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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Dana Bowman from Beyond Blood appears again May 28

Sharon A. Crawford channelling Dana Bowman from Beyond Blood

Sharon A. Crawford channelling Dana Bowman from Beyond Blood

Dana Bowman, the main character, the irreverent  PI from my novel Beyond Blood will be doing another of her comedy skits this Saturday afternoon. The occasion is Toronto’s annual Doors Open and Dana (and me too) will be at the Toronto Heliconian Club volunteering from 1.30 p.m. and then performing at 4 p.m.

There’s a lot of work in these comedy skits and this one is 85 per cent new stuff. The premise is Dana is supposed to talk about Beyond Blood and she does – sort of – in her own way, dissing me and generally not following instructions. So trying to get this skit together with help from Dana hasn’t been easy. Dana keeps sticking her face in maybe too much and therein lies the dilemma.

Just who is writing this skit? Who wrote Beyond Blood. Both Dana and I each answer “I did.” The book has “Sharon A. Crawford” for the byline but the skit?

Personally, I would prefer Dana that writes it. She is performing it so it’s her call. So, she’s been digging inside my brain for info or I have been channeling her.

There are many things to consider – content – is it funny or funny enough? Sometimes what’s on paper doesn’t come across as funny enough when you perform it. Then you go back to the skit content and realize that a lot of it is in the performance. The practice session yesterday wasn’t up to par. But I wasn’t feeling well then so does that mean that Dana was also feeling sick?

I did get ideas for some skit changes and made them.

And it might help if I was fully in costume when practicing. Especially the hair.

That’s Dana at the top. And here is the blurb from my website about Dana at the Heliconian Club May 28.

Sharon A. Channels Dana Bowman at Toronto’s Doors Open

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sharon A. Crawford will be channeling Dana Bowman, the main character in  Beyond Blood at the Toronto Heliconian Club during the first day of Toronto’s Doors Open. Sharon/Dana will be there from 1.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. to talk about the Heliconian Club along with other club members and she will take to the stage at 4 p.m. for a short comedy skit. Meantime, Sharon is coaching Dana on the Toronto Heliconian Club’s history and club activities, etc.

See you there.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

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How self-publishing has changed – this editor’s personal take

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

The self-publishing business has evolved a lot in the last few years. It is no longer on the fringe but has moved more main-stream. Here is my take on some of what is happening. This will sum up my postings on the editor-self-publishing author relationship based on my talk on the Editors Canada panel April 26.

  1. Self-published books are now considered respectable and not vanity press. Authors of sp books can be members of The Writers Union, have their books in libraries, do library readings and presentations, and register the book(s) with the Public Lending Rights program
  2. Author has much more say in what is done, can be more satisfying but also lots more work and responsibility and cost. And no middle person for taking cut in book sales.
  3. Choice in how to publish (e-publish only or print only or both – Kobo, amazon, etc.).
  4. A lot more social media and the like (including doing book review trades with other authors) involved –author blog, Facebook, Linked In, Goodreads, etc.; author must organize and pay for any in-person book launch, but virtual book launches are becoming popular. As the title suggests, the author is glued to the seat of her chair at the computer for hours, but she has control over the time and length of her book launch – also much cheaper than in-person launches.
  5. Other online media authors can schedule – videos, including guesting on online TV shows such as The Liquid Lunch on thatchannel.com and join meet-up groups such as the Toronto Indie Publishing group.

But author having more control can be good and prosperous. My writing colleague, Rena Natan who self-publishes some of her books is proof of that.Here is what she emailed me (in part) to use in my presentation:

“The process of promoting the book is time-consuming. I try to have it reviewed by friend authors (like yourself), by Midwest Book review (authoritative, free, but it takes about a year) and Goodreaders members.

Then I submit the book to all competitions that are not too expensive; I check them first on the website  www.pred-ed.com (preditors and editors).

