Beware the Falling Avocados has gone to my proofreader.
We had a lovely chat over a cup of tea (about most things other than my book) and then I came home, buoyed up by having achieved a goal: my book is finished. It is the next step on towards being published.
So there is a lull in book production – or, more accurately, a cessation in editing for a period – and I thought I would post some information about the nitty-gritty end of publishing a book.
And by that I mean self-publishing.
And by that I mean in the way I have – which is neither the only nor necessarily the best way, but it has worked for me.
Firstly, in order to publish a book you must write it.
Having written it, you must edit it.
Having edited it, you must get some other opinions – ideally from a respected, independent source.
Then you must re-edit, re-write and re-edit until you are blue in the face.
This is the place I am at now. I have done what I can. Do I think it is the best piece of writing in the world? No. Do I think I shall win the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction? No. Did I use the word indubitably even once? No. Indubitably no.
But is it as good as I can make it? Yes – for now. Sending to the proofreader is not the end! Obviously, it is very nearly the end but I haven’t pressed the button marked ‘print’. Proofreading is to fine tune it: to get spellings right, to ensure consistency with the typing, to be grammatically correct. It would not surprise me if I have to re-write sections… but this is good! It is good to get better and improve. Every time I go back to my manuscript I find parts to rewrite in the pursuit of perfection (a goal that can never be achieved, by the way). I suspect I shall be a perpetual editor for every piece of writing in my entire life: I still feel like that about In the Shade of the Mulberry Tree and that’s been published for three years now.
Now, though, I am at the stage of Making a book. And the most exciting part I plan to reveal next week: the cover design.
Yes, I could hope** and skip with excitement. Other than the writing, it is probably the most important part of a book. Good job I love it then!
** Or hop. Hop and skip.
As pointed out to me by my marvellous proofreader – worth every penny!