Category Archives: My News

News about Emily’s upcoming books and events, and other happenings in her life. Usually there is one post every few months.

Breaking News: I Quit My Job

mug with words "World's Best Boss"
Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

So I have some big news: I quit my day job. For years, I’ve dreamed of having more time for my writing, editing, and self-publishing tasks. Ideas have piled up on Post-it notes on the wall by my desk. This month, I finally did it. Soon I’ll be 100% self-employed and plan to spend time on building my editing business, pursuing my romance writing, updating my bike trip memoir, and renewing my involvement in the bread community.

More Editing

"option" key on a computer keyboard

Freelance editing is one way I plan to pay the bills without a day job. I’ve been editing academic papers (mostly in science) since 2013. Many of the papers are for authors whose primary language is not English, and I’m able to help them transform their writing to be understood by English speakers. I love this work as it’s a way for me to contribute to science without being in a lab.

In addition to research papers, I’ve written and edited all kinds of materials, from test passages to medical brochures to fiction novels. I hope to keep expanding the types of materials I edit and the levels of editing I provide. My editing website is http://www.emilyeditorial.com.

Romance Writing

fairy tale drawing of woman in woodland setting with deer, and man holding bow and arrow

I’ve written three drafts of novels since 2014 and learned a lot about the craft of writing and the business of publishing. My novels had three different genres, so I decided to focus on the fantasy romance genre first, using my middle name, Jane. For me, writing in this genre is a chance to write heroines who learn to believe in and value themselves; I can share with readers lessons I’ve learned and explore issues I still struggle with. I also decided to try a traditional publishing path, knowing that my debut novel might not “fit in” enough for any traditional publisher to take it on. In that case, self-publishing is an option.

In July I attended the national Romance Writers of America conference, where I met other authors and pitched my novel to agents and editors. I was excited to find that people in the business are excited for fantasy romances with less violence and less aggressive heroines. I’m currently following up with contacts I made. I’m also looking for ways to connect with other fantasy romance readers and writers. And, I’m planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November to draft the sequel. My romance author website is https://janebuehler.com.

Somewhere and Nowhere Update

cover of book "Somewhere and Nowhere" with photo of person on bike on road with evergreens and mountain background

In 2017 I self-published a memoir of my cross-country bicycle trip, Somewhere and Nowhere. I regretted some of the decisions I made in the process, mainly not having a cover designed by a professional. This summer I had a new cover designed, which I plan to use on the ebook as soon as I have time. I also rewrote the book’s blurb, hoping to better convey the contents to potential readers.

At the conference in July, I met the owner of Draft2Digital (D2D), one of the many companies that work with authors to self-publish ebooks. I’d meant to look into D2D as a way to expand my ebooks’ availability to more platforms, and talking to the owner made me feel positive about using that company. So I have an “ebook overhaul” on my to-do list as I upload the updated versions and try out D2D.

A future step is to explore print-on-demand options as a way to have print books available with the new cover, while still selling my stockpile of traditionally printed books with the original cover. I’d like to do this if only to learn about print-on-demand, which I have not yet used.

More Bread Science

cross-section of slices loaf of bread

Since publishing Bread Science in 2006, I’ve managed to keep teaching a handful of bread classes each year, but otherwise I have not been as involved as I’d like in the bread-baking community. I miss keeping up with news, researching bread topics, and presenting science material in simple language on my blog. Once I get some of the above items done, I hope to spend some time getting back into bread. I’d like to learn more about topics like what current research is saying about gluten or sprouted grains, and as always, to share what I learn. I’d like to attend more bread and fermentation events, as a teacher or vendor. I know opportunities exist to network with other bakers online. (I also hope to have time to actually make bread again!)

This might be a longer ways off but it is on my planner. My currently inactive food blog is here: https://foodchemblog.com.

horizontal banner with pine tree trunks and a large birdhouse

May News Update

Happy May! Here’s what I’m up to this spring and summer.

Bread News

tables set up under tent with books for sale, dishes and containers with bread ad dough, labeled with signs
My booth at the bread festival

I had a great time at the Asheville Bread Festival on April 13. While I was sad not to teach, I really enjoyed staffing my booth throughout the fair and talking to bread enthusiasts. I always wish I could attend more bread gatherings (like the Kneading Conference in Maine), and hope that someday I’ll have the time.

I’m heading to the Folk School at the end of May for a week of “Making Traditional Breads.” This class is full, but I have two classes scheduled for 2020: Making Traditional Breads in late April, and the Science of Bread in September. Registration is not yet available, but should open for the April class this summer.

