I received what I thought would be my final proof for my book, Curveballs: Sweet & Smokey Down the Barbeque Trail. I received it with great anticipation for now, now I could finally click the ACCEPT PROOF button on CreateSpace and the paperback version of my book would be available for the world to buy. I could purchase copies for my friends and co-workers who keep telling me they want to buy the paperback version, I could organized some book signings and a release party. Oh my, the list is endless with possibilities.
All this was great until I read the first page, and saw an error in paragraph two. Then I flipped through the book, dejected, and came across chapter 14. No headers. What? I sat in disbelief. I’ve had three editors, and I’ve edited the darn thing a thousand times myself, and I’m still finding errors. Are we all blind?
I concluded I uploaded the wrong file, a previous one, to CreateSpace. I called my brother and sister, and demanded to see the copies I gave them to read. I needed the original proof where I marked errors, to verify that indeed I uploaded the wrong file to CreateSpace. But their proof versions proved to be similar to my proof version. Where oh where did I put that earlier copy?
In the deep recesses of my backpack I discovered it. I spent hours searching for it and all along there it was. Is Rock’n roll spelled Rock ‘n’ roll? Doggonit, I’ve got to know. That pesky error is the right there in chapter two. So I set a goal. I would read my entire book in two, maybe three days and find those errors! It’s amazing the amount of errors I’ve found. And I did a spell check on it in the last week, and I’m still finding them.
This makes me wonder. How do those pros find those errors. Do they wear special glasses, eat a donut at noon, sleep 7.5 hours instead of 8? Or do they eat burnt ends instead of ribs. I’m sick of it. Or do they go through what I go through. I know I’m not alone.
I’ve been reading up on successful self-help authors recently to gain motivation and momentum to keep going when the doubts flood in. Mark Dawson, Amanda Hocking, Hugh Howey. Yep, they all get burned by errors too long after they think the editing process is done with. So I’m not alone. But it doesn’t ease the pain of finding them, and in my case, I’m finding a lot of them. Poop.
I want this book out in paperback form. But now after finding so many errors in the paperback version I’m going to have to go back and update my two different ebook versions. Yes, two versions. One for Amazon and one for Smashwords. That’s a boatload of work too.
The work of a self-published author never ends. Never. Just when we think we’ve got it all done, Bam!, we have more to do. Suck. I want an Easy Button! But there is none. So I plug and slug away. The beauty of having a blog is I can get it out of my brain and onto the blog. I must release those mental gyrations that the end is not the end, there is more to do. Please oh please self-publishing gods, please let this process end and let me get my book out there and may the world gobble it up like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
Let’s see, first sales will be brisk, then pick up, then become a New York Times #1 Bestseller, then a National Bestseller, then an International Bestseller, then the red carpet, where Hollywood and Speilberg come calling with a huge contract. I keep asking those in my book what they are going to wear on the red carpet. I’m not asking for much am I?
Am I crazy for thinking so optimistically. After all, I’ve busted my but working on my book project. My small project has turned into a trilogy. I sat down and did a quick calculation as to how much time I have invested into this. The equivalent of two PhDs. That’s right. TWO PhDs. Yet I have seen no reward, yet. Okay, the thrill of creating a story and a trilogy is a reward unto itself. But I’m working as an Education Assistant at a Special Ed school. Surely the financial boondoggle from my books is right around the corner. Right? Come on Speilberg, buy my book, love it, and call me! I’ll answer your call!
It’s funny. When I mention I’m working on a book trilogy I get a smattering of responses. Some are positive and very enthusiastic. Others are negative. “Forget about the book, you should ….” I get that a lot, especially since no reward is currently in sight. But persist I must.
The show must go on. I’ve got four years into this. Who spends four years working on a book project with no reward?! I’ve got a life to lead, I’ve got to make career changes, form relationships, etc. Who’s got the time for this? Well, and this doesn’t make me feel better, a lot of authors do.
For instance, A Higher Call, by Adam Makos took eight years to write. Adam’s dad, uncle, grandfather, heck the whole clan were WW II vets. Adam got the bug in high school to create, with his friends, a newsletter highlighting WW II stories. By the end of high school he had a circulation of 7,000.
He continued this into college and eventually heard of the story of a German Fighter Pilot in WW II who could have shot down a heavily damaged B17, but instead chose not to and let it return to England. Adam decided to write a book about this, his first book ever. The first four years were spent tracking down and interviewing the pilots and the second four were spent on research, and he got to be embedded in Iraq with US troops.
Eight years! That’s persistence. Okay, let’s review how his book has done: New York Times Bestseller, National Bestseller, International Bestseller, and he has a Hollywood deal! Not bad for a first book if you ask me. I’m not jealous, just inspired.
The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks took author Rebecca Skloot 10 years to write. Ten years! Are you kidding me? Who’s got that kind of patience? Well, she does. And her reward? Bestseller, and I believe, a movie deal is in the works too.
So I think I’ll stop whining now about how long it is taking me. Instead I’ll keep getting inspired.