Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Neverending Stories

I was startled a few weeks ago to realize the end of the publishing contract on my first book The Willow and the Stone is fast approaching.  Having opted to not extend the contract, I am getting the rights back in July. 

Since my foray into traditional publishing with a small house has been a mixed bag with more negative than positive, I will be re-releasing The Willow and the Stone on my own.  Alt-Tam has had a great deal of success in self-publishing, so it’s a hat I’m used to wearing. 

However, this means a lot of work.  I’ve already begun a new editing run on this book, fixing some writing issues that I missed before ... even though I’ve been over and over the story a million times.  I never remain happy with anything I write for very long.  I always wince when I read over something that’s been out a little while.  “That could have been done better,” I say to myself.  “Did I really let that go into public looking like that?” 

The same has happened once more.  I’m formatting my new version of The Willow and the Stone and finding irritating little things that make me grind my teeth.  I comfort myself as I go, thinking, “Well, I get to fix that.  At least I’ve got that going for me.”  We writers are brutes to ourselves.  I don’t think I’ve ever met another author who feels they got their work perfect. 

Feeding my angst is the way the publisher let the book go out.  The formatting is horrendous on the print version.  I’m afraid to see how it looks as an ebook for fear it’s just as bad.  This is one of the reasons traditional publishing has left a bad taste in my mouth.  You’d think those who are supposed to be experts in this field would at least be able to format a book.  Apparently not.  I am embarrassed to have people read my work looking like this.  I’m not quite sure they can read it.  In using my print copy to work on my edits, I’m nearly cross-eyed trying to figure out where one paragraph ends and another begins.  What were they thinking? 

Again, I remind myself I get to fix it.  The book is out of print anyway, so at least no more damage can be done on that front.  So I’m pasting a big smile on my face and continuing on. 

Yet the constant urge to improve makes me wonder if I’ll ever truly finish writing The Willow and the Stone.  Will it reach a point where I can claim it is done, never to be touched again?  I don’t know.  I have a sneaky suspicion the answer will be no.

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