When you win a competition you get, in general, perks, like free listing on a number of Websites, Bookdaily,  and the like. These help a little to sell.”

Rene’s books have won awards as you can see from the first page of her website. She also has more info on her books and what is happening with them here.

And for those who have trade publishers, some of these promotional activities can apply as today published authors have to take their publicity by the horns and do a lot of it themselves.

Which is good in that authors can connect more with their readers.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Click on the Beyond Blood icon at the top to find out more about my Beyond books.

 

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Tips for Authors Self-publishing Part 2

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

Last week’s post contained tips for editors dealing with authors who plan to self-publish a book. Today, I’ll present some tips for the authors. These are all from my presentation on the Editors Canada Self-publishing panel held April 26.

And what they call “a word to the wise” – just because you are self-publishing your book doesn’t meant you can skip the editing process. An editor can read your manuscript with an open mind, i.e., not working from the “tunnel vision” authors (and that includes me here) can get into with their baby, their manuscript. It’s more than just where the commas go, but includes whether or not your story flows, makes sense (and in a micro way – does a scene, paragraph make sense?). Is one character’s actions believable (considering the genre and story line) and is the plot, especially the resolution, credible.

Remember authors and editors need to work together, so the first point below is the most important. The rest really flows from that one.

 

What authors need to know when working with editors (a partial list):

  1. Mutual Respect
  2. Don’t have your book printed out before getting it edited.
  3. Don’t design your book in Word BEFORE getting it edited.
  4. Your book is still a manuscript before it is edited, so submit it electronically as a manuscript – 12 pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced AFTER you and the editor reach a hiring agreement. However, the potential editor might want a few chapters to help estimate a fee.
  5. The potential editor and writer can sort out hiring and related matters by email, phone, in person, or some of those three. Don’t be a no-show for appointments.
  6. Most editors will require a fee deposit and will draw up a contract for work requirements, time-line, and fees.
  7. When the contract is signed and the editor starts work, don’t bother her with constant emails or phone calls for progress reports and don’t email content changes without an editorial request.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Click on the Beyond Blood icon at the top to find out more about my Beyond books.

 

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Tips for authors self-publishing

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

The self-publishing panel I was on with Ali Cunliffe and Susan Viets presented by Editors Canada last week went very well. We all had interesting and informative points to make. A link to the You Tube video of it is here. Warning: the visual is lousy – we appear in shadows a lot, and it is long – it was an hour and a half panel including Q and A. But the sound is good, so you might want to get it going and listen to it while you eat lunch.

Over the next two or three weeks I will post some tips for authors and editors as that’s what our panel discussion was about. Today I’ll talk about the editor’s side.

Drama queen that I am (or ham actor) I started withe a mini-skit, standing up with a book (not mine and not the client’s). I recreated the scene when  a potential client walked into my home office for a meeting. He came in carrying a book, his book, already printed and said,

“I need this book edited.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

Editors don’t edit books AFTER they are printed. Fortunately, he had only the one book printed. So, here are a few tips and caveats, for editors working with authors who are self-publishing.
At the top of the list is MUTUAL RESPECT

  1. Many authors self-publishing don’t know anything about editing, so you have to educate them.
  2. Some authors think a book can be edited almost overnight (well in a week or two). Editors need to diplomatically tell them that it’s not so – even if they don’t have other projects on the go (avoid using the word “client” here as some authors often like to think you are focusing on their work only
  3. Diplomacy
  4. Ability to connect with the author about what they are looking for in their manuscript, for example a manuscript evaluation, a copy edit, etc.
  5. Flexibility in fees and time.
  6. Use a contract
  7. Knowledge beyond the usual editing such as illustrators, self-publishing methods, e-copies, promotion.
  8. Know your skills and what you are prepared to do.
  9. Keep authors apprised of any problems arising such as time lines and missing content.
  10. Patience.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Click on the Beyond Blood icon at the top to find out more about my Beyond books.

 

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