Giving Thanks

Friends,

I truly hope this post finds you well and in good spirits! For many of my readers, though not all by any means, this week is a week to take a moment out of our busy lives to be thankful for all that we possess. Thanksgiving is always toward the end of November, but I think it best not to allocate all our thankfulness on this one day. Giving thanks is something that should be done regularly, for we do not know when a favorite appliance may break, or when a loved one may pass, or even when our own time arrives.

My challenge to you, in this world of uncertainty, is this: when you wake up in the morning (or perhaps in the evening if you work the night shift), take a brief moment to find someone or something in your life for which you are truly and genuinely thankful. Think of what that person or thing means to you and how it shapes you, whether for better or worse, and use that to start your day off on a positive note! I can say with confidence that beginning your day in that kind of mood will help steer you farther down the road of optimism as you go about your routine. And just think what that would do in the long run, over weeks or months, or even years. I’m sure you’d be surprised.

That’s my little spiel on being thankful, so let’s dive on into the blog…

The Faces of the War Collection

At the moment, the third read-through of the Unguarded manuscript is underway. As I have said before, I am focusing on polishing up the dialogue, hoping to make it more concise, dynamic, and realistic. I am going through the text and am all the while thinking of how exciting this process is for me. I mean, this is the time when what I have worked on for many months starts coming together in what could be its final state. I am very excited to deliver this story to you when the time comes.

The word count at the moment is almost 47K, which is actually closer to my original goal word count than what I thought I’d get. The first draft came in at around 42K words, but in going through it here and there, I ended up adding enough to bring out more detail in the story. I have already clued in those of you on the mailing list as to some story details, but I will share them here as well. Before I do, I encourage you to join my mailing list if you haven’t already – it’s a great way to connect with me and get in-depth details regarding my projects before the general public hears it (usually on this blog or through Twitter). You can find the link here.

Unguarded is a story set during the Second World War, following the character of Oliver – a young college boy living in London. In this book, as opposed to Resistant, there will be an Epilogue, which has lent itself to helping expand the word count this time around. This story is very much different from Book One, yet it still captures a lot of the feeling and emotion, as well as action, experienced in the first story.

Though there is no specific release date set, I can assure you that Unguarded will be released in January 2015. Throughout this entire process, I’ve experienced a few minor setbacks that, together, have been enough to set me back in my timeline for a release in the New Year rather than before Christmas. I do hope you can bear with me as I finish this project, and I also hope that you will read it and be entertained by it.

The Short Story Collection

My first ebook of short stories, entitled Volume 1, is currently available for the Kindle for only $0.99! The next ebook, which is aptly entitled Volume 2, will be released in the spring. I will resume work on those stories after I launch Unguarded. All three stories are roughed out, with one of them actually begun. I look forward to bringing those to you!

Until next time,

-Eli

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Unguarded Details

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready to face a new week! The main bit of news I have for you today is related to the publication and release of Unguarded, my upcoming WWII book, so let’s dive right in…

The Faces of the War Collection

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the release date for Unguarded has been pushed back to its original tentative date of early January. Though I don’t yet have a specific date set for sure, I can tell you that the end of the editing process shouldn’t make publication go much later into January than the third week. That is the hope, at least. This being the first time I’ve used a professional editor, I can’t say with 100% confidence whether or not I can release the book by any given date. That is all I can give you on that aspect of things at this time.

With regard to the writing process, I have read through the entire manuscript twice thus far. When I wrote Resistant, I read through the manuscript a total of five times. I may or may not do that this time around…it just depends on how I feel about the book and the timeline of things. I am going to try and focus on polishing up the dialogue in this book, as that has been something of a common issue in feedback comments.

If you are relatively new to writing and self-publishing, let me lend you a bit of advice. In my experience, I have found that the best way to work through the writing/publishing process is to remain flexible in your mind. By this, I mean flexible in your timelines, flexible in your openness to change, and flexible in your creativity. Having taught in a classroom, I can tell you that planning ahead too far and too specifically is a waste of time and energy. Writing and self-publishing are very similar, especially if you employ the services of professional cover designers, editors, etc. You can’t expect everything to fall within your desired timeline, so you must be flexible if you want your work to come out successful on the other end.

As for being open to change, I stress this because I have a slight fear of complacency. With storytelling, especially in a series or collection like what I am producing, you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) expect to capture a reader’s attention over and over if you write in the same way, use the same methods, or revert to what you know every time an obstacle appears in your writing path. Embrace challenge and use those obstacles to explore the writing ability within yourself. Sure, you may want to keep some aspects similar for the sake of continuity and commonality, especially in a series or collection, but changing up other aspects of your writing lends itself to better engaging your readers.

This leads to what I mentioned about being flexible in creativity. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I’ll reiterate it: good writers are good readers. All that means is that as a writer, it will help expand your creative side if you read works by other writers, especially ones in your genre. For example, in my writing (mostly historical fiction) I couch my plot in historical fact, using accurate facts and known truths to support my characters and what they experience. So to accomplish that, I read historical non-fiction works from credible authors in order to give an authentic feel to my stories. It works differently for different authors in different genres, but you get the idea.

