Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It Takes a Village

Getting a book out is a huge job.  The author, of course, does the bulk of the work: Writing the manuscript. But the process of making a finished product that can be put into the hands of readers is a collaborative effort and takes a lot of teamwork.  I am very fortunate to have worked with and had help from some terrific people during the genesis and production of Frisky Business.

I had four terrific beta readers for Frisky Business (see my earlier post on Beta Readers). Tanis Mallow, Rob BrunetMargot Kinberg and Scott Whitmore each read an early version of the manuscript.  

Margot was the first of the four I heard back from, and she had read the MS in record time, which in itself was encouraging!    Her comments were very helpful and we carried on a neat discussion after the fact.  Scott was the next to get back to me, and he made the best catch of all: A continuity glitch that totally slipped by me.  I mentioned (or Sasha mentioned) something on page 89 that didn't actually happen until page 95.  Note to self: Be careful with cut and paste!  Tanis and Rob each gave me warm fuzzies on lines they liked (root canal of a human being and Jizzneyland) - positive comments are always so encouraging!  They also gave me feedback on structure: where it was too thin, where it didn't move the plot forward as it should, and where it stepped over the line of believability.  

The book ended up being better overall because of input from these four fellow writers.  Good for me for choosing savvy Beta Readers!


Thank gawd for Drew Arnold!  He's a colleague of mine from many years ago when we both worked for the crazy man who fired his wife (and who then seemed surprised when she filed for divorce... but that's another post.)  Drew has an eagle eye for grammar and the mechanics of English.  He also has a knack for zeroing in on subtle points that can make a big difference.  In one case, I simile I used (innocently) could have been offensive if taken in a certain light.  Naturally, that wasn't what I'd intended when I wrote it, and it had never occurred to me that the line could be taken a different way, so kudos to Drew.  The line was changed - along with a number of other wording changes suggested by Drew.  

Ack!  Yikes!  Whoa!  Choosing a cover is difficult!  Conveying the cover images I had in my mind's eye was tough.  I fiddled around with several ideas, and made several (awful) samples.  I also asked a number of designers to magically whip something up. 

I liked so many of the proposed designs, but so many of them just didn't feel quite right.  The final design ended up being sort of a compilation of elements I liked from a bunch of the samples.  Here's a little video I posted on YouTube about selecting the cover for Frisky Business.

Deena Rae and E-Bookbuilders really came through for me when it came to formatting Frisky Business.  I should also mention that in the weeks since its release, Deena has been helpful and proactive, making adjustments and tweaking things as requested.  

I should also mention that I *tried to* make Deena's job as difficult as possible!  I am (admittedly) something of a Luddite when it comes to technology and computers and such.  I KNOW the files I sent her were the most screwed-up, most UN-user-friendly files that she's ever received.  But Deena deciphered my glitches and sorted out the hieroglyphics in record time, and with the highest professional standards.  I'll use E-Bookbuilders again for future titles.  

Click HERE to see the testimonial I posted on the E-Bookbuilders site.  

I recently joined two author marketing/social media groups for authors: The Independent Author Network and World Literary Cafe.  This is a new thing for me, but it seems I made good choices.  I have certainly gained some exposure, plus tons of support from each of them.  


  1. That's so nice of you, Jill - Thanks!

  2. Trust me Jill, your files were not a problem at all. Actually, they were straight-foward. Not that I haven't gotten some that were a nightmare but those are usually when OCR is utilized from scanning. Thanks for mentioning me though and I can't wait to get my hands on Sasha's next case.