Book News: A New Cover

book cover

Over the past few months, I’ve been studying book covers and considering the cover of my bike trip memoir, Somewhere and Nowhere. I created my own design for a few reasons: to save money, because I thought I could create something not-too-bad, and because I didn’t know where to begin finding a designer. And, the self-made cover was never a problem with Bread Science.

I quickly regretted the decision, as I realized how much harder it is to market a memoir. A concept I’ve come to accept is that “No one wants to buy your book” and people are looking for any excuse they can not to buy it. Unfortunately, a homemade cover signals that the writing might be sub-par and gives people an excuse to pass up the book. And, readers are more likely to pick up a book that fits in with the genre, simply because they feel comfortable with it. While some cover designs break from trends and succeed, these designs often have huge budgets behind them, or an already famous author. So, much as we artists like to be unique, book covers are one time when it is best to blend in.

drawing of book with question mark on an otherwise blank cover

So, I’m having a professional cover designed! Initially I’ll use it with the ebook, and eventually it will be on the print version as well. I don’t have anything to share yet, but look for it this summer.

As for the back cover… I thought I had written some pretty catchy back cover copy. But I wrote it targeting a general audience—that same audience that is actively trying not to read my book. Over the past two years, I’ve felt very anxious about trying to promote Somewhere and Nowhere. I realized that I’d feel more comfortable promoting it to a more specific audience—the people I think will really “get” it.

So I rewrote the back cover copy to try to reach these potential readers. I blogged about this here: https://emilybuehler.com/2019/back-cover-take-ii/ I’ll debut the new book description along with the new cover this summer.

Romance Writing

white azaleas blooming under trees with a birdhouse on a pole in back
Here are some azaleas from a recent visit to the WRAL azalea garden in Raleigh

I’m registered to attend the Romance Writers of America conference in New York this July. I’ve decided to focus on my fairytale romance, Rose Fair, since it is more polished. I’ve been working on how to pitch it and trying to find comparable titles. I plan to meet agents and editors at the conference, to make connections and see if I can sell the novel. I’m not opposed to self-publishing, but am interested to explore the traditional route.

pink azaleas blooming under pine trees and a sunny sky
More azaleas

I haven’t been able to find good comparable titles yet. My book officially falls into the category of “paranormal romance,” unless the publisher has a separate fantasy category. Regardless, mine is much more “light” and happy than most of what I’ve found, where magic is full of darkness and violence. And certain things seem to be “in”: one reviewer was sure the dog would turn into the love interest. Nope, just a dog.

a pink rhododendron blooming under tall pine trees
Rhododendrons, too!

On one hand, I might not mind changes to help the book sell. But on the other hand, I believe there are readers for my book, even if publishers haven’t yet recognized them. I read a piece about Generation X, and how we don’t like our characters to suffer. But we’re sandwiched in between generations that do, and writing teachers are often from an older generation that promotes this suffering. I would like to write for my people. So I know that my book might not have a place in the traditional publishing industry, but I’m interested to find out.

ICYMI

Here are my other recent blog posts, in case you missed them. If you already saw these come through your inbox, just ignore this!

flyer for event with time and location, and cartoon of computer, papers, and coffee

Save the date for my free talk on “Old-Fashioned Self-Publishing” at the Orange County Main Library on September 22 at 2 PM. The talk looks at self-publishing with as few intermediaries as possible as a starting point, and then discusses where and why an author might value an intermediary. I’m working to streamline the talk so it will be a little shorter than last time. The slides from last time are still available, here: https://emilybuehler.com/miscellany/how-to-guides/

And finally, I’ll re-share the link to Michael Hilburn’s interview with me on the Sourdough Podcast, because I’ve had so many people tell me they enjoyed it: https://www.thesourdoughpodcast.com/episodes/2019/2/12/emily-buehler-author-of-bread-science

two daffodils in early morning sunshine

Spring Is Here! Classes, Sourdough, and Romance Novels

Each year around the start of spring, I find myself making plans for the rest of the year. I value winter for the time indoors (i.e., without yard work), but it’s hard not to be excited when the daffodils appear and the weather warms. The year feels filled with promise.

Press (!)

