Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Book releases, crowdsource editing and the lonely life of a writer
This is a monthly event started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and organized by the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and sign up for the next event.
I started a new book, the sequel to my forthcoming release GENE CARDS. No matter how many times I do this, whenever I start a new project I look at the blank pages and the miser word count and feel completely daunted. Does this happen to you too? On top of that, I have not one but two book releases coming up in the next four week so, needless to say, I'm a nervous wreck.
So, why am I still doing this?
Because I now have readers. And for a writer, that's the most beautiful thing.
I've often wondered, why is it that us writers need readers? I think it's because writing is a lone endeavor. We care for these characters in our head, we love them and want to get to know them better, so much so that we can't help but isolate ourselves from the rest of the world and write about them. We lock ourselves in a room with our laptop, or notepad, or whatever writing device we use, and write. In the meantime the world outside goes on: people go to the movies, friends meet up for coffee, kids go to school, couples get married, and in the meantime, us, lone writers, miss out on all this. Why?
Because readers make it all worth it. When we have readers, suddenly we're not the only one caring for these characters. There's a whole world out there that wants to know more about them, even if that whole world is just your mom, your spouse, your sister. Suddenly, we're not alone.
You know the best thing that happened to me last week? I got the proofs for my forthcoming release GENE CARDS. My kids came home from school as I was opening the box. My older one is a teenager. Remember those? Grumpy, demanding, constantly dissatisfied teenagers? Yeah. Anyways, my kids peeked inside the box, saw my book and started screaming in excitement. My teenager in particular said: "How cool is it that Mom writes books! Hey, Mom! Come sign my copy!"
And that... that... was true happiness. Because believe me, for a teenager her parents are the un-coolest thing on earth. And to see my daughter so happy to hold my book... really, it doesn't get any better than that.
My readers are also my best editors. Yup. I call it crowdsource editing. You see, I did something stupid when I sent out the ARCs for Mosaics. I was late, I'd promised to send them out in July and, well, July was coming to an end and the book hadn't been proof-read yet. So I gave it another quick read, found a few typos, and then sent it out. Of course, I sent it to my proof-readers too, but that meant that the ARC readers were getting a non-proofed copy. Did I mention that my readers are awesome? Not only did they understand and forgive me, they started sending me notes. And here's the best part: every single reader will catch some and miss some. But when I put all the notes together I knew my book was 99% clean. Yes. crowd-sourcing editing, how do you like that? :-)
So to all my readers out there. THANK YOU.