Proofreading in Progress

Book 2: No More Empires (working title) is with the proofreader, expected back later this week, which will work out well because that’s when I’ll be back home too. Authoring while traveling isn’t as easy as it sounds, which is why this week’s blog post is a day late.

A bit about book 2. Book 2 takes the story from where Alexis left off at the end of The Modest Proposal Institute and moves it forward about another five years but this time from Shane’s point of view. The two rivals have each chosen different paths for their future lives, Alexis is going into space and Shane under the sea. However, there’s a third protagonist, Tomas, who has a different view for the Institute’s future, one that threatens to bring down destruction on all of them.

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Book 2 is Getting Closer

For those of you following along, I received the content editors suggestions two days ago and have spent most of the time since ‘accepting’, ‘rejecting’, and changing Book 2 (working title: No More Empires) based on the editor’s thoughts. It’s exhausting, believe it or not.

Good news is I’ve sent the revised book back now for proofreading, which will be about another two weeks. Meantime, I need to get the title finalized and the cover being created. On balance, I think working for a living might actually be easier:-)

Meanwhile, for those of you who have been procrastinating, you can get the first book here.

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Book 2: Content Editing Now

My next book in The Modest Proposal Institute series, working title is No More Empires, is now with a Content Editor, who will check it for story continuity and have it back to me by the end of the coming week. After that, I’ll act on the editor’s suggestions and/or comments and then send it out for proofreading. Meanwhile, I need to get a cover designer started on what it might look like when finished. It’s a busy life being an author:-)

For those of you who still haven’t bought the first book (you know who you are:-), you have another opportunity to read and review it through NetGalley right now. Here’s where you’ll find it:

Almost Editing Book 2

Those of you who’ve been following my blog posts will know I’ve been struggling with book 2 of my series — The Modest Proposal Institute. Well, the good news is I think it’s almost ready to go to a professional editor for Content Editing. For those of you who aren’t writing your own book (hard to believe I know) content editing is where someone who makes there living from editing other people’s writing, checks out the overall story to see it works and nothing is missed or whatever. This is the big picture part of the process.

If the author hasn’t left any loose ends and hasn’t included too much clutter, then the book can go on to the next stage — proofreading. If, however, there are, inconsistencies in the manuscript, then the editor can help by pointing the author in the right direction, which for many of us slow writers is a wine bar. The best part of handing the manuscript to a content editor is it takes them a week or two to read and comment so the author gets a well-earned break. I can hardly wait.

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Still Re-Writing Book 2

Last week I described how I was working to increase the drama in my follow-up book’s story and the amount of re-writing that entailed. I guess I didn’t understand the half of it because I’m still working and not finished. There are times when my trusty laptop is lucky to be here and not out on the snow or in the bin.

I am, however, learning more about marketing my earlier book, The Modest Proposal Institute — Amazon ads and boosting Facebook posts. As a recipient of advertising, I’ve never liked marketing much. I go and make tea when ads come on TV and trying to actually do ‘marketing’ is equally unappealing. These past weeks, I’ve been keeping keywords constant and changing the book blurb or vice versa. Next week, when I’ve finished preparing, I’ll be doing new keywords with the same blurbs. Amazon gives statistics on how your ad is doing but it takes at least a week before you see some numbers to look at — and then they’re not pretty. Ugh! When I’m a multi-million dollar author, I’ll have a marketing company do this (and maybe a team of writers to do the books too:-)

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Re-Writing Book 2

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had my word count for book 2 but not actually a story — or at least not a strong enough story. There are ways to increase the drama, such as adding a more severe story line, a murder, for example, or shorten the timescale to make everything and every character alarmingly hyperactive. The difficulty with any changes late in the day is, of course, everything has to be re-written with the new element added. All of that is just my way of saying my original schedule — publishing Book 2 in February — is definitely not going to happen:-(

I’ve never liked the editing part of writing. It turns out I like re-writing part even less. Now I have both to do instead of just one. Note to future self: Think the story through better before starting!

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Transitioning from Book 1 to Book 2

Being an ‘Indie Author’ (I’ve never had a title before so I think it makes me sound quite aristocratic) is an interesting mix of day dreaming, writing, editing, publishing and marketing — in that order. Book 1, The Modest Proposal Institute, is now¬†out as an ebook and a paperback and I have an Amazon Marketing ad campaign running to push the paperback version for those who love the feel of an actual book. Of the various parts of being a writer listed above, I find the day-dreaming piece is my favourite. The other parts are very similar to work:-(

However, now Book 1 is out, my thoughts have returned to getting Book 2 finished and published. At this moment, that looks easier said than done. I have my planned word count for the book but it is short of an important piece — a dramatic storyline. This is a rather important piece because without it there isn’t a book. It’s like a song composer who has a rhythm, bass beat, accompaniment, chorus and verse — but no tune. I know what you’re thinking, that fits millions of pop songs that have been released every year for the past century but in a book it’s fatal, in pop music not so much so — only a top 20 hit instead of a top 10 one. My solution? Back to day-dreaming, which just happens to be my favourite part — I think I’ve mentioned that already.

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Got Physical (Copy)

The paperback Proof Copy of my book, The Modest Proposal Institute, arrived a few days after I expected, probably because of the winter weather we’ve enjoyed this past week, but it did arrive and it looks great. So yesterday I finished the process and today my book is available as a paperback.

For those of you who like to read a ‘book’ and not a screen The Modest Proposal Institute is waiting for you, check it out here on and here on

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Awaiting Proof (Copy)

The Amazon site’s process for creating the paperback from your ebook is amazingly simple to use — I’m impressed. It’s particularly simple to use, if you have properly formatted file to upload and you have a properly prepared front and back cover. If you don’t have a cover, Amazon does provide a tool to build a cover.

I had my text formatter provide a file for both ebook and paperback so that part was done but I wasn’t brave enough to build my own cover so I went back to my cover designer and had her build me a file for the front and back cover. I got that on Thursday. With that, it was only minutes to upload both the cover and text files and have a ‘proof copy’ winging its way to me (I hope:-).

When the proof copy arrives, all that remains is to check that it looks as good in real life as it does on the screen and press ‘Publish’. I hope that will be early this coming week. Meanwhile, for those of you who are waiting, here’s a preview of the cover…opnf cover pauljames560

Getting Closer

The Modest Proposal Institute is getting closer to being a paperback. The cover designer is working on the back cover of the book and, when that’s done, I can finish building the book on Amazon.

So far, the process has been extremely painless. Say what you like about modern technology, and most of us do say some pretty wild things about it, it makes simple so many once-skilled tasks. As I work my way through the book-building process on Amazon, I can’t help remembering all this used to take armies of people to complete. I suspect the publishing world must have taken a huge downsizing over the past 20 years, though I haven’t heard of it.

Provided the cover is complete this week, you should be able to get a hardcopy of your favourite book (i.e. The Modest Proposal Institute, in case you were wondering:-) this week or early next. I hope you’re as excited as I am.