Emily holding a heart-shaped baguette over her heart
Valentine’s Day bread

In February, Michael Hilburn interviewed me for the Sourdough Podcast. We talked about sourdough science and myths, among other things. The episode is here:
https://www.thesourdoughpodcast.com/
episodes/2019/2/12/emily-buehler-author-of-bread-science

I also cohosted with Sarah Cypher the Editorial Freelancers Association’s February #EFAChat on Twitter, which was about self-publishing. The archive of the chat is here: https://wakelet.com/wake/8b24c9cd-7cc6-43f9-89af-7ddbe4c2f22a

This Year’s Events (So Far)

artisan breads with logo for Asheville Bread Festival

Due to some scheduling complications, I’m not teaching at the Asheville Bread Festival (April 13). It turns out I am able to attend, however, so look for me outdoors at the Bread Fair with a bread science booth. Learn more and sign up for classes: https://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com

I’m teaching Baking Traditional Breads at the Folk School in May, but I believe the class is already full. If you want to get on the wait list, you can do so here. Tentative dates for 2020 are April 26 to May 2, 2020 (Making Traditional Breads) and September 20 to 26, 2020 (The Science of Bread).

I’m giving my presentation on “old-fashioned self-publishing” at the Orange County Public Library on September 22 at 2 PM. The talk looks at self-publishing with as few intermediaries as possible as a starting point, and then discusses where and why an author might value an intermediary. I’m working to streamline the talk so it will be a little shorter than last time. The slides from last time are still available, here: https://emilybuehler.com/miscellany/how-to-guides/

In other news, I am hoping to attend both the Romance Writers of America conference in July and the Editorial Freelancers Association conference in August. (The writer conference is what I need right now, but last time I attended the editor conference, I felt so much like “These are my people!” that I’d hate to miss it.)

My Writing Career

a construction sign that has folded over on itself so that it reads "Be Prepared", with a rainy roadside
I saw this as I left my office job one afternoon and it gave me a laugh

I’ve got a new plan for my writing endeavors taped on the kitchen cabinet. What I’ve gathered from classes and reading is that to have a career as a writer, I need to produce a lot of books that are in one genre. Readers will expect consistency, and I don’t want to let them down. At first this concept seemed stifling, but I looked at my favorite authors. For example, I’ll read anything by Sarah Dessen because I know there will be a teenage girl protagonist struggling with family issues and figuring out where she belongs.

So my current situation is, I have three manuscripts in three different genres. I need to pick which genre to focus on—which genre I think I can produce more books in, and which manuscript I want to pitch to agents at the conference this summer. (I’m not opposed to self-publishing but am interested to give the traditional process a try.) I’m currently trying to read as much as possible, to figure out where my books fit in.

single daffodil growing on a lawn in a neighborhood
The first daffodil of spring!

I’ve also become more clear-eyed about readers. Most Bread Science readers are not going to be interested in a bicycle trip memoir or women’s fiction. Even among women’s fiction readers, those who value one type of book may not be interested in another. Thinking about the inevitable one-star ratings and hateful reviews that every book gets on Goodreads made me imagine a book-sharing website where the ratings and reviews you see are from other readers who have the most “book overlap” with you, based on your own ratings. I blogged about this here: https://emilybuehler.com/2019/my-wish-for-goodreads/

an open book with the pages folded into a heart, with a pink rose

I’m currently thinking about the themes and character growth that are likely to keep popping up in my books. It’s kind of a relief to realize that I don’t have to come up with a brand new theme each time—I only have so many major life lessons to share! I’m wondering how to convey these themes to reach readers who’ll appreciate them. Two related bog posts:

Tips about writing back cover copy that hooks the potential reader, from a webinar featuring Lee Silber, https://emilybuehler.com/2019/cover-copy-tips/

Considering the “inciting incident” that led to a misconception I held as an adult: the time in middle school when a boy made fun of me for going to the school dance, https://emilybuehler.com/2019/the-legacy-of-middle-school/


That’s probably enough news for now. It’s nice that spring keeps returning each year to bring the feeling of promise, even as life progresses steadily on.

banner that says 2018 Nanowrimo winner, with computer, coffee, books, pens, and pastry (cartoon)

New Year News Update

After the busy-ness of the holidays, January seems like a good time to round up my latest news.

Writing and Editing News

box that says Nanowrimo 2018 winner with sketch of computer and 50K

Last November I completed NaNoWriMo, writing a 50,000-word draft in thirty days. The new novel, Kensington, originated as a contemporary romance idea but turned out differently than I’d expected: there was less kissing and more plot. This result has led me to further consider what sub-genre I’m writing—light romance? new adult? chick lit?—and I’ve been stepping up my reading in the genre to try to find comparative titles.

I’ve also had a bit of a break from my science fiction novel, after an intense critique from a New York agent at a conference last fall. I’ve had some realizations; read them in this blog post: https://emilybuehler.com/2019/universal-truths-for-authors/

road sign on road that splits with four arrows, all pointing to "Right way"

The next steps I’m leaning toward are making some changes and then looking into other agents.

