First proofread on Legionnaire: Mask has been completed! As I spent a lot of time and three manuscript revisions with my editor, the proofread was a painless exercise with only minor things being picked up. I was able to work through the issues over the weekend. I did discover a couple of minor errors in the story which I took the opportunity to correct. Nothing major, but I had to make sure the place names I used in Legionnaire: Mask matched the ones I am writing in Legionnaire: Book two. :)
A second proof is scheduled and after that I can contact the book formatter to put it into the acceptable formats for Kindle, Smashwords and CreateSpace even though I will stick with Kindle exclusively for the first three months. The CreateSpace conversion will only be used if I decide to offer actual soft cover books via Amazon. I may do this at some point in the future as a few people still prefer the feel of a book and my Father for instance has no Kindle.
Bottom line is: The June estimate for publication of Legionnaire: Mask is still looking good.
Predation is still in first edit. It is taking additional time as it was well over 500 pages when I submitted it. If I can get through that edit as efficiently as Legionnaire: Mask then August is looking good for publication.
Legionnaire: Book two writing is progressing, but a lot slower than I would like. I have decided on a title, but will not be advertising it until I get the cover art done and get at least 3/4 of the way through the writing. I hit the hundred page mark a few days ago which felt like I had accomplished something. Four hundred more to go!
Anyone who has ever gone through a tax audit can appreciate the roller coaster of emotions that you will go through during a manuscript edit. These tips should help you when you get to that stage.
1) Put on your crocodile skin.
That precious prose that you struggled over weeks and months to get perfect is going to be attacked by a person with a red pen and a machete; your editor. They will begin to cut out sections that do not forward the plot or are unnecessary detail. Don't take offence at this, that is why you brought them onto your project after all. They have done a lot of books in all likelihood so use their experience to your benefit. Listen to their comments.
2) Don't take the edit personally.
Try to be objective. If the editor says that a passage has an issue, look at the their note then read the manuscript with that in mind. Look at it as if you were a reader. If there is merit in their observation, you can decide to accept it. If you feel they are making a mistake, like deleting something necessary to the plot, you can push back and state your case clearly.
3) Be professional.
You expect to be treated with courtesy and respect, yes? You get what you give. The editor is there to make your novel better. Better = More sales. Keep that in mind. Flipping them off verbally or an endless stream of argumentative emails back and forth accomplishes nothing. Take a step back from the issue and address it calmly. It is a collaborative process and both of you need to be involved.
4) If you get mad...
I know I did a few times. They just cut what you feel is a key piece of text. OMG, how could they do that to me? When that happens, take a break. Walk away for a while. Go for a swim, play with the dog or do something else relaxing for a day or two until you calm down. Then go back later and reassess the situation objectively.
Do you have any other tips from your experiences? Feel free to comment.