Friday, January 15, 2010

Self-Publishing Part 2

Talking to Tommie Day 2

We’ll here we are back again with Tommie Lyn. Today we’ll see how she balances a busy lifestyle with editing; working on book covers, and all that comes with being self-employed.

Thanks Tommie for taking time out of your busy schedule to be my guest, and thanks for all the great information.

Do you do all of the work yourself? Do you hire an editor, or someone to do your covers?

I do everything myself. I write, edit, do the typesetting and cover design. (And by the way, you forgot to include filling out sales tax reports on book sales as one of the duties of the self-publishing author, LOL.)

The story’s done, you’re ready to start the hard work. What do you do first?

I do a read-through and try to catch all the obvious errors. Then I print it out and give it to my hubby. He’s very good at proofing, and he has a talent for seeing missing or misplaced elements in a storyline...he can see if something doesn’t make sense.

What tips can you give us about making a great book cover?

My aim in designing a cover is to portray the “feel” of the story and to incorporate important elements of the story graphically. Keeping in mind that very few of us are illustrators, I use photographs from stock photo sites to find images that will blend and work together to create the final cover image. For instance, in the cover I just finished for “Tugger’s Down,” I used three photos and created the blending elements in my imaging software that tied them together into a cohesive image.

One of the most crucial elements of your cover is the font/fonts you choose for the title, your name and any other words that have to be part of the cover. For the title on the “Tugger’s Down” cover, I chose a font that looks like a child wrote it.

When it comes to editing what do you look for?

I look for obvious typos, misspellings, grammar mistakes. I look for awkward wording, where the prose doesn’t flow well. I look for places that might need more clarification for the reader (just because I myself know what I meant does not guarantee a reader will “get it.”) I look for my “habit words,” i.e., those words I use over and over (and my list of habit words changes and grows with each story I write, unfortunately.)

I also look for “mechanical” problems in story flow, things that can’t happen the way I’ve written them. For instance, in one story, I wrote: He left and Lacey glared at him as he walked past her.” He left and THEN he walked past her? I don’t think so. I corrected it to read: “He walked past Lacey without a glance, and she glared at him as he pushed the door open and left the office.”

If you could simply any process what would it be?

That’s easy: I would eliminate my tendency to make mistakes so that I wouldn’t have to do things over and over again.

Why do you think Self Publishing best suits you?

I like having things done a certain way, to my own specifications, so I think having ultimate control myself suits me.

What do you feel is the most important characteristic about your books?

I’m not satisfied with merely seeing the action in stories...I have a need to know what each character is thinking and feeling. And so I can’t help putting the reader inside the head and heart of each important character.

Any closing remarks?

If you’d told me six years ago that I’d be writing fiction today, at the age of sixty-five, I’d have laughed. But, not only am I doing that, thanks to today’s advanced technology, I’ve published four novels now and have two more I hope to release soon. Amazing.


banjobo said...

This is great! I'm glad that you are writing Tommie!!

Tribute Books said...

Oh, a new Tommie Lyn novel in the works - can't wait!

Tribute Books said...

" And so I can’t help putting the reader inside the head and heart of each important character."

So true - Tommie Lyn is an expert at this and why I'm a fan of her work.

Yvonne said...

Excellant interveiw, helpful and thought provoking.
Tommie Lyn is a brilliant writer. I have all her books and can't wait for the next to appear.

Jacks Girl said...

Thanks Yvonne, Tommie is amazing.