Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Help! My Galley's Got A Death Grip On My Sanity! Somebody Save Me!

Got you to look, didn't I?

The upside of self-publishing is to a certain degree, you control your own destiny. The downside of self-publishing is to certain degree, you control your own destiny.

Now before all you good people bombard me with questions on how one statement can be two logical things, I will give everyone an easy to follow explanation.

Keep in mind, I'm a government worker and I do these kind of verbal gymnastics on a daily basis, so please, don't try this at home unless you've had years of dull on the job training, like in the cable, phone or telemarketing industries. (case in point, I just gave you a short paragraph consisting of one very long sentence)

Anyways, the upside of self-publishing is that you control your own destiny. To whit: I spent this weekend going over my galley with a fine tooth comb, making sure it looked good, had no typos and was pleasing to the eye. Well, the first and third item were accomplished. It did look good and was pleasing to the eye. The second item, well, I was at the mercy of myself.

I had submitted the manuscript after doing one last go through while copying it to a floppy. I did manage to find one humongous error in that I forgot to add in 3 very essential paragraphs. Let me tell you, that was the most stressed out hour I had spent while trying to track it down to three other backup sources.

So imagine my surprise (well, not really) when I started going through my galley and began to find typos. Lots of typos. Well as I started going through it, I was at first going to start writing down every single one on a correction sheet. But after carefully reading the basic rules on it, and the amount of money it would cost me to do so, I began to look at it more critically. I left some of the more smaller ones alone, the types that anyone could easily get the gist of, once they read the complete sentence, and instead concentrated on the larger ones that changed the entire meaning of the sentence/paragraph.

By the time I got down, I had found overall, about 35 typos that needed to be corrected. But keeping in mind, the potential cost of the corrections/re-submitting the manuscript, I only noted 17 of the most glaring ones. In all, 1 was the publisher, 16 were mine plus a dedication page. Adding in the fact that a new galley needed to be purchased (1st one was free), this latest salvo will cost me under $100.

Now the downside of controlling your own destiny.

This is a business. No matter what anyone else tells you, whether you're self-publishing your work or you managed to hook into a small/medium/large press, it is a business. You have to be ready to do what it takes to get yourself out there to the masses. Sometimes that means biting the bullet on the small things in order to clear up the larger things.

I bit the bullet on the smaller typos, in order to concentrate on the larger ones. I consider this a valuable lesson learned, in that it's always good to have another pair of eyes to critique your work.

So where do I stand now? As of today, I mailed out the offending pages (along with the proper re numeration) to the publisher. I'm hoping to get it back in about a week or so. I have approved the cover, so that's ready to go. And I have the components of a simple business plan in the wings, so that I have an additional way to sell my novel, which I will let everyone know about in the coming month.

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G. B. Miller

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