Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I'm a favorite blog!

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.28.2006

Blog book giveaway:
My Thursday book giveaway is THREE WEDDINGS AND A GIGGLE by Liz Curtis Higgs, Carolyn Zane, and Karen Ball.
My Monday book giveaway is CONSIDER LILY by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt.
You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Thursday, I'll draw the winner for THREE WEDDINGS AND A GIGGLE and post the title for another book I'm giving away. Stay tuned.

I'm a favorite blog!

Tricia Goyer conducted a small blog survey, and she compiled a list of favorite blogs from the survey participants. Tricia also blogs at Gen X Parents and WriterQuotes (where I'm a contributor--every Monday is my Health and the Writer column).

Novel Journey - Gina Holmes, Ane Mulligan, Jessica Dotta - author interviews blog

Author Intrusion - Lisa Samson

Faith in Fiction - Bethany House Fiction Acquisitions Editor Dave Long

The Uprising - Lisa Koons

Rhythms of Grace - Marilynn Griffith

Christian Fiction - Dee Stewart

The Master's Artist - Christian writers' group blog

Girls Write Out - Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Diann Hunt, and Kristin Billerbeck

Forensics & Faith - Brandilyn Collins

Romancing the Blog - Romance writers group blog

Dee's Blog - Deeanne Gist

Relevant Prose - Mary DeMuth

Your Writers Group - WaterBrook Press Acquisitions Editor Mick Silva

The Writing Life - Howard Fiction Acquisitions Editor Terry Whalin

Book Marketing - John Kremer

Camy' Loft - MOI!!!

Faithchicks - Christian Chick-Lit authors group blog

Blog Writing from the Edge - Karen Hancock

SoulScents - Paula Moldenhauer

Notes on Craft - J. Mark Bertrand

Charis Connection - The Chi Libris group blog

A Life in Pages - Angela Hunt

Fallible - Katy McKenna Raymond

TMI:

Writing: Not doing as much on my book this past week, I've been doing critiques through my Story Sensei critique business. I try to do a few hours of Story Sensei stuff, and then a few hours of writing each day.

I'm thinking of offering monthly or quarterly specials, like 10% off any manuscript critique of 20,000 words or more. I usually charge $1 per 100 words, so it would instead be $0.90 per 100 words.

I'm not sure if writers would be interested in something like that. Hey all you writers, speak up! Would that interest you? Or is it still too much money? You can be honest, I'm certainly not going to be offended.

{Pause while Heather, Dineen and Robin cackle at the thought of me being offended by honesty since I'm the last person to keep her mouth shut, in case you guys didn't know.}

Shameless Self-Promotion: I just got the NICEST e-mail from a girl whose entry I judged in the Barclay. She recently got a request from Mills & Boon for her full manuscript, and she said my comments were wonderful. She even said she was "blown away" by my critique (in a GOOD way, you brats!). Hehehe.

I needed that e-mail because I'm still kind of insecure about my critiquing. I'm confident while I'm doing the critique (unless I can't put my finger on why something seems off, and then it drives the crap out of me until I can figure it out) but then after I send the finished critique back, I start feeling paranoid that the writer is going to put out a mob hit on me because he/she didn't like that I said the hero needed an internal conflict.

Not that writers are a violent bunch, but like all writers, I'm rather neurotically insecure most of the time. Plus, you never know if you'll meet the literary version of Norman Bates.

14 comments :

  1. Congrats on the "favorite blog" status! Too cool!

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  2. Of course you're a favorite blog...and friend. :-D

    And stop feeling insecure about your critiques!! You are amazing in being able to nail problems that weigh down a manuscript right between the eyes.

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  3. Congrats on the well-deserved favorite blog status...I know I completely agree! :)

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  4. I don't think your price is unreasonable. Is it cheap? No. Figure that's about 60 bucks for a 20 page chapter (unless I goofed on the math in my head). Some folks enter a contest, pay $30 hoping to get feedback, and may not get very targeted help. So, for twice the fee, you give specific guidance, more than a contest judge might.

    Of course, for someone wanting their whole manuscript critiqued, that would be VERY COSTLY MOOLAH BUCKS BREAD DOUGH LIRAS (To most of us. I'm sure some affluent gals could handle the tab.)

    I supposed the key is to choose the service wisely in comparison to major need. A synopsis critique combined with a few chapters (including maybe the last one to see if the ending works) might be enough to help a writer.

    Dunno.

    I know that for $60 bucks a chapter, I assume a not-speedy-Gonzalez editor (and by Speedy Gonzalez I mean Speedier than Gonzalez Robin Miller!) it's gonna be at least an hour or more of work. When I do an in-depth editing bit on a chapter, it can easily take me two hours. Easily. If it's a long and involved chapter ,more. This is why I'm judicious about who and when I critique. It's time-consuming.