Right now, though, I am excitedly swamped with editing work! I’m providing feedback on an applied science textbook and writing a new booklet for the American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association. I’ve had a steady stream of academic papers for copyediting and language editing. And I’m starting a new test passage writing assignment and a report for the National Academies of Sciences in the coming weeks.

Events: A Bit of Sad News

artisan breads with logo for Asheville Bread Festival

I’m dismayed to report that, because of a scheduling conflict, I won’t be able to teach at the Asheville Bread Festival on April 13, 2019. I’ve never missed this festival since it began, and feel like it kicks off my spring each year with a good dose of bread. If anything changes, I hope to attend, but at this time, it is not looking good. Still, I encourage everyone to go. Info: https://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com.

My May class at the Folk School is already full. I hope to offer classes in 2020, but am waiting to hear from the Folk School’s new cooking resident artist. I also hope to have time for some local events, like a replay of my self-publishing talk at the library, but nothing is currently scheduled.

Recent Blog Posts

the cover of the book This Is Marketing, which is mostly text

In case you missed any, here are the blog posts I’ve written in the past two months.

hands typing on laptop, with a briefcase

Fall News: A Local Author Book Fair, a New Novel, and Lots of Thoughts

I’ve been busy the last two months, and I’m glad to report I’ve been doing a lot of writing!

Upcoming Events

poster for book fair with four author photos plus a list of namesI’m super excited for the first ever Hillsborough Local Author Book Fair, sponsored by the Friends of the Orange County Public Library. As you may know, Hillsborough boasts a disproportionately large number of famous authors, and many of them will be signing books and giving readings: Jaki Shelton Green, Lee Smith, Allan Gurganus, and more. The lesser-known authors (ah-hem) will have our own tables to talk to readers and sell books. The event is 10 to 5 on November 24, with book sales from 11 to 4. There’s an event page here: bit.ly/OCFriendsBookFair

As of posting, there is one spot left in my Science of Bread class at the Folk School, January 6 to 12. (Register here.) 

I’m teaching Baking Traditional Breads at the end of May. (Register here.) 

Writing News

colorful post-it notes stuck on the screen of a laptop computerLast weekend I attended the NC Writer’s Network fall conference in Charlotte. I had some excellent sessions about the craft of writing: scene sequencing, writing authentic characters who are different than you, and detailed world-building. I also learned about pitching a novel to an agent or editor.

Mainly, I came away from the conference with a big, but confused, picture of the writing industry and where I fit into it. Last month, I blogged about the new-adult genre (https://emilybuehler.com/2018/what-counts-as-new-adult/), but the conference turned all my thoughts on their head when an agent told me no one uses the category anymore! I’m hoping I can sort it out in the coming weeks. I’ve blogged about the conference here: https://emilybuehler.com/2018/nc-writers-fall-conference/

On November 1, I started writing Kensington, a contemporary romance, as part of NaNoWriMo. Earlier in the fall, I actually created an plot outline for the novel, which has made it easier and more fun to write. I blogged about the plotting process in two posts:

I’m really excited for the new novel, but after NaNoWriMo and finishing a first draft, I plan to return to my previous manuscripts, The Knowledge Game and Rose Fair, both of which are mid-revision.

Personal Thoughts

silhouette of person meditating, surrounded by words like Notice, Listen, and BreatheAs part of being more “out there” as a fiction writer, I added a “Thoughts” category to my blog. The idea was to write about topics that might interest readers of my fiction. I’ve been nervous about getting started (does anyone really want to read my thoughts?) but I’ve had these posts so far:

Incidentally, if you want to know how I created the blog subscription with categories, I blogged about it here: New Subscribe Options (and How I Created Them)https://emilybuehler.com/2018/new-subscribe-options-and-how-i-created-them/.


I’m hoping to keep up the daily writing through the holidays, as well as reading a lot of science fiction thrillers and romance novels, to figure out where my novels fit in.

laptop and coffee mug on patio table

Late Summer News

Happy September, everyone! Just an FYI, I am working on adding categories to the subscription form, to allow subscribers to choose which content they receive notifications about. This is in anticipation of adding some additional types of blog posts, as I ease into the world of being a fiction writer. I don’t want to subject anyone to “Emily’s Thoughts” if you just want tips for writers or news updates. I’ll keep you posted.

Here’s what I’ve been working on all summer, and what I’m looking forward to this fall.

