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Progress Report 2022 Week 12

You know how you haul yourself up to the plateau that looked so inviting from below? You know how you think things will get a little easier, if you just reach that next level? Only to find all that greenery was really thistles and nettles? I had that experience this week. I also got the first draft of the cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. It’s the first cover I ever bought. Was it everything I hoped it would be? Or was it part of the thistles and nettles? Let’s talk numbers first.

Progress Report 2022 Week 12 By the Numbers

Only 1,728 words this week? What’s up with that?

Yes, I only wrote 1,728 words in Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target this week. That’s because I had intended to divide my time between new writing for Primary Target and working on the second draft for Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath. And as you can see, I rewrote about 10 chapters last week. That’s decent progress for me. Then it all came to a halt. I got the Reedsy proof read back for Book 1.

I’ll talk about that in a moment, but I ended up prioritizing applying the proof read back into my Scrivener version of Executive Action. Do you remember how I had asked an editor from Fiverr, to proof read the short story Code Blue, which will serve as the lead magnet? I was really pleased with the work from the Fiverr editor, alvenecus, and I thought I knew what to expect from Reedsy. Well, I did, kind of.

But the bottom line is this: I am now actively working on 3 books. Between that, work, and family, I have precisely free time. Which really is not nearly as bad as it sounds!

The Proof Read Edit

So, last week, I had intended to talk about my worries about the Reedsy editor being being able to make their second deadline. I had contracted with Reedsy in late December 2021 or early January 2022 for a proof read edit. The first deadline was February 28, 2022, which came and went. I had some e-mail correspondence with the editor, who explained she had experienced health issues within her family. She said she needed another week.

Well, the second deadline came and went, and we had another e-mail exchange. I won’t talk about the details, but the last couple of years have been tough on everyone, and I’m not inclined to make this a big deal. So I asked if she could give me a firm date when she’d be done. She did.

But that left me with a decision to make: Should I keep my fingers crossed that the Reedsy editor would come through, or look at other options?

Remember alvenecus from Fiverr? I reached out to them, and fortunately, they were available. The price was reasonable, and the delivery timeframe was perfect. I should have the manuscript back by March 23. I can see why alvenecus’ Fiverr pages says, “alvenecus has an exceptional number of repeat buyers.”

Then the Reedsy editor delivered the edited manuscript. In her e-mail, she said, “On the whole it was very clean and made sense, so there are not masses of big corrections to make.” So I was expecting not a lot of changes to be tracked in the Word document.

Here’s the thistle and nettles part. I’m not sure if it’s how I prepared the manuscript, or how she unleashed some automated tool against it, but every opening double quote, every closing double quote, every single quote, every ellipsis, and every em dash showed as a change. That meant each manuscript page had hundreds of changes to track.

Hidden in those changes are the ones I really care about. But it’s hard for me to see them because they’re hiding among the hundreds of others.

See how there are so many changes they scroll off the bottom of the page?

I found a recommendation on Tips.net that helped. But I have to be careful. I don’t want to accept changes that I might need.

I’ll say this: Most of the changes I’ve found are grammatically correct. So that’s encouraging! Though I did have to wonder why the editor corrected grammar in dialogue, where I intentionally introduced regional idioms consistent with the speaker’s dialect. I know I can just not accept those changes in Word, but I didn’t realize a proof read edit included trying to give speech lessons to characters!

And no, I’m not being sarcastic. I can see getting heads down, pouring through a manuscript, and just attacking anything that was wrong. It was just not what I expected.

I’m dying go compare the Reedsy and Fiverr edits. I’ll let you know how that comes out.

Cover Reveal Time!

I tell you what, I was so anxious about the cover that I was on pins and needles. In other words, I reverted to cliche! Which was embarrassing in hind sight…

I contracted with jesh_art_studio, whose work I found on Fiverr. They asked me to provide any background diagrams I had, like spaceships or characters. They made an offer, I signed it, and on the day they promised to delivery, I got the first draft.

I loved it. I could not be happier to publicly reveal the cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action:

Yes, that’s my ISBN! And yes, that’s the blurb my wife came up with!

It captures the spirit of what happens in Brussels. It even hints at the crystal dome that covers the city!

The package includes an eBook cover, an audio cover, a paperback cover (which is what I’m showing above), and the original Photoshop files.

I even like the font.

I should be all cool, calm, and collected, but damn. I’m excited about this.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 12

I had three goals last week. The first was to finish Pinch 1 for Conrad and Matsushita. I started Conrad’s, but didn’t get very far. I also hoped to finish debugging the automation for the e-mail list, and I actually managed to do that! So now I just have to start advertising!

Which is the part I hate.

Here’re my goals for this week:

  1. Finish incorporating the Reedsy proof edit into Executive Action
  2. Start incorporating the Fiverr proof edit into Executive Action
  3. Finish Pinch 1 for Dek Conrad and Matsushita Sachi; as a stretch objective, start Pinch 1 for Jack Booth
  4. Continue working on the second draft of Dying Breath
  5. Come up with a plan to start the e-mail list, no matter how much I hate it or how much I don’t want to do it

What Do You Think?

Have you ever received a proof edit that looked like the one I got back? I’ve had two now, and there were wildly different in spite of me using the process to create each manuscript. I’d love to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to share in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Progress Report 2022 Week 12

  1. That cover is great. Looks really nice.

    Those punctuation changes in your document are not so nice. That’s going to take a while to clean up. Good luck, but at least the cover is awesome.

    1. I’m really happy with that cover!
      I’m going to invest in either Grammarly or or ProWritingAid — probably the latter, given it’s better for longer works. That way, I should give a proofreader fewer mistakes to find!

      1. Grammarly has a free level that has integration with Word, Google Docs and stuff. Use both. The thing to remember is they’re not always correct. Good for highlighting silly errors, but you should check before accepting changes.

    1. A TV series would be amazing. But the odds are not in my favor! I’ll be happy if I can get some enthusiastic readers.

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