Note to self; Try not to book training for two staff members during the same week, and then book out every other available hour for live editing. This week has been happening at super-warp speed, and it’s only Tuesday.
Last week I had Jo for daily one-to-one training sessions. This week our Laura took her place with Jo, booking in for the odd hour here and there. We’ve had at least two Live Editing Sessions with clients every day, and all the Marketing for Life packages, services orders, editing and everything else to fit in, too.
After finding a few hours for editing my own books the week before last and even getting as far as doing a cover reveal—we’ve ground to a halt. The caboose is in the sidings, the engine’s turned off, and its sad little face is haunting me with its plea to be finished and unleashed on the world. Maybe next week—eh? For those who missed it last week and as a reminder that you can buy it soon (maybe), here it is again. A Murmuration of Silence: Book 1: Travesty by Katherine Black.
We have two showcases in this blog. Adam Gaffen and Stephen Lee Glick.
Adam Gaffen is one of our recent clients and has had an author interview and Marketing for Life package. His writing, books, branding and diligence are admirable. Adam writes contemporary sci-fi to a high standard, most notably his Cassidy Chronicles series of books.
- Badass heroines? Check
- Witty Banter? Check
- Action-packed? Check
- Deep Questions? Check
- Get it ALL in The Artemis Wars Omnibus, the ONLY collection of ALL FIVE Cassidy Chronicles novels PLUS a bonus Novelette!
This week has been the week for book trailers. I don’t suppose it’s odd that things go in rolls. As people see something we’ve done for other clients, it sparks a wave of the same service orders. We have had six orders for book trailers this week, and the first one has gone out on preview to the client today. It’s great having so much work coming in. I love it. It’s going to keep both of our trailer designers busy.
Which leaves my editors, illustrators, logo designers, typesetters, and book cover creators sadly neglected and hammering the office door down for work. We are still guaranteeing release for pre-Christmas sales. However, the deadline of 1st December for the pre-Christmas turnaround is getting close. If anybody would like any of our services, please get in touch.
The first book trailer off the assembly line is for Amanda Sheridan. I think she likes it.
I think I’ve fallen in love with you and all your staff. Your family and your neighbours!
I’ve only watched it about 15 times already.
I love it so much. I’m crying happy tears. And I’ll probably sit here all day watching it until it’s seared into my eyeballs.
I am so excited about this. You folk are doing an excellent job.
I’ll throw the word out and recommend Best Book Editors to as many as I can.
Lok out for her book trailer in next week’s blog!
Getting emails like that makes my day. It validates what we’re doing to give the best service we can. We have our Jenna O’Malley booked in for her third trailer. Beatrice and John Methuselah are clients our designer brought in, and Amanda showed the low res and ropey preview to another member of the BBE group. On the back of that, we have two more trailers for one of the group’s authors, Onia. I can’t wait for them to see the finished high-res version.
I want to give a massive BBE shout out to our all-rounder Jo Hanna. She took over the Featured Author work on the BBE Facebook group this week and did an excellent job. The group is a small condiment to the rest of the business. Still, it’s surprisingly time-consuming, and without Jo Hanna’s help this week, I’d have drowned. I pulled two all-nighters to keep on top of things. Thank you, Jo, you are a joy to have on board, and I appreciate you.
This leads me straight into welcoming our newest member of staff, Laura. She has undergone a week’s intense training and is ready to take on the first edit of incoming commissions. Welcome Laura, it’s good to have you with us.
BBE has five editors. Myself—still too OCD to pass on second and third edits to the three sub-editors, but hoping to get to that point very soon to free me up for everything else. The second editor is my right-hand man. He does all my techie stuff and is an absolute emergency—brought in if the ship is sinking goto. He’s my personal editor and doesn’t want more work but will step in if bullied. I give him enough headaches with my rubbish. I’ve always said I’m a far better editor than I am a writer.
Our lead editor is Rebecka. She’s excellent. However, she has her own job and can only give us part-time. We are grateful for her work, and she has established herself as a great part of the BBE team by taking on our first edits.
