Editors I Love #SelfPubIsHere

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One of the major factors influencing the rise of respectability in self-publishing has been thanks to professional editors turning freelance.* But how do you find a good one? How do you make sure you aren’t being charged by a charlatan who won’t really improve your book at all? Or worse, take your money and then never respond to you again (yes, this happened to me once). It’s hard, #SelfPubIsHere and we want to publish quality books, but without good editors we cannot do it. To help make your journey a little easier, I’m going to share 9 top quality editors with you. People who would have made this article sparkly and zingy if they had been hired to look at it, and will do just that for your books. [Note: My blog does not use an editor only my books do. Please read my about section to understand why. This blog entry is not a sample of any editor’s work.]

Cait Gordon is a writer and editor. The publishing industry was lucky enough to poach this editor from the world of technical writing where she had 20+ years experience copy editing and technical writing. Now she’s ours and we’re not giving her back, ever. She is not just thorough but kind. Find Cait here. And just in case I don’t say it enough, I love Cait.

Linda Funnell is one of Australia’s most loved editors. What she doesn’t know about Australian English doesn’t actually exist. Very professional and, I know this is a cliche that she’d suggest I cut, a pleasure to work with. Find Linda here. Linda also works alongside Jean Bedford at Newtown Review of Books, who I have found likewise amazing, but I can’t see if she offers professional editing services. You can find Jean here.

Nicola O’Shea came to me recommended by Anita Heiss. Anita Heiss. I’ll just let that sink in. I don’t need to say anything about my positive experiences working with Nicola because a God damn national treasure recommended her and if that isn’tgood enough then I don’t know what is. Find Nicola here.

Tania Chandler! What can I say, I love this woman. She’s an author, writing teacher, and editor. She tackles every job with professionalism and offers clean, professional service. Added bonus, she has a killer sense of humour. Find Tania here.

Georgina Ballentine is a person that embodies dedication. She is passionate about making sure your work is the best reflection of you that it can be. She’s not interested in changing your voice, she’s interested in making it sing. Find Georgina here.

Dionne Lister is a successful author, editor, and leading champion of #SelfPubIsHere. But most importantly, she loves grammar. She runs a Facebook group on grammar. She blogs about grammar. She dreams about grammar. Very thorough, very knowledgeable, very passionate. Find Dionne here.

Jessica Stewart is a gramazon, an Amazon of grammar. She’s here to deliver high kicks to wrong comma usage, chop excessive adverbs and unleash clean flowing sentences. Find Jessica here. Find Jessica’s Robinpedia entry here.

Hot Tree Editing is friendly, cost effective editing. They are thorough and experienced. Their services offer multiple sets of eyes to ensure nothing gets missed. Find Hot Tree here.

Chryse Wymer was the first professional editor I ever worked with and came to me recommended by Dionne Lister. She is an absolute grammar nerd and if she ever reads this blog entry would probably have to begin breathing into a brown paper bag in order to cope with the errors. She’s going to make sure you don’t use the same word to start every paragraph and she’s happy to look up archaic words just to make sure they’re being used correctly. And she has had an extensive education in Australian terms such as root, died in the arse, take the piss, thanks to yours truly. Find Chryse here.

So what are you waiting for? Go get out that manuscript you’ve had gathering dust and get it polished to publication.

See #SelfPubIsHere featured in Books+Publishing here.

Also in Australian Self-Publisher here and you can love them on FB here.

Find out more about #SelfPubIsHere here.

Read about my #SelfPubIsHere dreams here.

Read the article that kicked #SelfPubIsHere off here.

See more about #SelfPubIsHere here.

*Note: historically, many of the authors you love such as Beatrix Potter started out as self-published but later when e-publishing first picked up momentum there was a real push against it. Now with print on demand becoming more accessible the quality and respect is rising again.
Also, cough-cough, find my book at Booktopia or anywhere.

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Kate Murdoch: #Robinpedia

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Kate Murdoch is an Australian writer and award winning artist based in Melbourne. Yes, Melbourne. One of the official Cities of Literature. When she isn’t being an artistic genius, which to be fair takes up most of her time, she enjoys reading books such as Lillian’s Story by Kate Grenville and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.

Her debut novel Stone Circle was released in December 2017 through Fireship Press. It is set during the Italian Renaissance and delves into the mystical world of seers. Kirkus Review stated that it sparkles!

Kate has had her short fiction widely published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Euonia Reviews, Sick Lit Magazine, Ink in Thirds, and Spelk Fiction. Her second novel, The Orange Grove, will be released into the wild in 2019 by Regal House Publishing. It is set in 18th Century France and explores moral ambiguity and the catastrophic ripple effect that can occur from small actions.

Facts you need to know about Kate Murdoch:

She has a love hate relationship with Scrivener

Her views on carob are firm but fair

She isn’t afraid to pose the big questions about Australian culture

And lastly, but probably most importantly, she effing loves Fridays

Find Kate Murdoch’s author website here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s artist website here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s blog here

Tweet with Kate here.

Face off with Kate here.

Pin with Kate here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s profile by Anita Rodgers here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s interview on Ink in Thirds here.