Continuing Education on Self-Publishing

I’ve been a fan of self-publishing since I published Bread Science in 2006. I’ve tried to capture and condense everything I know about it many times (see the summary in this blog post), most recently in a presentation I gave at the local library this summer (view the slides PDF, here). I plan to refine this presentation and offer it again.

code from an ebook with the preview of the book, showing an error

A sample of ebook code and the ebook it generates, showing an error

The trouble is, in addition to self-publishing being a huge topic, many aspects of self-publishing keep changing, as new services and software become available. And I’m always learning new bits. Most recently, I delved into the code of the Bread Science ebook to fix an error that prevented me from uploading the ebook to OverDrive. I posted about that experience here: https://emilybuehler.com/2018/tinkering-with-ebook-code-for-beginners/

I continue to read articles and attend sessions on self-publishing, always hoping to learn something new. In August, I attended a talk at the Durham library by author Nancy Peacock and author/publisher Nora Gaskin. At first, I felt disheartened; how did other people know so much about self-publishing? Then Nora described how she struggled to compile a self-publishing process for herself to follow, a process she now shares with others, and I realized I was just having another incident of imposter syndrome. Her struggles sounded similar to mine.

Writing, Writing Associations, and Writing Conferences

the cover of the book Green-Light Your Novel

Brooke Warner’s excellent book

Last spring I worked with developmental editor Tanya Gold on my new-adult dystopian fiction novel, currently titled The Knowledge Trick (#KnowledgeTrick—although I keep changing my mind and have not actually tweeted this hashtag yet). I revised heavily based on Tanya’s feedback, and plan to attend the NC Writers’ Network’s fall conference in Charlotte, where I’ll participate in the “Manuscript Mart” to get feedback on pitching the novel. I’m reading up on how to pitch, but I’m keeping my options open. While I want to explore a traditional publishing route, I’ve been reading Green-Light Your Book by Brooke Warner, which makes me wonder if traditional publishing is right for me. I’ll continue to learn more and hopefully the right path will become clear.

a table with a laptop and coffee mug, on a porch overlooking trees and a river

The first day of the writing retreat

On my self-funded summer writing retreat, I got back to work on my romance novel, Rose Fair, using everything I had learned from working with Tanya. I finally joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as the local chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and hope to learn more about the romance industry and to find where my novel fits in. It’s a big industry, and I’d like to find the authors and publishers with goals similar to mine: writing well-written, easy-to-read stories with smart, empowered female protagonists and with deeper meaning behind the actions on the page. I plan to attend the RWA conference in New York in July 2019.

I know I still have a lot to learn about the craft of writing, but I compiled a blog post about the stages I’ve been through so far, and the resources that helped at each stage. Read that here: https://emilybuehler.com/2018/my-writing-process-and-resources-for-new-authors/

Freelance Business

two booklets about improvised explosive devices

The report and the summary I drafted

I’ve been busy with my editing business. I’m still copyediting academic papers, and I’ve been formatting longer reports, which has an appeal similar to that of copyediting: making it all consistent. Occasionally I do some writing work. Last winter, I drafted the summary of a report I had edited, and then I revised with feedback from the report authors. The report was titled, Reducing the Threat of Improvised Explosive Device Attacks by Restricting Access to Explosive Precursor Chemicals. The summary is now available from the National Academies Press, here.

Possibly my favorite freelance work is what I call “beta reading,” for lack of a better name: reading the manuscript and pointing out places where the reader is pulled out of the story, or where the point-of-view accidentally shifts or the action is confusing. It’s a step between an early developmental edit and a later stage copyedit. I think I like this service best because I sense that I’m making a difference to the writers, not just correcting one text but informing their writing. A few authors have approached me this year, and after seeing my sample edit of their work (which pointed out recurring issues), all decided they’d better do some more work on their own before hiring an editor.

A screen capture showing Microsoft Word running PerfectIt

PerfectIt at work

With all the writing I have been doing, I’ve noticed a reduction in my blog posting. One final post I did this summer is about using PerfectIt, a tool for writers and editors that finds inconsistencies in text. It’s not that PerfectIt is hard to use, but before I did, I didn’t understand how it worked at all, so I wanted to share that experience. Read that here: https://emilybuehler.com/2018/editor-tool-perfectit/

Upcoming Appearances

I say “appearances” because some of my upcoming events are brief ones. I’m participating in a new book sale featuring local authors at the Orange County, NC main library on November 24, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. If you’re in town please stop by and say hello. I’ll also be the local author giving the “art moment,” a brief reading to open the Orange County Board of Commissioners meeting, on December 3. I’m actually quite nervous about this—I attended this month’s meeting and remembered how big the room is, with about a hundred attendees.

a table with many baskets of bread, all labeled

The bread display at the student show at the Folk School last June

I have two classes scheduled at the Folk School, and registration is open:

The January class comes with the added bonus that you’ll get to meet my mom, a.k.a. the Two Blue Books distribution office. I also plan to teach my usual “Beginner Kneading” at the Asheville Bread Festival, date tba.

