Tag Archives: #amediting

The imminent arrival of Book Baby 6

Last week the proof copy of Book Baby 6 aka Long Shadows arrived. Look isn’t it pretty?

Now I’m scrutinising it for errors- inverted commas that are the wrong way round, spacing errors in the text, spacing errors in chapter headings, spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, continuity errors…. and, of course, those evil commas that move around pages when your back is turned!

The list goes on and on…..

These last few weeks before the launch of a new book baby into the world are the most stressful part of the whole process.

Writing it is the easy part!

Then comes the next challenge- promoting it and marketing it. I’m going to be brutally honest – I suck at that part!

I’ve tried Facebook ad campaigns. I’ve tried Amazon ad campaigns. I’ve self-promoted on numerous book promotion sites. I’ve updated my GoodReads page and my BookBub page.  I’ve self-promoted on my own author Facebook page. I’ve shared it on Instagram and Twitter. I’ve shared it on this blog page. Several wonderful friends have helped by sharing my posts on their social media.

I feel like I’ve sold my soul and there’s still over a month till its release date!

So, if you want to take pity on the poor wee stressed out indie author and want to pre-order a copy of Long Shadows, here’s the links:



I’m returning to my battle with those evil commas! Wish me luck!

If you’ve missed the start of the series, don’t panic. Here’s the links to help you catch up

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

It’s on the list….ready for a sneak peek at Jake & Lori’s Christmas Day?

It’s reached that time of year when, despite the restrictions of our Covid infested society, we are dominated by To Do lists as we prepare for the festive season.

 I’ve lists of gifts that I’ve bought, gifts to buy, gifts still in transit and food shopping. I’ve also my creative To Do list as I am knee-deep in proofreading and editing Book Baby 6 aka Long Shadows.

It’s list city around here!

When I announced the release date for Long Shadows, the 14th February 2021 seemed a very long way off. Now, it seems scarily close and I’ve a million things left on that To Do list! (Ok- slight exaggeration but its still a lengthy list! This book baby still has a bare bum!)

I had hoped to have the pre-order set up before Christmas (it’s on the list) but that’s now looking more likely for early January so please be patient with me. Life’s busy!

While you are impatiently waiting, I thought I’d treat you to a little sneak peek at Jake and Lori’s Christmas Day.

Happy reading.

Wrapping paper and ribbons littered the sunroom floor as Jake and Lori sat back watching the kids open their Christmas gifts. From the shrieks of delight, “Santa” had delivered everything on the kids’ wish lists. Almost against Lori’s better judgement, he’d even brought Jesse a drumkit.

“We’re going to live to regret this, aren’t we?” whispered Jake as Jesse begged for it to be set up.

Giggling, Lori nodded then swiftly said, “Jess, it would be better set up down in the basement beside Uncle Paul’s kit. That way he can give you lessons.”

“Yes!” screamed the over excited three-year-old.

“Quick thinking,” said Jake with a grin. “But I’ll leave you to tell Paul about those lessons.”

Once the kids had opened all of their gifts, Jake reached under the tree and retrieved a large flat box and two gift bags.

“Merry Christmas, li’l lady,” he said, kissing Lori on the forehead.

Looking almost as excited as the kids, Lori tore the gold shiny paper from the box.

“Wow!” she gasped. “I guess Santa was listening to me too.”

“What is it?” asked Jesse, coming over to inspect his mother’s gift.

“A new laptop. Just what I need. Thank you!”

“Open the box,” suggested Jake with a knowing smile.

Carefully, Lori opened the box and slipped the sleek laptop from the protective sleeve. Engraved into the surface of the computer was the Silver Lake Celtic knot.

“That’s perfect,” sighed Lori as she ran her fingers over the intricate design. “Seems like a million years ago since I first drew that for you.”

“The first gift you ever gave me,” recalled Jake, feeling a warm wave of nostalgia wash through him.

“Melody,” called out Lori from her seat on the couch. “Can you reach those two blue bags and the flat silver gift, please?”

“Did Santa leave those for Daddy?” quizzed the curious little girl reading the labels.

“Only the blue ones,” replied Lori, trying to think what she’d written on the gift tags. “The silver one is from me.”

Accepting the presents from Melody, Jake opened the silver one first. Inside was a framed drawing.

“That’s….” began Jake, lost for words. “It’s…”

“You like it?” asked Lori shyly. “I thought you needed a proper logo for your solo shows and, who knows, you might even do a solo record one day.”

