My family and I are spending a couple more days at the beach, so it seemed the perfect time to catch up on some of the Author Blog Challenge prompts.
Day 10 Prompt:
Have you participated in a critique groups? If so, how did it work out for you?
If not, why have you avoided them to this point?
No, I’ve never participated in a formal
critique group. I just recently joined one, but I haven’t submitted anything
yet. I am my own harshest critic, so I can certainly handle opinions. Since I’ve
moved so much, I’ve never tried to connect with an in-person writing/critique
group. I’d love to do so, but I also want to build a relationship of trust
before embarking on sharing thoughts on others’ writing. That’s why I haven’t
shared anything with my current group.
Day 11 Prompt:
Describe your editing process. Who edited your book? What was your relationship
with your editor like? What could each of you have done to improve it? What
might you do differently in the future?
My first book, co-authored with my mom, went through rounds and rounds of editing. First, Mom and I gave it several edits. I do freelance editing and have always had a knack for it, but it’s so hard to edit your own work. We then went to trusted friends, including two former English professors and a journalist, for another round. Finally, we hired a professional editor recommended by the small publishing house that
originally picked us up. Still, we ended up finding 32 errors (some the mistake
of the publisher, and some so small a lot of people would miss it) once our
book was published.
So that we could sleep at night, those darned errors bothered us both so much, we reissued the book sans those errors. I would never say error-free, because I’ve come to believe it’s impossible. I do always feel better when I read traditionally published books and find errors. And it’s very rare that I don’t find some.
Do differently? I’d hire separate editors for story and grammar/punctuation. Both are so needed. And now that I’ve built my writing community, I’d want several beta readers.
Day 12 Prompt:
Describe your process for choosing and designing your book cover. Who created
your cover? How did you find him/her? What do you love about your cover? What
might you do differently next time?
I am fortunate to have a creative family.
My sister, Dana Silverthorne Newbrough, designed our cover. She did an amazing
job, and I still love it. That being said, I would hire a professional cover
designer next time (and take the burden off my dear sister who had to try to
please both her older sister and mother).
My favorite part of the cover for Depression Cookies… the faded picture
from way back when of my sisters and me. Since I’m the oldest of three girls and
now have three girls of my own, it holds special meaning about the circle of
Although I must admit, I'm also pretty darn proud of the Silver medal on our book cover. Our novel was a Silver award winner in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards for Realistic Fiction.
Still, I'd love to know... just how important is a cover in what you decide to read? Has this importance changed since e-books have become so popular (less bookstore book browsing)?