Saturday, February 27, 2021

A new light, a new release: a brand new world!

 After a long pondering and fighting all the possible hesitations, I did it. I have searched and found a translator for my books. The first market I wanted to try, is the one I am more familiar with, the Italian market.

This means that I am proud to announce that the first book of the trilogy has been translated into Italian and has been published yesterday, 25.2.2020.

My biggest hesitation, so far, was due to two factors: the fares and the alternative solutions to a royalty share.

Unlike the audiobooks, where the royalty share is controlled and limited to a certain period, the translation market is wilder and less regulated. In this case, I preferred to keep all the rights and search for a translator who could have taken the job and was flexible enough to accept various payment plans. 

I am not a widely successful author who can afford to have a substantial cut on the royalties. At the point where I am now, I prefer to pay upfront but to keep the ownership of the title, after all already Amazon is having a 30% on the sales, and cutting the profit further for a translation and then audiobook means not having a margin for living out of my craft (unless I'm as successful as Stephen King).

The task seemed to be almost impossible until I found the person I was looking for. The first book is doing fairly well, and I hope the Italian audience will like it the same way the anglophone audience did, so please join me in keeping the finger crossed for this trilogy in this new market I'm dipping the fingers into.

I was so satisfied with the first book that I decided to have all the other books of the series translated. I have received the first part of the second book, and I'm extremely satisfied with the quality. I know you will wonder why I didn't translate the books myself, saving money. 

The reason behind my decision to hire someone else to take care of this job is time. I really have no time to take care of marketing, day job, relaxing, writing new books, updating social media and website. One thing I can do is checking the translation received and confirm the great value I've received.

But here is the cover of the translated version:

And if you like to read in Italian, here's the link to Amazon:

With this great news and having found back my writing mojo, I'm going to wish you all a great weekend.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Spring is coming!!!

 Oh well, I know many of you don't consider it Spring when the temperature reaches 0 C. Nevertheless, for those who like me, spent the last four months at -15C ~ -23C this is almost time for  going swimming.

As soon as the mercury column rises with the clear will of leaving the minus side, it spells the end of winter and the beginning of Spring.

That is also pretty much Finland.

This means also one thing, I have set for one day the writing aside and I have put on the grower hat setting up the seedling for the summer and also for the next winter season.

The tomatoes, the cucumber, and the paprika are the first I have started to plant, and at the moment they grow indoors far from the still chilly weather.

Faster growing herbs will follow starting from May, and so the growing season it starts.

At the same time, I can take it a bit easy with the writing a I have sent my manuscript to the editor and waiting patiently (although in anticipation for the result).

Life starts once again to look good, and with the incoming of a fairer weather, the kick-off of the growing season for the greenhouse, the sweet sound of the ticking rain, telling me that the snow will be soon a dear memory, my heart can find some peace from the latest unfortunate events.

I also started to look around and pondering to adopt another rabbit from the animal shelter. Carolina seems to agree with the fact that being the only rabbit in the house may not be the best situation. regardless of the time we spend playing together, I believe she's missing someone who talks her same language.

On a negative side, it seems like soon we will be once again into lockdown, but since I have my own room at work, this won't mean that we will be working from home, unless there will be an order from the health authorities.

Honestly I hope this won't happen. I am a terrible procrastinator, and if I find myself working from home, I will have, as a result a spotless house and a massive load of undone work. I guess I can't have all I wish, can I?

On a brighter side, although one of my colleagues was diagnosed with Covid-19, I have been tested and resulted negative, meaning that being confined in my room at work is working quite well as a protection against any sort of contagion.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, remember to take care of yourself and stay safe.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The pen is mightier than the sword


The past two weeks have been quite challenging, and that's the reason why I have taken a small break from blogging.

Now, with a fresher mind, I can go through the problem encountered. I hope nobody ever has to go through the same trouble, but if so, I hope my experience will help them too.

An author doesn't write the perfect manuscript on the first draft; sometimes, he'll need ten or more drafts before he can (almost) confidently click the button "Publish" and send his words to the world.

A writer is made of doubts, second thoughts, dilemmas, fears. But how can he or she get over those overwhelming feelings and courageously send the raw draft to a beta reader, to an editor to find help in the shaping of the final product, a novel readers will love?

Most of the time, it's a leap of faith unless you already have an editor to work with. The contract between the writer and the editor is a question of trust and honor both parties will respect. The professional editor knows perfectly that the manuscript he or she will receive is far from being perfect. It might be plagued with plot holes, plot bunnies, repetitions, missing explanations, typos, stilted dialogues, and everything a creative mind, in the excitement of the writing process, didn't grasp.

This is valid for new authors as much as for seasoned ones. Writing isn't easy.

In my short career, I had to change three different editors. All of them helped me to improve my style, find my voice, found the holes, and pointed out how to fix them. I owe a lot to those amazing people and will never be grateful enough for their precious help.

Then something happened. My regular editor couldn't take any other jobs, and I needed to search somewhere else. Fate brought me to knock at the wrong door and choosing an unprofessional self-proclaimed editor. I decided to have developmental editing because the novel I had was a recovered version, and I couldn't say whether it was the latest I pre-edited or not. For this reason, I also sent the first two chapters because I wanted the editor to have a perfect idea of what to be expected. Sending the two chapters means that the editor is going through them and evaluate whether he/she feels like the job would require skills he/she doesn't have or will require more time than the forecasted. Obviously, he/she didn't even open the document and agreed to the contract.

I said the document was a recovered one, and there were some plot holes. After 45 days, as a result, I received a nasty email full of insults about my writing style, the plot, the main character, and myself, together with a hardly edited text. For two weeks, I tried to overcome the feeling of those insults, but it hadn't been easy. 

For two weeks, everything I tried to write felt like a complete failure, and the only desire I had was to quit everything, including my whole existence.

I need to thank my husband, my sister, and all the wonderful people of the author group I belong to, who understood that no editor should ever resort to personal attacks, insults, and never should feel free to belittle a customer.

That customer is a writer already filled with doubts; she/he doesn't need any further. Had I been more lonely or fragile, this editor had a human life on his/her conscience, and that's absolutely not a joke or an exaggeration.

If you are an author and find yourself in my same situation, please seek comfort between the author community around you, and ignore those negative people who can't do their work professionally. Editing is hard work, as hard as writing. It requires skills you can't merely improvise, empathy, understanding, and the ability to fix a first draft. This is particularly true when the editor offers developmental editing services.

So, my fellow authors, keep writing and keep positive. But most of all, find a professional editor to polish your future bestseller.

The long road of writing a book.

Publishing a book is a journey on a rocky path that involves several stages, from writing and pre-editing to editing, formatting, selecting ...