Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I'm Interviewed by indieBRAG . . . again!


I am so excited to share this interview! The B.R.A.G. Medallion is a hallmark of quality in self-published books, and several of my awesome clients have been awarded this honor. IndieBRAG interviewed me earlier this year about cover design, and I was thrilled to be invited back to talk about editing. I'm sharing a handful of questions here, but there are many more, and I'd love for you to head on over to the indieBRAG blog and check it out!

How did you get into editing?

I was having a bit of a professional crisis in the corporate world, unsatisfied with my job, but in a down economy, there were not a lot of appealing options available. So I asked myself: If you could do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? And I said: Well, I want to read books all day, but who’s gonna pay me to do that? At that point, I had an established book review blog and a growing network of readers and writers. So I started doing a little research and discovered there was a market for editors in the booming business of self-publishing. But not coming from a publishing background, I didn’t have the credentials to properly get started, so I enrolled in the Copyediting Certificate Program at the University of California San Diego and spent the next eighteen months getting valuable, intensive training in the art of copyediting. And as a book reviewer, I felt I had a pretty good eye for determining what did and did not work in the books I read, so I decided to offer developmental editing as well. I have been so very fortunate in that I was well received from the very beginning and had a great network of friends in the industry to refer clients to me. I have been editing full-time since 2011.

What is the importance of writers having their work edited?

If a writer is serious about their craft and wants to have a long and successful career in publishing, it’s so important to enlist the help of professionals. If you’re going to query agents and publishers in the hopes of a traditional publishing contract, you have to do everything in your power to stand out against the competition, and that often means getting a lot of feedback before you’re ready to hit the send button with that final draft. A professional editor can offer objective advice based on years of experience and market knowledge that critique partners often can’t provide on their own. And if you’re self-publishing, you owe it to your readers to provide them with the best possible reading experience. I can’t speak for all readers, but I know when I’ve purchased a book only to discover that it’s full of errors that could easily have been corrected in a copyedit, I feel like that author was just after my money and not invested in establishing a lasting relationship with me as a fan of their books. In self-publishing, that old adage has never been more true—you only get one chance to make a first impression.

What are your goals as an editor?

My goal is always to help an author put out the best book they possibly can and to support them however I can, whether they’re self-publishing or seeking traditional publication.

Click here to read the full interview!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Cover Design: Legacy Redeemed

Please join me in congratulating Aubrey Grayson on the publication of her debut historical romance, Legacy Redeemed! I had the pleasure of helping Aubrey design the cover. Here's the book description:

Susannah Blackmon is desperate when she learns her fiancĂ© jilted her and her dowry is gone. Her guardian devises a nefarious scheme to ensnare Susannah in an unsavory life, and she knows she must flee. But to where? When she meets a mysterious stranger at a masquerade ball, he inadvertently directs her to his family’s vicar, and she heads to the seacoast to escape the worst. But drat it all—her mystery counselor invades her newfound space, and she risks exposure. Will she ever redeem the life her parents had hoped for her?

Nick Daventry is a widower, with a young son, whose family is encouraging him to remarry. But Nick never expects to find love again. When he discovers his inheritance is in jeopardy thanks to a crazy provision in his grandfather’s will, he puts everything he has into saving it. He returns to his coastal home, only to encounter a deceiver in the form of a devilishly beautiful woman he’d traveled all the way from London to escape. But is she the key to redeeming what is lost?

Legacy Redeemed is available now in ebook and print format on Amazon! Add it to to your shelves on Goodreads, and visit Aubrey on Facebook.

Need a cover designer?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Monday, November 28, 2016

New Book Release: Blood Ties

Please join me in congratulating Kelly Clayton on the publication of the second novel in the Jack Le Claire Mystery Series, Blood Ties! I had the pleasure of working with Kelly on a developmental edit and a copyedit of this romantic suspense story set on the Channel Island of Jersey, which Kelly has called home for most of her life. Here's the book description:

Obsession, secrets, desire . . . and murder.

Ana Zielinska has relocated to the island of Jersey in search of her late mother’s family, but not everyone is welcoming. She’s stuck living in low-level accommodation and her best friend has left without a backward glance.

DCI Jack Le Claire is juggling several cases and trying to get his personal life back on track while attempting to keep his past at bay. Le Claire’s investigations take him from high-society parties to the seedier, and decidedly steamier, side of island life.

