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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicago Stories: West of Western coming . . .

After weeks of revising, editing, finding a formatter and cover designer, registering the copyright and generally tucking in bits and pieces, I seem to be at one of those hurry up and wait stages. Allen Chiu, my cover artist, tells me it's coming. Soon the cover goes to the Hitch, my formatter, and she works her magic, and there will be more decisions.

In the meantime, I cleaned the periwinkle out of the path around the house and replanted it in the raised beds where it can grow and flourish so I'll have nice big clumps to plant when--if ever--I get the rocks (left from a former owner'smisguided attempt at landscaping) and the plastic under them up, the soupy soil under them dried out and enriched with compost, and the whole border replanted. I've been contemplating this for soem five years. It's a heavy and nasty job. Maybe later this summer. After I get my new knees. In the meantime, the periwinkle can grow its little heart out.

Time to clean up the bits and pieces. Since I'm projecting Chicago Stories as a series, I'm making up a master book of character bios, so when a character reappears I'll remember the details. I have Seraphy and her family, Her boss Max, Sister Ann, Mischa the mysterious Ukrainian and Mario the gangleader with the MBA done.  Others exist in 1 paragraph notes only, just enough for West of Western. So now I'm going back and filling them out a bit to give me  more to use in the future. Also to appease my need to tidy up.
Or maybe to put off starting something new? 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicago, murder, illegal immigrants, gangs, Seraphy Pelligrini, architect

Today I found out about metadata, or how to make my blog more findable, thus the title of today's segment. Yesterday my formatter, Kimberley Hitchens,, sent a Production Checklist for Chicago Stories: West of Western.  Just a few items to get, like copyright registration and ISBN number. I've groused about the federal government for years (who wouldn't, when for most of us, our experience is mostly IRS), but the copyright office was fast and uber-helpful. And now I'm official. Chicago Stories: West of Western, copyright 2011 by Eileen Hamer. Has a lovely ring, no?

Between hunting for the exact twenty words to sum up an 87,000 word novel and the right images for the cover, it's been interesting. Fun to think about, hope I got it right.

Yesterday I posted a bit of the information I've been gathering about epublishing to a group of writiers to which I subscribe and started a firestorm. I had no idea the folks who have agents and editors and publishers, and those who work with/for them, were so extremely sensitive to the very thought of soeone epublishing their own work. Wow. Silly me, of course those who've negotiated the obstacle crap shoot called finding an agent are angry that someone might actually have the nerve not to hunt for one. they invested all that work, so of course agents are essential. The editors and agents and miscellaneous publishing flunkeys are worried about their jobs.

As they should be. But there will always be a need for good agents, and there will always be hardcopy books, just maybe not so many.  But now, with epublishing, they won't have the stranglehold they once had. There has always been self-publishing, and in spite of what you hear, it hasn't all been self-indulgent crap. Anyone who's done research in, say, art  history, has found at least a few beautiful privately-printed books issued by individuals and organizations essential. Mostly those are now in collections.  

So now it's not all about the means of production, it's the means of distribution that's the agent of change.