I thought I’d be blogging about my dolls some more today, but I finished a big project a little sooner than I expected to. I thought I’d be posting this next week, but it’s happening this week, instead.
After I completed my latest novel back in August, I decided to let it sit for a few months, largely because time apart from your manuscript is good for both of you. Instead of diving right into editing my 180,000-word-long behemoth, I decided to revisit my previous work, instead.
I’ve spent the past three months polishing and nitpicking and then polishing some more, correcting as many missed mistakes in Death of the Sun as I could find. There weren’t many, which means most of the changes I made were more like enhancements, really. Three months gave me the time to comb over the text eleven times while I fixed phrasing that had come to annoy me and worked on one of the more difficult things I’ve done, formatting the whole thing for print publication.
It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. I’m far from being an expert now, but I’ve learned enough to be annoyed by formatting mistakes I now notice in mass-market paperbacks!
Holding a real, bound-and-printed book that you’ve written is a very strange experience. There’s an element to it that’s very unreal, very dreamlike, the awed thought that I really did it. And knowing that I did it all on my own – The writing, the editing and formatting from cover to cover – brings a different kind of satisfaction. But I’d say the most valuable thing that comes from the whole experience is just how solidly it’s driven home the knowledge that no matter what may be said, not everyone can self-publish a book. There’s a big difference now between self-publishing and vanity press, and the former is an unbelievable amount of work. In the future, I’ll take some time to talk about all the different things that require attention during the course of self-publishing, but probably not until after the craziness of the holidays.
For now, I’ll just enjoy a few quiet weeks of playing with the baby and playing with dolls before hitting the grind of writing once again.
And for those who might be wondering, the paperback version of Death of the Sun is available here now and will be up on Amazon next week!