Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chapter Three - Heading Towards Print

My previous experience with editors was with some pieces going into anthologies and some non-fiction work in different markets. While I made a genuine attempt at proof reading anything and everything, I have to be brutally honest and admit that I am worse than average at proofing my own work. I certainly do not expect editors to be doing my proofing for me but I was used to having a proofing stage to pick up such things.

The first proof copy of It Hides In Darkness arrived in my email inbox in pdf format, very quickly after I signed the contract. I went through that proof edition and the sheer number of things that needed fixing was pretty darned bad. I was more than a little annoyed with myself, typed up a list of everything and sent it back by email.

A response from Creative Print Publishing came back pretty darned quickly – Philip’s turnaround time is remarkably fast. But he was pointing out that the competition was for something that was ‘print ready.’ The onus was on me to have ensured it was indeed ready for going straight into print layout. I gave myself the excuse that when I learned of the competition and submitted it, I was more concerned with the pending drilling a hole into my skull for the surgeon to literally pull part of my brain out of said hole. Nonetheless, the product was not really good enough.

Creative Print Publishing was kind enough to agree to my going through it again in closer detail before redoing the print layout. I am fortunate in having a very close friend who works in an editorial role for a publisher and Lisa very kindly went through it with her coloured pen, picking up even more things that needed fixing.

Now I was able to get that proof reading done for free although I owe Lisa Big Time for her work on my behalf. But there was an important lesson to be learned here – any publisher or publication editor has a lot of copy to look at. The onus is on us authors to make it look as clean a copy as possible. And if I am lousy at proofing my own work, then I need someone else to help me with it.

If we are talking about publishing in any form that involves payment linked to sales, then it is a good investment to have someone else do that proofing work for you. A different, fresher set of eyes can pick a lot of things up, which I discovered for myself in the past while doing some paid proof reading work for another author (although that lesson obviously did not kick its way into my consciousness at the time).

This was an important lesson to be learned – get that manuscript as clean as possible, using someone else’s services if it is going to make a noticeable improvement.

Lesson learned.

PS check out the addition to the following links - it is now possible to obtain an 'autographed' kindle version of a book. I thought it was pretty kewl!

Click me for an autographed version
get a Kindle autograph!

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