Date: 2018 September 2
NEWS UPDATE: Kicking off the Countdown
September 1st, 2018 was the start of a great many APOK related things. The APOK Derailed – August contest came to a close and a name drawn winning the 1st prize of many during the countdown to it’s release. Congrats to Andrea C. having won the initial contest.
It was also the start of the September contest. The rules for entry are simple, SIGN UP for the newsletter on the www.apok.ca or the www.michaelwalton.ca website…LIKE the APOK the novel Facebook site…SHARE a September 2018 Facebook post…and voila your name will be entered into the draw.
Additionally, September 1st marked the day that the APOK workshop released the new Youtube video titled “APOK Derailed LL#1”.
If you want the full experience make sure your audio is turned up. Thank you once again to JSPW Animation Studios. This is the beginning of a series of mini films that will be released in the coming months.
Publishers, Editors and Revision Decisions
Art is such mysterious domain. Two different persons or generations can have opposite opinions of what constitutes good and bad. Yet there are some pieces that appeal to both. I sought to produce APOK into something of such quality that it would be appreciated by all, but first, I needed to find a guide to help navigate the uncharted.
After much consideration and several long winded talks with sales people, I purchased a publishing package with a Canadian company with a great business rating. The business rating helped take the edge off knowing that they weren’t some company that would dissolve overnight leaving me with only a credit card bill to show for it. The extra layer of comfort came in the fact that they were Canadian, knowing jurisdictionally I possessed the ability to investigate them and bring them to justice should they somehow take my money and run. It’s no easy decision when you’re spending money you don’t have on something that may or may not work. Thoughts constantly ran through my mind questioning my sanity. One idea prevailed; Twenty years from now do I want to look back and think of what could have been? The answer every single time was an emphatic NO. APOK was going to come alive.
Unlike music or visual arts, the beauty of writing is only appreciated one page at a time. To compete with the mainstay names in the industry I had to hit a homerun on each aspect; cover, layout and words. Again the question becomes, on a narrow budget how? The answer, with love, and love isn’t always free. Up to this point I was fortunate to find such people who were committed to their craft to produce the best, I wanted to keep this going.
In the midst of the craziness, fortune shined my way. The social media page I had created for APOK attracted the attention of local someone who I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. They were interested in my work and wanted to know more. I explained what I was doing and they asked to see a sample. After their initial review they were hooked on the story, but my writing needed work. He sent me a sample of his suggestions, and I immediately knew he was exactly what I needed. Bracing myself, I realized that this wasn’t going to be easy, but I was ready for the transformation. I contacted the publisher and put the project on hold while I worked with this local editor.
I can’t say I have ever felt that degree of pain. Everything that I had written was being rejected and torn apart. Line by line red ink painted the paper. Despite dreading anytime I received additional feedback, I weathered the onslaught and watched my writing develop. Through the agony, APOK was becoming more than just words on paper, it was coming alive. The more I worked on it, the more intoxicating it became. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. Working every available minute re-writing the novel cover to cover, took a significant amount of time, but in that period, I witnessed a caterpillar transform into a butterfly.
Knowledge is Power: Do yourself a favor and research each company yourself. Make sure you know as much as you possibly can before committing to anything…for many that means read the entire legal contract. If you have any questions call the company personally and speak to live person.
As a Police Officer having worked internet fraud schemes, I can tell you there are scammers out there that spare no expense. They’ll have fake websites, phone numbers and skype conversations, all to build the illusion that you’re dealing with a reputable location. Ask lots of questions, do your research and pay attention to the details. Check the Better Business Bureau for a report on them and so on. Be your best line of defense.
Once you start working with editor, pay attention and strive to learn what they keep correcting. If you’re paying for this service you might as well learn anything you can to help make you a better writer.
Remember too, it is very difficult for an editor to come into your project and see exactly what you’re trying to do. They’ll likely only read the story once so they are making comments as they go through it like a normal reader. They’ll highlight deficiencies or questions as they go through to draw your attention to a particular location. The key take away, if you’re paying this editor, you’re the ultimate decision maker. If you want to leave it the way you wrote it, you have the final say. At least with the editor’s opinion you can make a decision based on all the information.
It’s hard not to take offence when an editor is slashing the work you have spent hours finishing. This is serious growth, the ability to sit there and allow someone to criticize every aspect. If you can objectively sit there and analyze both viewpoints you’ll be better prepared to make a decision. Learning to handle this level of criticism is essential as an author, the public isn’t going to be any nicer, in fact they’ll likely be harsher considering they spent money buying your work. I would rather learn and correct a problem before shipping it out to the public for them to read it and say what a waste of time and money.
I remember several comments that brought out the best in me and made me focus on developing the story further. I also remember other comments that irked me because I knew where the story was going and they didn’t so they questioned it. I had to remind myself that this is a good thing. In some situations this is exactly what you want readers to do is question only to have their question answered after.
Remember to be an author, is a labor of love. Write, revise, revise, revise, revise…and revise some more…
Until next time.