The Pitfalls of Being Me

Last summer, I was bedridden because of knee replacement surgery. So of course, I read books. Lots of books. Three of the books I read were my own. By then I hadn’t looked at them for a year or more, and I don’t know, I guess by reading them with fresh eyes, maybe I could better understand some of the stuff people had mentioned in their reviews.

I was flabbergasted. I could see every criticism that had been made. And all of them could have been avoided with better editing. Now I’ll be honest–one book I edited on my own using Grammarly because I didn’t have the money to hire a content editor, a copy editor, or proofreader. The second book had been extensively re-edited by a content pro but I didn’t have it copy edited or proofed because, after all that, I didn’t think the book needed it. The third book had undergone a copy edit but hadn’t been content edited or proofread, again because I didn’t think it needed it.

The spelling and grammar, however, were perfect. Because I’m like that.

I couldn’t believe I’d allowed my books to be published in that state. It doesn’t matter that two of my books won awards. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a perfectionist. and what I’d published was just horrifying. So as soon as I could hobble to my computer, I contacted my formatter and asked for the last formatted copy of the three books before they went to print. She sent them and I got to work.

So now I’m editing the third book, with the finest-toothed comb you can imagine. I’m taking my time with it, too. Because I realized that was the root of the problem. Instead of finishing the process and then letting the book sit for a while so I can give it a final once-over with fresh eyes, I’m in a rush to publish. I’ve gotta have it published this year so I can enter that contest, or whatever. No. That’s not the way it works. The book will be published when it’s truly completed, and the publication date doesn’t matter.

I self-publish through Blackrose Press, my house. As a self-published author, my job is to give my readers my best work. Although it’s better than it was years ago, self-publishing still carries a stigma–sloppy writing, grammar, spelling, and everything else. In fact, I started Blackrose Press because if people saw I had a publisher, I could escape the stigma. Yet here I am, contributing to the problem.

True, my books are rated 4 stars and up across several platforms. That means a lot of people didn’t see the issues. It don’t cut no ice with me, though. My job is to put out the best product I can and I didn’t.

It’s been a learning experience. Time to change my ways.


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