Thoughts, writing

Lie vs. Lay

It’s not a pet peeve this week, just a tricky one that often gets me thinking twice, too. And lately I’ve been seeing it in all kinds of trad pubbed books as well as indie.

The dreaded Lie vs. Lay

lying-lion
This lion is lyin’ down. Ha… ha…

WHICH ONE DO YOU USE AND WHEN? It’s the frequent cry I hear in my dreams as some writer somewhere in the world stumbles upon this dilemma and proceeds to tear out their hair. WHY ARE THESE WORDS SO CLOSE BUT NOT THE SAME?

I know, my friend, I know.

So I’m going to attempt to help clear things up by sharing the tip that finally made it click in my own head. If you hear the same click in yours, huzzah! If not, it’s all right. Your time will come.

Lie is more of an active verb; lay is passive.

You lie down on the bed, but you lay the socks down on the dresser.

I lie in the grass, but I lay the blanket on the sand.

BUT WHAT ABOUT IN THE PAST TENSE???? you might scream in frustration.

A good question, because this is where grammar really hates us.

You lay down on the bed, but you laid the socks down on the dresser.

I lay in the grass, but I laid the blanket on the sand.

WHAT ABOUT THE PAST PARTICIPLE???

All right, all right, this one is a will be easier if you’ve gotten the past tense down:

You have lain down on the bed, but you have laid the socks down on the dresser

I have lain in the grass, but I have laid the blanket on the sand

Lie          Lay         Lain

Lay         Laid        Laid

If you want or need more tricks to try to make it stick, the Grammar Girl has got you covered!

Did you hear the click? Was this post helpful? Let me know in the comments!

update

EMS Upgrade (cont’d)

I’m afraid to say I’m not quite as far in the newsletter changeover as I’d hoped to be by this point. In part because of some animal health issues that kept us away from home at high stress levels for the better part of last week, but also because of some miscommunications.

newsletter

Not that I don’t have anything to report, however.

I mentioned last week that I am making the move from trusted MailChimp to the fancier dancier ActiveCampaign. So far I have nothing bad to say about the service, but that’s mostly because I haven’t really played with it yet.

For the customer service… I’m on the fence.

Mostly, I’m blown away by how on top of things they are. I signed up for the free trial so that I could get my account set up and everything ready before migrating everyone over from MailChimp. Within two days, I was receiving calls from ActiveCampaign looking to introduce me to their service, see if I had any questions, and to set me up with a longer phone call to go over the different features that would best suit my business.

Wow!

I’d never encountered anything like that before and was super impressed! I looked forward to the longer chat, which involves some screenshare time so I could get a crash course in how to best use the service.

So I book the time, and that night, 6:15, I postpone dinner so I can be at my computer in time for the call.

Now, for the intro call, the phone rang within 30 seconds of the clock rolling over to our arranged time.

This time… 6:20 rolls around…. 6:30…. 6:45.

After forty-five minutes of waiting, I send off an email to follow up and make sure we’re all on the same page about the time of the call. A few minutes later, I receive a reply telling me they had tried the number on file, but it had just kept ringing without anyone answering.

Now, I had my phone right beside me. I’d made sure the volume was up, and there was no one on the line. Also, I was confused about why no one followed up with an email when the call didn’t go through, even if it was a “sorry we missed you!” message.

We tried to arrange another time for the call, but nothing has worked with our schedules, so I’m just going to start with a few links they sent me to try to work it out on my own.

So overall… kind of a wash as far as customer service goes (likely, like with anywhere, it’s just a matter of who you get), but I’m still really excited to try out all the different features and see how this can up my game! That is a big part of my goal for this weekend, so I should have at least a few more updates for you by then.

update

REBLOG: KDP Books Unavailable To International Readers — David Gaughran

I read this article earlier today and felt it was important for both readers and authors to know. Amazon has been instrumental in bringing indie authors onto the publishing playing field, but it does have its drawbacks, like some slow momentum in addressing issues as they arise.

A situation blew up at Amazon over the weekend which is ghosting most KDP ebooks (and many Amazon imprint titles) for international readers who use the US Kindle Store — which has also exposed a glaring security problem. 153 more words

via KDP Books Unavailable To International Readers — David Gaughran

update

KDP Printing

Another industry-related post before I return next week to my English pet peeves: the KDP print experience.

