Sunday, January 13, 2013

Miles to go and decisions to be made

After getting such excellent editing from Jennifer Silva Redmond, I sent Snoopy's book out to three beta readers. For folks who don't know the term, a beta reader is someone you trust to read your unpublished manuscript and give you constructive feedback. You can bribe them with dinners, drinks, chocolate, but most people just want a chance to read your stuff and give you an honest opinion.

I chose two horse-savvy people, and one who doesn't know a thing about the horse world but is a savvy business woman and author. I have comments back from one person already and am waiting for the other two.

This week, I have high hopes for amazing, because my friend Lynne Glazer is coming out to take photos of Snoopy to be used for the cover. Lynne is a photographer-extraordinaire and has some of the most beautiful liberty shots I've ever seen. Liberty shots are photos of horses without saddle, bridle, rider, etc. Visit her website if you don't believe me.

Snoopy at liberty. Lynne would make it prettier.

In the meantime, I'm faced with a dilemma: the spelling of "longe." If you work horses, you know the term. It means that you work them on a long line (or free, in a round pen). It's pronounced "lunge." Thus far, my editor had no problem with the terms, "longe, longed, longeing." My beta reader, although she knows the term well, kept stumbling over the word in print.

So, is it longe or lunge? If I spell it "lunge" perhaps more readers will understand, but horse people will accuse me of not knowing the proper word. If I spell it "longe" perhaps some readers will stop at the word each time and look at it askew - even horse people. Am I damned if I do and damned if I don't?

My editor and I spoke briefly about whether I would pursue a contract with this book or self-publish it. My first reaction was that I have such a clear vision for this book, I don't know how I could turn it over to someone else's hands. I know what I want for the title and the cover and the people I want to contact for marketing and publicity.

What a publisher might be able to do for me is one thing I cannot afford to do, at least not at the moment: I'd like the book to be available in hardcover. I think it's that kind of book. But that's one tick on the traditional route's side, with about a dozen ticks on the self-publishing side.

I'll get by with Snoopy in paperback and e-book.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that we get some good photos this Wednesday!

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