10 June 2011

Website, Editing, and revisit of Pogoplug

First in today's post I wanted to direct you to the website's new URL: http://www.renegadedatacore.com.
That's right, I've purchased the domain name and now the website is officially standing on its own. Google Sites (https://sites.google.com/) makes it very easy to redirect your DNS to your Google Site. In fact, in the "Manage Site" section of your Google Site there are instructions on how to redirect. My DNS provider, 1and1 (http://www.1and1.com/), is very user friendly, and cheap ($5 for the first year) and, once I had purchased the DNS and received my customer ID (takes anywhere from 15 - 24 hours after sign-up and purchase), it took me a few minutes to put in all the information to redirect the DNS to my site :). This is very cool stuff, and so easy for people like me who are still trying to wrap their heads around the more advanced website stuff. (And I know, all of you veteran programmers and website owners/designers are probably thinking, "Wow." Trust me, I know I'm a bit behind the power curve, but I'm a faster learner)

Second, I wanted to give a little spiel about editing your manuscript.
So you have your completed manuscript. 80,000+ words, and months of blood, sweat, and tears, and your first novel is done. Congratulations! :) Seriously, it takes a LOT of dedication and discipline to finish that manuscript.
My first suggestion: put it away! That's right. Once you type "THE END", save your word document and don't open it for the next 7-14 days.
Next: Purchase the book Self-Editing For Fiction Writers: How To Edit Yourself Into Print (I got the Kindle edition). In the eleven chapters the writers, Renni Browne and Dave King, show fiction writers how to self-edit their work and sharpen it to make it the manuscript it SHOULD be.
Now I know what you're saying: "My book is a masterpiece! I should just publish it now!"
Don't. Please don't. I thought the same thing at first. After reading this book, and going through Der Sternvolker (my first finished book) I realized I had A LOT of work ahead of me (hence the delayed release date...). There are so many mistakes we as novice writers make in our first manuscript, and even veteran writers make, that we need to take the time to carefully self-edit ourselves, especially if you are looking to self-publish like I am.
Another thought that may come to your mind: "Oh, I'll get a freelance editor to do it."
This is good, in theory. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of excellent freelance editors out there. But they cost money. A LOT of money. I made the mistake of not evaluating my financial situation before entering into a contract with a freelance editor. She wasn't trying to cheat me out of my money, she was actually one of the best in her field and was dedicated to helping me improve my manuscript to publishing quality. But her cost was over $2,000. Once I realized I couldn't support that cost, even over several installments, I had to duck out of the contract, and I was out the $870 I had already paid her.
Lesson learned: GO THE CHEAP ROUT FIRST.  Self-Editing For Fiction Writers: How To Edit Yourself Into Print is $8.32 on Amazon ($9.99 for the Kindle edition...which seems backwards, but oh well). That small cost is much better to start with than the hundreds or thousands a freelance editor costs.
Now if you have that kind of money, and it is financially viable for you to purchase the services of a freelance editor, more power to you. I'm just suggesting you look at the lower cost option, first. This is especially good for those who are open to criticism and can honestly and dispassionately evaluate themselves without their ego getting in the way.

Finally, I want to replug a great little device I discovered several months ago: the Pogoplug. This little device is an external hard drive that allows you to access and share your personal content wherever you have an internet connection. There are no size limits, and no subscription fees. When I first blogged about Pogoplug the price of the device was set at $139. Now it's $99. Ofcourse, that's more expensive than Dropbox, but with unlimited size, compared to Dropbox's 2GB, it pays for itself over time. Not that I'm knocking Dropbox - I have an account with them I use regularly - but Pogoplug  is clearly much more powerful. I guess it really depends on what your needs are. For me Dropbox is just fine - and it's FREE (which is huge for me right now as money is a bit tight). But if you're looking for a higher end, more powerful device for much larger files, and you have a hundred bucks available in your budget, then I suggest Pogoplug.

Before I go, I want you all to know that I WILL have another short story up soon. I need to edit it (using the lessons taught in Self-Editing For Fiction Writers: How To Edit Yourself Into Print), and then it will be available in the FREE STUFF section of the RENEGADE DATA CORE website.

Until next time. . .

05 June 2011