Tag Archives: Editing a book

I Have Pushed My Baby From the Nest

Time to see how she flies!

Murder & Mochas.Cover.Final.Internet Use

I just finished uploading Murder & Mochasmy debut novel!! It will be on sale tomorrow (well technically later today) on Amazon.


I am happy, excited, tired, scared, but mostly a calm sort of happy. Probably calm just because it is so late.

It’s a little like raising a kid. I did some stuff really well and I made some mistakes. She’s not perfect, but she doesn’t need to be, she’s pretty good as she is and it’s time to see what she can do out there in the big world. I hope she does really well.

I made a strong run at getting the paper and ebook out tonight, but I didn’t quite make it on the paper version. I’ll finish up the formatting on that in the morning. That’s it for me for tonight.

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Book Launch in 2 Days

And I’m Taking Pre-orders of Signed Copies for Christmas.

Pre-orders I’ve had a number of friends and collaborators tell me that they would like to get a signed copy to give as Christmas presents, so I’m working on it. At this point, I’m feeling optimistic that I can pull it off. I’ll now for sure in a few days.

Synopsis  I haven’t changed this in 24 whole hours. So I think I am officially going with what I posted yesterday.

Formatting I’ve started converting my word doc into the proper format for Kindle. I’ll do converting for print once that is done. I keep forgetting to run spell check. Note-to-self: Run spell check before publishing.

Web Presence Survey says, picture #1 on my FB poll was the hands down winner. So my official Author photo (for now) is:


KDP account is all set up and waiting for the final version of Murder & Mochas. I still have to set up author pages here and there and upgrade the blog, etc., but all of that will come after pushing the book out.

Okay, that’s a quick update. I’m feeling a little under the weather, so I’m going to bed early tonight – I’ve got a big push coming this weekend.

Book Launch in 3 Days

And this synopsis is killing me. 3 DAYS and I don’t have one yet, Really?

I did indeed work on it late last night. When I woke up this morning, I felt like it was very close. Then I got thumbs up from a couple of friends. The problem is that last night I posted it in the forum my friend Liz recommended and I got more feedback.

So I tweaked it some more. Then I got a fun new lead in, which I liked so I added it, but felt like I had to change the rest. Then I got feedback that the change was weaker. So I tacked the new lead in onto the old version. But I kept getting feedback on the forum that the middle part was too clunky. So I whacked the middle and then decided to whack the fun new lead in as well. Now I’m mostly tired, confused, and a little stressed about needing to have this final in less than two days.

As I’m writing this post, Liz e-mails me with a “hey what happened to the lead in?” and now I’m thinking, “yeah, I did like that too.” It was fun and hell one of the reason I started, and often stuck with, this project was for fun. So back it goes, at least for now.

Any way, here’s what I’m sitting on tonight, not quite convinced it’s done:

Kurt West always has a hard time getting green alien blood out of his clothes. At least the diplomat’s blood was blue.

Kurt is a bounty hunter living in a small southern town, but when an alien diplomat is murdered on the street, Kurt is contracted to use his knowledge of the alien underground to track down the murderer. Even though his bail bondsman boss is breathing down his neck to bring in a bail jumper before he loses the business, Kurt must find the killer or risk losing the protection that keeps a dangerous flood of aliens at bay.

A Southern noir sci-fi detective story, Murder & Mochas bounces a sarcastic and gritty detective off aliens and life in a small southern town to produce a fun, page-turning mystery.

Time for bed.

Book Launch in 4 Days

And I thought I had a synopsis.

Synopsis  I did go for the late night last night. I knocked about on Amazon for a bit and was shocked to discover that most of the book descriptions are between 150 and 200 words. Somehow I though they were longer. At first that felt easier to write, less work, but that was all in my imagination. I did eventually get something out, around midnight, and I sent it to some friends. This morning I woke up feeling like I would have my synopsis with just a few tweaks. Then, my good friend <can you feel the love> Liz gives me a detailed, very detailed, analysis. Let’s just work the phrase square one in, right here. Guess I’m working on my book description tonight, so much for the fantasy of going to bed early.

Formatting I read a little about this today, enough to know that it will be tedious and I’ll be working on it later in the week.

Web Presence I started to set up my KDP account and even uploaded the cover for my novel — that was pretty cool. Also, if a facebook poll to pick my bio picture is progress, I made real progress!

