More editing

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Yesterday I finished the final draft of my next manuskript. I have already been sending it out to some publishers, not wanting to end up with neverending edits. But I have had this nagging feeling that it needed some more work. And it did. Now, however, I am pleased with it.

I am always wondering how good the manuscript needs to be to not put the publishers off, to make sure the content is read. It is a fine balance, optimizing the current project, but not overedit it and letting it get in the way of the next project. Now I’ll just wait and see.

I have mainly been writing in a local coffee shop the last month, and I like it so much, that even though I am going to take a day off before starting on the next manuscript, I am back here today, with the cappuccino, the raggea and a little rain outside. 

From the launch and then some

My neighbor offered to record from the book launch party, and now he has compiled this video of the event. Brings back some good feelings. Why don’t we do more stuff put in the woods, it’s such a great place to be. I guess there needs to be cake… Anyways, take a look if you are curious to how it all went down.

 

And here is a short article (in Norwegian), about the even. Except from writing my name wrong repeatedly, it’s a nice one!

The book has also been presented at NUBtipset.no.  It’s so cool that there is different places for readers to stumble upon it now.

Skjermbilde

It’s out in the wild

I hope to one day stumble upon my book somewhere, totally random. But this is pretty cool too!

It is strange when people contact me to tell me they are reading my book. I often imagined it while writing, usually with some dread, but now that it is a fact, it is mainly fun. It kind of makes story more real, and at the same time, less mine.

Book launch

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Reading out loud

On Thursday the 7.6 I finally got to share Djevelhogget with everyone. We gathered in the forest, for a talk about the book with my editor, some reading, and questions.

I’m not sure if it was the sun, the brownies or the coffee, but a lot of people came.

I was rather nervous about reading out loud, the world that has lived in my head for so long. But it was actually fun. And people was so sweet and enthusiastic on my behalf. I even got to sell and sign some copies.

A little bit later that night, we popped the champagne and toasted, just my husband and my closest co-writing friend.

I can still remember sitting down in silence, as my husband watched TV, to write the first tentative sentences, afraid to admit, even to myself, where I hoped all this would end.

And now it is out there, for real. On shelves or bed side tables, or perhaps under a half drunk coffee cup. That is a nice thought.

Cover reveal and preorder

Djevelhogget forside uten rygg

The book is sent to the press, and the publication date is set to the 7th of June. It is finally official. I have shared the news on my facebook page, and opened up for pre-orders (get in touch if you are interested).

I was so excited to reach this milestone, but I was not prepared for the shared excitement from everyone else. That was the best. Now I can’t wait for people to read it, even though I must admit to being a little bit nervous too.  But there is not much more I can do now, so I’ll do my best to simply enjoy this. This is it then… strange.

Book release

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Spring news

It seems that the book will be released early this summer. That is like, six to eight weeks! I am waiting for a final date and cover, and then it will be official, and I can promote it. This is so exciting!

Nearly done

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Only a little bit longer

A lot has happened the last month. The work with the manuscript is done, only final approval left. The text for the back of the cover is written and approved. The author photo is taken and author presentation written.

There really isn’t much more for me to do, before the promotional work starts up, and I don’t know much about that yet.

It is strange, having spent most of my free time and every scrap of concentration of these sleep deprived eight months, to suddenly be done.

Hopefully I can share the cover of my book soon, and a publication date.

I’m not sure if it is a healthy sign, but right now I really want to get back to my second manuscript. It will be good to play around again, without an editor and a publication as the next step.

Beta readers

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Time for recreational activities

It actually happened. My editor thinks that my manuscript is ready for beta readers. It felt so far ahead, and now the time has come. And just in time for Christmas. It seems like I will have time to write Christmas cards after all.

I am thrilled to have come this far in the process, and at the same time excited and nervous to get the feedback. Being a beta reader for the same publisher myself, I know how tempting it is to be harsh when you have no relation with the writer. I guess that is part of the stress test (of both me and the book).

