Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Editing in Process: The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer

Cover art by David Palumbo
The largest project I had worked on in the past year or two was the short story collection Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong, clocking in at around 148,000 words.[1]

That is, until I worked on The Labyrinth of Flame, book III in Courtney Schafer's The Shattered Sigil Trilogy -- a massive 756 manuscript pages, totaling 219,000 words of wondrous fiction.[2]

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may recall that back in April (April 29, 2015, blog post) I was in the middle of reading the first two volumes of The Shattered Sigil Trilogy -- The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City -- in order to get up to speed on the world and characters of Ms. Schafer's trilogy.

Since I read ebook editions of these two volumes I can't speak to their actual length. However, using Calibre Ebook Management software (which I highly recommend), I converted the two MOBI files to RTF files, opened them in MS Word, and have the approximate word counts: 135,000 words for The Whitefire Crossing, and 173,000 words for The Tainted City. That's more than 300,000 words of reading just to prepare myself for this current project.

These first two titles in the trilogy were published by Night Shade Books (prior to its acquisition by Skyhorse Publishing and Start Media[3]), after which Ms. Schafer made the decision to self-publish the final title in the trilogy via a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter was more than fully funded (284% to be exact), unlocking three stretch goals.

Unlike far too many other authors, Courtney Schafer is self-publishing The Labyrinth of Flame properly -- which will be evident to her readers when they receive the finished book: She hired artist David Palumbo for the cover art, the same artist who did the covers for volumes I and II, so that the trilogy's covers would match even though the three books were not from the same publisher. She also hired a developmental editor to review the novel's plot, characterization, setting, etc. I was then hired for a detailed line edit and copy edit. After the author made the content changes I recommended, she then hired another copy editor for a final proof of the novel.

Nothing is more frustrating, at least for me, when I attempt to read -- and inevitably give up on reading -- a self-pubbed novel that has blatant typos and awkward (and often ridiculous) sentence structures. Readers won't find these issues in The Labyrinth of Flame: Courtney Schafer has written and published this novel as the professional that she is, and this volume is the worthy conclusion to The Shattered Sigil Trilogy -- and the harrowing adventures of Kiran, Dev, and Cara.

Those who contributed to the Kickstarter have already received their maps and ebook editions of The Labyrinth of Flame and, according to the author, the print editions are currently in process. In fact, Ms. Schafer shared the book's interior illustrations with readers in her October 29 blog post.

If you didn't get in on the Kickstarter but are interested in the ebook, The Labyrinth of Flame Kindle edition is now available for preorder. Print copies will be available for order on December 1, but Amazon doesn't allow preorders for self-published print editions.

You can read more of The Shattered Sigil Trilogy on the Courtney Schafer website, including sample chapters from all three volumes.


[1] You can read about my work on Kelly Armstrong's Led Astray, from Tachyon Publications, beginning in my August 26, 2015, blog post.

[2] I actually completed work on this project about two and a half months ago, but new, incoming projects have kept me busy.... I'm using the "Editing in Process" tag in order that this blog post will track with my other editing projects.

[3] "For Immediate Release: Skyhorse Publishing and Start Media Acquire Night Shade Books"

No comments:

Post a Comment