Then we have our two rising star newbies, Jo Hanna and Laura. Both have had a week’s worth of live training and are ready to take on their first edits. I need work to give them, so please get those orders rolling in. Every commission gets 3 complete edits. The first is done by one of the sub-editors, and the second and third are done by myself.
Let’s talk about the wonderful storyteller that is Stephen Lee Glick. He came to us soon after the company opened with his coming-of-age horror story. It’s a tale of one family, two factions, and the four kids growing up together in the ’70s. The story is interwoven with a dark horror element when the narrator’s cousin displays some odd characteristics. The colour and description in the book are just stunning.
BBE didn’t have the pleasure of editing Steve’s first book Six Haunting Tales for him. However, I’m sure his way of weaving horror, intrigue and larger than life characters carries his establishing signature.
In Glick’s first book, you are given a front-row seat into the imagination and quirky sense of humor that he possesses. Glick presents six short stories straight from the pages of his notebook. From his chilling imagination to this, his first book, the stories will grab you and pull you into a mind that is either described as madness or genius. You decide. The stories include youthful stupidly and the horror of man’s best friend gone bad. Take your seat, and let’s begin.
Welcome the new kid on the block of horror.
I believe Steve has a third book in progress and we can’t wait to see what horror lurks between the pages.
As well as running BBE, I have a second job, as does Hubby. He’s nothing to do with BBE and works in a hotel. He’s a gigging musician, and I’m a karaoke host. By way of definition, one holds a levitated standard of snobbery and looks down on the other. The other has punters likely to take the guitars from the wall, pretend to play them and then fall off the stage. Guess which end of the stick I get to stir?
The two ventures rarely sit at the same table, but an innovative new, suck-it-and-see trial has brought us into the same venue at the same time. We are hosting an internet karaoke open mic night. If musicians want to play as standard open mic, they can. If they want to play their instruments and sing along to a karaoke backing track, they can, or, for the complete heathens like me, they can just hit the karaoke and do it the way they do in the rest of town. Like every other karaoke host, I have used Virtual DJ and had to go through the rigmarole of updating regularly.
However, during the lockdown, Hubby and I were lazy and couldn’t be bothered with it. We paid the monthly subscription for internet karaoke without adverts and had some fantastic nights at home.
I’ve only ever found two songs that I couldn’t get in the karaoke version in eighteen months;
Fairground Attraction’s Find My Love
And Carol Bayer Sager’s You’re Moving out Today
However, we’ve found an Ann-twanky 70’s, scratchy live performance rendition of the latter, and Miss Bayer Sager kindly lets me sing along with her. Cazzy-Bay-Sa and I are like that—crosses fingers to indicate intertwining.
The joy of the internet is that you aren’t restricted to the copy key versions available on Virtual DJ. Most songs can be found with lower or higher key, dropped key or acoustic arrangements. Hell, if you are that way inclined, you can find some with specific backing. Most songs have acoustic versions, and if you hunt about a bit, you can sometimes find just piano backing to full-on fifteen-piece orchestral accompaniment. I was proud of what we were doing when a local professional musician asked us to search for one of his own tracks –it was there, we had it. It was wall-to-wall bog-standard, My Way, I Will Survive karaoke for the rest of the night.
With both of us working all week and then gigging on Thursday, we were supposed to kick back and go out to play last night (Friday). One look at Mark’s face when he walked through the door told me we weren’t going anywhere. He has an hour commute to work every day and leaves the house at half seven. He was shattered—bless him. The reminders that we aren’t eighteen keep assaulting us.
I’m hoping Hubby’s going to stay in bed until lunchtime today so that I can catch up on all the stuff that didn’t get done through the week—okay optimistic—some of it. And then the top priority is Teagan. She needs a long run on the marshes at the back of Roan Head and then over the sand dunes—like bloody mountains—and a slip-slide onto the beach. If we’re still standing after that, we have Dave and Jacqueline coming tonight. We’ll have a couple of hours on the karaoke at home, some supper, then out on the town and back here to end the night—tomorrow, I take a short course of death.
We are a long time dead, my friends take life, grab it by the balls and live your best life.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.