Find Kate Murdoch in the attic here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s book here or anywhere.

Read more about Robinpediahere.

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author branding here.

Buy my shit here.

Let Me Proposition You… With a Self-Publishing Festival

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SELF-PUBLISHING AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! It is time to be seen. #SelfPubIsHere

I think self-publishing needs greater recognition from Australian Festivals and Awards. I think self-publishing deserves its very own day at one of the larger Australian writer festivals, or even it’s very own self-publishing festival. We have kids days and YA days at major festivals (check out the one at Sydney Writers’ Festival, it is AMAZING), why not a self-publishing day? It is absolutely booming at the moment with more and more people not only buying self-published books, but wanting to become self-published authors.

Publisher Weekly has reported that self-published ebooks represent 31% of ebooks on Amazon and this trend is increasing. Not only do they account for around a third of ebooks, they are also dominating sales. Self-published authors are surpassing traditionally published authors on Amazon in crime, speculative fiction and romance. They also have a big share of the market in all other genres. The big five traditional publishers only account for around 16% of ebooks on the Amazon bestseller list, all the rest are self or indi. And let’s face it, ebooks are big business now and are here to stay.

Many readers have no idea if the books they are reading are self-published or not. As publishing houses laid off inhouse editors and designers in favour of a freelance system, self-published authors were able to snap them up. As such, the self-publishing route is becoming increasingly popular and destigmatised not only amongst up and coming writers, but also those already traditionally published and seeking to take greater control of their work.

Despite this increase in popularity and quality many Australian literary festivals and awards have either ignored the self-publishing market or given it a one off panel. Often in Australia the panel discussion is merely about if self publishing is ruining the industry or not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The interest in self-publishing however is growing and has moved far beyond festival goers wanting to hear a simple discussion on if self-publishing is good or evil. They want in. Publishing your own book can be hard work and getting it into people’s hands can be even harder. This is a process that the increasing number of readers wanting to turn into writers are curious about. And honestly, readers also want the opportunity to see these self-published authors in person to get their books signed.

A self-publishing festival or day would be unique from other festivals in that self-published authors have to have a hand in all areas of their book development. They need to be able to source or become their own publicist, designer, formatter, bookseller, etc. Literary festivals often focus on authors and publishing houses, a self-publishing event would highlight self-published authors along with editors, cover illustrators, designers, and publicists. It would bring the often hidden side of publishing to the forefront. The part that happens behind closed doors that writers and readers are increasingly curious about. The parts they are willing to pay to find out more about. And I don’t mean in just one genre, I mean across all of self-publishing rather than a genre specific festival. Romance has traditionally been quite accepting of self-publishing and has on many instances lead the way but it’s time for other organisations to step up.

Below I will outline some of the awesome feature a self-pub fest would provide readers and writers hungry for something new.

Unique Guests:

Writers-

Self-published writers are essentially split into three groups, those that started self-published and get picked up by a traditional publisher, traditionally published authors who have turned to self-publishing (some vow never to return to the trad-pub model, others happily flit back and forth enjoying the hybrid life), and those that have started as self-published and never looked back. Each of these groups bring unique insights and appeal to the curiosity of readers and fellow writers. We would hope to attract presenters from each of the group, with examples of the types of authors listed below.

Self-published authors picked up by traditional publishers include authors such as Matthew Reilly, CS Pacat, Bruce McCabe, and Mitchell Hogan. People want to know how these guys made the conversion. It’s the dream for many starting out. Self publish, get picked up, and then have a movie trilogy made, I’m looking at you E. L. James.

Authors who started out as traditionally published and have then experimented with self-publishing include people such KERI ARTHUR (I’m putting this in capitals and bold because I somehow missed Keri’s name and am editing it in!), Lisa Heidke, John Birmingham, Ellie Marney, Maria Lewis, Ciara Ballantyne, Kim Kelly, and Alison Croggon. Everyone wants to know why they broke ranks. What is so fantastic about self-publishing that it attracted them? How did they do it? Is it more profitable? What are the benefits? Hybrid or abandonment?

Australia has an incredible array of self-published authors that have started that way and remained true to the form. Melissa Pouliot had a cold case reopened because of her debut book. Heidi Farelly was picked up as a regular guest on A Current Affair to speak on finances on the strength of the popularity of her self-published ‘How to…’ books. Lisa Fleetwood became an Amazon bestseller with her debut travel memoir. I myself have been picked up by bookstores for my memoir about postnatal depression and my book is even being used by some postnatal depression support networks. Lola Lowe was listed as a “Must Read” by Cosmopolitan Magazine for her debut novel. A.B. Patterson, a former detective Sergeant, has won three awards for his debut crime fiction novel, and been short listed for two others. Dionne Lister is a speculative fiction author who is an outspoken advocate of self-publishing and has been short listed for three awards. Elizabeth Cummings has been invited all around the world to talk about her picture books, in particular The Disappearing Sister – an important book that deals with speaking to and helping siblings of children with anorexia. There are many more self-publishing success stories amongst the Australian public eager to share their story and people want to know how they did it and how they can replicate it.

