Confessions of a Publisher/Editor/Author

confessions of aThank you for having me on your blog today, Ralene! Let’s see … the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hmmm …

The Good:

As a publisher, I am constantly on the prowl for the next amazing story that will rock my world and be a good fit for my publishing company. And I love delegating tasks to my team. Especially marketing. While completely necessary, marketing is just the worst. (For me, anyway! I still learn everything I possibly can about it.) I love having a professional marketer who relishes promoting our books and is an expert in her field. It frees me up to be an expert in mine!

As an editor, I thrive on making other’s words succinct and captivating. I love hacking sentences to pieces, celebrating especially captivating phrases, and gently explaining the rules to my authors. (There are so many!) Being an editor is my favorite of the three.

As an author, I make myself giggle. As in, all the time. I especially find my new release, Zombie Takeover, hilarious. I’m quite certain it isn’t as hysterical as I think it is, but I mean, come on! If I don’t enjoy myself, what’s the point of writing? (Then again, I may be exhausted from all of the publishing and editing and writing and … zzzzzzz.)

Oh! Right! The Bad:

As a publisher, I get cornered at every opportunity and told about “this amazing book idea” an aspiring author has rolling about in his or her head. Write it down, people. I can’t read what hasn’t been put on paper, and neither can anyone else. You shove it at me; I will most likely read it. (I will. I love reading new material. So much.) But I can’t publish your ideas. I’m so sorry. Write. It. Down. End of rant.

As an editor, a comma in the wrong place gives me ticks, and I’ve been known to yell at my computer screen when an author gets “that” happy. (You know: “The thing that I wanted” instead of “The thing I wanted”—see. Nervous tick. Right there.) 😉 Also, I now constantly edit every. single. word I read. Books just aren’t the same anymore. Sniff. On the other hand, a well-turned phrase can send me into squeals and happy dances, and I have to read it to everyone in sight. I am so sorry, random stranger. Yep. That was me. You just had to hear it.

As an author, I’m always being bombarded by these amazing story ideas—that I’ll write down as soon as I’m done editing this other person’s book right over here …

The Ugly:

As a publisher, my pet peeve is a grainy or low-resolution image or a less-than-professional post for all the world to see. The ugly part (and this is all on me!) is I’ve been known to ask my authors to take down a post or re-upload an image that looked like it was taken off the internet at 1kb. (Only if it applies to marketing. I wouldn’t dream of asking them about a personal post—I hope! Just their professional image.) And watch. Right after this post, I’m going to accidentally upload something with the grainiest picture there is with three typos and not find out about it for a week. 😉

As an editor, I have actually cried over jobs that were so bad, I wondered why in the world I took them. (This was ages ago, way before publishing, not anyone who knows me! Completely random, anonymous jobs. No, I’m not talking about you. I loved your book, whoever thinks I’m talking about them. I’m not.)

As an author, I’ve been completely baffled when my own book comes back from my editor and has—red marks on it. Gasp! I’m an editor! How on earth can my stuff be swimming in red? Sob! I don’t handle it well. At all. (But it must be done! Even editors shouldn’t edit their own work. Sad, but true.)

Let’s end in “The Good” again, shall we? “The Ugly” there is giving me the shivers. It sounds so terrible!

As a publisher, my drive, my dream, and my passion is to bring quality books to life in this world hungry for the very best fiction. It’s important to me to have a professional cover, professional editors combing the manuscripts, professional formatting and interior design—notice the word professional? Quality matters, and I only hire the best. I want each of my authors to succeed.

As an editor, I want each manuscript perfected, not a mistake in sight. That’s my goal every time I edit. I reference the CMOS, CWMS, Proofreading Secrets of Bestselling Authors by Kathy Ide, and Merriem-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary often to stay on top of industry standard. And I take editing courses at every opportunity. (The EFA rocks!) Whether an author is published through my company or not, I want to give them my best. They deserve it.

As an author, I write the stories I adore and want to read. I strive for quality, and, even though it’s extremely hard to have my own work edited, I love learning new things and refining my manuscripts. I also love to hear if I’ve made a mistake (weird, but true)—how else will I learn?

Thank you so much, Ralene and everyone, for letting me share a slice of my world with you today! I loved spending time with you more than I can say!

What about you? What is your favorite gift with which our Creator has crafted you?

Author Head Shot MicheleAuthor Bio:

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as a stay-at-home mom and her nights typing
away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… A member of the Heartland Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as the treasurer for the Indiana chapter of ACFW, Michele has her bachelor’s degree in History and can most often be found with her nose in a book when not chasing her two rambunctious boys or cuddling her new baby daughter. Visit her website at www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com to learn more about her.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/love2readlove2write/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/razersj
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14554353.Michele_Israel_Harper
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/razersj/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michele_israel_harper/
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Israel-Harper/e/B016YW4Q6Q

Zombie Takeover_Kindle editionMichele has a new book coming out in a few weeks. You can find out a little more about the book at the below link. I’ll also be reading/reviewing the book in July!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Yo9yUf

 

Confessions of a Daydreaming Scatterbrain

Welcome to my new series “Confessions.” I’m trying it out this summer to see how y’all enjoy hearing from writers and other publishing professionals as they share about their ups and downs–many we can all relate to. Some will be funny, some will be more serious.

