December 30, 2012

Cedar Street Editions

One of my projects this year was to continue to learn more about the art and science of e-publishing, and what better way than to set up a new publishing company and turn some of my out-of-print mystery titles into e-books?

 The company is Cedar Street Editions and my first title, recently released, is Gaudí Afternoon, originally published in 1990, under the name Barbara Wilson.

Even though I have a background in publishing and had done one e-book before––An Editor's Guide to Working with Authors––I needed professional help, especially with an older novel that only existed electronically on a floppy disk somewhere in a box in the garage (or a landfill). I found such help with the wonderful folks at eBook Architects. The first thing that appealed to me was their no-hype website with good information. I was impressed too that they made of a point of being committed to quality. I sent them a copy of Gaudí Afternoon. There’s a more recent edition with Judy Davis looking perplexed on the cover (from the movie that was made of the book), but I wanted to use the original, with the bright and lively design by Clare Conrad.
In about a month I got back from eBook Architects a Word document scanned from the original pages for proofreading. There were a few of my errors (“desiccated” is now spelled correctly if anyone is interested), and a few of theirs in formatting italics. While waiting for the scanned document I bought ten ISBNs, since I plan to go on with this venture, and set up a website for Cedar Street Editions. Once I sent the corrected copy back, it was only about a week before I received the digital files, formatted in versions for Kindle (mobi) Nook (e-pub) and a variation of the e-pub files for Google. I knew a bit about this from my first book and already had vendor accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There were again a couple of glitches when I uploaded the files to the devices; eBook Architects took care of them immediately.
I uploaded the new files, described the book, and filled in some information. And, amazingly, Gaudí Afternoon was available for purchase online. I was thrilled at how straightforward and relatively easy the whole process was. As most writers know, it’s hard to get out-of-print books re-published and, although there are plenty of my mysteries floating around online and in second-hand stores, there’s no income for me in that. Meanwhile Google has been and is planning to scan as many books as it can. They had already scanned Gaudí Afternoon, according to the Authors Guild, which has been trying to inform and protect its members (and to come to an agreement with Google) for quite a long time. Since I’m interested in publishing, in having my books available, and in making a bit of money from my labor, e-publishing strikes me as a good solution.
As an editor I now also feel I have a better handle on how e-publishing works—something that can only help when advising other authors how best to proceed through the thickets of information about self-publishing options.

~Barbara Sjoholm

"Join globetrotting Spanish translator and amateur detective Cassandra Reilly in this high-spirited comic thriller set in Barcelona. While translating a magic realism novel about the search for a lost mother, Cassandra gets a call in London from femme fatale Frankie Stevens. Frankie's husband Ben has vanished without a trace, but Frankie thinks he's in Barcelona--and she wants Cassandra Reilly to find him. The first of the Cassandra Reilly mysteries."

Winner of a British Crime Writers’ Award for Best Mystery Based in Europe

Winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery

December 3, 2012

Introduction to Developmental Editing January 2013

Announcing the next upcoming online class, Introduction to Developmental Editing of Fiction and Creative Nonfiction 
January 9 – February 27, 2013

This in-depth introductory 8-week course focuses on learning to analyze the structure of book-length manuscripts and to communicate your analysis to the author. Weekly online lectures address elements of fiction and memoir that overlap: Theme, storyline, characters, scene and summary, dialog, and narrative shape. Weekly written assignments build on the lectures. Participants will read two published or self-published works of fiction and narrative nonfiction (suggested titles provided on request) and practice looking at them from a variety of angles, taking notes in a systematic fashion, and crafting sections of an editorial letter that deals with the big picture.

Here’s what an editor from the most recent Introduction class told me, “Thanks for a great class, Barbara.This was a really clear example of getting as much out of the class as I put into it! Once I dug into each of the assignments, I was really excited about the process and felt really good about your lectures, your assignments, and your notes regarding my assignments. So many many thanks.”

If you'd like to expand your skills as an editor and explore what makes fiction and creative nonfiction work, think about joining us. Like many of our classes at the Clinic, this one is open to editors with all levels of experience. We welcome writers with an interest in self-editing or learning more about the elements of their craft. For more details, including reasons why editors and writers take this class and for a FAQ sheet, check out our website.

This class will also be given in April, 2013.

~Barbara Sjoholm

To register or ask for more information:, by January 4, 2013