I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can up my income so that I can afford to edit, proofread, and publish my two novels. Of the three, editing is the most expensive part – if I published them strictly as ebooks.
After I revised my first novel early last year, had it critiqued, and revised again, I entered upon the query process. It’s a bit taxing to say the least. But at one point, I realised it had taken so long that I began to have serious concerns about editing the book. It’s bad enough that I don’t remember from chapter to chapter what I write – hence the necessity of outlines! – but to go for months, now a year, between my last revision and the editing process meant memory issues would hinder me. Would I remember what I wanted to say in a particular chapter? Would I remember what I was thinking when I wrote a particular scene? Why I wrote it that way?
The lag time between finishing Lifeliner and editing it was less than a year. I also had the advantage with that book of having lived with it since 1991 and having every fact written down. I had no memory issues concerning content! But novels come out of one’s imagination. So the idea is still there (I hope!), but I’m not sure about the details. I realised I had to make a decision: continue the frustrating process of finding an agent, see if an offer to publish in 2012 was still on the table, or self-publish now before I forgot more of it and then become uninterested. For me, inertia is strong and lethal and is becoming an issue too. And then there’s the small matter of the fact that I want to have final say on the covers and titles of my novels.
For the sake of the book and for all those who’ve expressed an interest in reading She, I must self-publish now.
But how to pay, that is the conundrum.
I can borrow. Or I can borrow from what I’m living on. The former will make already tight budgeting impossible. The latter will shrink that part of my income (already less than CPP disability, which ain’t much), and again make tight budgeting impossible. I’m feeling a bit between the proverbial rock and hard place.
So I hemmed and hawed over Christmas and New Year’s and decided today to try a PayPal Donation button on my website (see the right sidebar). All donations will go towards editing and proofreading She and Aban’s Accension. These are the dollar figures I’m facing today:
Editing She properly for grammar, spelling, structure, style, consistency, etc. through Amazon’s CreateSpace would be $1,700US, through a local editor, over $2,000. In its current form, Aban’s Accension would be less; however, I am hoping after revisions to bring the word count up to standard novel length. If I can, then editing would also be about $1,700 or more. Proofreading is the careful, expert checking of the final manuscript for spelling, grammatical, and other mistakes. For She, it would be about $1,100CDN, depending on the final word count after editing. For Aban’s Accension less or about the same, depending on how many words both the revisions and editing add.
At minimum, I need $5,600CDN to edit and proofread two novels.
If I’m able to raise that and more, I would also like to hire someone to write the back cover copy – the synopsis one reads when deciding whether to buy a book or not. That is a tough paragraph to write, let me tell you! You’d think that after writing a book, writing a couple of paragraphs would be a cinch. Nope. To be blunt: I suck at it. CreateSpace offers that service for $249US.
I already have an idea for the cover of She and believe I can do that myself. Not sure yet about Aban’s Accension. That should cut costs by about $700 to $1,000 for the two books. Preparing and uploading the manuscript, cover, and back cover copy to ebook sites like Smashwords, Kindle, Barnes & Noble is free albeit labour intensive.
Back in the old, old days, before our great-grandparents were born, patrons flocked to support artists and their work. When governments came along, patrons became a rare breed. But today, governments don’t support writers like me – when I tried to apply for a grant from the Canadian, Ontario, and Toronto governments for Lifeliner back in the 1990s, I was informed it was too commercial, so no grant. Sheesh. Writers like me need a new kind of patron: you. I hope you will consider making a donation of any size you choose and click the PayPal Donation button. Thank you!
P.S. A note about the Donation button. PayPal states that it will charge 30 cents + 4.5% for every payment I receive. So a donation has to be more than 31.5 cents for me to make any money!