If I had to answer this question after having the first round of my first book edited, it would be a toss-up between dread and hate. I’ve come a long way from not knowing how to use Track Changes.
This comes as I am working on EDITS just back from my fantastic editor. Do I love it or hate it? Now that I know what I’m doing, I love editing when it comes back from her. I love to see the suggestions she offers to make the book better. So, this part I do love.
If there are changes that will take thought or time, I don’t love it so much because I want my book finished, and then there’s the ego thing with an instant… “No, I’m not changing that” mindset. This is when patience and reality come into play. I usually always make the changes and accept her suggestions because she’s the expert.
Even when it means tossing the complete first four or five paragraphs, and beginning the book in a different place, like with my current book. I loved my beginning as it was, but after giving it a couple of days to think about, I realize she’s right, and I can take some of the original and add it back in elsewhere, per her suggestion.
Self-Editing: Love or Hate
What about revising and editing a book after the final draft and before it goes to the editor? It’s frustrating when a story that looks and feels right in a draft, isn’t the same as when getting down to the nitty-gritty and looking at it with a self-editor’s eye. A time when you now know the complete story–where it’s been and where it’s going. It’s amazing to catch mistakes like: the time-frame is out of sync, or I spelled a character’s name incorrectly, or when I have to move something to a better place. Gasp! Or ditch my precious words. I love to see a book come together and watching characters develop more fully. Settings too become more real. This is what I love about revising and self-editing before anyone sees it.
So there it is, plain and simple. Turns out, I love editing more than I love writing the first draft though I do enjoy writing a draft to see what surprises are revealed.
What I don’t like is revising and editing blog posts.
Well, now. What is my inspiration for the muse today? As I started writing this, I hoped the precise reason would come to me, and I’d have real inspiration for posting under this Tuesday theme. It took writing this entire post before it came to me…
Completion. Pride. Relief. Stress.
Yep, it’s all four of those bundled into one. Completion and its friends.
I’m not finished. I’m a chapter away from writing the end to a first draft on a still untitled book. Therefore, completion, pride, and relief came in. I feel like jumping up and clicking my heels together for being close to completion. Now I have a dilemma. I’ve been faced with this before, but I don’t think I ever came this far before choosing a title. Oh, except for Of the Cowboy’s Own Accord. I wrote about it here. To be honest, I had this difficulty with Hey, Cowboy, too. Must I remind myself?
This is where the stress comes in. Stress, as bad as it is, makes me determined not to be satisfied with any old title, and to strive to come up with the perfect title.
However, for now, here I sit again. Out of four possible titles, one of them is the one I’ve been leaning toward. I wanted this one. Now, I want to kick and scream! Waah waah. Sob. Cry. Pout.
Quiet, crybaby. Yesterday before writing this, I found the same title on another romance published less than a year ago. 😦 Drats. It’ll be hard to reword this four-word title to get the same meaning.
Another choice is from a line I wrote in the book—part of something my heroine says and using that one would put a keyword in the title. So far, there is no book with this title. This is the heroes story though. Should my title reflect something the heroine says? It’s a good title, but longer than what I’d like. Of course, the story is hers, too, and she has her own difficulties to overcome. It might work. I could write Wade’s Story. Hahahaha. Not. I believe there are titles with only his name, anyway.
The third one sounds more like a travel book than a romance title, but I love it, too, because it fits. My cover designer might work with this title for the design. (I know her so well now.) This one was my first title choice and the one I keep going back to.
Last but not least, the other title is also a song title. I checked. It isn’t trademarked. Sure, I could use it, but yesterday I found the same title, again, on another piece of music by a Jazz player. That’s kind of like two strikes, so we’ll scratch it from the list.
The thing about stress is, it also drove me to brainstorm. Brainstorming took me down another path yesterday, and now three more new titles were added to my long list of four=seven now. Another word for all this might be obsession. I know it’ll come to me sooner than later. Please?
There’s time. No rush. I have to revise. I’ve had to start reading this book over from page one thirty times or more continuously because of delays and distractions, and each time of reading it from the beginning, I’d do more revisions, so the draft is fairly clean. This is what I do. Don’t try to change me. 🙂
Anyway, maybe through a hundred a few more revisions I’ll come up with the perfect title. My muse keeps telling me ‘you already have it,’ but she isn’t telling me which one it is. Let’s get with the program here, Ms. Muse!
