I know it is a bold statement to make. Text-to-speech is good for a great many things, but one I never thought to use it for came to me last night. Proofreading.
Sounds so simple that I should have thought of it already? Why try to re-read your manuscript out loud when something can do it for you. Now you can listen to what you wrote while running errands or the dishes (if they piled up while writing and trust me they do). Sometimes a friend will let you know how your book is, but that takes time away from them and they sometimes don’t always read quickly. I am not saying a fresh perspective on what you wrote isn’t worth the time; however, hearing what you wrote first might save your friend’s writing hand from cramping after noting all the incorrect uses of grammar.
Some places say to use a text-to-speech for creatingaudio books. For me it sounds too monotone to be enjoyed properly. Better to have a real voice create the emotional points and hear a flat voice try to express excitement. If nothing else please consider using one of the many text-to-speech programs out there being offered for free. It will save you endless hours of editing the manuscript or help you simplify a sentence.
PPW Executive Director
Kirt Hickman was born in 1966 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He earned a
Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1989 and a Master's degree in
opto-electronics in 1991, both from the University of New Mexico. Since then,
he has worked in research and manufacturing fields related to high-energy
lasers, microelectronics, and micro-machines, fields that he leverages to
enrich his science fiction novels, Worlds Asunder and Venus Rain.
Kirt has also written the children’s picture book I Will Eat Anything and
the fantasy trilogy The Age of Prophecy (forthcoming).
Kirt teaches writing, self-editing and marketing classes through SouthWest
Writers and UNM Continuing Education. He has also contributed a monthly,
full-page column titled "Revising Fiction’ to the SouthWest Sage. His
methodical, step-by-step approach to self-editing has helped many make sense of
the mass of advice available to the novice writer. He shares his guidance on
writing and revising in his comprehensive and practical self-editing guide
Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness.
With all the books, talks, classes, and workshops available on writing and
self-editing, a writer can quickly become overwhelmed by advice. In every
work of fiction, there’s so much to be concerned about: plot,
characterization, scene structure, setting, backstory, dialogue, and pacing. You must
maintain suspense, portray your characters’ emotions, show events rather than
tell about them, make effective use of comparisons, and achieve
consistency of style and voice. You must avoid passive voice, information dumps,
repeated information, digressions, clichés, and unnecessary words and phrases.
Finally, you must mind the details of grammar, spelling, word usage,
punctuation, and format.
How do you catch it all? How do you know when you've got it right? How do
you even know where to start? In this workshop, Kirt Hickman will break
down this exhaustive list of topics into a practical approach to self-editing
that covers everything from planning your novel, to first draft, through
self-editing, to final, publication-quality manuscript.
Registration opens at 8am, at which time Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
will serve a continental breakfast. We will break around noon for a buffet
lunch, again provided by RMFW. The workshop will end at approximately 4pm.
As a new addition this year, a panel of published authors will be
available for one-on-one session for attendees to ask industry related questions or
request a critique of up to two pages of their writing. RMFW’s own Carol
Berg, Jeanne Stein and Betsy Dornbusch will sit on the panel. The author
appointments will be set up much like a pitch appointment allowing attendees
10 minutes with the author.
Who Else! Books will be on site selling our presenter’s and authors’
Cost for this workshop is:
Early registration (before April 30th) - $70
After April 30th - $85
At the door - $95 (attendance limited to 75)
Please see Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers website (rmfw.org) for
registration information and payment options. For more information email Vicki Law
at firstname.lastname@example.org_ (mailto:email@example.com)
or call 970-497-6452.
How do I put into words what it meant to fulfill my first signed contract for a book signing. The day started by me gathering up all the supplies for the trip. Books, pens, bag to carry supplies into the store, and an array of plate stands to set my book up on.
After that, I still had to get myself ready mentally and physically for the main event. Once prepared for my little adventure there was still an hour drive before setting foot on the holy ground - a major book retailer's carpet.
As I made my way through the doors I thought trumpets sounded in the distance of my arrival, but of course that was the theme music playing in my head. The other authors had shown up earlier than I had with half of them all ready, books erect in little stands of their own. I should have gotten there a little sooner to mingle amongst the gathered writing gods. Yes, I said gods. Isn't an author considered a god when the words they write down create a whole new world? Well, that's my thought and I'm sticking to it.
The group was a diverse one with all of literature's genres crammed onto tables in the shape of a horseshoe. People came in and browsed our wares, picked up a business card or flyer, skimmed one of the books, and some even walked away with said book in hand. Two hours of chatting up the authors on either side of me and talking at length about my novel to prospective customers made the time fly.
In the end, we all had a good time, sharing tips each author learned in preparing and selling their manuscripts. Valuable things were taken home that day. Our books in customers hands for one, and information shared between like minded people. May they all pay tribute to the literary gods for many more book signings and prosperous days to come.
I hope to join the ranks of these other indie start-ups sharing their individual projects collectively through a site called KickStarter. This website offers a chance to make dreams come true for those that have a vision. To share what my vision is visit my Temperature Series Project for more information.
I worked hard to self publish my first novel and promote it. I used every bit of cash I had (even scrounged between the cushions) to get the money up without asking a soul to help. Now I hope to find generous people out in the world to support me in my endeavors this time.
Check out my project, moreover, please take a look at some of the other up-and-coming talent who’ve posted their wares for all to see. KickStarter is trying to help us all and I am thankful for their own vision to help others fulfill a dream. If my goal isn’t reached I will not see a dime. That is the long and short of it for any of us trying to find backers. I am willing to drop my standards of getting a better novel out than my last one (mainly because I could only afford one copyediting service) if I can’t pull off this project.
I am not a pessimist in thinking I might not get the funds to produce a second published novel – I just have a backup plan if this doesn’t pan out.
As far as self publishing goes, I will choose a different publisher with e-book services and possibly audio book formats. My first self publisher, CreateSpace, is a good company to go through and have nothing to complain about. I would like more for my money though. Lightning Source has a list of self publishers to consider if you are in the market to publish your own manuscript. Beyond that, I have nothing to offer when it comes to marketing anything. Best of luck to anyone reading this.
About the Author
Adam Santo is a SciFi/Fantasy writer who enjoys the quiet moments to write stories. His debut novel, Temperature: Dead and Rising, took the world for a ride they would soon not forget. Santo began plotting out the second paperback novel, Temperature: Bitter Cold, before the ink dried on his first book. Santo continues to write nonstop because he knows there is always a story waiting to get out.