April News

Life is busy! (Will I ever start a news post with anything else?) Here’s what I’ve been working on.

Upcoming Events: Bread and Self-Publishing

artisan breads with logo for Asheville Bread FestivalOn May 5 I’ll once again be at the Asheville Bread Festival. I’m teaching beginning kneading (tickets available here) at 10 AM at Living Web Farm, and after class I’ll head back to the Bread Fair at New Belgium Brewing to run my booth. I’m also planning to attend the baker’s dinner. If you’re in town I hope you’ll say hi! More details are at ashevillebreadfestival.com or in this PDF.

My June class at the Folk School is full, but I’ll teach “The Science of Bread” again January 6–12, 2019, and “Baking Traditional Breads” May 26–June 1, 2019.

Flyer that says, Is self-publishing right for you, May 20,, 2018 2 PM at the OC main libraryOn May 20, I’m giving a free talk about self-publishing at the Orange County library in Hillsborough, NC. I’ll give an overview of the whole process from a DIY perspective, but pointing out places where one might hire help. The talk is free but the library asks attendees to register, here: www.bit.ly/ocplwriting. View the poster (PDF) here. Here is the copy from the poster:

What does it take to self-publish a book? And what is the smartest route to take? With all of the self-publishing services available today, the process can be confusing.

Author Emily Buehler self-published her first book in 2006, before many of today’s services were available. As a result, she took a “DIY” approach. She’ll present an overview of the entire process (finding a printer, designing the book, forming a business, marketing, distributing print books and e-books, and much more) and what it takes to do it yourself. If you decide that self-publishing is right for your manuscript, you’ll know what you face. You can then consider which parts of the process (if any) you’d like to outsource and the smartest way to go about it.

The Internet has made self-publishing a viable option for authors, enabling them to sell books across the world, and author-publishers are now gaining acceptance in the publishing world. It’s an exciting time to self-publish—come learn all about it!

Writing: Clearing the Clutter, and Making a Map

This past month I received my dystopian fiction novel back from developmental editor Tanya Gold. I trust and respect Tanya, but it was hard to see how much she suggested cutting. My immediate reaction was that “publishers today must not want description.” But I could see swathes of description in other books in the genre.

crumpled paper with the word hope

Then last weekend, I attended the NC Writers Network’s Spring Conference. The first class I took was “Essentials of Scene Crafting” with Heather Bell Adams. As soon as Heather began talking, explaining the difference between scene and summary, I could see what Tanya’s edits were about: a lot of my description occurred while the main character was, for example, walking home from work and thinking, and thus explaining to the reader—nothing was really happening, and the reader wasn’t in the scene. I had turned in Tanya’s version of my manuscript to the last event of the day: Slush Pile Live. When the time came, two of the editors on the panel listened to my entire submission without quitting! Read more about the Slush Pile Live experience, and the helpful tips it offered, on my editor blog: http://www.emilyeditorial.com/getting-through-the-slush-pile/

cat and scroll of paper on floor

Scruffy observes one of my book maps

Other highlights of the conference were the opening address by Jill McCorkle and my afternoon class with David Halperin. Jill read an essay she’d written that included the idea of being haunted by memories, particularly of places, and spoke about the balance between letting your subconscious do the work of writing, and the hard work of revising. David’s class was “Writing the Character You Know Best.” I’d always considered it a flaw that my characters were rooted in my own personality, but David spoke about it as normal and even beneficial.

I won’t list all the additional minutiae of why I loved the conference, but I’m now looking forward to the three-day fall conference, where I’ll have an opportunity to meet agents and editors. This gives me a deadline for incorporating Tanya’s suggestions, revising, and getting my book (and myself) in shape. One way I will do that is with a book map. This past month, I took a class with Heidi Fiedler on book mapping. I used one of my romance novel manuscripts in the class, but I’m eager to apply all I learned to my dystopian novel. You can read about book mapping here: http://www.emilyeditorial.com/book-mapping/

Editing: Beta Reading and Bombs

hands holding phone at desk with cofee, newspaper, pen, calculatorAnother class I took this spring was developmental editing of nonfiction. At first, I found it hard to ignore copyediting, to focus on the big picture, but after a while I got into it. While I don’t know if I’ll want to move in that direction as an editor, I wanted to understand what the process entails. Even if I’m working as a copyeditor, I’d like to recognize developmental faults in manuscripts, and the material interested me as a writer. The class helped me classify the services I do offer; for example, what some editors call “content editing” makes sense to me as a beta read with comments. I rewrote the services page of the Emily Editorial website (here).