Thanks for lending me your shoulder as I go down the path to preparing another book and another title dilemma. I’m sure my author friends understand this.
Readers, I hope you see how much work, stress, sweat, stress, tears, sweat, stress, hours, HEART we authors put into every aspect of a book, but we love it. IMHO ❤
I thought I’d begin by sharing a quote I saw on Twitter today by Paul Coelho. I love this author. You can find his books everywhere and he posts quotes on his Facebook and Twitter pages. 🙂 I should’ve thought of him when I wrote the post about authors I’d like to meet. Here’s his quote:
Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person
Nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. ~Paul Coelho
But now I go forward…
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post titled Making the Old New Again about a major revision I’m doing with Cowboy Boss and his Destiny and Tristan’s Destiny in my Double Dutch Ranch Series. I had a lot of questions unanswered by the end of the post. Now I have answers.
The questions to myself or anyone who had answers:
Will this new version be a 2nd edition?
No, this will not be a 2nd edition.
Will I delete the original 1st editions and start all over? Will retailers allow me to do this?
Yes and no. I will re-upload over the original version of Cowboy Boss and his Destiny. TRISTAN’S DESTINY, Bonus Book 1.5 will be deleted and no longer available as a single book.
We are allowed to delete eBooks. We cannot delete paperbacks.
Will I re-upload this over the original book #1 then delete or unpublish the original book #1.5, which doesn’t show up in my series, anyway?
Yes. Answered above. I will not lose the Cowboy Boss reviews this way.
This wasn’t included in my questions because I knew the answer, but I’ll clarify this now. What about my reviews for Tristan’s Destiny?
I have lost those reviews since both books are now unpublished and not available. However, I haven’t deleted the books, so reviews are still there with the unpublished files in my KDP Bookshelf in case I ever wanted to republish. I did copy them to be safe.
I will use the reviews in other ways like in the Editorial Review section on my book page where we are allowed to post snippets of a review. For those of you who have left reviews for Tristan’s Destiny, thank you. They are much appreciated. They will not go unseen.
Will I have a new cover designed?
Yes, I already have it! ❤ ❤ My designer is amazingly fast. It took us her three drafts. It consisted of doing a lot more than sticking new people on the cover. I’ll forever love my original cover for Cowboy Boss, but since the story has shifted, this new cover is perfect.
Did I mention this book went to the editor today? 🙂
Well, now that I’ve taken care of my own questions and answers, I must admit… It took me two weeks to decide to unpublish. Right after, I nearly hyperventilated. I had to take deep breaths and laps around my apartment. My chest hurt. I thought I might have a heart attack. Then, suddenly, the tension of making the decision rolled off my shoulders.
Revising this book was a good thing. Of course, I won’t know how others feel about it until I re-publish. What will I do if readers hate it? This is a question we ask ourselves anyway. No more questions, please (I tell myself)!
I got to know my characters all over again. Well, I visit with them in every book because they continue to make their appearances if only subtly. In fact, I learned something new about a few of them. After all this time, I discovered Tristan had a dark cloud hanging over him I never caught before. This was something new to use in my rewrite. The biggest shock of all? Tristan’s ranch foreman threw in a huge surprise, then it was like Hell YEAH. BINGO! Problem solved for an upcoming book.
This business is a marathon not a sprint and life is continuously changing.
I need to update the front and back matter to all my books. I started last night and it wasn’t a quick copy and paste thing because I also had to rewrite a bit of the front matter, part of my notes to readers, and whatever else I found to update. In the meantime, I have another hero and heroine mad at me for making them wait so long right at the most inopportune time (for them). They should be all hot and bothered by time I get back to them. ❤
I’ve turned off sharing. This is for you who have already read the first post , or newcomers. A girl can change her mind.
Y’all have a productive and fun week Thanks for reading.
Hello everyone. I’ve been neglectful of posting on my blog, and I apologize for not getting around to yours, either. I do miss visiting with you. I’m making my appearance on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated. Yes, I’m still here, but my blog is lonely. Remember, at the end of 2017 one of the writing topics for the 52-Week Blog Challenge was about resolutions. One of my writing goals mentioned a major revision on two books. I’m deep into this as we speak. #LifeGoesOn
In other words, I’m consumed with this project and working long hours each day—ten to twelve hours while arguing with my muse at night to put down her lariat and go to sleep.
