Lately, friends and family have been asking me quite frequently, “Why are you still editing? I thought the book was finished??!”
It is puzzling. Why- after eight years of research and writing, after finally connecting with a publisher, with the book now available for pre-order on many sites including Amazon (where, I might add, it is a #1 Amazon New Release title!) and with having a release date set for August 5 - why, oh why, are you still working on it? So I thought I’d address the behind-the-curtain process of getting a book project over the finish line and what it entails.
Granted, this may not be everyone’s experience. It may be because of the genre of my particular work which is non-fiction. A biographical work with lots of extra requirements. Like permissions for photos that must be secured. Or an index. Or a bibliography, endnotes (otherwise known as footnotes) and an additional section called chapter notes. All of which can cause an author to tear their hair out.
It is a painstaking process, even without those added elements. Also, the more pages there are, the longer it takes. This one has over 350-plus pages. A huge undertaking to find every typo, misspelling, run-on sentence, and various other issues that need to be addressed before sending it out into the world. I must admit, I had hoped when my publisher characterized my submission as a ‘clean manuscript’ that meant the work was almost done. But what did I know? Not a lot about what would happen once it left my hands.
My brief stint in my early twenties as a junior copy editor of promotional copy for a marketing company should have been a clue. After a project had passed through three to four readers, the brochure or ad would land on my desk. Despite having already been checked by four different readers, I was always shocked when I would find an error (sometimes two!) So for a 300-page book, why did I think it would be a fast turn-around? I have been blessed by an incredible team of readers who have come alongside me and shared their time and talent to carefully do a line-by-line copy edit. Those then have to be incorporated into the manuscript. Despite it being tedious and time-consuming, I must admit I do love the process. It means the reader will enjoy a tighter, better read because of it.
So, if you purchase A Tide of Dreams (see link below or go to my website www.authorcareyhkeefe.com) and happen to find an error (which I guarantee will happen) do email and let me know. It will be too late for corrections on the first edition, but if there is second edition (which would be incredible) it can be addressed then.