Back when I was young and dumb (three months ago), I listened to anxious, well-meaning friends and family ask me when Beasts and Savages would be published.
It was already written. All I needed to do was go back, check my spelling and grammar, and send it off to eBook haven, right? I could definitely have my book ready by September 15.I told anyone who would listen to me that I had set my date.
Boy, was I wrong.
I read in an article somewhere that self-published authors should have someone (not related to them) look over their work. So, I Googled editors. Professional editorial pages advertised quick and sound work, for a cost. As in I would have to sell 800 books to make back the money paid to them. Let’s be honest.I work in public safety, I don’t have that kind of cash lying around, waiting to be used.
I did find, however, a wonderful edit trading site. It was free and easy to use. What happened next was the biggest learning experience of my writing career. I read some other’s work, gave some suggestions, and timidly posted my first chapter. My first real feed back was 573 words long. For those of you who don’t speak “word-countese”, this post is 483 words long. I felt like a little kid who had brought her scribbles to an art museum and asked the curator to hang it next to Van Gogh.
After 9 revisions, I received an edit that was over 1,500 words. That’s half the length of the chapter. Right now, I’m at my 20th, and final, revision.
So, Emma, you got someone to read and edit your book, right? So why can’t you get it on Amazon by September 15th?
Because when editing is free, it takes time. There’s give and take. I’ve made lots of writer friends, and we trade work. I’m still editing. Editing my work, editing other author’s work: editing, editing, editing.
I already hear a certain someone out there huffing, “Same ‘ole Emma, procrastinating perfectionist.” And I see your eye roll. If I wanted to procrastinate, I wouldn’t have set a date in the first place. I also hear the concerned writer friend: “If you postpone now, won’t you lose your fan base?” To this, I can’t help but laugh. What fan base? I’m a new aspiring author. No one knows me yet. But they will.
So, could I publish Beasts and Savages on September 15th? Well, yes. It is written, after all. Would it be my very best, what you, my readers, family and friends, deserve? No, it honestly wouldn’t. Will it be great on October 1st? Yes, yes it will. I’ve already exceeded my editing expectations for this week.
To anyone waiting expectantly for this work, who now has to wait a few more weeks, please accept my humble apology. Chalk it up to a novice writer’s mistake.