I’m not only revising one book, but two, because Nora and Tristan had two books.
Why would I do this to myself? When I finish my revisions, this will be one complete book where part of the first book will flow into the second book as one complete story.
Part of one book you ask? This was the culprit keeping me awake at night, but after two weeks, I figured it out. The books are Cowboy Boss and his Destiny and Tristan’s Destiny, Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight. I’ve deleted over 90K words from Cowboy Boss and his Destiny #1 and a little from Tristan’s Destiny #1.5. Take that, book pirates!
Cowboy Boss will never be the same book as it is now, and in fact, I’m getting ready to pull these two books from publication until the revision is finished, reedited, and formatted. It’ll be fine for new readers to begin the series with Heartbreak’s Reward, book #2 in the series or Whispers of Forever, book #1 in the spin off series.
Does this sound easy? I hope you said no. It is not easy.
Another reason for doing this is because I have learned so much and come a long way since I wrote Cowboy Boss. This book no longer reflects the other books in my series, nor does it reflect my writing of today. Therefore, this no longer fits as my series starter. So, yes, I’m doing this major revision for my future. Am I taking a chance by doing this? Yes. Am I hesitant about doing this? No. (not any more.) Am I scared about doing this? Terrified.
If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard that writing is a marathon not a sprint. Consider this another mile in my marathon. #WritersLife
Oh, woe is me… The life of a writer. Oh, for joy… The life of a writer!
Cowboy Boss and his Destiny had originally been written as a standalone happy-go-lucky holiday story. It never turned out to be a holiday story or a single-title book. When I first wrote the book, I knew about half way through, this would start a series. Sure, it is a happy-go-lucky love story, but…
A reviewer called it a Hallmark movie with sex. However, the comment wasn’t meant to be positive. This book has its lovers and haters. (Read my Open Door Closed Door post.) To add some angst and more emotion and conflict to Nora and Tristan’s life, I gave them book 1.5, which will be added to the new version of Cowboy Boss as a complete story that flows together as one. LESS than a fourth of Cowboy Boss readers are reading book 1.5, anyway, but a lot of that book was necessary to further the series.
I’ve saved around 10K of Cowboy Boss before it blends into the new version where Tristan and Nora’s bond is put to the test and takes my characters on a more dramatic journey in this new version of Cowboy Boss and his Destiny, #1.
There are many dilemmas facing me as I decide how to publish this BRAND-NEW version:
Will this new version be a 2nd edition? If this is a 2nd edition, the original versions will remain with reviews intact.
Will I delete the original 1st editions and start all over? Will retailers allow me to do this? I want the original versions to disappear.
Will I re-upload this over the original book #1 then delete or unpublish the original book #1.5, which doesn’t show up in my series, anyway? Regardless, book 1.5 will go away one way or another. Of course, the reviews will go with it, and this book gets the best reviews. I’ve saved them.
While I’m on the subject of reviews: Reviews help tell readers, someone is at least reading the book. No reviews make it look like the book is just sitting there unread. Who wants to take a chance on that book?
Whoops, I digressed from the topic here—revising books.
I hear a lot about upcoming or new authors not wanting to self-publish. I get where you’re coming from. I had to make that choice once.
Making a revision like this to benefit my writing career would never be possible if I hadn’t published these two books myself. Nor would I be able to change the cover or pick the images for all my covers, especially my handsome heroes. I love having this control over my own books.
My next dilemma here is to change or not to change the cover. With this story now being so different, I think it deserves a new cover. Update: I changed the cover and it was the right decision!
If you’ve read this far, thank you for sticking around. I must be making up for lost time with all these words.
Have any of you published a 2nd edition? If so, what became of the 1st Edition? I don’t think Amazon will let us kill off the first edition if we publish a 2nd edition. In fact, I’m sure they don’t pull a first edition, and the upside to this is to have reviews available, albeit, new reviews will have to be garnered for the 2nd edition. I plan on finding out before I make a decision.
The entire series to date:
There it is, folks. I laid it on the line, and I’m hoping for the best.
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