Not All By Yourself

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Typing HandsWe often are sucked into the solitary nature of writing. It is not something which requires an audience to perform; the keyboard is not conducive to duets; and the fewer people to distract the better. Writing a book is normally just the author and the characters until it becomes an official manuscript.

When it comes time to submit the manuscript to outside eyes and hands, the solitary nature falls away from the work. In many instances, it becomes a one-on-one relationship between author and editor. Such is the life in traditional publishing.

When I asked Gail to write about her editing experience, she exposed the other, less frequent, instance: The building of a community. Here is what Gail had to say about her experience with Redmund Productions and the editing of both of her manuscripts.

In the beginning…

The Girl in the Iron LungIn the year 2000, I joined a local writer’s group with twelve members and began writing my memoir, The Girl in the Iron Lung. Five years later it was completed, and I began to send queries out. Ten versions of the query and over two hundred rejection letters later, I let my manuscript collect dust on a shelf, hoping one day something would change. It was eighteen years ago.

I found The M3 Blog in April of last year, and began following it and commenting daily. I came to know Red and the other visitors well and had found a home for myself in the Blogosphere, unlike any other place I had visited. I eagerly followed the myriad of links for information, inspiration and direct advice, which ultimately has changed my life and the way I see the world. I developed a deep respect and fondness for Red and sought her out. It was her integrity, character, devotion to people, and honesty, which were a magnet for me. I had never met anyone like her before.

Limited Time Offer!

In August, when she announced the opportunity for twenty books to place in her new business venture, Redmund Productions, I jumped. I had no second thoughts, doubts or anxiety about having my manuscript in her capable hands. I simply asked her if she had room for my book and also asked if she had room for a book of poetry. She answered yes to both questions. I had published some of my poetry in independent journals and the experience wasn’t satisfactory for me. It was piecemeal, and I had stopped sending poetry out as a result. I sent her my flawed and poorly formatted manuscripts. My adrenaline rushed. I cried. I laughed. I thanked her profusely. I had a lot of trouble sleeping for several weeks after that.

Redmund ProductionsIn her original post, and in subsequent ones, she stressed the community aspect of publication through Redmund. I didn’t know the nature of the community at that time, but I was happy to find any and all ways to contribute to that community as much as possible to see my books published. The editing, layout, production and creation of the business with endless hours of dedication, successes and setbacks were the commitment Red had taken on for me. No one would or has ever made that kind of commitment to my work. She wanted to create the best books possible for all of the authors. She is an author’s publisher. I know I flooded her inbox in my eagerness, and at all times she was professional, helpful, and open to my concerns.

Assignments

Then the forum opened, and Red posted tasks for the authors to work on together. The place exploded with enthusiasm from all of us to offer up our individual talents to reach a common goal. We were writers, Beta readers, artists, videographers, artistic critics and friends. With Red’s guidance and constant encouragement, we worked hard and often long hours knowing whatever we were doing was dwarfed by the responsibility she had taken on and was working with on her end with editors, layout, production, details we’ll never know about and creation of a meteor of a publishing business.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnyUCI2fBkE]

Through Beta reading, I learned more about my fellow authors, and they in turn about me. I cherished the feedback I received from them about my books, and it was key to transforming my books into cohesive wholes, rather than parts put together. The reading I did for others taught me valuable life lessons, and I didn’t take them lightly or without introspection. Not only were my books transformed, but I was, too.

Different

I worked on videos, and the pace was intense, but the creativity of combined efforts of the artists, Red and myself to produce quality videos for pre-release was exhilarating work and I relished it. I had set the bar high for myself and stretched my abilities in ways I never had before. I am so glad to have had that opportunity.

TROAF Bleeding HeartI received my proofs, and the covers came along with them, created by one of the artists for me. They were priceless to me, and I am proud to have them as the centerpiece of my work. As for the proofs, I received several of them from Red, all in various stages of completion asking me for approval and edits and feedback. I was in control of the creation of my books, from the first words typed in in 2000 to the completed volumes they are today.

I want to thank Red for creating Redmund Productions and for accepting and giving me a chance at publication of my books. I also want to thank Red and the community for holding my hand, for believing in me until I believed in myself, and for the combined efforts that truly make my words a work of art.

Back to you, Red…

To say this guest post shocked me would be my usual understated self. I set out to make Redmund Productions be a whole new breed of animal. Reviews like this one let me know I am on the right track.

Thank you, Gail.


Do you have a manuscript languishing behind rejection letters? Not sure you want to take on the quagmire of self-publishing? How important is it to have help available when help knows the answers to the questions you have not yet imagined?

© Red Dwyer 2013
Original review © Gail Thornton.
Bleeding Heart © Liz Campbell.
Trailer for The Girl in the Iron Lung
© Redmund Productions.
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25 Comments

  1. Go Gail!!!
    Bearman recently posted..How to Operate a Dual Flush ToiletMy Profile

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  2. While I do not know Gail, I do know Red. Red’s dedication to writing and getting authors to stand up for themselves is wonderful. Congrats ladies and wishing you both much success xx
    Christy Birmingham recently posted..When New Beginnings BeginMy Profile

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  3. We could not have said it better, Gail! Thanks!
    Best wishes with both of your books!
    Btw, Red, Gail was right on, particularly when she said you’re “an author’s publisher.”
    Well done!
    R.
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Real Hockey or Corporate NHLMy Profile

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  4. CHEERS!!! Cheers to you, Gail, for articulating quite nicely what that experience was like for more than just you, methinks. For me too, at least. Cheers to you Red, for being the dynamic driving force behinf RP, now open to the public in all its glory!!!
    I, like Gail, experienced the drive, the integrity and the attention to (obsession with) details Red has proven to have tenfold. And she IS kind and honest, too!!
    Gail, I am proud to have been one of your Beta readers – your book was an absolute pleasure to read and review! And an honor that you trusted your long ago conceived and now ready for delivery creation to me and others. I wish you all the success possible with both your current books, and any others that are still WIP’s!
    I can say this: if Red will have me, I’d love to be a beta reader for life!!!
    Excellent post, Gail!!!
    many many hugs to the both of you…

    🙂
    janet
    BuddhaKat recently posted..The Fractalization of FridayMy Profile

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  5. Many hugs to you, Janet! I was honored to have you read my book and thank you so much for the wonderful reviews!
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Author Interview with Red Dwyer – The Regret of a FlowerMy Profile

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  6. It’s great that you were able to take advantage of the opportunity Red presented and you were finally able to get your book published. It sounds as if your story is quite inspirational.
    Binky recently posted..The Advancement of CivilizationMy Profile

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  7. Thanks to Red I too now have two published books and people have even started buying them! 🙂

    Early days I know, but encouraging! 🙂

    I pray we are all successful!!! 🙂

    Love and hugs always!

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Friday – The snow storm that wasn’t.My Profile

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  8. Prenin, Love and Hugs to you, too! And congrats on your publication and sales. It’s been a wonderful experience getting to know you. <3
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Author Interview with Red Dwyer – The Regret of a FlowerMy Profile

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  9. What a wonderful review of Red’s integrity, dedication and commitment, Gail, and although we haven’t met, I’m very happy that you found flawless help in Red and her abilities. I wish you all the best! And sending hugs to you both for fulfilling accomplishments! I’m working on one goal now, too, and I hope I make it to the finish line! 🙂
    Lauren xo
    LScott recently posted..Smile 🙂 (re-post)My Profile

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