Guest Post

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Watch for it...there's a little something extra in your future

cj Sez: When I posted on Facebook that I wasn’t having a lot of trouble with social distancing or some quarantine requirements because (as a writer) I’ve been practicing that for years, son replied…”Spread the word, not the germ.” Seems like a motto to me.

cj Sez:  I've posted about editing before, but the topic is important enough for authors getting ready to publish their masterpiece that I think it bears repeating. 
   Did you ever open a book, read a few chapters and then put it down because of errata, i.e.; those typos, misspellings, and factual errors that drive a pedantic like me crazy. One or two will make me shake my head and pause; a lot of them will stop me in my tracks. That story needed a professional edit, which it did not get before publication.

   Speaking from experience, self-edits and beta readers do not, will not, and cannot catch everything that a professional copy editor will. When I was gainfully employed, one of my report/column-writing rules was to get as many people as possible to read the document…the more eyes on it the better the end product. That wasn’t easy to do because I was on deadline, and my work wasn’t on the top of someone else’s to-do list. But the effort was so worth it.

   And so it is for an author’s manuscript. I want my manuscript to be the best I can make it. I read the document on the computer screen, and because the text looks different when it’s printed, I print a few pages. I’ll find missing commas, periods, or quotation marks that were missed on numerous computer-screen read-throughs.

   Sometimes, I make a copy of the printed page. Copying changes the size of the font again, and I will (too often) find something else to correct. 

   But the end-all for me is to read the pages out loud. You’d be surprised at what you find. Not just spelling or punctuation problems, but whole paragraphs and dialogues that absolutely need editing in order to be coherent.

   My advice: Don’t presume that because you’ve typed “The End,” your manuscript is finished. It needs fresh eyes. Yes, it’s a personal and financial consideration for each author, but please consider hiring a copy editor if you can afford it.

   Caveat: Expect that if your manuscript is accepted by a publisher, their punctuation rules for how they want their publication to look may differ from your copy editor’s input, and there could be more changes to be made.
Public Service Announcements

Good news during the crisis: The Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

   This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers. However, second quarter estimated tax payments are still due by June 15.

The Alabama Department of Revenue also announced that the income tax filing due date is extended…Read more here:

   Not in Alabama? Check with your state’s Department of Revenue.

Reminder: The 2020 U.S. Census is ongoing. Your anonymous, honest response matters. The results enable communities to apply for federal funding for health clinics, fire departments, schools, and even roads, highways, and bridges.

   The census results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. In Alabama, the sluggish return threatens the loss of two Congressional seats, according to news media reports. (You can take a look at the actions of our current elected officials and know how important that is. Took me all of ten minutes to complete mine.)

There's a little Lagniappe (something extra) in your future . . . 

   The authors of the upcoming release, BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE, have joined together to give you a little Lagniappe (a little something extra)
   This collection of novellas and short stories gives you a sneak peek at the writers who have stories included in the May release of BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE --- it's available for pre-order now. 
Read the teasers here     


   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on and I’ll try to do the same.

   My paranormal, short story, “Love is Immortal” is included in a new anthology scheduled for release later this spring. Watch for more on the launch of BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE on Facebook and Amazon.

  Autographed print copies of my novels CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are available at The Haunted Book Shop. Anthologies in which I have stories, including THE POSSE, the Bienvenue Press Christmas charity series, and the Mobile Writers Guild PIECES series are also available there.

   If the book shop doesn't happen to have a copy of any book(s), by any author that you want, they’ll place an order for you.

   TO ORDER (and support an indie bookstore) contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and an award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice. If you’re in Mobile area, do stop in at the book store; it’s a neat place to browse.

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