“I love it, Mz Hyde,” declared Jake, gazing at the detail in the design. It was a gnarled twisted tree and woven into the exposed roots was his name. “It’s awesome,” Jake paused then added, “But who said there would ever be a solo record?”

“Never say never,” giggled Lori.

“I guess,” said Jake quietly, a small voice in his head saying, “You know she’s right, don’t you?”

“Part two of the gift will be revealed when Garrett’s tour starts,” began Lori, resting her hand on her twitching baby bump. “I’ve arranged for that to be your backdrop and for shirts to be made up with that on the front.”

“I don’t know what to say,” said Jake lost for words again. “Thank you doesn’t seem enough.”

This week it’s been all about Book Baby 6..

This week it’s been all about the creativity and the word count.

Normal blog service will resume next week

A Brief Pause

comma nice

Well, the proof copy of Book Baby 5 aka Shattered Hearts has arrived!

Why is it, when you are happily writing your story that the humble comma slots in sweetly, doesn’t move, doesn’t give you attitude and appears almost innocent?

As its dictionary definition suggests, it is a mere “punctuation mark indicating a pause between parts of a sentence or separating items in a list ” but, the second it appears in print in a physical proof copy, it transforms into …..

comma evil

I swear these evil little critters have vanished or moved or hidden since I hit upload on that manuscript.

War has been declared!

Let battle – sorry proofreading – commence!

Deadline looming……..


Furiously typing…… normal blog service will resume next week.



How long does it take to write a book?…a Book Baby 4 update

“How long does it take to write a book? “A question I’ve been asked more than once!

“As long as it takes,” is my stock answer.

However, with regards to the first draft of Book Baby4, 603 days is the real answer.

 Yes, I’ve FINALLY finished the first draft!!!! WOO HOO!!!

 This one has put up a fight, I can tell you! However, I’m pleased with the first draft that I have written.

 Writing the first draft of anything can be a challenge. When it’s done, you’re left with something that in places is far from perfect but in others is spot on. Already, I know in my heart, there are a few scenes that need a little TLC so I guess this is where the real work begins.

 There’s a quote that’s kept me going when the words have failed to flow..



 So, after 603 days, what do I have to show for my efforts?

Well, I have this….



Already 70% of it has been typed up and re-drafted (first time round). That portion has had it’s first spell check/grammar check treatment too.

There’s still a huge pile of work to be done between now and this Book Baby’s actual “birth”. To keep the pregnancy/birth analogy going, I’d say I’m in the first phase of labour.

I have a title in mind….. no, I’m not revealing it yet.

I have a cover design half-formed in my head…. no, I’m not revealing that just yet.

I have a birth date (publication date) in mind…. No, I’m not sharing that yet either!


With the help and love and support of my “Infamous Five”, my wonderfully patient alpha readers, it’s time to build some sandcastles.

Now, who has the bucket and spade?

bucket and spade

(quote and bucket and spade image sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

Evil Commas….

evil_comma_by_jearb3arI am sensing a conspiracy around here.

For the past few days, I’ve been proofreading and editing the physical copy of Book Baby 3 aka Bonded Souls. I’ve long since lost count of the number of times I’ve read through it and made corrections. To be honest, I’m growing sick of the sight of it!

I had hoped that this was just a final check over the proof copy and that I would then be able to set it up ready for it’s publication date.


There’s a comma conspiracy going on!

The evil little buggers are playing games with me. Mind games. They’re moving! They’re disappearing! They’re even doubling up! AGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

In short, they’re at it! (Bet that one is already twitching, desperate to relocate!)

These evil, but vital, punctuation marks have corrupted some of the text around them too. Words are jumping tense – needed morphed into needs. Dates decided to masquerade as days.

Even the spaces are joining in with this act of rebellion. Some of them are causing the words to cosy up together, while others are repelling the next line and inserting a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon instead of a single solitary space.

They are driving me mad!

All joking aside, this final proofreading exercise has brought home how important it is to check, check, check and then check your work over and over again. Every time I read through a chapter, I see something different to correct.

As a writer, you can become too close to the words you’ve slaved over for months on end, but, to date, seven other folk have read Book Baby 3 and not one of them has picked up on the numerous punctuation discrepancies. All seven of these beautiful souls are literate people so would spot these grammatical bloopers.(I hope!) The fact that they haven’t is further proof that the evil little critters are playing games with me!

Time to thwart these conspirators! More proofreading required.

Wish me luck!


