Typesetting as a self-published author.
What an experience this has been. Not so much the act of typesetting the book, but the preparation required to send a manuscript for typesetting. I have proofed my manuscript multiple times and run it through various programs to ensure there are no mistake and I still shudder because I’m sure something has slipped by me.
IT NEEDS TO BE PERFECT: Especially if you don’t want to pay an exorbitant price per hour just to make two key stroke changes. No, No, No….I don’t want to be that person.
To avoid making post typesetting corrections, I have spent the last few weeks reading, amending, and ultimately improving my manuscript with each appraisal (because you always notice something that could be better).
Where do you stop? Three weeks and three manuscript reviews later—I found that spot. There were no flashing lights or signage to tell me I’d reach ground zero, I just knew. I had finally reached that point where I dithered over a word change—where either word option worked. I’d argue with my grammar program and refuse to correct my prose because that’s the characters idiosyncrasies.
Is this the best I can make my manuscript? I probably could make it better because as the author, I know it can always be better but I want to publish in this lifetime not the next. Then you start to question the quality of your storyline (keeping in mind how many times you’ve read it). Is it good enough? How does it compare with other books on the market? Uncertainty seeps in to your being because this is it. There is no more tweaking to be done.
I have no publishing house or agent to pat me on the back and tell me my work is great. It’s only me and my belief in myself.
I’ve realised that one of the most valuable services sourced through an agent and/or a publishing company is editing and proofreading of my manuscript. When things became tedious and stressful, I daydreamed about the luxury of handing my draft copy over to an agent and a few weeks later getting a hot off the press version of my book handed back to me. ( I know I can pay someone to do this but Why? It’s better in my pocket, right.)
Imagine having someone remove the responsibility for producing a perfect final rendition of your work from your shoulders. To have subjective fresh eyes scan your manuscript for spelling or grammar issues multiple times. Then there are the company editors, who will correct and adjust your work to suit the market. …OKAY BACK UP.
WHY DID I SELF PUBLISH AGAIN? -Oh right, to have full control of my work. Back to reality.
Although it has been tiring and time-consuming, it has also been a satisfying experience. I can look at my manuscript with pride because I did this. All my hard work has culminated into this book that will soon be in my hands and out there being judged by the avid reader.
For today, I will enjoy the moment. The book is complete.