The classes I took also caused me to think about editing fees, and what they cover. I blogged about that here: http://www.emilyeditorial.com/the-cost-of-editing/

Finally, I’m excited to share a link to a report I worked on for much of last summer: Reducing the Threat of Improvised Explosive Device Attacks by Restricting Access to Explosive Precursor Chemicals. I participated in several rounds of edits and helped with a final copyedit this spring. I also helped draft a summary booklet on the topic (not yet available). The report is available as a free PDF here.

Spring News: Blog Posts, Events, and More

I’ve been busy with freelance projects since the new year started, including academic papers on everything from forest growth to service marketing. I’ve been taking a class in developmental editing of nonfiction, which is helping me understand how to manage the “big picture” of an edit: Is there too much or too little material? Is it well organized? I’ve also participated in several webinars.

Blog Posts for Authors and Editors

poster advertising hybrid publishing

One thing I love about learning new things is being able to reorganize the material and share it. There are three new posts on my editor blog:

  1. An overview of hybrid publishing, http://www.emilyeditorial.com/what-is-hybrid-publishing/
  2. Basic information about working with legal issues for authors, http://www.emilyeditorial.com/copyright-and-privacy-and-libel-oh-my/
  3. Some tips for working with UK English, http://www.emilyeditorial.com/how-to-deal-with-uk-english/

Upcoming Events

Flyer that says, Is self-publishing right for you, May 20,, 2018 2 PM at the OC main libraryI have three events coming up:

  1. Beginning Kneading Class: I’ll be teaching again at the Asheville Bread Festival on May 5. This year, the Bread Fair will be at the New Belgium Brewery from 10 to 2, with classes in different locations around town. Mine will be from 10 to 11:30 at Living Web Farm. Look for updates and get tickets at http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com. (Tickets for my class are here.)
  2. Self-Publishing Talk: I’m giving a talk at the library in Hillsborough about self-publishing. It will be an overview of the whole process with a focus on what it would take to do it all yourself. It’s free and open to the public on May 20 from 2 to 4 PM. Learn more (PDF).
  3. Science of Bread Class: I’m teaching a week-long class at the Folk School June 3 to 9. Learn more here: http://emilybuehler.com/classes-events-2/class-at-the-folk-school/ (The link to register is at the bottom.)

Writing News

My fiction manuscript (working title: Intelligence, hashtag: #IntelligenceBook) went off to a developmental editor, Tanya Gold, this month. It’s my first attempt at writing fiction, and while I feel good about some aspects of it, I wasn’t confident that it was the best it could be. I’d taken a class from Tanya and liked her style of working with authors (the class was on how to work with authors!) so I’m excited to hear back from her when she finishes.

people walking in New York City

Walking through Manhattan to the EFA conference in 2016

I’m attending the North Carolina Writer’s Network’s (NCWN’s) spring conference in April. Fifteen years ago, when I first considered writing for other people, I joined NCWN; at the time, they had an office at White Cross, just west of Chapel Hill, and I biked out to use their library. I let my membership lapse, though, because I did not get much value from it. At the time, I was writing Bread Science and trying to find a publisher, and then turning my efforts to self-publishing, which was not much accepted.

Well times have changed! I’ve been to conferences the past two years (the EFA in 2016, AWP in 2017) and looked forward to one this year. When I decided not to travel far, I settled on attending both NCWN conferences. I rejoined the network and realized how far I have come: self-publishing is now mainstream and slowly gaining acceptance in the industry, and I have two self-published books; and I have two full-length fiction manuscripts that I’m ushering through the process of revisions.

I often think of myself as having three careers rolled into one: (1) writing my own books, (2) editing other people’s writing (and sometimes writing for other people as well), and (3) self-publishing my books and sharing the process with others. I’m glad to be involved in all three of these spheres.

News for the New Year: Upcoming Books, Talks, and More

I started the new year with some prioritizing so I could focus on one major project at a time.

What I’m working on

First I finished up the draft of my new fiction manuscript (working title: Intelligence), which will go to developmental editor Tanya Gold in March. I’m excited to get Tanya’s feedback on the manuscript, and also (from an editor perspective) to see the developmental editing process in action. Tanya reminded me to think about marketing Intelligence, even though it’s far from publication. It’s hard to know what’s going to change, but I’m hoping to stick with the title so I’m adopting the hashtag #IntelligenceBook for future use on Twitter.

