Elf Mastery Blog
I have finished editing the second proof of the book, and am now awaiting beta reader feedback. Now, the first and most important of beta readers (my mom) has mailed me the copy of the proof I sent her to read. Now, I know what you're thinking: your mom can't beta read for you! Of course she'll only say nice things! But that's where you're wrong. I mean, she will say nice things, but she will also tell me the cold hard truth. In fact, on my first book, I found my mom to be the most informative and critical of my beta readers. I think that's because she feels more invested in my work, and so reads it more thoroughly. And she wants it to be the best I can make it, which means she will be honest about what she thinks doesn't work. Yes, she has proven to be my best beta reader so far. And she's quite understanding of the fact that I may or may not implement her suggestions, depending on my overall vision of the story and input from other beta readers. As most people's parents seem to be either over-indulgent or overly critical, I am grateful to my mom for her ability to be balanced!
Anyway depending on feedback hope it won't be too much longer to release...
My second proofs arrived today, which are also doubling as copies for beta readers. One's for my mom, as she's a good honest beta reader who I can count on to 1) give an honest opinion and 2) read and respond in a timely fashion. She also enjoys the fantasy genre.
With any luck, this proof will go smoothly, but I will admit to some concern that a couple of the story arcs might come across too convoluted and have to be reworked. Elf Doubt required a fair bit more interweaving of plot points than Elf Mastery did.
At any rate, I just need the cover work finished and a good beta read and I can launch. So here's hoping for May.
And in other news, I have been working on the third book, Elf Righteous.
I'm finally ready to hand everything over to my beta readers! I shall order a few proofs for them to read. Time to release will depend partly on feedback - hopefully there aren't major issues!
For those of you unfamiliar with beta reading, it is getting feedback from the general public (ideally members of the target audience). Not all feedback will be used, but if I see trends or if there are parts that seem unclear or uninteresting to readers, then I will take a serious look at how these parts can be improved.
A worst case scenario. would be consistent feedback that entire characters or story arcs are terrible. So fingers crossed!
Just to clarify, release isn't today (May 1) but planning for sometime in May. And probably the latter part of May. However, I have gotten through the more beastly portion of my current edit. I do still need to get through a couple beta reads and at least one more edit, however.
I was a bit optimistic on my timeline for the current edit. Nearing the halfway point of the book, but one of my chapters is a total mess and needs to be re-written. I had made some story changes which didn't fully integrate some of the events of the story, and I need to make sure story arcs are consistent. Still, I hope to release sometime in May.
I wanted to do a paper edit as I find it easier than editing everything on the computer. Plus, I can take it out and work outside if it's a nice day. So I was going to have it printed at Staples, but it was going to cost a fortune! (I think it was over $100). I found another place that would do it for about $40. It was enough printing that I would use a full cartridge if I did it myself. But, I managed to get a bound softcover for only $6.50. Odd to me that it was so much cheaper to print a proof than just print the pages off. Anyway the cover still isn't done so I mocked one up and have started going through and marking it up with a pencil. Definitely a lot easier and more fun to edit this way! I will be ot of town for a few days but hope to finish this edit by the end of next week. Cover may not get done until May due to delays, but hopefully I can launch as soon as it is ready.
Edit 9 is complete! I do think I want to do Edit 10 before seeking beta readers, as I need to reorganize a few scenes for pacing purposes. I will be pulling scenes one by one from Scrivener into Word. Scrivener was nice for doing scene work and organization, but doesn't have a lot of the editing and formatting options I like in Word. I'm a bit mixed on how I feel about the Scrivener program overall. It does a few tasks very well, but omits others. Or perhaps I don't know how to use it well enough yet.
Regardless, I feel like I am almost there! Still a few scenes that will need adjustment for tone and feeling. There are some more complex ideas here than in Elf Mastery and I want to make sure they are clearly and emotionally expressed.
Have a Happy Easter!
Edit 9 is going much more quickly than 8, and I hope to be done by the end of the week. I do need to write a scene or two, and reorganize a few things, and then should be ready for beta reading. I don't know that I'm going to do as extensive a beta read or marketing campaign as I did with Elf Mastery, as this book (Elf Doubt) is something of a launch toward Book 3 (Elf Righteous) and it seems odd to push it on its own. Will probably have 3-4 beta readers look it over and then make adjustments before I do edits 10 and 11.
Holy shnot that took longer than I expected. Edit 8, which I expect (and hope) to be the most extensive edit, is over.
But the editing is not yet complete. Edit 9 will involve me going through each character's arcs and making sure they are coherent. A couple likely need scenes added. Some will be deleted.
Edit 10 will be my sensory edit. This means I will look at sensory details and descriptions and make sure they are 1) short and 2) engaging. I try to use minimal description to maximum effect. Please note that this doesn't mean I'm good at it.
Edit 11 will be an emotion edit. Are characters behaving in ways that appropriate to both their situation and their character?
After that I should finally be ready for proofing (getting the book printed with the cover, and check for more mundane mechanical errors).
Well, I ended up making the picture for the back cover myself. Hoping it turns out okay - my cover designer may still have me make a few changes, and her adjustments will tend to improve it a great deal. However, despite many struggles getting to this point, I am happy with the outcome.
Image is of the flying city of Aeolis, from which Kyla is falling on the front cover. The image will be placed above the text on the back to give the sense she is falling from it.
And here is a render!
I recently finished several years of employment with the Canadian government to pursue a Master's degree. My secret goal is to become a self-sustaining author. This blog is dedicated to the first book I have ever put on the market.