Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Ryan Howard’

Irish novelist Catherine Ryan Howard (a.k.a. Catherine Caffeinated) is nearing the end of a blockbuster blogging bonanza to generate excitement for the North American release of her suspense/thriller, Distress Signals, on 2 February. Her blog is an excellent source of information and ideas about getting published as she has experience with both traditional and self-publishing.

Earlier this week she posted a thoughtful discourse about receiving and responding to editorial feedback, which led me to search the blog’s archives for previous posts about editing. To save you the trouble of a similar search, here’s an annotated list of relevant links.

Why hire an editor?
Guest post that explains how editing is not about whether your writing is good but about making sure you put your very best work out there.

Structural editing for self-publishers
Guest post with useful information about structural (also called developmental) editing and suggestions for how to stay on budget without forgoing necessary feedback.

Copy-editors: what they really do
Guest post that describes copy-editing as both comprehensive and indispensable in preparing a manuscript for publication.

Proofreading explained
Guest post that explains how proofreading differs from other stages of manuscript preparation, with tips about ways to make the most of this highly specific editorial function.

How do you know when editorial feedback is right?
A frank discussion of the joys and agonies of the editing process.

Be sure to look through the comments that follow these posts as well, because they contain pertinent questions and further discussion.

Here’s to always putting forth the very best work we can!


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A couple of blog posts on self-publishing really caught my eye during the last week or so.

Traditional publishing as vanity press

In a recent post (Submit. But don’t say “Uncle.”) on his eponymous blog, Hugh Howey reflects on motivation and some of the demons that drive us as writers. He describes the current (and future) publishing landscape as one shaped by writers and readers together, turning received wisdom about traditional and independent publishing on its head.

Be sure to scroll down through the comments to find Massimo Marino’s vision of the future of POD, where every printed book is a sold book, and the end of the query process, in which literary agents operate like pro sports scouts. (The better and smarter agents are already doing this.)

Professionalism in self-publishing

In a guest post (The Professionals’ Effect) on Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog Catherine, Caffienated, Jean Grainger outlines her own journey to publication. She writes with humor and candor about delusions, pitfalls, and the delicate mix of confidence and humility needed for success. Best of all, she shares her surprising discoveries about the communal nature of self-publishing.

Don’t forget to search through the comments for Stephen Tiano’s observations about self-publishing as a business venture rather than a DIY project. (Images of basement mimeo machines and hand staplers spring to mind.)

The bottom line

Self-publishing is a viable and respectable business model, and authors who self-publish should consider themselves legitimate businesspersons: publishers. They owe it to their business to pay attention to the practices that traditional publishers continue to follow and those that have been abandoned. They owe it to themselves to pay attention to the experience of fellow independent publishers and the wider community of writers and readers. Most importantly, they owe it to their work to approach it with professional respect and integrity.

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Catherine Ryan Howard is the author of four successful self-published books: two travel memoirs, a novel, and a reference book on self-publishing. Her blog, Catherine, Caffeinated, has a lot of useful information on self-publishing, especially on marketing and promotion for authors.

During the month of May, the blog will focus on the nuts and bolts of selling self-published works. The lead-off post, Read This First, gets the series off to a sound start by grounding it in reality. If you are interested in publishing through any channel, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this blog. Even if you end up disagreeing with what’s said or choosing a different course, the decisions you reach will be much better considered for having done so.

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