Road to the Self-Published Author – Part III

Thanksgiving has come and gone here in the U.S., and we now loom on the busiest shopping season of the year. Our original release date for my wife’s book was actually going to be in November, if only because we tend to think of holidays as important times of the year for releasing a new product.

But as we thought more about it, we realized that:

1) People are going to be far too busy with the shopping season, holiday plans, and so on to pay much attention to a new self-published book.

and

2) 2012 hasn’t been the best year for our family, and while a matter of a few weeks may let us brag about publishing our book a calendar year earlier, my wife and I agreed that 2013 may be a better launch date.

All eyes will be on the newest games, toys, and movies; the only books to get much time in the lime light will either be those mainstream novels by established authors, or those few rising stars that the media goes all googly over.

We also knew that the crunch time of editing and marketing would eat up a lot of resources; and during this time of year, time and money are at a premium for every family, including ours.

With that said, the Thanksgiving weekend has seen the release of two free sample chapters from the book. These are available through my wife’s Author Spotlight page at Lulu.com, as well as on her blog, abstramification.

These two chapters are the first to be bounced back to her after my editing pass. I’m not sure if we should say we ‘enjoy’ an editing process not shared by many authors in the traditional publishing route or not, but essentially it’s a two lane road for us: She writes, then she revises – then I edit, then she reads/revises. Then I’ll edit one last time for a final punctuation and format proof.

The fact that she doesn’t have to see her word babies sacrificed needlessly before an almighty editor does mean that she has more control over final copy. Sometimes I find something that doesn’t flow well, so I edit a few lines. She reads it over and despite all the other words on the page, she proclaims: “I know I didn’t write that, you did!”

“Well, yeah, it didn’t flow right on the original,” I’ll quietly murmur, all the while fearing for life and limb.

She’ll look at the original to reference what had been, take another long pause to read my version, and occasionally end up scrapping the entire paragraph in favor of something else.

Once in a while she’ll come across a single word – just one! – that I changed in a whole sea of her original writing. And somehow it will stick out like a bent tack, and she’ll call foul.

“How could you tell?!” I’ll ask sheepishly.

“Because I’d never use that word,” she’ll say.

I never know if I should be flattered or ashamed.

~Meredith Purk

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