Friday, September 23, 2011

Indie Insider - Tracy Falbe

How are your book covers designed?

For Rys Rising: Book I my newest release I hired the company to development a scene featuring two major characters. After getting the art, I added in the title and author name with Adobe Illustrator and then exported the image in the formats and resolutions I needed for various digital and print uses.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

If I’m having trouble deciding what to write next, I spend time reading and editing chapters I’ve already written. There’s no shortage of editing and proofreading and contemplating that needs to be done. These activities usually get the juices flowing for writing again.

How many hours a week do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?

Between writing and editing, I put in a consistent 15 to 20 hours a week unless those pesky “life issues” get in the way. I don’t really do much procrastinating. My time to focus on these tasks is restricted because I’m raising small children. So when it’s my time, I don’t waste it. Anyway, I love writing. It’s what makes me feel good. Why would I put it off?

How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish on average?

My novels are very long, ranging from 150,000 to 220,000 words. Including writing, reading, and editing, each one roughly represents two years of effort.

Where do you get your ebooks formatted?

I do all of my own ebook formatting. I recently obtained Sigil, which makes creating an epub very easy. I use the Mobipocket creator software to make my Kindle versions. I have Adobe Acrobat professional and with that I make pdf files out of either Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign. I always teach myself as many technical skills as I can. I need the money I make from my novels for living expenses. I have to be careful about throwing it away on services. As any businessperson can tell you, there are always many vendors out there ready to take your money. I only outsource when I feel I can derive real value from it, like with my recent audiobook production of another novel Union of Renegades.

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I go over every word of my novels numerous times. I read my work. I edit it. I rewrite it. I proofread it. I once estimated that I spend from 10 to 20 hours total on each chapter. Part of my process is to read my work from the point of view of a reader. I’m capable of wearing many hats. I can sit back and relax and just consume the story, and I then I can become an editor and deeply analyze every paragraph. I’ve never sought beta readers. My novels are long and it would seem like too much of an imposition. Also I’m not really interested in a bunch of feedback from some committee. How would it be my novel if I was making adjustments based on other people’s opinions? That sounds too much like a job.

As for an actual editor, the thought of someone cutting a word or adjusting anything in my manuscript is horrific to me. An editor might cut a phrase thinking it’s extraneous without realizing that it adds meaning hundreds of pages later. I’ve considered every word and detail in my novels carefully. That’s my purpose as a novelist. I know you’re thinking that my novels are long and need editing, but I assure you I’ve cut thousands of words from each manuscript before publishing. My novels are long because I write epics with dozens of characters, multiple races, and two or three separate civilizations. I very much take to heart the advice in the little book The Elements of Style. Just the other day I changed the phrase “failed to hit” to “missed.”

I also very much enjoy editing my novels. They are born of my deepest thoughts and feelings, and I need to be the one attending to the details. I am qualified. I have a journalism degree that trained me as a writer and copyeditor. I always got A grades in writing courses in high school and college. I’ll grant that there are probably a few errors within every hundred thousand words, but I can live with that. I put my name on my novels and accept the judgment of the public. I stand by my work and some people enjoy my novels very much and ask me to write more.

Which is the most important social media platform and why? Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkenIn, or any other one you use.

I wish I knew! Personally I enjoy Twitter, so that is the one I use the most. I suspect that Goodreads might be the most valuable to authors because everyone there actually reads books. I should do more there. I honestly don’t know what to make of Facebook. I’m on Facebook but don’t have any clue if it accomplishes anything for me. In general I don’t have any advice about social media. It seems like it could be useful but I’m not sure how to use it.

What are three resources/websites that are indispensable to authors?

Kindle Direct Publishing

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’ll be brief and just quote AC/DC…

“It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n’roll.”

I invite readers to discover my epic fantasy. I am the author of two series: The Rys Chronicles and Rys Rising.

Free samples at Brave Luck Books

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I
Rys Rising: Book I

Also see all my titles at these retailers:

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