Saturday, 8 October 2016

Those Were The Workshops Those Were


Well, our series of four weekly Emirates Literature Foundation workshops on how to write, edit, find a publisher for or self publish your novel finished today and it was all a bit of a panic to get ready for the whole thing as far as I was concerned.

I started a light brush-up of Olives - A Violent Romance, preparatory to using it as the 'example book' in today's self publishing session. The idea was to upload it to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Smashwords and Createspace and show how you format files, covers and the like. Except a) I timed out majorly with the edit and b) this morning my beloved ebook generating software, Calibre, decided to download an update (effectively uploading a downdate) which wiped all my libraries. Oh, joy.

Chaos.

Leading up to this, my light edit of Olives turned into a two-week marathon of editing, re-written passages, a lot of 'Oh my God, you actually DID that?' and other jaw-dropping editing discoveries. Oh, the difference five years makes. Now me wants to clip then me around the ear for the many transgressions that made it into the published MS. Let alone my editor, who should have known better!

So Olives has been revised, preparatory to a much-needed revision of the cover. Yes, yes, I know the cover's horrible. Watch this space. And I'm glad I did that revision. I enjoyed re-reading Olives. I loved the yarn and there's a lot in there I'm pretty pleased with - although there's also probably quite a lot in there I'd do differently if I started out on the book today. There's also now quite a lot I have done differently. Nothing massive, structural or drastic, but a lot of small improvements and corrected bad habits - most of which we covered in the editing part of the workshop!

But that's the wonder of self publishing. Nothing's graven in stone. The book's alive and not set like dead wood. I've resisted making major changes, but Olives is all the better - believe me - for having had its five-year wax polish and thorough buffing...

2 comments:

Dave Edwards said...

'Olives' is still your best book in my view - and I've read 'em all.

Alexander McNabb said...

I can't complain, Mr Dave, at anyone who has a) read 'em all and b) rated one the best.

I like Shemlan a lot, the restored version. I like Birdkill best of all. I really, really, like A Decent Bomber. That was a great deal of fun.

Olives is sort of nice, too.

Beirut is the child I'm kind of proud of, but disown when he pulls down the curtains in the restaurant.

Hell, I like 'em all. But then I would, wouldn't I?

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