eerie photo, so it looks a bit abrupt in a layout, but as long as I do the spine correctly, it should look OK on an actual book:

I'll probably move the text box down and get rid of the plants in the foreground--they look a bit weedy there. Do YA novels usually bother with jacket copy? I'd definitely be psyched to do without....

The Bing ring

So, the Bing campaign just really isn't going anywhere, in large part, I suspect, because very few people actually use Bing.

That's from my Block B Web site. It's illuminating to have different window onto the Web, isn't it?

Of course Bing's solution to this is for me to not use so many "low volume search terms," but hey, I went down that road once before, and it was really expensive. So, I'm glad I did this, especially since it let me try out search-engine advertising for free, but I'm going to conclude that Bing is not an effective marketing avenue.

But I may look into Google....


OK--I thought I would be able to start writing again sooner rather than later, but it turns out that The Bank of Slowness and Non-Communication actually got something done (as a matter of fact, they did it A FUCKING MONTH AGO and didn't see fit to tell us), which means that I've got to focus on settling everything out from that.

I guess I should be happy that they managed to get anything done at all (you might think that your money belongs to you, but The Bank of Slowness and Non-Communication knows otherwise), but yeah--I really would have appreciated a heads-up. A MONTH AGO.

The Bank of Slowness and Non-Communication: We're on our own schedule, because Fuck You.

ETA: I should note that, despite the fact that the bank could have handled things better, I'm really happy with the change that was made--this is one of those things that is going to require a lot of attention from me in the short term but should make things LOADS easier in the long term.