Now I’m not saying that I know everything about writing, because I don’t, but I am saying that those three aspects of the writing and publishing process are important things to consider…so I encourage you to do so!

Regarding my other projects, I can tell you that I’ve taken a small break from my Short Story collection in order to focus on delivering Unguarded to you. On the plus side, brainstorming and planning for other books and projects are underway!

If you are new to this blog, I encourage you to join my mailing list so you can receive in-depth updates directly from me regarding my projects. There is more information included there than here, so it’d be the best way to get the inside scoop on what I’m doing. And lastly, I encourage you to tell a friend about my work. One of the most powerful marketing tools for authors is word of mouth. To those who have been following along with me for some time, I thank you for all the support and encouragement you’ve given. It is truly appreciated!

Until next time,

-Eli

New Release Date

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready for a new week ahead! I have some news for you, so let’s jump right into the blog…

The Faces of the War Collection

As you may know, I have been dealing with a publishing timeline dilemma over the past couple of weeks. The main issue is that I want to be sure to give Unguarded, my current project, the attention it needs and deserves without sacrificing it to meet a release date. I don’t think that is fair to me and the vision I have for this book and the collection, but it’s especially not fair to my readers. And so, I have decided that I will push the release date back to January, which actually was the initial date I had tentatively set when I began writing. So all in all, there’s no loss in timeline terms.

To elaborate a bit more on the publishing process, here’s how it will go:

1) From now until December 12, I will tend to my manuscript to polish up the dialogue (the main concern based on beta reading feedback) and fix any minor things that I feel should be fixed.

2) On December 12, I will send my completed manuscript to my editor in Colorado, who will then take up to three weeks to do a substantive edit of the roughly 47K words I have written since beginning in June.

3) During those three weeks, I will relax and let my brain recharge. The crisp air of the Alps should do me well!

4) Sometime during the first week of January, I should receive the completed proof from my editor, and will then take to fixing or changing the manuscript based on her suggestions and comments. My hope is that it will take me no longer than a week, but we shall see.

5) Once the manuscript is amended and I believe it to be fit for publication, I will submit the appropriate files to Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, the Amazon subsidiaries used by self-publishers. After a few days of processing, and barring any formatting issues that need my attention, the book will go live and be available in both ebook and print form. As the time nears, I will release more information about a release date and other juicy details.

The entire process for this book has been different for the most part in comparison to my first book, but I welcome the change with an open mind and a happy heart. I am doing something I love and bringing it to you for your entertainment.

As always, I encourage you to join my mailing list if you haven’t done so already, mostly because that’s where I reveal the really juicy details about my work, and it’s also revealed there before the general public sees it. You can think of it like a VIP club. And if you already are subscribed, then tell a friend. Word of mouth is a powerful tool!

I hope that you can appreciate and understand my decision to push the release date back for Unguarded, and that you are as excited as I am for its release. Like I said, I want to be sure to bring you a good quality book, and this is the best way to do that as far as I can see.

Until next time,

-Eli

Decisions, Decisions

Friends,

Something has been weighing on me for the past handful of days, and I want to use this space to get it off my shoulders. I have received the preliminary edits from two of my editors, and one of the main issues that sticks out is that my characters’ dialogue comes across as inorganic and stiff at times. I received similar feedback from a few readers about this same issue after the release of my first book. So in thinking about where my weaknesses lie in terms of writing, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that dialogue is one of those areas.

So here is my dilemma…how to go about editing Unguarded to bring it to publication. The turnaround time for the professional editor is 2-3 weeks, which I originally thought would be the time span from early November until Thanksgiving. It would be at that time that I would begin fixing the editing suggestions in the text, which could take up to 1-2 weeks. After finalizing the manuscript and converting it, the date would be roughly around December 10-12, at which time I would submit my manuscript to Amazon for formatting review before it would be available for purchase.

However, I want to make sure that this book is a step further than the last in terms of writing progression and development. I don’t want to become complacent and end up with a handful of books with stale stories when it’s all said and done. I think I would rather put in some extra time polishing the dialogue and anything other things that might need tending to, than put out a bad book too soon.

So here is what I am considering and will hopefully decide on by the end of the week: I will use the time from now until Thanksgiving (or maybe all of November for that matter) to tweak the dialogue and other issues, and then submit my manuscript for editing in early December. I would then hopefully get it back around Christmas or so, which would then put the final manuscript up for final submission around the first week of January. I don’t feel as bad in this thinking because my original tentative release date was January 12. So it all comes back to quality versus quick release, for me at least.

As I ponder this thought throughout the week, I welcome any comment or suggestion (and even encouragement) from you, my readers, that may help guide me through the mire that is tough decision-making.

As for general news that usually occurs in my blogs, here are some small points:

– the cover for Unguarded is complete and will be revealed at a later date

– there is a development regarding Resistant (related to an updated edition) that I will discuss further in the coming weeks

Again, I thank you all for your support and the fact that you follow along with me on the journey through the world of self-publishing. It truly means a lot, and I don’t say that lightly.

Until next time,

-Eli