Of course along with writers it’s time to make the previously invisible members of book creation visible, the people that people interested in self-publishing want to find and hire but are largely ignored by Australian festivals:

Book Artists and Designers

Formatters

PR People

Editors

Representatives from printers such as Ingram Sparks and Publicious.

Representatives from self-publishing consultancy services such as Critical Mass Consulting, Bookends Publishing, and The Author Whisperer.

Logistics:

We need a location or a festival to give us a venue for a day.

We need an organiser / convener that people respect.

We need a publicist, although, many self-published authors are their own publicist and do a damn fine job.

Volunteers, we need people pointing and smiling. Trust me, it helps a lot.

We need all the food.

We need a dynamic bookseller who loves us.

We need those guests that represent the full gamut of the self-publishing experience.

And, without question, we need all the wine and cheese.

And don’t just take my word for it, read Pauline Findlay’s thoughts here. She strongly advocates for more self-publishing recognition.

So, what do you think? Are you with me? Do we need this? Are we going to create the pressure to make this happen? (I did send a proposal to a friendly writers’ centre but 10 months later I still haven’t even heard crickets in response) Some big name literary festivals overseas are already making the space, can we make it happen here? I vote yes! Chat about making space for self-publishing on social media with Pauline Findlay and I using #SelfPubIsHere

Find out what Lisa Fleetwood has to say about this here.

Find out what Rebecca Chaney thinks here.

Also, cough-cough, find my book at Booktopia or anywhere.

Miniforce: Attack of Spider Mechamon (Ep 3)

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There are cute rabbits heading towards a dark caveman I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Yep, bad stuff has happened. They’re stuck in a giant spiderweb by some purple glowing stuff.

The villains hi5 and are happy and doing evil stuff. I know they’re evil but they somehow seem nicer than the little girl that Miniforce is living with. I kind of hope they’ve moved out. Nope, she is there. We’re back to the little girl who apparently isn’t a villain and is trying to force them to do her homework. Why are they living in this abusive household?

Of course they don’t finish it because they’re called away to pokeball over to B-grade Captain Barnacles. He sends them off to fight the mechanical spider that has been sucking the life out of bunnies in its web of deceit. Pascal is there, he taunts the miniforce then leaves. They defeat the giant robot spider with their enslaved Transformers. Should we start a petition to free the Transformers?

Hooray, the day is saved and the little girl is super mad because they didn’t do her homework. Seriously, Miniforce, leave. You can do better. Make your own home. Go live with Barnacle. My kids have gone berserk and now want to fight each other because they’re so pumped up on Minforce homework rage. We’re going outside to burn off that energy. I need 7,000 coffees.

Find recap to episode 1 here.

Find recap to episode 2 here.

Miniforce: New Threat (E2)

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Bad guy is the first thing we see. He’s talking to a purple robot armoured dude. Purple dude apparently used to be in Miniforce also. He now hates them for reasons unknown. Come to think of it, bad guy doesn’t have clear reasons either. I have so many questions but it’s too late we’re off to the little girl’s house and she is ordering the animals about to perform the Hunger Games or something similar.

Why does she hang out with them, who is she, why does she wield so much power? She’s so mean to them all the time and yet they stay. Why don’t the live in their headquarters or at in the wilderness?

No time for questions because we’re pokeballing over to B-grade Captain Barnacles.

He explains that the purple dude, Pascal, turned bad so they locked him up. He escaped now they must go find him. Again sketchy on details but they’re off. There don’t seem to be animal hostages this time. It’s just Pascal and henchmen. I don’t know what is happening but there is action and yelling and colours and my 4 year old twins are hugely digging it.

Turns out Pascal can vaporize and then reappear which makes him hard to beat. Then he uses the power of darkness to turn into a giant, actually probably just human sized but looks giant compared to a lizard Only one thing for it. What the heck???? Mini force call in cars that transform into giant robots because of course they have slave transformers tucked away.

They jump inside Voltron style and win. I still don’t know why. I have so many questions! But I’m pretty sure it’s too late for me and I’m now addicted.

Find recap to episode 1 here

Find recap to episode 3 here.

Events I Managed to See at Sydney Writers’ Festival 2018

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Here’s what I saw and learned at Sydney Writers’ Festival this year. A quick run through of all my #sydneywritersfestival action, ranging from helpful advice from Jane Harper to The Chaser’s War on Mummies:

Why Self-Published Authors Are Amazing

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Why Self-Published Authors Are Amazing

All the reasons you should love self-published authors articulated beautifully.

Ask Alianne

If you’re following my blog, you’ve seen me post some rants about this or that. I do it to air out my own personal grievances, but also to shed some light on current events happening in the book world. Cathartic and educational. Win-win.

But today, I want to do something different. Today I want to tip my hat and give a nod to every self-published author out there, because the Indie community is a truly amazing and humbling place. Yes, it has its problems–all communities do–but on the whole, its members are some of the kindest, bravest, most supportive, most intelligent people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Too often, the label of “Indie author” or “self-published author” still evokes the unfair stigma of being sub par, unworthy when compared to authors on the other side of that gilded line of traditional publishing. Today, I want to show you…

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