'Rutter's Reunion' has just recorded its first sale. It always takes a few days for somebody to notice that you have a new book out. I believe firmly that the hardest page of any book to write is the first one. Equally, the hardest sale to make is the first one. Well, that is the hardest bit done. Now for the rest.
Just republished all my books to include the link to the new website name. If you have an earlier one with a link to www.davidwaine.weebly.com, don't worry. It will still get you here. Have a great day.
Just bought the domain name for this website, so it's all mine now instead of being a subset of Weebly. Notice the legend at the top of the page now reads www.davidwaine.net. You can still find me using the old one, of course, because they are linked. Alternatively, just type David Waine into your search engine.
Now that 'Rutter's Reunion is finished and on sale, I have turned my attention to my seventh novel. 'The Ancient Realm' is the first part of a new trilogy, entitled 'A Queen's Heart'. This trilogy is a sequel to my original fantasy trilogy, 'A King's Head', which is already available (and my biggest selling books).
It is set five years later. Things have changed for the better in the Kingdom, Dragotar and Draal under the wise leadership of their new monarchs. Most of the surviving characters from 'A King's Head' reappear. There is also a raft of new characters as the narrative broadens its scope to take in a fabulous land, far across the sea, a land that is as ancient as it is mighty, yet whose destiny is inextricably entwined with those of the Kingdom, Draal and Dragotar as a deadly new menace raises its ugly head.
I began writing 'The Ancient Realm' last year and, for a while, alternated between writing it and 'Rutter's Reunion'. As both stories developed, however, it became clear that my brain would not cope with writing two entirely different novels at the same time, so I elected to finish 'Rutter's Reunion' first.
On returning to 'The Ancient Realm' I discovered the wisdom of that decision. The text ran to 313 pages (editing layout - about 250 pages published) and I was barely half way through the story. This would not do. I have a theory that too many fantasy novels are simply too long for their own good. Because the three parts of 'The Lord of the Rings' clocked the scales at around 400 pages each, their authors think that they have to do the same, so they pack their text out with screeds of pretentious waffle. I don't know how some of them ever get published at all. I belong to the 'less is more' camp, believing firmly that 350 published pages of quality stuff will trounce 500 pages of rubbish every time.
At present, I am going through what I had already written and deleting or rewriting everything that is superfluous or poorly written. So far I have managed to cut more than 20 pages (a word here, a sentence there, a paragraph somewhere else). I still have around 120 pages to edit before I can press on with the narrative, but it is certainly benefitting from the pruning and shaping up well.
'Rutter's Reunion' passed the Cuzzie test and is now on sale at all of Amazon's Kindle stores. I had to do a little bit of last minute revision as she discovered a handful of minor discrepancies that had escaped my notice, but that was inevitable. That is why you should have someone else to do your proofreading for you. The author becomes so used to seeing the text that even the most exacting of editing procedures is not guaranteed to get rid of every single shortcoming. All is ironed out now, however, and I am looking forward to seeing the first sales clock up.
Editing of 'Rutter's Reunion' is finished. I have been through the book three times from front to back and four times from back to front, marking out all my corrections and changes in coloured highlighters. Then came the last pass: the Kindle Pass. I am probably not the only author who does this, but I am the only one that I know of. I find it invaluable. The 'Master' version is laid out as it would be for submission to a publisher. This means that it is double-spaced Courier (the traditional typewriter font) and the margins are set to deliver a consistent 250 words to the page. It looks as dull as ditchwater, but it is actually the ideal layout for editing because everything is very clear on the screen and it is much easier to spot errors than with a proportionally-spaced font, like Times New Roman or Georgia. This produced a book of 508 pages, which I subsequently edited down to 475. Bearing in mind that we are talking double-spacing and big margins, that equates to about 350 pages in the published edition.
The 'Kindle Trim' version, however, is laid out as it will be for publication: single-spaced Times New Roman and no special margins. This is then transferred to my Kindle for a final check. I find this very useful because the Kindle presents the work differently and often throws up a whole host of, not so much errors, but examples of writing where I could have expressed myself better. These are revised and transferred to both copies carefully. The result of all this editing is that hardly a single page of the original manuscript escapes unaltered. It boils down to nothing less than a complete redraft of the entire novel.
Now for the final test, the most demanding of all: the 'Cuzzie Test'. My wife's cousin, Diane, is a voracious reader and the only person I know whom I can trust to give me a truly unbiased opinion of my work. It was because of her advice that I was able to bring the quality of my first book, 'Usurper' up to match that of its two sequels, 'A Sovereign's Honour' and 'A New Queen Rises'. Prior to that, I knew that it was lacking somewhere, but could not put my finger on it. She did, and that enabled me to correct it.
As I type this, my computer is also printing out a fresh copy of the edited book for her to read. She doesn't have her own computer or even a Kindle, so she has to have it on paper. This is useful because it means she can add her own annotations, if she wishes. That is why she gets a printout of the 'Master', rather than the 'Kindle' version. It will be delivered to her tomorrow and she has promised to report back within the week. Hopefully all will be well to publish then.
Yesterday was devoted to setting this website up. Today I return to line editing my new novel, 'Rutter's Reunion'. It is as near as makes little difference ready for upload, but an author has to be critical of his / her own work to the point of nitpicking.
That is the problem with a lot of self-published writers. They don't nitpick enough! It manifests itself too often in the form of typing errors, words used mistakenly and occasions where the writer deleted a sentence, but forgot to remove the full stop. When the reader sees these, a neon light flashes on in their brain , screaming 'Amateur!' and they begin to resent the fact that they have just paid money for a book that was not properly finished off. These things don't occur in professionally-produced books because they have been independently edited.
Successful writers can afford to pay a professional editor to correct and polish their text, but at a typical charge of a penny per word, you can do the maths yourself. Most novels tip the scales at 100,000 words or more. Self-published authors, like me, have little choice but to be our own editors. This is easier said than done because writing is a fundamentally creative act, whereas editing is analytical. Creative people tend not to make good analysts. I am lucky. I actually rather enjoy editing, but I know other writers who hate it.
Just published my website!. Feel free to add your own comments.
I have five books already published and a sixth, 'Rutter's Reunion' almost ready. As soon as that goes live, I will return to the Kingdom to work on the sequel trilogy to 'A King's Head'. This is to be entitled 'A Queen's Heart' and is set five years after the events in the books already published. I won't be starting from scratch. The initial draft of the first part, 'The Ancient Realm', is already over 300 pages long. I was writing it concurrently with 'Rutter's Reunion' until I realised that writing two books at the same time is not really the ideal way to do things.
The Rutter book was the more developed of the two, so I concentrated on finishing that first. With 'Reunion' almost ready for publication, I will be able to turn my full attention on 'The Ancient Realm' within the next few days. Avalind's fans won't have that much longer to wait.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.