I first met Linda Ress when she took one of my Reading as a Writer classes. Part-way through the course, she said, “You know, I have this manuscript I’ve been working on, and I could use some help. Is that something you would consider?”
Of course, it was. I was already in the midst of teaching a seven-month novel writing workshop in which we were giving deep reviews of completed (mostly) manuscripts, and I was sort of “in the zone” of providing a full novel review. Linda gave me her novel, I responded to it with loads of suggested refinements, and a couple months later she had another draft completed.
This really caught my attention.
It is really easy to become overwhelmed by critique of a work and either not KNOW how to move forward, or no longer WANT to. It isn’t uncommon for a work to sit idle for a significant period of time after it has been given a thorough going-over.
But, for Linda, there was no time to let the grass grow under her feat. After a few more suggestions from me, and some more re-writing and cleaning up of the manuscript on her part, Linda was ready to see this baby in print.
Linda decided she was interested in publishing the book and making it available through on-line booksellers using the Create Space arm of Amazon. She was not, however, completely comfortable with the process. Create Space, Lulu.com, and many other self-publishing outlets will “help” the writer with things like editing, cover design, book interior design, and setting up ISBN numbers. That is one of the ways they make extra money, and for many would-be authors, it is a good way to get a product to the marketplace.
But Linda told me she thought the prices were a little high, and there was some pressure to “up-sell” more and more services. She wondered if there was a better way.
“Of course,” I said. “It’s called guided self-publishing.”
Which is just a fancy way for saying, “Let me help YOU self-publish.”
I’ve published several books on my own over the years, and helped others do the same. I can design covers and interior text. I know how to work with ISBN numbers and get the author to have their ducks in a row.
And I charge quite a bit less than Amazon.
Linda’s book, Crying Days, is now available in print on Amazon and through the Kindle reader in electronic form. It will soon be available from Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and any other online and “real world” book retailer.
Here is the back-jacket description of the book:
Virginia has lost one husband to the Great War, and can’t find it within herself to properly love the second one. She has been stripped of privilege and place and been denied her simplest wishes. To protect herself, she retreats behind a mask of frigid solitude which is sufficiently adequate to protect herself from the risk of loving and being loved.
Eddie is a poor boy from an abusive home. At every turn, his drunkard Pa drives the family deeper and deeper into debt, fear, and despair. But Eddie doesn’t lose hope—not for his ma or his two younger siblings. He clings to the ideals of family love and reward for hard work.
Virginia and Eddie couldn’t be less alike, and yet their lives become intertwined by the harsh rules of reality and the vagaries of fate.
Crying Days is the story of men and women living in a time when America struggled through two world wars, devastating economic hardships, and a world-wide flu epidemic. It is the story of faith and human nature, and ultimately, it is the story of the triumph of the desire to live in defiance of the hardships of this world.
Linda has hit the ground running with a lovely press kit and lots of support from friends and family.
You can learn more about Linda, her book, and how to order it by visiting www.CryingDays.com!
What About You?
Have you considered self-publshing as an option for your completed manuscript, but you were either unsure about the process or weary of getting “duped”? Feel free to contact me and we can talk about what you want for your book, and how best to get there. Even if you aren’t interested in retaining me to be your guide through the self-publishing world, I’d be happy to chat with you about it and hopefully make it all seem a little more clear.