For reasons that I’m sure are easy to understand, I was anxious to receive my first KDP paperback proof. When there’s a change in the system, there’s always a chance that the quality is going to be…iffy.

And I can’t really say otherwise when my Veilfire proof arrived. The colours are a bit dark, the glue is showing under the cover, and the pages are filled with tiny black lines (no, not the words, don’t be silly). I’m hoping that the author copies are a smidge better, but at the very least, the proof still looks professional and sellable, so huzzah!

One thing you should be aware of if you haven’t started seeing this around the interwebs: unlike Createspace’s subtle but convenient PROOF written on the last page in the book, KDP has opted for a more “in your face” method of letting you know it’s an arc.

proof

Kind of hard to miss that giant NOT FOR RESALE that wraps around the entire cover.

Downside: It makes using your proof copy for promo a little bit of a challenge. It also means that you’re not able to get the full cover experience prior to setting your book to live and ordering your author copies.

On the other hand is that upside: You never need to worry about selling your proof copy by accident…

So take that as KDP’s starting point. Some people are already contacting them to voice their displeasure, so it might change as the growing pains are worked out.

What are your thoughts on the new KDP paperbacks? Yay? Nay? Voice your thoughts in the comments!

update, writing

Createspace to KDP

Oh Amazon, how you do love to change things on us writers. Just as I was getting the hang of Createspace, learning the process, mastering the behind-the-scenes, they scrapped it and moved us all over to KDP.

Thaaaaanks.

Fortunately, if you haven’t gone through it yet, it’s quite a simple process. You click “okay,” and KDP kind of does the rest for you. I can’t complain.

I did, however, run into some issues with the formatting of the new paperback I made, so figured I would share my experience with you in case you run into something similar.

I used inDesign for the first time to format my paperback interior (that was a whole lot of joy that I’ll share in a separate posts once I make sure it all worked out). My book is a lengthy 610 pages, so I made sure that my gutter was .75 inches. I triple checked. Yet I kept getting an error message that KDP wouldn’t accept a gutter of less than 0.75 inches.

You can imagine my frustration.

And I confess it took me longer than it should have to realise why I was getting that error message even after I checked my dimensions: it was only flagging three pages. On three pages that had italics at the front of the line, the descender on some “f”s and “y”s had sneaked out past that 0.75 gutter.

Are you freaking kidding me?

And unlike Createspace, KDP does not allow you to push these little things through.

I managed to fix it fairly easily—more of a pain in the butt than anything else—but it did teach me how particular KDP will be with things like this.

Have you learned any helpful tips and tricks with the new KDP paperback platform? Share in the comments below!

update

Open for Business

Step right in, gals and pals, and see what we have on the menu.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with a way to earn a living between publications and to keep the bank account green during the lean months (thanks, instability of a career in the arts!), and a few months ago I had an epiphany: I love proofreading.

Like, I really like it. I see posts all the time from people in the proofreading stage treating their bleeding eyeballs after a day debating comma placement, but I get a kick out of it. It’s relaxing, it’s satisfying, and I’m good at it.

“Finally,” I thought, “I’d be able to put my four years of university and the fancy piece of paper I got at the end to good use!”

So that’s what I’m doing.

As of now, I’m officially opening my doors to Raven’s Quill Press Author Services, offering proofreading to all genres and variety of writings. To learn more, or to contact me for details, just click here.

What does this change mean for the blog?

It means you won’t see any more posts directly related to my work as Krista Walsh, fantasy author. For those updates, you can check out my new fancy website, which I’ll be keeping up to date with all my publishing information.

Over here, you’ll find more industry-related posts: my experience as an independent author and how it might help others hoping to go in the same direction.

For example, right now I’m battling inDesign, trying to learn how to properly format my paperbacks. It’s a pain in the butt, and I have been able to find NO resources online. My solution is to learn it myself, and then post the step-by-step so it’s out there for anyone else who wants to give it a try.

There might still be a few personal posts as they relate to writing and publishing, but most of those will likely wind up on my author page.

So make yourselves comfortable, and let’s see what trouble we can get into.