You know what helps people test read a book? Giving them a book.
Now, that might sound weird, but one comment I kept getting from my test readers was that In The Black Blood would be a lot easier to read if it was in book form, rather than reams of loose A4 sheets. When you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Some of my test readers won’t have proof-read a book before, they aren’t professional editors, and a stack of paper looks a lot more like work than it does a fun romp through post-apocalyptic England. Plus, it’s going to end up in book form so why not give them something as close to the end product as you can get. Odds are the cover will end up looking different, but I thought I’d give it a go.
I set about trying to find out how to make a short print-run of books. I only wanted five for my next batch of readers, which left me with two potential providers: Blurb.com and Book Printing UK. I started with Blurb, but their pricing wasn’t quite as good and their book making app seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, so I went with Book Printing UK. It turned out to be an excellent choice!
Customer service was great and I’m super happy with the end result. Even my hastily thrown together cover design has come out looking excellent. Not only that, but its worked well with my test readers too. Previous readers had taken quite a while to go through the book, but three of my readers got it back to me within three weeks after I gave them a physical copy and liked it.
Not only that, but it’s bloody awesome to hold your novel in your hands in book-form; something that many of us aspiring novelists might never get to do.
Blog Post +2
Gig + 15
CIM Assignment Finished (!!!) +30 (seriously, it’s taken ages)
In The Black Blood has been in the works for a number of years now. The book is written from the points of view of seven different characters and I began writing as most would, chronologically, but I soon realised that this wasn’t the best way to go about it. Each time I came back around to a character, I had to re-familiarise myself with exactly what had happened in their previous chapter(s), as well as the nuances of the voice I was writing in. I instead started to write by character, finishing the story for one before going back and finishing it with the next. Once all was written, I just had to slot it together. Then I put down the black pen and picked up the red one. Editing has been fun, for the most part; even more so now that I’m nearing the end!
My first edit was done immediately after finishing the book, looking for inconsistencies while it was all fresh in my mind.
My second was done after leaving the book alone for a few months, giving me some much needed distance.
The third was after feedback from a few people, giving me the benefit of outside perspectives.
And I’ve just completed my fourth round of editing, during which I made notes about everything I was unsure of or unhappy with, or anything I felt needed revisiting once I’d finished reading. I now need to go back through those notes, before having a read through each character’s chapters in turn to ensure their voices and styles remain consistent throughout.
A little while ago, I stumbled upon Blurb.com, a website that lets you create small runs of books. Once my edits are done, I plan on getting a few copies made (actual books that I can hold in my ACTUAL hands!) and giving them to a few friends for a final read through before I start the potentially mammoth task of finding a literary agent. It’s super exciting! Having a physical copy of my own will be so gratifying after having put so much work into this. Have any of you used a service like Blurb to make physical copies of your novels before seeking out an agent, or even used them in your self-publishing endeavours?
Have a productive day.
Recording at Get Loud Studios +5
Gig in Nottingham +15
Super Secret Project work +20
Blog post +2
Bought a laptop -425
If you’ve been keeping up with my previous blog posts, you’ll have noticed “Edited book chapter” pop up in the points tallies pretty frequently. I’ve been writing creatively for as long as I can remember and it’s largely influenced by my penchant for the farfetched and unusual; I’ve written novels or short-stories about all sorts, from mystery earth-bound plots to twisting sci-fi dramas, and I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ve just finished the third round of editing on my latest creation; In The Black Blood!
In The Black Blood has been a project of mine for the last few years, satisfyingly filling time around my music and professional careers. It’s set approximately 400 years after a zombie apocalypse and follows the stories of seven characters, several of whom have fates that are unknowingly intertwined. It’s a story about greed set against the backdrop of post-apocalyptic England (and a little bit of France). There’s a long way still to go, but I’m proud of my accomplishments with it so far.
While doing my third major edit I wrote a list of everything I wasn’t completely happy with in the book; the next step for me is to go through that list and decide what needs changing. After that I’ll do an edit by character, rather than chronologically, to double check that I’ve ironed out any inconsistencies in the “voices” of each character. Following that I’ve got the daunting (and extremely exciting) task of trying to find a writing agent! Over the next few weeks and months I’ll keep this blog updated with information and any further developments on the book.
Wish me luck!
Have a productive day.
Edited a book chapter +5 (x3)
Created a Social Media scheduler +3
Installed TweetDeck +1
Wrote a blog post +2