Today is sort of a milestone. I’m giving up on the traditional publishers and going the self-published ebook route instead. Yes, I’m a quitter, I said it.
It’s only half-true, though – I’ve decided this a few weeks back, after the latest rejection email. Since then I’ve done quite a bit of research and preparation to produce the best possible work I can. You may or may not be aware just how Russian I am. I hope my “written accent” is not as harsh as my spoken one. Still, I had to come to terms with the fact that maybe, just maybe my prose is not all that “native”. That meant I had to start throwing money at the problem.
I’ve already had a structural review by a Writers Victoria editor. This time I got quotes for a copy editor, a professional who would help me “smooth out” the awkward turn of phrase and fix my grammar. As part of the quote, I have asked for sample edits of the first couple of pages. Here’s my favourite one:
Winning sample edit
Not everyone was as thoughtful and managed to fix my errors without losing the protagonist’s “voice”. One editor crossed out the first paragraph alltogether and wrote a new one. Another corrected grammar and word choices to the point that my chicklit novel read like a textbook.
The copyedit will be finished by the end of June, by which time I will have a proofreader ready. I plan to get an American editor, since the novel is set somewhere in the southeastern US. Al together the structural edit, the copy edit and the proofread will cost me about $3,500 AUD. Ouch.
My next problem are the potential lawsuits I could face from making fun of a host of celebrities. Yeah, I know, the comedians on TV do it all the time, but I want to make sure my gags don’t land me in court. Also, the novel has many “spoofy” moments, making fun of various films, quoting song lyrics, and books. Better safe than sorry. I’m currently seeking advice from Arts Law, an organisation offering advice to artists at a very low fee (just a $150 annual subscription). I will post later on my experiences with Arts Law lawyers. Hope my review wouldn’t land me in court, either.
Then there’s the cover art, ISBN number, promotional copy, and a headshot of the happy author…I will be busy for a couple of months. My goal is to have the ebook available on Amazon Kindle by the end of August. Most importantly, I will have a big fat (and very expensive) dot at the end of this project. Hopefully it will let me move on and start writing a sequel. And that, as VISA claims, is priceless.
(Can I quote a VISA commercial if I give them credit? How does it work? Is VISA going to sue me now? What if I said “pricewise” instead of “priceless”? Hope the lawyers call back soon…)