Flyer that says, Is self-publishing right for you, May 20,, 2018 2 PM at the OC main libraryMy current priority is learning everything I can about today’s self-publishing, in preparation for a talk I scheduled at the Orange County Public Library (Hillsborough) on May 20 at 2 PM. Last year I wrote a booklet, published by the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), about “do-it-yourself self-publishing,” which is my area of expertise. However, even an author-publisher who wants to do the entire process herself can benefit from some of the services now available. So I have been taking webinars and reading about distribution, e-books, and more to broaden my knowledge of self-publishing. The EFA booklet is available as an e-book here, and I’ve been told a print version is coming.

New blog posts

a diagram showing various distribution paths for e-booksThese new posts are on my blog for authors, editors, and author-publishers:

Book Distribution for Self-Publishers
http://www.emilyeditorial.com/book-distribution-for-self-publishers/

How to Get the Most Out of AWP
http://www.emilyeditorial.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-awp/

Authentic Marketing
http://www.emilyeditorial.com/authentic-marketing/

A question during my last bread class caused me to investigate the difference (or lack of) between instant yeast and RapidRise yeast: What Is RapidRise Yeast?
http://foodchemblog.com/2018/01/what-is-rapidrise-yeast/

The second of my articles for The Kitchn has been posted: Debunking the 10 Myths of Sourdough
https://www.thekitchn.com/debunking-the-10-myths-of-sourdough-bread-250222

And finally, here is my blog post about my visit to the Folk School last fall: Back in Time at the Folk School, and Biltmore
https://blog.folkschool.org/2017/12/06/back-time-folk-school-biltmore/

Other news and upcoming events

I’ve written discussion questions for Somewhere and Nowhere. If your book club reads memoir or outdoor adventure, I’d love to join you for an informal chat about the book. Discussion questions and other information are posted here: http://www.twobluebooks.com/book-clubs/

The Modernist Breadcrumbs podcast is a series of podcasts about bread. I was interviewed for it, so there are clips of me talking (!) within some of the episodes (although I have not yet figured out which ones). You can hear the episodes here: http://heritageradionetwork.org/tag/bread/

The Asheville Bread Festival is scheduled for May 5-6, although a location and other information is not yet available. Save the date! http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com

I’m teaching the Science of Bread at the Folk School in June. Learn more and register here: http://emilybuehler.com/classes-events-2/ (I’ll be teaching there again in January and May of 2019.)

End-of-Summer News: Goodreads, Self-Publishing Guide, and More

I’m not an early adopter. This week I finally “claimed” my books on Goodreads. Now that I’ve done it, I actually feel excited about the platform, unlike most social media platforms. It’s centered on books! Anyway, I set up my profile, turned on “Ask the Author,” and imported my blog. Here I am: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1439262.Emily_Buehler

the cover of Emily Croy Barker's bookI decided to start by reviewing a book I loved, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. I can’t remember how I ended up at Emily’s author reading back in 2013, or what her connection is to North Carolina (where the action starts), but I was so glad to have discovered the book. I was glad to support it on Goodreads, too, especially when I saw a few of the scathing, one-star reviews (which, IMHO, reflect more on the reviewer than the book). It was a good lesson for me, that there are always going to be readers who hate your book, and that I should keep working on developing the thick skin I’m going to need.

I don’t think I would slam another author’s book, no matter how much I hated it. I guess negative reviews are important, but for now at least, I’m going to review books I liked. I’m going to try to write a few each week, and to post them at Amazon as well. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile, knowing how important online reviews are to authors.

two versions of a block print of a chickadeeIn other news, my blog post about the class I took last July is now up on the Folk School blog: “Nothing Is As Expected in Printmaking Paradise.” The post deals with the unpredictable nature of print-making (and life!) and features a print I made of Scruffy.

The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) published my overview of how to self-publish a book with as little outside help as possible: DIY Self-Publishing: An Overview. You can buy it on Lulu.com as a print or e-book. There’s also a free version (here) that contains some of the information and is a good starting point. If you think you want to move ahead with self-publishing, the EFA version is better written and more detailed.

The Modernist Breadcrumbs podcast has begun. I still don’t have a date for my interview, but the bread-related podcasts are all listed here, with the newer ones on top:
http://heritageradionetwork.org/tag/bread/

Finally, I’ve been writing blog posts about writing, editing, and self-publishing. Since this blog is dedicated to personal news, I’m posting them on my editorial business website, here: http://www.emilyeditorial.com/blog/.