Book Launch in 5 Days

And the edits are done.

I’m somewhat surprised that I got through them. Like I said, a lot of them were word tweaks. But I think the big thing is that I’m being decisive. I found some notes and an e-mail conversation with a reader that had a half-dozen suggestions. Three of them I just no to. The other three were all in the category of clarifying background/worldbuilding. In both cases, I just went right to the first spot in the book that I could do it and concisely cleared things up. No hand-wringing here, I’ve got a deadline to hit and I mean to hit it.

Interestingly, driving to work I thought of a new clue for my main character to find. It was a good one, right on the money in terms of improving the plot. The clue was simple and fit some of the backstory that’s always been in my head. But as I thought it through it would have a ripple effect that would hit a significant number of chapters and I would need to do a close reading of those sections to make sure I wasn’t missing any nuances. So, I said “great idea, but it’s not going in this book.”

Synopsis is the next big piece. I guess I start to tackle that one tomorrow. That’ll be tough since I have to be at work a little on the early side. I may have to do a late night tomorrow. Heck, now that I think about it, I might as well stay up a bit later tonight, although I did stay up pretty late last night. So it looks officially like late night #2.

Formatting is after that. Realistically, I probably won’t get to that until the weekend. But I’m fine with that. I’ve previewed the guidelines and I think it will be easy to figure out <knock on wood>. I think the bigger challenge will simply be spending some tedious time on it.

Web Presence is next next. Although I am working on the blog transfer. The bad news is that what I thought would be a “simple” domain transfer is not quite so simple nor lacking in glitches. I can only say that it is still “in progress” and I feel no assurance that it will be successful, just yet. But I’m mostly looking forward to getting all web presence bits done.

All right, I’m off to start figuring out a synopsis.

BTW, if you’ve read any really good ones, especially SciFi Detective or Mystery, let me know (preferably before Saturday evening).

Book Launch in 6 Days

And it’s starting to feel pretty real.

I’ve got about 100 pages to go to finish up the final edits. I’ve been moving through them pretty fast, the main reason I haven’t finished yet is all of the ancillary stuff. I think I finish up the editing bit by Tuesday at the latest.

After that, the next big piece is the synopsis. That one actually has me a little stressed. If you think about it, after the cover, that little gem is the main thing that will cause people either to hit the Buy Now button or keep moving. And as always, I’ve left it right to the end so, you know, no real deadline, no pressure. But hey, I’ve got like two days before I really need to worry about that.

The other big thing is just making sure that my book is uploaded in a glitch free fashion. I suspect that it will be relatively hassle free, but I haven’t done it before so I’ve got a little trepidation about the time investment, etc.

After I get those things done, I really need to work on my web presence. I am in the process of moving my blog from the free WordPress.com to self-hosted. I don’t have an author’s page anywhere, including facebook. I’ll need to set all of those up and link them up to Amazon and visa-versa, etc. I can see spending just a big chunk of next weekend working through all of this.

So as type this up to make sure I keep everyone who checked out the book cover informed on the status of launching the actual book, this appears to be late night 1 of what I’m guessing will be 6 or 7 in a row.

Wish me luck.

Final Final!

After a “good,” “close,” “great,” “that’s really close,” “awesome,” “perfect,” “Final,” and “can you do just one more tweak?” I finally have a Final Final book cover design!

Murder & Mochas.Cover.Final.Internet Use

First of all, I have to give a ton of credit to Abel Valdivia, who did my cover design. As I said after the photo shoot, he has a great eye for light, texture, and photography. What I didn’t know was how good he would be at interpreting my words for look and feel and manipulating the image to achieve them. Somehow, we managed to work all of the elements and concepts that I was aiming for into the cover. Admittedly, Abel is a bit of a perfectionist, which is a real plus when trying to get this just right. And there were a lot of little tweaks, back and forth, and a marathon “effects” session at a Caribou, but he stuck with it and it was all worth it. I truly could not be happier with my cover and his efforts.

As I’ve said before, getting this done makes the book seem that much more real. It’s nutty since there have been 80,000-100,000 words for more than two years. But there is just something about that visual that says, “NOW, it’s a book!”

I am days away from launch and very excited to be finally able to count it in days!! 8 days and counting.