Separation of Faith Is Back in the Proof Process–A Great Big Yikes!
Fortunately, the panic is over, because every single person I’ve communicated with at iUniverse in the last three days (counting today) has been phenomenal! Unbeknown to me, they have a 24/7/365 customer support operation, and when I called (mildly hysterical) to leave a voice mail at nine o’clock on Saturday night, a real person actually answered the phone! So my heart rate dropped, and I was actually able to sleep that night.
Here’s what happened. On Friday, I received the printer copies (one copy each of the hard and soft covers) of Separation of Faith. There was an issue with the way the dust jacket was folded on the hard cover, but I figured that was relatively minor. The panic began setting in as I was forcing myself to read through the printed book one more time. (Keep in mind that 325 books–my entire promotional launch supply–were, I thought, in the printing process.)
And (no surprise here) that whole subject of editing suddenly began rising up to claim my sanity. As I was reading, I intermittently came across little things (mostly minor punctuation issues) that had been missed in one edit or another. But then, as I moved deeper into the book, I came across two major errors that were my fault that arose in the final revision process after I received the last proofreader’s input. As we all know as writers, every time we write something new, we run the risk of adding new errors to the mix. And that’s precisely what I did.
The recommendation had been made to me at some point in the editorial process that I should put the book through two proofreading cycles, which would have, in hindsight, most likely have prevented this current situation from unfolding. (Traditional publishing houses put their titles through two or three or more.) But I thought I’d be okay with one–and I’ll never forget that I was wrong. Fortunately, thanks to the fact that I made myself read the book right away, and then that the iUniverse folks responded so quickly, we avoided a catastrophe.
Otherwise, here are two of the errors that would have been in the book:
- Right in the middle of a sentence there was “Eight-foot-deep” instead of “eight-foot-deep.” I know that seems small, but it’s so obvious that it means someone (in this case me) wasn’t paying attention.
- The worst: I had Zoie looking over Isaiah’s shoulder when it should have been Ava looking over his shoulder. This is called a content error–something hugely major that would make a reader stop and say, “How could they have missed something like this?” And some of those readers would have been judges in the many contests I’m planning to enter. A content error like that would have most likely resulted in the book’s being disqualified from the contest.
When added to the list (a short list, but still a list) of punctuation issues, those errors would have seriously downgraded the quality of the book I’ve been working so hard to elevate above the pack. And it’s all about that editing thing again. Thank God I read that book as soon as UPS brought it to me! But if I had only put the book through that second proofreading … If only … If only …
I’m sharing this with you because I’m hoping the timing will hit someone out there who could use a little timing help/wake-up call.
All of the necessary changes have now been submitted, and the title has been pulled from print. So 325 books that would have put me in the hospital are not, in fact, on their way to me. This slight setback will only mean a delay of a week or ten days probably. And I did have to pay a redo fee. But that is many thousands of dollars less than what it would have cost to have me committed … 🙂
I’ll let you know when I get the new proofed copy back for my review.
The Video Book Trailer
This magic little one-minute, forty-five second wonder is almost complete. We’ve been tweaking things after seeking input from objective viewers, and I’m at the point where I can’t even imagine what’s involved with full-length feature films that we see in theaters! The link for the video will be included with every piece of promotional material sent out, as soon as Separation of Faith is fully available everywhere online and through bookstores. And as we now know, that will be a couple of weeks later that originally planned …
The Truth About Cinnamon
The re-edited manuscript will be submitted to iUniverse by the end of this week. The goal is to have the 2nd Edition of Cinnamon available as close as possible to the full release of Separation of Faith. (I absolutely cannot believe how long I’ve been working on this!)
The iUniverse Avenue
Each of us is writing with different motivations and objectives, and if we want to see our books in print, we each have dfferent reasons for that as well. Some of us just want to share things with family and friends. Some of us just want to write and publish for ourselves. But if we want to write and publish so that lots of other people will want to pay their money to read our work, we either have to keep plugging away trying to get the attention of someone in the traditional publishing world, or we need to opt for an alternate route.
If you’re looking at the alternate avenues, I highly recommend exploring iUniverse. Yes, this is a big company. And yes, they take a piece of each book. But they honestly do value their authors, and the way they’re running their operation speaks to that point. They also do most of the work that full DIY authors have to learn how to do (and then do) themselves. There are trade-offs with each choice. For me, iUniverse is the best way at the moment for me to get where I want to go (see November 4 Blog Launch Posting).
Once again, however, if you’re really serious about being taken seriously as an author–no matter which avenue you select–you absolutely must put your work through an extensive editing process, either through the professional services available through a company like iUniverse or through professional editors that you find on your own. But as I’ve just learned again this past weekend–even though I’ve talked about the editing thing a million times in this blog—we all avoid/dodge/decide against a comprehensive editing process (or even a single step of that process) at our own peril.
Hope You All Have a Great Week Ahead!