Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

The Editing Process

August 23, 2019

Editing a manuscript is a critical stage in the writing process. In an earlier post, I discussed the Five Stages of Writing. Currently, I’m in the editing or revisions phase with one book and the production phase of another. This often happens, because finishing the first draft of a book doesn’t mean you’re done. It’s only the start of more work.

The Editing Process

After my draft is complete, I begin an intense round of line editing. This means reading the printed pages word-by-word through the manuscript to tighten sentence structure, catch repetitions, fill in emotional reactions, add dialogue tags and more. Here is an example of what one page looks like from Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries.

I scribble changes on the printed page, then go back to the computer and make the fixes. Like this:

Easter Edits

Then I read through it again. Note one paragraph here has the same word, “staff”, three times. In the second round, I changed the middle one to “employee” entrance. This means another session at the computer and another printout.

Easter Page

I read it again and keep doing this process until each page is as perfect as I can make it. For revision tips, see my previous post here.

The next step is to send it to my freelance editor. She’ll return the file with remarks using Track Changes in Word. Here comes another round of corrections and one more read-through to make sure all is smooth and I didn’t miss anything. For traditionally published authors, they’ll get edits from their developmental editor and their copy editor.

Next round? For indie authors, that’s beta readers. These are ordinary readers like you who read the book the way they would any story. But they’re looking for flaws, misspellings, info dumps, inconsistencies, or anything that would give them pause. Their input is invaluable, and they always find new things for me to modify.

Is the book done yet? Nope. From here it goes to my formatter. Once she converts the file, I have to read through it again to look for conversion errors. This is akin to the advance reading copy that traditionally published authors receive. It’s the last chance for a final proofread.

This is why the editing process can take so long. I set myself a goal of 10 pages a day. For a 300 page manuscript, that’s 30 days with no time off. Sometimes after several rounds and numerous changes during one day, I still can’t finish those ten pages. I get too close to the material and have to put it aside until the next morning.

So please be patient, dear readers, if it takes longer for me to produce a book. I want it to be as perfect as possible by the time it reaches your hands. Or at least, the hands of my early reviewers. That’s a whole other topic.

Unfortunately, no matter how many passes we make through a book, including our editors and beta readers, some errors will slip by. It’s only diligent readers who can point them out to us. If you see them, please communicate in a kindly manner directly to the author via private email. Depending on our publishing status, we may or may not be able to fix these mistakes. Your eye for detail will be appreciated as long as you understand that most of us really do try our best.

What is The Editing Process? It's a critical phase in writing a novel. #amediting #amwriting Click To Tweet

Do you get annoyed by occasional typos in the books you read, or do you accept them as inevitable and keep reading? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 



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Coronado Springs Resort Dining

August 16, 2019

Continuing our tradition of trying new places to eat in Orlando, we dined at Toledo, the new rooftop restaurant inside Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. A magical elevator takes you to the top floor where you emerge into a spacious lounge area. You can come for drinks and the view if you don’t care to stay for dinner. Here we are gazing toward Hollywood Studios. You can see the new Star Wars land under construction and the Tower of Terror.

View from Toledo

Inside the restaurant, we were led to a quiet table among the bustle. We began our meal with an olive medley and flatbread with melted cheese for appetizers.

I ordered tilefish for my entrée and was pleasantly surprised by the tasty dish. Dessert was the best, a couple of chocolate concoctions that we all shared.

Dessert at Toledo

Our other days in Orlando were taken up with family visits. On this night, we were celebrating our son’s birthday. We’ll soon have a lot more to celebrate as my husband and I become grandparents for the first time later this year.

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FAPA Conference – Day Two

August 14, 2019

I continued to meet new people on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) conference. Here I had a separate table to sell books in between workshops. Everyone was in the same room, and there was one track per hour, so nobody had to worry about choosing which panel to attend or running to another location.

Michael Joy and Raquel Reyes represented Florida Chapter of MWA at the conference.

First speaker of the day was Ava Doppelt, an intellectual property attorney, who spoke about copyright and trademark issues. She was followed by Tiffany Padgett from Ingram Content Group who told us about the different programs Ingram offers publishers and authors.