Up first, my friend and client, Desiree Williams is sharing some insights into her life as an author, mom, and all the fun that comes with that! Take it away, Dez . . .

 

First off, a big thank you to Ralene for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with you all, and of course to share that I, Desiree Williams, have a problem.

No one ever likes to confess to their faults. I mean, who wants to admit there’s something wrong with them? However, honesty can be quite freeing. Like right now. I’m ready to shine the light on some of my weaknesses. Are YOU ready? But you have to promise not to laugh—at least not until the end. And probably not to my face. =D

DaydreamingScatterBrain

 

14. You make a pot of coffee, but then forget to grab a cup.

13. You throw clothes in the dryer only to remember two days later you forgot to turn it on.

12. You have countless unfinished projects strewn through the house or on your computer.

11. You space out while driving, and then find yourself in random places far from your intended destination.

10. You can start five conversation topics at one time. (Notice I didn’t say you finished them.)

9. You have regular chats with the voices inside your head.

8. You’re easily distracted by all things shiny.

7. You find yourself in a room and forget why you had to be there in the first place.

6. You space out when someone is talking and then scramble to rejoin the conversation before they notice.

5. You burn dinner even though you’re standing three feet away.

4. You can tune out a packed room.

3. You meet someone new and can easily picture them as a dagger-wielding ninja.

2. You walk smack-dab into a sign that anyone else would’ve noticed.

 

And the big number 1:

You have a kick-butt imagination that takes you on amazing adventures.

 

Yes, I confess I’m guilty of every single one of those and so much more. My daydreaming-scatterbrain gets me into quite a few pickles, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It makes life an adventure. Plus, once I get over my initial embarrassment over said events, I have a few more stories to tell. =D

So my brain doesn’t work like normal. That’s okay. Normal is boring anyway. (Ralene italicized that line because she absolutely loves it!)

Daydreaming-Silly faces

But now I must know.

Are you guilty of any of these?

Please tell me I’m not alone in this crazy scatterbrain world. Feel free to share your own confessions below.

Virtual hugs to you all.

~Desiree

 

Author Bio PhotoAuthor bio:

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com

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Thank you, Dez! You know I suffer from all of those a lot of the time. Too much stuff going on in my head.

If y’all love romance in a fantasy setting, I highly recommend Desiree’s books. She tells some pretty engaging stories.

Confessions of a Writer/Doodler

by Bonnie Lacy

Confession #1 ~ I am so grateful I didn’t get published when I thought I shoulda. One novel under my belt. Oh. I. Had (and still have) so much to learn. I am reading a book on writing/publishing/story at all times, whether print or ebook. Conferences like Realm Makers and others have put me in touch with more than my editor! I am determined to take some kind of class every year. This year I took David Farland’s online workshop, The Story Puzzle. (He enticed with $100 off! Money talks!) Last year I took Kevin Kaiser’s Storyseller University and I still need to apply more of his suggestions than I have. Next year? Any suggestions?

 

Confession #2 ~ I am so grateful I didn’t give up. I know I’m not where I want to be, but I have come so far from that first novel. I have a firm belief that some of the best writers/talents/artists give up. I am not the best, nor the worst. But I’m still here. Did I ever feel like giving up? Heh. Yeah, me too. Apply the Dori principle—keep on writing, keep on writing … Now I have six novels and over fifty short stories. And still so much to learn.

 

Confession #3 ~ I am a doodler. And the doodles are weird. But as I write this, I realize why they are a great lead-in to a writing sprint. I tend to doodle a little at a time—a little each day. I don’t plan–I play. Add a little here, a few lines there. Bubbles. Organic. Structure. Each day adds a little more to the mystery of the finished doodle. Just like a story. Whether you’re a pantser or plotter, a story grows upon itself, adding to the mystery of that story.

 

Examples: Check out bonlacy on Instagram. Most times the first day/first doodle is baffling. What is that? But as I let myself play (Grandson Eli always tells me, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”) and … doodle, I let it grow and be and laugh and … well, I let the strangeness grow. Some lines are smudged—I’m not a machine—then they’d be … perfect.

 

Same for me in the story. That old rough, first draft. Ick. What is that? But the second and third … well for me, that’s where the magic happens.

 

And the strangeness grows …

 

bonnieBonnie Lacy is the author of six novels, one fiction book, devotionals, several children’s books, and over fifty short stories. Her first published novel, Released, can be found here. Rescued, Book 2 in The Great Escapee Series, is due out Fall of 2016. Visit her at: www.bonnielacy.com. Twitter: @BonnieLLacy. Instagram: bonlacy.