The first Jo read through of Heart of the Raven is finished! I will now do a quick read through (aka two days) for plot flow and send it off to the next round of betas. As usual, it is well over 100,000 words. But, instead of panicking like I usually do and racing through the document slashing and cutting because “industry insiders” say that readers want books between 80,000 and 90,000 words, I’m going to relax a little and pay more attention to the reader data that Mark Coker collected (“…60% of the top twenty Smashwords bestsellers were over 100,000 words long…”) and not stress as much if it ends up a little longer. That’s not to say that there aren’t sentences, paragraphs and scenes that can, and will, be tightened up still, only that I see no point in agonizing over it because that’s the “length preferred by agents” for my genre. I’m not submitting to an agent, anyway.
Either way, it’s on schedule and I am still hopeful for a late February or early March release.
With that good news, I have two great links to share! First, fellow author Beth Muscat was kind enough to review Shades of Gray. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please stop by and tell her thanks for the great post! And while you’re there, check out her other reviews.
And if you haven’t heard, the first (unfinalized) chapter of Heart of the Raven is avaliable for your perusal via fellow author Vicki Hudson‘s First Look segment on her blog.
Also don’t forget about the Valentines blog hop which is coming up in a couple of weeks. If you’re an author or reviewer, there is still time to join the fun. I may be giving away a prize in my blog if I can think of something interesting.