A tragic event further isolates Ana from her relatives and introduces her to a man from a very different world. It soon becomes apparent that someone is out to harm Ana. Will they succeed?

Circumstances take Le Claire to his old hunting ground in London where past and present collide to threaten his marriage, his reputation and Ana’s life.

Can he save all three?

Blood Ties is available now in Kindle format on Amazon and Amazon UK. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, visit Kelly's website for the scoop on her upcoming releases and writing and publishing tips, and check out her feature on ITV!

And here's what Kelly had to say about working with me:

This is the second published book we've worked on, and I couldn't imagine working with anyone else. Jenny puts her heart and soul into helping you make your book the very best it can be. I truly value how Jenny's attention to detail and maintaining sight of the bigger picture develops, refines and enhances my work. I feel very blessed to have Jenny in my life.

Isn't she sweet?

Need some help with your WIP?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Friday, November 11, 2016

I'm Interviewed in the HNS Chesapeake Bay Area Chapter Newsletter!

Each month my local Historical Novel Society chapter features interviews with two members to help us get to know each other. This month, myself and Susan Higginbotham are featured. I'm talking about my presentations at next year's conference with a fun bonus question about a deserted island and the hunky men from history I wouldn't mind being stranded with. Check it out!

What will you be talking about at the conference?

I will be part of two panels. On the first, GOING INDIE: A Brief Guide to Self-Publishing, I'll be one of four panelists, and I'll be talking about the importance of book covers, the elements of a good historical fiction cover, and tips for creating your own or working with a designer. And on the second, BOOK REVIEWERS TELL ALL: Advice for Authors & Readers, I will be joined by three fabulous fellow historical fiction reviewers, and I'll be talking about the wonderful world of book blogging, the elements of a good review, where reviews are posted, the ethics of reviewing and soliciting reviews both as a reader and an author, how to approach negative reviews, and how to evaluate reputable review sites and reviewing-related services.

What inspired you to come up with this topic?

I was invited to participate in the Going Indie panel, but I did create the concept for Book Reviewers Tell All, and my three co-panelists helped me put it together. Reviews are so important for a book's success, yet it can be a daunting task to tackle for many authors, and it's easy to turn off potential reviewers, so I wanted to help authors learn the right way to approach them. I also wanted to give people a chance to meet the people behind the book blogs and learn more about becoming a reviewer and joining the reading community.

What other panels or events are you looking forward to seeing at the conference?

There are so many great presentations to choose from this year! As registration assistant and volunteer coordinator, I don't know how much time I'm going to have to actually sit in on some of them, and there's no way I'll be able to see all of the ones that interest me, but if I can, I'm going to do my best to get to ONCE UPON A TIME: Drawing on Myth, Magic, and Fairy Tales in Historical Fiction, MIXING IT UP: Historical Writing in Multiple Genres, STATE OF THE STATE OF HISTORICAL FICTION, TWO FOR ONE: Weaving the Twin-Stranded Storyline, and WHAT HISTORICAL NOVELISTS CAN LEARN FROM ROMANCE WRITERS. And I immediately signed up for HOOCH THROUGH HISTORY. That is going to be fun!

Want to find out which three historical figures
I'm taking with me to a deserted island?

Join us in Portland next June for the
Historical Novel Society Conference!

Volunteers make the conference run and YOU can make a difference! Volunteering is a great way to get involved behind the scenes, meet some of the special guests, and make new friends in the historical fiction community. Bring your time and talents and help with registration, the Blue Pencil Café, agent and editor pitches, the costume contest, and more.
Contact me for more information!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Book Release: A Song of War

Please join me in congratulating Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield on the publication of A Song of War: A Novel of Troy! This is the third fantastic collaboration on a novel in parts by the H-Team, and my second time offering them some copyediting assistance. It is such an honor to be entrusted by these amazing authors whom I admire so much. (Pick up this book along with A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii and A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion. You won't be disappointed!) Here's the book description:

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy's gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.

A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.

A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.

A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.

A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.

A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.

A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.

A goddess' son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood.

Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age? 

A Song of War is available now in ebook and print editions on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, visit the H-Team's Facebook page, and check out the blog tour. I'll have an interview with the authors on my blog, Let Them Read Books, on November 8th.

