Sunday, June 24, 2012
With a baby, you don't have any control over whether you get a boy or a girl, one with blue eyes or green, or one that grows up to be short or tall. With a book, you are responsible for how it turns out. You'll get the kudos if it's good, and you'll get the blame if anything is not so good. And that is where the angst comes in! You know that no one has ever written a perfect book, but that's the goal.
One thing that will never cease to amaze me about writing a book is how many mistakes there are in the galley, even though the author has read and revised multiples times, and a professional editor has read and edited multiple times. I can see why self-published books have a reputation for having a lot of typos and errors. While it may not be that hard to write a well crafted blog post or magazine article, there is a big difference between cranking out 1,000 words and 70,000 words! When reading the galleys, I made a point of getting up and walking away from the computer at the end of every chapter. Even then, I'm sure it is still easy for me to miss a mistake because I've read it so many times, I know what it says!
And while we're on the subject of self publishing, I'm not sure I'd ever do it because putting out a book requires a huge amount of work by many people. While I'm proofing the galleys, copies have also gone out to reviewers, potential endorsers, and someone to write the foreword. After corrections are made to the galley, another person will go over it with a fine tooth comb and make sure all of the corrections were made and no new ones were introduced into the text.
Between the time that I finished revising the manuscript and was waiting for the galleys, I wrote up a proposal for my next book, so I'm also waiting for my publisher to get back to me with a yea or nay on that subject. As I was writing EcoThrifty and promoting Homegrown & Handmade, I swore I would never again write one book while promoting another one, but I like the idea of having the books come out in the fall just in time for another Mother Earth News Fair. It's a great place to launch a new title with such an enthusiastic audience. If my proposed topic for book number three flies, however, I'm expecting it to be much easier to write than EcoThrifty, which required a ton of research! And a lot of that research wound up being edited out of the book. So in other words, I wasted a lot of time.
So, now my list of corrections will be sent back to the publisher, and I wait ... wait for the corrected version to come back to me and wait for feedback on the next book proposal. And in the meantime, I can get caught up on blogging and all those other things that have been pushed to the back burner.