The three thick, thump-when-you-drop-them-on-the-coffee-table, fresh-from-Staples copies of the first draft of my book, To Drown in Sand. The pages thump together when you run your thumb across the edge. They smell like fresh, fresh paper.
I carried them out of the Big S as carefully as I carried my two infant children from the hospital. And then, like a new mom, I had to surrender them for assessment.
Being an Indy author today seems, to me, to demand a quest for quality very much unlike other fields. I have to push my reading team to keep picking at me. I have to have copies of the first draft hand-delivered to smiling friends who have agreed to be ruthless with their criticism. And then, I have to wait while they cut into my creations with the Red Pens I provided them.
Not that I’m complaining. I stepped onto this boat, I have to wait until its back in dock. And the whole process hasn’t dwindled my enthusiasm. I’m from a generation that had to only dream of self-publishing. Now, the tech is at our fingertips, and there isn’t any reason not to chase it.
But it’s about what you do with it once you decide, I think. You can choose to hone it, demand higher quality at every turn, from yourself, and from your team, your artist, and your writing. Because there’s time to get it as right as you can make it. That’s what today’s tech has offered, and that’s what a reader deserves.
My first proofed copy came back to be, scarred by the Red Pen. As I read through Ademir’s work, I laughed at how thorough he was, and how it seemed that he had done more work in editing my novel than I had in writing it.
Forever nudging the bar. True friends will do that with you.
Interesting how writing, the loneliest job in the universe, can make you feel supported. I’m thinking that’s a sign that we’re doing it the right way.