Years ago, in an old movie the name of which I have long since forgotten, a writer decided his book was no good and put it in a drawer to rot. His girlfriend or maybe wife retrieved it and secretly sent it to a publisher, who (of course) loved it and put it into print forthwith. In the next scene, the author received a package containing his beautiful book, hard cover. He immediately made the Times Bestseller List and lived happily ever after on the royalties.
Alas, this does not mirror real life at all.
In early November, 2018, I retreated to The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (Eureka Springs, AR) to finish my novel Worth the Candle. This story had long been in my head, first touched paper in 2015 under the working title “Meant to Be,” resided on a thumb drive most of 2017, and was the main focus of my 2018 resolutions: finish it or shred it.
So, Yay! The writing was completed in plenty of time (I thought) to see a book by the end of the year. My publisher, Alderson Press, quickly sent me samples of a cover to approve.
I engaged a proof reader. After 10 days rest, I read the text again to locate redundancies, over-used words, needed clarifications, and even a couple of typos.
Off the manuscript goes to the printer, who returns a “proof copy not for resale” a week later (we’re now crowding December). Believe it or not, once I looked at the proof, I decided I wanted a major change in the formatting. Might as well do it right, right? These corrections were made immediately and returned to the publisher.
Screech. That’s the sound of brakes as everything comes to a halt while everyone tends to Christmas. My book was suddenly way on the back burner. I can expect to see my corrected copy later.
The publisher assures me my novel is correct now and they have even listed it for sale on Kindle and Amazon.com. But I have not seen a final copy! I’m told it was mailed to me on December 30 and will arrive before January 9. Really?
So, just about now I could use a movie scenario. A loved one who presents me with my beautiful, finished book. A listing in the New York Times. And of course royalties for the rest of my life.
More about Worth the Candle next week!