    So, maybe what you can do is have your standard price, and then give a discount to those who need more than, what, three chapters? Cut some break to a longer commission?

    Ah, maybe I'm blowing hot air.

    Mir--the one who won a critique prize from our dear SQUIRLY about, what, 2 years ago, with Kathy Ide (came to about 6 pages of mss) and I procrastinated for over a year, then talked to Kathy, who is a doll and a hugely talented editor by all accounts, who said contact her last October when she was clear. Guess what I didn't do?

    Uh-huh. When I say I procrastinate, I ain't whistling Dixie. I'm too ashamed to contact Kathy NOW...yeesh

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  5. LOL Thanks for the laugh! And of course you're a favorite blog! duh!

    LOL And stop feeling insecure about your critting!! You're so great at it! (which is why I hide my ms from you! *grin* )

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  6. I'm glad you guys commented! Especially Mir.

    You're right, too, it takes me about two hours per chapter, depending on how much commenting it needs. I always try to comment a lot so people get their money's worth. I've entered enough contests to know how it feels to get too little feedback! >:(

    I'm hoping a fill a gap for people who don't have really good critique partners who could do this for them, and they need a good critique to get them ready for an editor or agent. I also think I give what some writers don't have--an eye for large-scale structural problems.

    That's worth paying for, right? I hope?

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  7. Don't feel insecure about your critiquing, Camy!
    Your suggestions helped me tremendously.
    I WISH I could go ahead and sign up for your full service, but you know that story!
    I hope that there are no Normans lurking out there...heaven forbid...and if there are, I certainly hope they aren't coming to the conference!!!
    Brandilyn would have a field day!!!

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  8. I think you are AWESOME at critiquing. You helped me still HAVE a book!

    And any Normans? Bring it. I'm a suspense writer. I know just what to do with you. Bwahahahaha.

    Hugs.

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  9. Hey girl! congrats on being on that list! That's awesome.

    I think you're totally worth the dough, girlie. Stop stressing. You definitely give writers their money's worth. You find critical stuff.

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  10. Congrats on being chosen. That's fabulous. People love what you write!

    I'm sure the right people will find and use your critique service as long as you keep getting your name out there. Discounts are always good. Everyone loves a sale. Maybe you could have a one-day sale and carnival like another site I know. They built up the buzz, got people working for prizes throughout the day, then offered a great sale. For them it generated a ton of new business. And if you know you're good, it'll be repeat business. Sometimes it's harder for people to work with someone new or shell out the dough the first time. But when they see what you can do, it can give you a lifelong client! Just a thought.

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  11. I guess it depends on how much critiquing there actually is to do, that is how much time you spend on it. Do you also go into grammar and editing or is it just critiquing the story-line, character presentation, etc?

    When I edited and corrected the children's books, I got, I think, arond $500 for 8 of them at MS Word 20-some pages single-spaced each. I know I sold my skills short but at the time I had no idea what it would involve in time, work and aggravation.

    As I say, I don't know what's involved in "critique" per se and I doubt that I'd be able to do that if it involved the story structure or most things involving the writing of the story. There were certain things the author felt had to remain in his stories like (mild) swearing, etc. My btother agreed with me that children should learn that swearing is not necessary even if that's all they hear around them. So I made suggestions for the swear-words and he just worked them into the books. I noticed that in the later books the author kept to our suggestions for that type of thing.

    Anyway, at the time I was asked to do it, I had no idea how work-intensive it would be. In some places I had 10 mistakes in punctuation per line of dialog, mixed tenses, too many "and then"s and similar things. But I was desperate to earn some money and language is my best marketable skill in working from home.

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  12. Hey Camy, thanks for posting my blog survey. I would have picked yours if no one else had :-)

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  13. Oh, yes, congratulations on the Favorite blog vote. Why do you think I'm here. Couldn't find someone like you and your writing just anywhere.

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  14. C'est moi, encore une fois.

    In another blog the subject was validation and unhesitating support of what you want to do. When this author first told her husband that she was going to write a book, he just said, "Oh, sure, honey." Not an overwhelming endorsement by any means.

    But as she struggled to get published he supported her in her aspirations and (apparently) never criticized her. I certainly wish I had someone like that. My sister does support me, but what I get from my brothers is "Who cares about correct grammar and all that stuff?" And then I'm supposed to "focus on the positive" when they shoot down my dreams, the only positive I have, except for my standiing as a child of God who is there for me all the time.

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