Sunday, March 24, 2013

Making Mistakes and Fixing Them

The thing I like about self-publishing is that if I find a mistake after I publish a book, I can fix it. Of course it would be swell if I could find them before I publish, but sometimes, the story needs a little overhaul. Yeah, sure it's a pain, I hate re-uploading, because it's more than just that one manuscript that needs to be fixed. Or rather should I say "built".

If you're not a writer, you might think it's just a matter of sitting at the computer and writing a book, doing some magic and "poof", they're for sale on Amazon. But it's not. Once you write the first draft, then it's a matter of revisions and rewrites. So you end  up writing about 10 drafts before you get a decent manuscript. Then it's off to the critique partners for more rewrites and revisions.

The original document, after the problems have been taken care of, usually needs to be what I called "flipped", meaning opening a new document and flipping the corrected version into it. Then I have to make sure all my italics are the same and the green and red squiggly lines are gone. (The less KB   you have on a ms. the better off you are.)

After that, I upload to the mobi.creator to get on Kindle. Then that prc.doc, gets put into Calibre for conversion to epub for the Nook. Once all that's done, then I go back to the original version and doctor that up for Smashwords -they need special wording on the title page. (I know, you must be asking, now that Kindle, and Smashwords now accept epub, you only have to write one document.) Yes, but I would still have to do conversions because of the wording you have to do on Smashword.

Well, I've just fixed all four of my novellas. Several people complained about a particular aspect of my writing, and for the last couple of months I've chosen to ignore it because, well because I've been really busy writing other stuff. But now that Masquerade is done, I decided to take the bull by the horns and go in and fix all the errors.

Four novellas = 16 different manuscripts + covers. Hopefully now, I won't have to do it again. However, I do also have to tackle my novels and that's going to take awhile. It's not just a simple thing of find and replace. I'm sure if I had listened to my instincts in the first place instead of second guessing myself while I wrote the first words of the first book, I wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

But live and learn as they say.

Now they're done and I'm hoping never to have to look at them again. Don't get me wrong, I love my stories, but after reading and rereading them 10,000 times, I just don't want to see them again.

So, I hope you like the "new improved" versions. Maybe with the next book, I'll have made it easier on myself and written it right the first time.

6 comments:

  1. You're better than some authors who never fix the problems. Kudos to you, Anne.

    It does get to be 'been here, done that' after multiple revisions, but the result is worth it. First drafts are first drafts - and they need loving care. In retrospect I can see what I left out the first time in the draft (beta readers help with that too).

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  2. Unfortunately, every book I revised this time was the *cough* final finished product. I'd already done 10 revisions (after 10 drafts) and these were supposed to be the last of the last of the last of them.

    They've all been unpublished and republished 3 other times. But this time is the LAST time. No more. I even went so far as to say that in my product description.

    I have other things I need to be working on, and so, this is it.

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  3. It's very easy for the readers to demand these things - I'm sure they have no idea of all the trouble you go to for each upload (I certain didn't!). As you say, at least you have the power to make changes, not like a book stuck in print.

    Thanks for the insight into self-pub :)

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  4. What a lot of work you've put into them, Anne!

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  5. I'm awed at how driven you are to put out your best possible product. It will pay off! :)

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  6. Charlotte -- Thanks for stopping by. It's true, I don't think readers actually take into account what writers go through with a single manuscript. And having the access to it once it's published is a relief at times.

    Rosemary -- Just trying to produce a quality product.

    Bridget -- From your lips to God's ears. I don't think I'm driven, I think it's more like anal. lol

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