Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Importance of Editing

Self-publishing is huge right now. It's the new way and everyone is jumping on board.

The stigma of self-publishing is being shed.

In 2005, I started working for iUniverse. There was a big stigma about self-publishing and so, most people who know me have never realized this is one of the ways I earn my living.

Editing the work of self-published authors.

I started off reading manuscripts and writing editorial reports about which services I recommended.

After a while, I was promoted to Developmental Editor.

I've edited well over 600 books in my time.

The quality of work in the raw produced by self-published authors varies greatly. There were some absolutely amazing books and there were ones that weren't so good.

There were books that I felt should have been picked up by "real" publishers.

Other books were niche, so it was understandable why the author chose the self-published route.

A few years ago, several books that I myself had edited were featured in the Toronto Star although neither the authors nor the Star knew that I had anything at all do with the books. It was a piece on self-publishing and featured many iUniverse books.

iUniverse is also connected to Authorhouse, Authorsolutions, Westbow, Trafford and many others. I've worked in every imprint offered.

Every book needs a pair of outside eyes to look it over.

Every author, and I include myself in this, needs an editor.

Some books need guidance in the development phase.

All books need help with grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

iUniverse provides several levels of services including the actual publishing of the book.

Now there are publishing platforms that are easy to use and this means anyone can be a published author. The expense of a company such as iUniverse isn't as practical with the competition of Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, and Createspace.

If you're finalizing your book for Kindle or Smashwords, consider getting a professional editor to help you.

Remember, there are many levels of editing that all books that go through publishing houses receive.

Developmental Editing
Content Editing
Line Editing
Copy Editing

Don't skimp on this most important last step. Make sure your book is organized, that it contains the proper front and back matter in the correct order, that the pages are numbered, the chapters make sense, the voice and tenses are consistent and there's a plot.

Most published authors edit on the side. Whether you feel someone is a best seller or not, most published authors who edit have a keen eye for someone else's work. Some authors are better editors than authors. Some books are easier to edit than others.

However, no matter what, all books need to be edited.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Special on Tarot Readings Ends Soon!

Check out your FREE predictions on Youtube for Valentine's Day!

As part of the Valentine's Day fun, I'm offering a special for tarot readings.

For only TEN DOLLARS you can get a tarot reading.

Send $10 to sephgiron@rogers.com through paypal and ask your question.

You will recieve an answer by the next day!

Regular price is $25.

Special ends on January 30, 2013.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Honey BooBoo and Other ...thoughts...

I suppose it’s time for another Honey BooBoo moment.

Yes, I’ve been watching the show. Those who know me know that I never sit and watch TV, I’m always doing something like editing my Youtube videos when Honey BooBoo or Toddlers in Tiaras is on.

Well, now I see a trailer for UNCESORED HoneyBooboo.

How much more disgusting can this show get? Well, disgusting to a city girl like me who doesn’t like to get muddy or buggy or even sit on grass because I break out in hives. And bodily functions just aren’t ladylike, June! Different strokes for different folks for sure.

So what’s more disgusting than bobbing for pigs’ feet?

Mayonnaise fights?

Throwing up Swiss chard?

Eating snot?

Farting every minute?

Living with a chicken shitting everywhere?

Living with a pig shitting everywhere?

Not taking a shower in over 100 degree weather?

Scooping out pumpkin guts with your hands?

Getting your head stuck in a pumpkin and everyone abandons you?

Eating whatever the hell it is June mashes in a bowl with bare hands?

Having a forklift foot covered in gnats?

I don’t know, man. The Thanksgiving episode, I was ready to puke eleven minutes in!

So I guess I’ll be tuning in to see what could possibly be more disgusting than the horrors I’ve already witnessed…

As I’ve said before, this family has an incredible bond. There seems to be a lot of love there despite the barbs and different style of manners.

I totally give kudos to June for taking on the baby in stride, with not a second thought of where responsibility lies. She decided it’s hers and she owns it and I say she has more balls and strength than many people. We don’t even know who the dad is, I don’t think. I’m not sure, I’ve not seen every minute of every episode. She also was on Extreme Couponing and she’s good at that too. We originally met this family, and many more like them, on Toddlers in Tiaras which I’m watching right now as I write this. Of course, her stress is manifested in her weight but I think so much of it is that she’s never had a chance in life. She’s applied to all these shows in hopes of gaining something more to her life and her wish has come true!

This show could give her a chance to reinvent herself and empower her to provide even more for her kids.

However, amongst the subtitled jibberjabber and booisms, there is also a dark undertow of a family that could sure use any money TLC has to give them.

I’m not sure who works or goes to school except Sugar Bear. But there is reference to school and homework so the girls go. June has mentioned days off so I think she works too. June talks about how they all sleep all day.

They sure eat all day.

One of the girls suffered a detached retina when Sugar Bear tossed the keys at her. We all do that, it was a freak accident. But kind of bizarre when you consider all the crazy shit that family gets up to. Things such as being pulled behind a smoke belching tractor giving them cancer for life and kicking up gravel. Bobbing for raw pigs’ feet in 101 degree weather can’t be healthy. Teenage pregnancy, absent fathers. Lice. Gnats. Poverty. Filth. Never ending bowls of junk food. A train behind the house.

It’s a rough life for sure.

TLC should give these people a little new home in a decent neighbourhood. Even one of those fancy trailer houses. June can work and Sugar Bear can work or not, depending on that latest accident.

TLC is making big bucks from this family and it would be nice to see a few episodes of them moving to better digs and creating a new life. Alana can take dance classes and do better at pageants. June can keep couponing. The new baby has a hope in hell of a decent future.

A show likes Honey Booboo does make one think. Much like when I watch the shows about conjoined twins or the guy with a million tumours on his body. Or the morbidly obese people who often die at the end of the show. Reality TV is indeed our new freak show. But of course, “freak” isn’t a politically correct term anymore.
Neither are freak shows.

I’ve seen shows about all the “different” people who were put out of work when the freak shows were banned. What kind of lives do they have now? Many were happy to have a role in the world and a good paying job and home, a family.

I’m old enough to have seen “freaks” at the local fair in London, Ontario. Werewolf man(fake), the lady who had tubes for a head (fake - she's actually in that video up there too!), two headed calf, conjoined twin embryos, little people sitting in little stalls either glaring or watching TV and so on. I’ve been to Niagara Falls Ontario in the seventies when there were still real dungeons and torture chambers and freaks of nature exhibits. Some were living people such as the world’s tallest woman and others were stuffed such as several two-headed creatures. Those places were always crowded and thirty years later, still are. Although the exhibits are totally tame and lame now with mostly celebrities and movie stars, people still come to stare and marvel. The vibe emanating from the darkness of those who are different isn’t there anymore in the new world.

Certainly, Honey BooBoo and family aren’t “freaks” but they are different enough from most of us that it gives us a chance to see the world from a different perspective. Whether that’s good or bad, I’m not sure. But the fact is, these are real people and this is their world.

It’s kind of neat to peek into other people’s world now and again.
I have to admit that the TLC is having some fun with Season 2. The one dinner scene was epic.