Kindle Self Publishing – Get Thee an Editor

 

Kindle Self Publishing - You Need An EditorKindle Self Publishers, Listen Up

Kindle is a boon to authors (and readers of authors), but in our rush to self-publish, we skip a step.

Really Good Writing Demands Editing

Editors abound in mainstream publishing; not so much with Kindle Self Publishers.

Mainstream publishing has editors for a reason – and that reason is authors think that their work, the words they labored so hard for, revised so intently, and love like children, shouldn’t be questioned, touched, or God forbid, stricken from their work.

Not just new authors.  Anne Rice of vampire fame decided she didn’t need input on her work.  Her decision-making process in her words:

After the publication of the The Queen of the Damned, I requested of my editor that she not give me anymore comments. I resolved to hand in the manuscripts when they were finished. And asked that she accept them as they were. She was very reluctant, feeling that her input had value, but she agreed to my wishes. I asked this due to my highly critical relationship with my work and my intense evolutionary work on every sentence in the work, my feeling for the rhythm of the phrase and the unfolding of the plot and the character development. I felt that I could not bring to perfection what I saw unless I did it alone. In othe[r] (sic) words, what I had to offer had to be offered in isolation. So all novels published after The Queen of the Damned were written by me in this pure fashion, my editor thereafter functioning as my mentor and guardian.

This goes on and on …. but you get the picture.

After getting some rough reviews on Amazon.com, Anne Rice  posted a 1200 word rebuttal saying she had “no intention of allowing an editor ever to distort, cut or otherwise mutilate” her sentences. Public opinion dares to disagree.  Most people find her unedited work too wordy, rambling, and difficult to finish.

Sort of like that paragraph from her blog.

Hemingway. Fitzgerald. We want to be them.

Papa, Ernest HemingwayOur goals for writing are varied, but I don’t think many authors want to produce froth.  In our zeal to turn a memorable phrase, we forget that the masters were economical with words.  Spare.

“No Pilar,” Agustin said. “You are not smart. You are brave. You are loyal. You have decision. You have intuition. Much decision and much heart. But you are not smart.” 
― Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls

Tight. Crisp. Beautiful.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Needed an EditorMore?

“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

His sentences are imperfect, but his voice, his storytelling, is clean and clear.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Editor, Andrew Turnbull (Collected Letters) had this to say about Fitzgerald’s writing: “Fitzgerald was a lamentable speller. Following his ear, he habitually made such slips as “definate” and “critisism”, and proper names were his downfall. Fitzgerald frequently addressed his best friend, Ernest Hemingway, as ‘Ernest Hemmingway’ or even ‘Earnest Hemminway’.”

Which Brings Us to Spelling

The eye sees what the mind expects to see.  When we’ve worked over a piece of prose, we know what we want it to say and our mind will oblige us with a perfect view.  We overlook our misspelled words, incorrect contractions, improper tense.  Things that make us look unprofessional.

A fresh eye, trained to write and punctuate will catch those grammar school errors and save us from ourselves.

If for no other reason than the words spell check didn’t find because they were the wrong word, spelled properly, every author needs an editor.

So, get an editor.  Before everyone sees those typos on their Kindle.

 

10 Essential WordPress PlugIns for the Bones of your WordPress Blog

You’ve begun to blog – do you know the PlugIns you really need to keep your blog working the way you want it to work?

RockStar Buzz recommends these PlugIns be installed before you begin to publish.  If you’re already publishing, check the list to see if they’ll help you maintain your site optimally.

Broken Link Checker Author: Janis Elsts

Monitors your blog looking for broken links.  Do you want to go through your 404 error reports?  Nah . . . You want to click on a link on your dashboard and correct the errors you find on the Broken Link Checker report.


 

 

Login LockdownAuthor: Michael VanDeMar

If you’ve ever had your blog hacked and seen things you didn’t put up, things you don’t want on your blog, or worse, watched your blog disappear to a virus, you may have already heard of Login Lockdown.

If not, you’re a lucky person, and you can get this plugin before anything happens to your blog that you don’t intend.

Plugin homepage

 


 

PS Disable Auto Formatting Author: Hitoshi Omagari

Do you hate WordPress automatic formatting?  Hate trying to fix the html?  Just want to blog, and be done with it?

This is the ticket!

PS Disable Auto Formatting stops automatic formatting of WordPress cold  and modifies the html source generated by the visual editor.

 


 

Secure WordPress Author: Frank Bültge

Secures your blog in a myriad of ways.  Removes error-information on login-page; adds index.php plugin-directory, removes the wp-version, removes Really Simple Discovery, removes Windows Live Writer, removes core update,  plugin-update, and theme-update information, and  fhides wp-version in backend-dashboard for non-admins.

PlugIn Homepage is in German . . . English translation is wordpress download page above.

 


 

Tiny MCE Advanced Author: Andrew Ozz

This plugin adds Advanced HR, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras.

Plugin Homepage

 


 

Google Analyticator Author: Ronald Heft

Google Analyticator adds Google Analytics lcode to your WordPress blog, eliminating the need to edit your template (and eliminating the possibility that you’ll kill your theme, or expose your code, or both!  Yes, this is the voice of experience – I’ve screwed up my blogs a thousand different ways . .  )

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Database Backup Author: filosofo

I dunno if you’ve ever lost you entire blog – perhaps a year or more of work . . . In my case it was several years . . . Don’t risk it!

Get WP-DB-Backup, schedule the backups for the frequency with with you add posts, have it email the backup file to you.

No, I don’t trust my backups to the server . . . I’ve a dedicated server at GoDaddy, and I email my backups to myself.  That means I have them, and I can get my work back if it disappears.  And yes, Virginia, it can disappear without a trace.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Spamfree Authors: WP-SpamFree, WebGeek

I know, Akismet comes with WordPress . . . I happen to prefer WP-Spamfree.  Is powerful and almost entirely eliminates blog comment spam, including trackback and pingback spam.

And, there is a counter that  keeps track of all the spam it has blocked.  I assure you, it will be a staggering number relatively quickly.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Page Numbers Author: Jens Törnell

Readers move around easily with page numbers – improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as well, which is always good, by creating a better inner link structure.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

FeedBurner Feedsmith

You can’t download this plugin from WordPress, but have to go to Google and create there.

Your blog has an RSS Feed now, FeedBurner will dress it up, give you tons of ways to publicize your blog via your feed, and offers a clean, neat email version – and that’s why I love it!

So add the ones you will, let me know what you like and what you don’t and why . . . and as always, Rock On!