I particularly enjoyed Robert Macomber’s talk on Keeping Fans Engaged. He suggested authors bring readers inside the story by sharing your writing experiences, mistakes, and research adventures. Let them meet you in person via your author newsletter, Facebook page, and local reader events. Make your newsletter about your readers, too, such as showing a photo of a fan reading your book or getting your autograph at a signing. The goal, from what I gathered, is to engage your readers as much as possible.

Lunch was a buffet with Italian food and a delicious tiramisu for dessert.

Next it was my turn to speak on “First Class Marketing on a Coach Budget.” This consisted of a Power Point presentation and a 10-page handout.

The last session was by Tara Alemany on Road Map for Success. Then we divided into tables for an “Ask the Experts” Roundtable.

The awards banquet followed, beginning with a cocktail hour. After another buffet meal, we watched the mounted screens displaying the book covers for each award finalist. As our names were called, we went on stage to receive our medal. I received a gold medal for Writing the Cozy Mystery: Expanded Second Edition.

Below I am with my husband in photo one, and with Angelina Assanti, former FAPA president, in photo two.

 

See all my conference photos at https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor/

GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a free book from the prize vault at Booklovers Bench.

 



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FAPA Conference – Day One

August 12, 2019

Last weekend, I attended the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) annual conference. It was held at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace across from Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Outdoors is a beautiful pool area with a covered poolside restaurant and a lazy winding waterway for tube rafts. If you follow the paths, you can find the pedestrian overpass crossing to Disney Springs.

The hotel has a pleasant lobby on the third floor with a large bar/lounge area where you can get drinks and appetizers starting in late afternoon. Our first evening, we enjoyed glasses of wine and a crab cake appetizer. I skipped the Friday workshops so we could settle into our room and explore the environs.

 

Downstairs on the first floor is a sundry shop, a quick-service café offering coffee, sandwiches, ice cream and other snacks, and another small gift boutique. On this level is also a full service restaurant. Friday night, we ate here with the gang from the conference. I had a tasty pasta dish with shredded beef short ribs and mushrooms.

That evening was a welcome cocktail party for conference attendees with a cash bar. We met new friends and greeted authors we already knew, such as Melody and Barry Dimick, Robert N. Macomber, Jane R. Wood, Raquel Reyes and Michael Joy. Angelina Assanti, outgoing FAPA president, did a great job along with the conference committee of organizing the entire weekend event.

Below: Nancy with Michael Joy in first photo and Robert N. Macomber in second photo. See all my conference photos at https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor/

Coming Next: Day Two

GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a free book from the prize vault at Booklovers Bench.

 



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Trimmed to Death – Large Print Release

August 7, 2019

NEW LARGE PRINT RELEASE! 

I am excited to announce the Large Print release of Trimmed to Death from Wheeler Publishing (Gale/Cengage).

Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. Can she unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life? Recipes Included!

Large Print Edition
Wheeler Publishing; $26.99; August 7, 2019
ISBN-13: 9781432866860
ISBN-10: 1432866869
Paperback, 451 pages
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2H4SH6P
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/304FbaL
Gale/Cengage: http://bit.ly/2LtbIV2

*Also available in trade paperback and digital formats at most online bookstores.

“From fundraiser activity, culinary insights, and probes into Marla’s logic to recipes and romance which pepper the story line and embellish its twists and turns, readers who want a cozy mystery filled with atmosphere, intrigue, and adventure should settle a chair by the fire for a good evening’s read.” Midwest Book Review

“The dialogue is sharp, the eye for detail is masterful, and the narrative pacing is just right. Plenty of suspicious-seeming characters raise the tension. Even if you’re not yet a “Cozy” fan, you’ll have a blast. All this and recipes, too.” Florida Weekly

“I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted cozy mystery. It is funny, has great characters and a good mystery to solve, so what is not to enjoy?” Open Book Society

“Trimmed to Death is a solid cozy replete with olive facts, dogs, small town rivalries, entrepreneurship, and killer recipes. Another entertaining read from author Nancy J Cohen. She kept me guessing to the end!” Muddy Rose Reviews

AUTHORS ACADEMY
Saturday, August 24, 10 am to 12 noon, “Agents, Query Letters, & Synopses” with Nancy J. Cohen, Florida Author’s Academy, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 104 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: 561-279-7790. $25 fee for class. Advance reservations requested. http://www.flauthorsacademy.com/

GIVEAWAY
Enter August 1-18 to win a free mystery from the prize vault at Booklovers Bench.

 



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