|Purge by Rob Parnell|
Recently I met an editor online by the name of Peter Wilson.
I can’t quite remember how we began talking. I think he emailed me a question about one of my Academy courses and we hit it off. We got to chatting.
I was interested in what he had to say because he said he’d been editing a detective thriller that had just been released on Kindle.
It was a genre piece and I wondered if he might be interested in editing my next detective thriller, at the moment called, All The Right Reasons.
Peter said he’d be interested and where was the manuscript?
I had to break it to him that although I’d finished the first draft, I wasn’t ready to hand the story over to him yet.
You see, that’s the thing with work in progress manuscripts.
The author has to do everything he can to make the story AND THE TEXT perfect BEFORE he hands the MS over to an editor.
That’s the way of the professional: make your manuscript PERFECT before you even think about letting anyone else read it.
Never show people work in progress!
Not even family members.
Not even writer friends.
NEVER anybody associated with publishing books!
Now, sadly, a lot of lazy new authors don’t think this way. They think they can write any old crap and just get an editor to fix it.
Admittedly this phenomenon is a lot more common in the modern nonfiction publishing world where many would-be writers - who are actually more like salespeople disguised as authors - write very quickly to produce often very short e-booklets - and then release them on a weekly basis.
This may seem like a strange way to make a living but I kid you not.
I’ve read blogs produced by these people and they say that it’s the only way THEY can make a living on Amazon Kindle: they have to release a lot of short (crappy) e-books on a continual basis.
Why would you want to do that?
Because that’s not my experience. I’ve found that if you take your time and write longer, quality books, then they tend to stay in the book chart for much longer, sometimes AGES.
For example, some of my books are still in the top 100 of their category TWO to FOUR YEARS after their initial release. I believe in creating the best possible books I can. Whether fiction or nonfiction, no matter how long they take to write and GET RIGHT!
But this article is actually about fiction.
Fiction is generally a much harder sell these days because there’s so much more competition than there used to be.
In the old days, traditional publishers were able to effectively hold back the tide of new novels by rejecting 99% of all author’s books. Now, authors don’t need to bother with these self-appointed gatekeepers.
I read recently that about TWENTY new novels are appearing on Amazon and Kindle EVERY DAY.
That’s a seriously huge amount of authors vying to be read and taken seriously.
And in a world where only the cream will rise to the top, the only trick necessary for a new writer is to remain consistently good.
It’s tempting to be cavalier about such things, especially when you’re starting out. Plus it’s all too easy to get so scared of putting something online that you never get around to it.
That’s why you need to engender a nice balance between courage and skill.
Plus, get yourself good beta readers and especially good editors.
As much as you can do yourself, you can NEVER catch all the typos. For some reason, the brain can override what you see and actually put in words that aren’t in the manuscript.
You literally CAN’T SEE your own mistakes. It's a very strange phenomenon.
Hence the need for a great editor.
All of which is a preamble to announcing the re-release of my crime thriller novel PURGE.
Considering it’s fiction, the book has done pretty well. It floats in and out of the charts all the time and the reviews are great.
To cut a long story short, Peter - from an editing company he’s calling Grizbokkit Editing Services - offered to edit Purge because, as he put it, it would help him get to know my writing style in preparation for the follow-up novel, All the Right Reasons.
I think he’s done a superb job of editing the story, especially improving the references to Boston, where Peter used to live.
Now if you don’t know already, Purge features my hero character, Matt Johansen. He’s a young cop who keeps getting passed over for promotion and is eager to prove himself to senior management.
He wants everyone to know he’d make a great detective. Problem is, his behavior and his youthful temperament doesn’t sit right within the Boston Police Department.
So, he goes it alone when he discovers a serial killer has caused the death of his long lost sister. Purge is a story about redemption because not only is Matt trying to rid the streets of crime single-handedly, he’s also trying to purge some inner demons that keep him from powering ahead in his career.
Of course, there’s an autobiographical strain to Purge - and the follow-up.
Yeah, Matt is a bit like me, well, more like the way I used to be when I was his age.
Okay, simply put, in the spirit of constant improvement and giving my readers the best possible experience of my novels, I have updated Purge, probably my best novel.
And I’d really love for you to get it. It’s only 99 cents for the next couple of days. Feel free to grab it while you can especially if you’re intending to read the follow up when I release it - probably before Xmas this year.
Your Success is My Concern