It’s kind of exciting and also anticlimactic when the first copy of your newest novel arrives. You spend months (sometimes much longer) agonizing over every word, how they sound and how they look. You worry at your sentence structure and how it all times out. Does it flow? Does it falter? You read it aloud over and over until it seems just right. And then the day comes when you decide (because you can never be 100% certain) that it is finished. You upload the digital manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing and you order your proof copy.
Mine arrived yesterday. I unpacked it with anticipation. I held it in my hands. I rifled the pages. And I felt the letdown. There it was. The result of long and hard labors. There it was. So simple and prosaic. There is no way by just looking at it to see all the work that went into it. It’s just a book. Two hundred and ninety-seven pages.
That said, I think proof copies of novels are brilliant. Once I learned you could order them in advance of actually publishing your book (I can be kind of slow sometimes), I’ve looked forward to getting them and sitting down with them and going over it page by page. Well, maybe not actually looked forward to it because proofing the book is also a lot of time-consuming work, but the result is a much better novel than if I had not done that work and taken that time.
I use a purple pen to make my edits and corrections. Somehow, a red pen has always seemed too harsh to me. Maybe it stems from grammar school and a teacher’s red marks on my homework. Anyway, purple works for me.
I’ll get started on the process today. But while waiting for the proof copy to arrive, I have also begun working on the sequel (“Millie’s Further Adventures in Time”) to my very first novel (“Millie’s Adventures in Time”). To keep from getting too burned out on the one thing, I’ll switch off between the two. It will probably slow down the publishing of “Daria’s Tale,” but some things should never be rushed anyway. Learned that the hard way.
With any luck, in about a month, “Daria’s Tale” should hit the figurative bookshelves. It will be available on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats. I haven’t yet decided if I want to try out the new hardcover option. But it sounds like fun. My book as a hardcover. Woo hoo! What a thought.