Good News for My Most Recent Novel, The Price!

After writing my blog this morning in which I discuss writing and success, I learned that The Price has been awarded an Indie BRAG Medallion. I’m very happy because The Price is the third book in a series and the other two — Savior and The Brothers Path both had won this award. I’ve been wanting to publish them for Kindle as a series, one huge file, and now I can.

When readers evaluate a book for the BRAG Medallion they fill out rating sheets. I’ve read some non-fiction books and the process is detailed and the standards are high. I was very happy to read the ratings for The Price. They were both gratifying and helpful. Because of them I felt less discouraged AND I got a heads up about a few minor problems in the text that I had missed.

Here are the comments:

  1. The book could have used better formatting. Not to be too picky, but sometimes the chapters started on a fresh kindle page, and sometimes they started on the same page the previous chapter had ended. A small detail, but one that I noticed. There were a few other mistakes, although I can’t recall them now. The cover could have been better – maybe with the image of the people making their way to the new world. It would help readers connect with the charactes in the story. Overall, though, I loved the book. Its point of view of the immigrants who first settled in the US was fascinating; the conflicting feelings they would have had about leaving were heartbraking (sic); the trials they endured something I cannot even imagine living through on my own. The characters were ones I could connect with, the writing was well done. The issues I mentioned above were minor, but detract from an otherwise wonderful story.
  2. Well written and an attention grabber throughout the book and how these immigrants made it in the new world
  3. The Price deserves to be considered a classic, along with such novels on immigration to America as Giants in the Earth. It is a book that should be taught in schools and read by every American, especially those who have forgotten their immigrant origins. I have given a slightly lower rating for style: the opening couple of chapters do not have the polish and professional tone of the rest of the book. I’ve also given a lower rating for copy editing. Too often words are missing, and a couple of times it looks like a spell checker may have substituted the wrong word for what was clearly intended. I recommend one more careful edit, for the importance of this book, one more careful edit is well worth it.

Some of the “typos” I cannot fix — they are in quotations from materials printed in the 18th century when printers used abbreviations for words such as “which” (wch), but the few real problems Amazon also caught on the upload of the newly formatted version. Which brings me to more good gnus…

I got some good software, finally, for making books to read on eReaders — so far I’m only publishing on Kindle, but the software is good for other formats, too. Formatting for Kindle has been a huge challenge for me because, first of all, I don’t use an eReader and, second, I had no really good software for formatting them. I used it first on the work in progress, As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder and today I reformatted both The Price and The Brothers Path. I’ll be reformatting Savior, Martin of Gfenn and My Everest.

My Grandma’s Trunk

I found a trunk very similar to my grandma’s trunk on an auction site, though it’s larger and in slightly better condition with the original paper covering still in place. It has patent dates of 1865 which seems pretty likely to me for my old trunk. It means it’s likely to have belonged to my grandmother’s grandmother, Phoebe Copenbarger, the daughter of Elizabeth Snavely (Schneebeli) the last person in my family to have the glorious Swiss name of Schneebeli. Phoebe very likely bought it new and took it with her west from Wythe County, Virginia (See The Price) to Iowa by covered wagon in the 1860s.

The other posts I’ve written (that will certainly make this one less cryptic and provide needed context) are here

“Schneebeli” means “Little snowball” and the family actually had/has a crest. This is really, “Schneebeli von Baden und Affoltern am Albis.” I’m afraid if I saw three snowballs on a shield I wouldn’t be sure whether to laugh or fight, but yeah, this is legit. But I guess it means any fight they fought was a snowball fight…