Need an editor?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Best I've Come Across Round-up

In a perfect world, this blog would be full of writing and editing tips, research assistance, and all other kinds of good stuff you'd expect an editor to come up with. But the truth is, between editing and cover design gigs and maintaining my first love, my book review blog, I'm just too busy to devote as much time as I'd like to this blog. But I am pretty good at finding resources, tips, and fun stuff and passing them along to my followers on Twitter and Facebook. So I thought I'd compile the best of what I come across on the world wide web every once in a while in a recap post for this blog. Here's the latest:

The Anatomy of a Bestseller

5 Steps to Surviving Your Copyedit

Stranger-Than-Fiction Writing Habits of 18 Famous Writers

How Indie Authors Can Price Books for the Highest Success

33 Common Words & Phrases You Might Be Using Incorrectly

Five Social Media Engagement Tips for Writers

8 Tips on Writing Dual-Time Mysteries

5 Moral Dilemmas That Make Characters (& Stories) Better

Monday, October 10, 2016

New Book Release: The Moon-Eyed Ones

Please join me in congratulating Julie K. Johnson on the publication of her debut historical fiction novel, The Moon-Eyed Ones! I had the privilege of offering Julie some assistance with developmental editing and copyediting, and I designed the cover for this moving coming-of-age story set during a tumultuous time in Southern Appalachia. Here's the book description:

Deep in the mountain forests of Southern Appalachia lives a mysterious group of mixed race and unknown origins. While myths and folklore abound, they are labeled pejoratively with one word: Melungeons.

Fifteen-year-old Silas Vanover is thrilled at the chance to make a life for himself as a trader among the white settlers. But his optimism is crushed by his family’s horror stories of lynchings, excommunication, and worse. Determined to prove them wrong, Silas ventures down from his isolated colony to trade in the valley below, attempting to pass himself off as a member of an Indian tribe. There he meets Amadahy Kingfisher, a Cherokee girl who notices how out of place he is in town but still extends kindness and curiosity toward him. The two make a deal to befriend one another for their own protection among the hostile European frontiersmen, and their encounter makes Silas hopeful that his people’s haunted memories are scarred legends of the past.

But he is mistaken. After being wrongfully accused of a crime by the white settlers, a brutal raid on his people’s beloved mountain enclave destroys everything Silas holds dear. Now he must fight for his home, his identity, and his place among the people of East Tennessee, forming alliances with the white settlers and the remaining Cherokees of the area while trying to stay true to his own people. In the end, Silas must decide where his heart and loyalties lie as the white government sets into motion what will later be known as The Trail of Tears.

The Moon-Eyed Ones is available now in ebook and print format on Amazon. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads and check out Julie's website to read the first three chapters and learn more about the book!

Need an editor or cover designer?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Cover Design: Christmas in America

Please join me in congratulating Holly Bush, Piper Huguley, Joanna Shupe, and Donna Thorland on the publication of their brand new historical romance anthology, Christmas in America! I had the honor of designing the collection's cover. Here's the book description:

The celebration of Christmas is a magical time for love. A new anthology filled with America's rich history and Christmas traditions from four of your favorite historical romance authors. 

“Christmas at Mount Holly” by Donna Thorland 

The Jerseys, December 23rd, 1776 - The American Revolution is on the brink of total collapse. The Rebels have lost New York, the Continental Army has endured a disastrous retreat through New Jersey, and Washington is about to lose what remains when enlistments expire on New Year’s Eve. The cause needs a miracle, but Christmas is a time for wonders: as Angela Ferrers—the woman known to history as the Widow of Mount Holly—will discover when she sets a honey trap for Hessian Colonel Count Carl Emil Urich von Donop, only to find herself ensnared in mutual attraction. 

“Miracle on Ladies’ Mile” by Joanna Shupe 

New York, 1895 - After losing his beloved wife, department store owner Alexander Armstrong seems incapable of anything other than work, despite his ache to be a better father to his daughter. When the pair encounters Grace, a charming shop girl designing the store’s Christmas window displays, he struggles to accept that perhaps miracles do happen in the most unlikely of places… 

“The Cowboy’s Christmas” by Piper Huguley 

Smithson, Oklahoma Territory, 1893 - Postponing her missionary trip to Africa, apprentice teacher Serena Newcomb must travel west to face the unrequited love of her past -- rebel cowboy Baxter Smithson. Banished from his Georgia home for the crime of falling in love with the wrong woman, Baxter is surprised that his Christmas gift is a grown-up Serena, ready to confront him for ignoring his duty and to show him that the true meaning of Christmas is love.