It will be really interesting to see where the new beta readers are at, compared to the friends and family I have gotten feedback from earlier. Some of my earlier betas are critical and well read women, but they are still my friends and might have been unintentionally positive.

For now, I’ll just let the manuscript rest and see how many Christmas cookies I can eat until the feedback arrives. I have great ambitions!

The business of writing

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The opposite of business

The writing carrier can sometimes seem just as mythical as Huldra, the pretty girl with a cow tail, but there is actually living evidence of paid writers, and someone has taken the time to gather, analyse and present it. Here are some articles I have found useful. There are links within links on these pages. So if you are looking for some hours immersing in the subject, there you go.

Chuck Wendig, novelist, screenwriter, and game designer, has gathered a lot of business advise for writers in this article: A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers. It isn’t a pep talk, but contains realistic and important advice to be aware of.  I hadn’t read this before I signed my own contract, but I was confronted with several of the same issues that he warns about. Like keeping as many rights as possible and signing with a small press. Still in the middle of it, I still have to wait and see how it plays out.

For nine years, another author, Jim C. Hines, has been doing an annual blog post about his writing income, with the purpose of putting the data out there to help build a more realistic picture of life as a working writer. This year, he went bigger, collecting data from novelists who had at least one book published. There were a total of 386 responses. The survey asked questions about the number of novels published, how they were published (large publisher/small press/self-pub), income and expenses, genre, whether or not they used an agent, which country the novelist was in, and more. And that is just Part 1.

Rachel Aaron is another author who has written a lot about the business side of publishing. Like how to build a writing career, how to promote your books most efficiently, marketing, career planning and so on. Her archive on posts on business is extensive. 

In Norway we have several writer associations. One of them are Forfattersentrum. They have an overview of what their members should get paid for literary jobs like readings, lectures, writing courses etc. They even have minimum rates for extended travels and much more. This list is available to non-members as well, and is very useful to avoid selling your work short. A full overview (in Norwegian), can be found on this page.

The Norwegian writer association have a standard contract that they propose as a basis for authors. My own contract was mainly build on this one, with some deviations from the standard royalties and some specifics on marketing. It is worth knowing about if you are to publish a book in Norway.

I find it very inspiring to read about the practicalities around writing. It just makes it seem possible. And it goes to show that there are other ways to go about a career in writing, than to be discovered as a genius with your debut book.

There is of course a lot more out there, and if you know of some great posts or articles, please leave a link in the comments.

Different kinds of critique

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In the beginning, when I started showing my writing to others, I was just grateful that anyone would take the time to read and comment it. A part of me still is. Reading to give feedback takes a lot of time, though I suspect that several of us actually like the opportunity to tell others how to do things better. A lot of us, probably.

After three and a half year of working on my writing I have noticed a huge difference in how I respond to different kind of feedback. Specifically negative feedback.

I would expect to hate negative feedback, but a lot of it makes me happy, honestly. One criteria is that is has to be constructive. If you make it sound purely like personal preference, I will most likely disagree with you out of self-defence.

I love critique that makes me see a pattern in my own writing that can be improved, something that does not only make the text better, but me as a writer, better. That got to be my favourite kind of critique.

I also like feedback on stupid mistakes. I am so relieved for the opportunity to remove them. If you take the chance to point out that I am stupid at the same time though, it makes it difficult to not throw the whole comment away. And this is where the difference lies.

Good feedback for me is objective. Personally loaded comments, on the other hand, makes me unapologetically defensive.

I also find that I get in a critical mood myself, when receiving feedback, so if you write with a lot of spelling errors, or make sentences that are hard to decipher, I get frustrated and irritated.

That being said, I love my most critical readers. Some weeks ago, my sister called me out of the blue, to give me some feedback on my latest short story, just because she knows that I like it. I were impressed with how many things she pointed at, things that I myself only had a vague unsatisfied feeling about.

I wouldn’t have had half as much progress without my readers taking time to give me feedback. Thank you!