Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Envelope, Please.

Someone told me that I need a special name for my awards like the Emmy, the Oscar, or the Grammy.  Unfortunately, those were all taken.  So…

...and the winner of the first ever Splitty is:  Cover Sample 1! 

Sample 1 will be the new cover for “The Reluctant” and will be released simultaneously with “The Willing” debut on November 21st, 2011.  Dafeenah did a bang up job on both cover designs and continues to impress with every new design that I see from her.  Yes, as one of the authors for the upcoming Creative Reviews Christmas anthology, I have seen her that book too for it and the cover rocks.

I said elsewhere that I had a couple big announcements, so here is another:

For a while now, I have been working with an editor on “The Willing.”  Surprise!

Tricia Kristufek ( Tricia's Blog )and I have partnered, along with my beta readers, to turn out the first PERFECT independently published book ever.  That’s what we call hyperbole, folks, but we are going to come as close as way can.  No pressure, Trish!

I knew other editors but all seemed to be busier than one armed wallpaper hangers and would not be able to meet my tight deadline.  Once again, I was on my own, but I knew that I had a wonderful stable of gifted and honest beta readers.  I would make the best of it.

How Trish and I got together is on of those “who knows who” internet stories born from the best GoodReads group there is: Creative Reviews .  She was recommended to me as a beta reader by Cambria Herbert who also has a new book coming out soon: Cambria's Website .  There was a rumor that Trish was also an editor so I figured she would make a good beta reader for my new book. 

When I sent Trish my manuscript, I put in my normal cautionary notes such as the fact that it was not yet final, my characters are complex (meaning they might kill people for good reasons), my characters speak like adults, and that while I don’t write explicit sex scenes, there are adult situations.  In other words, my books are probably not a good idea for your PTA’s reading group.  I also do not write about vampires or zombies thus some people may be put off by my lack of things supernatural (more on that in another post).

“No problem,” she wrote back, “Most of what I have been working on lately is M/M romance and erotica.  I think I can handle it.”  M/M?  As in male/male romance and erotica?

I must admit, I have never read a book in that genre.  Hey, I’m an open minded guy but if that’s what she was used to, I thought her feedback would be interesting to say the least. 

I followed up with her a couple weeks later to let her know that I had incorporated some changes other betas had suggested in a newer version and she responded by apologizing for taking so long to get back to me.  Apparently, she was a bit retentive when it came to reading new material and found herself compulsively editing as she read along.

What would her suggestions be like?  Would she admonish me for not having “rippling muscles” in the book?  What in the world would she think of Tom and his world views?

She finally sent back my manuscript with her notes.  I was blown away by the detail involved and the obvious effort she put into it.  I was embarrassed by the number of yellow AND red comments she made.  I was heartened by the positive notes and laughed at the funny side comments she inserted.

We exchanged emails and finally I asked her to be my editor.  Why?  A few reasons;  She was in tune with my style and when I ventured into foreign territory while trying to show off what little writing prowess I might possess, she let me know that it did not fit the style I had already established.  I have also dubbed her, “The Comma Queen.”  She likes punctuation.  She makes me use the hated dash.

Mostly, however, I went on a gut feeling.  I tend to argue with my gut but I am trying to change that.  My gut is right more often than my brain in some areas.  Here was a person who, for no other reason than her love of editing, took the time and effort to edit my work in exchange for a free read of an unpolished manuscript. 

That spoke to me of passion.  Of enthusiasm.  Of a compulsion.  I know from my coaching days that I can work with people who have those qualities.

I have had a new business model in my head for some time relating to indie publishing.  Maybe it is not new, but I don’t know of anyone else doing it precisely the way I am envisioning it.  I am nowhere near finished fleshing out the model so we are not going to talk about it any time soon.  But we are trying it.  Just wait, you’ll see.  And if it flops, we shall never speak of it again anyway lol.

Within the next week, Trish and I are going to publish a two-way conversation between an editor and an author.  It has probably been done before also, but I have not seen it.  Hopefully, you all will find it interesting, so check back.

(I also promise to fulfill my promise to publish my post on how Jim Butcher almost killed Tom Crayder.)



  1. Wow, congrats Splitter! It's a great cover. Oh, and that other part is cool, too, I guess...

    YAY! :)

  2. I'll have to hire Trish for my other pen-name that writes M/M romance! ;-)
    Great job, Splitter!

  3. See how that works? when I pimp people out, they get phone calls and emails lol.

    Now....if I could just pimp me out as well...lol