Sunday, February 24, 2013
I'm in a bit of a fog about how much I should spend on an editor. I haven't gotten any quotes on it yet, but most places like Red Adept give guidelines. For copy editing, they ask $.012 per word. At 150K words, that adds up to $1,800.00. For content editing, they ask an additional $.004 per word, That's another $600. For proofreading, another $.00175. That's another $262.50. A whopping $2662.50 for what I'm looking for. Add to that another $700.00 for my cover artist. Add another $100 or so to have someone format the thing. Oh, and I wanted a map, as well. That's another $200. That's $3670 to publish the book.
Chances are, my book will never earn that back. It's not one of the popular genres like romance. It's not popcorn sci-fi of the kind someone like Scalzi writes. All I can think of is the wife scorching my scalp with the Gort lazer glare. And it's not fair to her. But I need an editor. I wish I didn't, but my English isn't good enough to know which words get hyphenated, the precise meaning of every word, etc..
I know every author goes through this. You want to put the best product out there, but you have to have enough confidence in your writing to spend the money, or the chances are that the writing won't be good enough to make it back. It's one of the main reasons people try so hard to find agents and go the trad publish route.
Well, I'm confident enough to think I'll make some money, but not confident enough to shell out that kind of cash for editing. That means I have to find someone unproven. I'm looking at some editors advertising their services on places like Kindle Boards. Most of them don't write all that well. Their posts on the forums are stilted, the words clunky at times. Yes, they can quote the rules of grammar, but the sentences don't flow.
We'll see. I'll get some quotes in a month or so. But I have a feeling I'm going to end up holding my nose on this one.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
For those who didn't hear, Konrath sold his one millionth book recently. That's a LOT of books. The first thing he credited was professional covers. I couldn't agree more. the cover is the first thing the reader associates with your book. Trying my hardest not to exaggerate, I would estimate that I considered approximately a hundred cover artists/designers. Some I linked in previous posts. here is a sampling of the others I considered and rejected:
The list goes on and on. Finally, I found an artist I wholeheartedly believed could represent my words the way I wanted, and I commissioned her to do my cover. She's a Frenchman with the color schemes and designs I adore. I could've bought a cover for Lames at Humblenations that was CLOSE to what I wanted for $30. I came close. I almost pulled the trigger. Problem is, it was a pre-made cover that didn't relate more than the general feel of my novel. I wanted something specific. So I'll pay more than 20 times that to have someone I consider a world-class artist draw exactly what I want. It is a WONDERFUL feeling of artistic control. I never realized the joy I might draw from this. I imagine kings and queens of old used to feel like this when they'd take a liking to the style of a local artist and commission him to paint family members. On deviantart, she calls herself Genkkis. This is a sample of her art:
For a few days I've been plotting the instructions to give her. The primary goals are to covey that the book is science fiction, that there is action, and that there is a love story. That means I need a montage. I've drawn up instructions exactly how I think those can be conveyed, and I've given her some options as to which scenes she can use to convey those things. I think leaving the cover artist some choices is critical, because she gets to draw what she's comfortable drawing. She draws what she WANTS to draw.
It feels great to get this part out of the way. Now I have to find the third part of the trifecta. My editor. The cover won't be ready until well into summer, so I have a little time to finish my edits, but they should be done around the time the over will be done. The moment they're done, the search for an editor will begin in earnest. I have whittled THAT list down as well. I never thought I'd enjoy this part of publishing, but it seems it has become my favorite part. Whatever the outcome, I will have nobody to blame because I will have controlled the entirety of the book's production, and I have to confess that I wouldn't want it any other way.