Disclaimer….I will not be held responsible for the final positioning of punctuation marks within this blog post due to the current comma uprising!

(Image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)








Book Baby Update….we’re in labour!


The imminent arrival of a new “book baby” is dominating my non-work world just now.

To continue the pregnancy analogy that I’ve been using all along, we’re definitely in labour!

Last night was spent making the final corrections (well, I hope they’re the final corrections!) to the CreateSpace formatted document. Once I’d saved it out and saved at least two backup copies, I began to upload it to the project file. I waited…and waited…and waited.

It crashed and generated an error message about slow internet speeds.

OK, it’s a hefty file. (Big Book Baby but not quite as big as the first one) After a bit of feutering on the laptop, I had a smaller pdf version of the formatted file.

Second attempt at uploading.

I waited…and waited…and waited.

Success! File uploaded.

Next challenge was the cover file. Again, I browsed the laptop, selected the file and began to upload it to the project file.

Error message! The file size had exceeded the maximum allowed. GRRRR…cue an unscheduled venture into the dark realms of Photoshop to flatten the image and save out a smaller pdf file.

Second attempt at uploading.

I waited…and waited…and waited.

Success! File uploaded.

Book Baby 3 aka Bonded Souls had moved into the “file review” phase. (This phase of book baby labour lasts roughly 24 hours)

By this time, it was after 11pm. I’d been on the go for 18 hours and I was knackered! Bed was calling.


Patiently (ok, impatiently), I waited all day on the email that would give me the green light to order my paperback proof copy.

The email arrived a couple of hours ago.

Reject! The cover file needed adjustments to the text layout as it was too close to the margin.


Took several deep breaths then ventured back into the dark realms of Photoshop to amend the text on the cover file. (CreateSpace- it would’ve been helpful to indicate which text was breaching the margins…hint..hint!)

Eventually, in between bites of chicken sandwich for dinner, a fresh flattened pdf image had been saved out with minimal cursing and swearing.

Third attempt at uploading.

I waited…and waited…and waited.

Success! File uploaded.

Book Baby 3 aka Bonded Souls has moved back into the “file review” phase of this labour of love.

I now need to wait impatiently (I’m not even trying to pretend I’m being patient here) wait on the file being approved.

It’s going to be along 24 hours!


If this were a “real” labour, I’d be reaching for the gas and air about now.

As this is a “book baby” labour, I’ll be reaching for a glass of Pinot Grigio shortly!

I’m being a little flippant here, I know, but I really wanted to draw attention to the fact that a hell of a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get a self-published book out there. I also wanted to highlight a couple of things.

Firstly, to the indie authors, and in fact all authors, out there, I’m sure you recognise this pain and frustration only too well but will agree that when you finally get to hold your “book baby” in your hands for the first time, there’s no feeling like it.

Secondly, to the readers out there, books written by indie authors and released through the likes of Kindle and CreateSpace don’t happen by magic. The author does it all. Writing the story is the easy, fun part (although it doesn’t always feel like it). The hard work lies in making it look pretty. The simplest way for you to recognise this effort is to review the book honestly on Amazon and/or Good Reads. Mention it on your social media pages. If you liked it, tell your friends. Yes, the author markets and promotes their own book too so every little kind word helps.

I see myself as incredibly fortunate in that I have a fantastic group of people supporting me every step of the way. I honestly couldn’t do this without their loyal support, love and encouragement. It’s their kind words that keep me going (And, thank you to one of those wonderful people, who will remain nameless and anonymous, for your beautiful message earlier this week. I REALLY needed that “motivation boost”!)


There are still six weeks to go until Book Baby 3 aka Bonded Souls is published (15th April- keep the date free) so this is going to be a long “labour” as the work’s not done yet but I know in my heart that it’s going to be worth the wait.

Despite my frustrations with the wonders of modern technology, there’s a wee bubble of excitement building as I wait to hold a copy of my “book baby” in my hands.

I’m just a tiny bit proud of this one.

Now, where’s the Pinot Grigio!

Editing, Editing, Editing…. as far as the eyes can see


With less than eight weeks to go until Book Baby 3 aka  Bonded Souls is published, editing is kind of taking up every free minute I have.(And there’s not enough of them!)

My liver is loving it so far!



My nerves less so!


Spell checking is haunting me!


Commas are taking on a whole new level of importance.


Editing would try the patience of a saint!


Guess I better get back to it….sigh…

Normal blog service will resume next week.

(images sourced via Google)