Well-meaning, but misguided, friends often question me when I admit I’d prefer the traditional publishing route over self-publishing.
Sure, both are fraught with decisions, fears, and worries, but in my heart, I want somebody standing beside me when I face them.
Somebody like an agent. Or an editor.
You see, few of us are so exacting that we don’t need another set of eyes on what we write.
To catch our misspellings, wonky sentences, even factual errors.
I learned that early in my newspaper career.
I’d been sent to cover a celebrity who was coming to town to perform a concert. During the interview, I realized this guy was “full of himself,” treating the local media as if we were hicks (or worse).
Returning to the office, I wrote the story as I saw it, and the paper pretty much carried it that way.
The next day, you-know-what hit the fan! Readers were outraged, penning Letters to the Editor and jamming the phone lines.
They seemed to want my head on a platter.
Eventually, I found myself in the Big Boss’s office, along with members of the copy desk (who were the last eyes to read my story before it was printed).
The desk admitted it was at fault, failing to include a note that my article was “opinion,” not “news.” I was off the hook, but we’d all learned a valuable lesson: One can’t go it alone.
The reason I’ve been somewhat AWOL in Blogland is that I’m in a deep edit of my novel. And boy, is that ever needed!
While it’s been read and re-read countless times — by me and by numerous “beta readers” — mistakes have been made.
Don’t you love that phrase? It’s so lame in assessing blame, when the blame is all mine this time.
I’m the one who failed to close a quoted piece of dialog. I’m the one who failed to follow the timeline. I’m the one who left a clue hanging without resolution.
You know, several years ago, I was reading a wildly popular author, who called a character’s eyes “green” on page 2 and less than five pages later, changed them to “blue”.
I can do better, I told myself, and tossing the book aside, started one of my own.
It’s been harder than I imagined to get to this point.
And from what I’m hearing, the difficulties have just begun.
Still, I’m forging ahead. Optimistic. Hopeful.
Wish me luck, okay?!