Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 52
I had two plot arcs to fix before I could call the first draft of Evolution’s Hand Book One: Executive Action complete. Those arcs were for Cardinal Clifton Tadlock and ship’s doctor Quaid Adair. Did I finish them? Did Family or Work Real Life Events overtake me yet again? Let’s look at the numbers first (which, spoiler alert, will give away the answer!).
Accountability Post 2021 Week 52 By the Numbers
Yes, Book One: Executive Action is ready for the next steps.
I’ve finished incorporating the Reedsy developmental editor’s chapter by chapter feedback, line edits, and arc feedback. I can honestly say that the edit delivered good value for the money I spent. It uncovered what I now consider to be a major structural flaw in the novel. Also, it proved to me that the Dan Wells’ Story Structure Program is working. I retrofitted it onto Executive Action, but I used it from the start of Book Two: Dying Breath. I’m convinced using the seven point plot system gave me the means to avoid the structural errors in Book Two. I would not have even been aware of that if I had not pursued the Reedsy developmental edit.
So, now what?
Proofreading and Covers
I want to go through the completed draft one more time myself, probably using one of the techniques that Lynn mentioned in the comments to my 2021 Week 50 update. My goal will be to produce the cleanest manuscript I can on my own. But then what?
I think the next step will be figuring out how to proofread the manuscript. I’m not good at that, and no amount of false bravado is going to change that. I considered using automated tools. I came across a question in the Facebook group called 20BooksTo50K that covered this topic. The person asking mentioned they use WordRake, Grammarly, and ProWritingAid. I had only heard of Grammarly. Will automated tools be enough?
Another option I considered was hiring an editor. My wife was aghast that I would consider Fiverr, but I’ve heard some people have great luck with it. Looking just at their Top Rated and Level 2 offerings, I found a price range from a low of $800 for a 160,000 word manuscript to a high of over $3,000 (all US dollars). I might also check Reedsy, given the good luck I had with the developmental edit.
I ran a test compile of the manuscript today from Scrivener. It looked, well, real.
Around the same time, now that I have titles that not only seem right to me, but seem right to my advisors, I’m going to start looking at covers. Back in 2021 Week 36’s accountability post, Lynn in the comments suggested I look at Ryan Schwarz. Also, Self Publishing with Dale on YouTube published a video called “I Paid 5 Designers On Fiverr To Design The Same Cover” and another called “I Paid 10 Designers On Fiverr To Design The Same Cover“. I loved hearing about the process. The kinds of covers he looked at won’t work for me, but just seeing the process in action helped me. So I’ll be at least checking out Ryan Schwarz and Fiverr.
If you have thoughts about either of these processes, I’d love to hear them the comments!
Goals for the Week in Accountability Post 2021 Week 52
Since I unbelievably finished last week’s goals, I’m ready to dig more into what I’ve just talked about. Here’re my goals for the week:
- Decide what course to take for proofreading. This will likely include gathering more bids.
- Decide what course to take for covers. This will also likely involve gathering bids.
- Continue work on the lead-magnet for the mailing list
I’ll tell you what: After trying for about 25 years to get these books underway, it feels unreal that Executive Action is almost ready. Today, I fiddled with Scrivener to get the ePub output where I wanted it. Seeing the novel in that format, reading it almost as if I were reading it through Kindle, felt amazing. Just a few more steps, and I’ll be ready to publish!
What Do You Think?
Have you hired a proofreader? Do you have experience with cover designers? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!