"I finished your book last night," says a friend. He is smiling as we walk towards the outdoor basketball courts. Pickup basketball is one of the few, honest golden pleasures of life. "Oh yeah?" I respond. "What did you think?"
"I liked it. The helicopter scene at the end was a little over the top (YESSSSS!!!!!!!, I'm thinking to myself) and you had some typos in there..."
My heart stops. THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE.
Immediately I start to panic. WHAT PAGES ARE THEY ON? TELL ME!!! I feel like the Hulk when unable to control his anger:
But then, I realize a couple of things. 1) I'm a first time author that can't yet afford a professional editor. I made this choice from the very beginning, so I guess I've expected this sort of thing to occur in some sort of capacity, 2) the Scrivener software I use on my MacBook underwent some sort of update just as I was editing Walls and started clunking up the thing (this is NOT an excuse, just what I am rambling on about in my head), and 3) it's easily fixable.
I successfully holster my systemic rage and start concocting a plan to rectify the situation.
1) Finding an editor is expensive work these days. It's one thing to edit someone else's work (I am a consultant and editor myself), but an entirely different animal when you're attempting to edit your own work. Believe me when I say I read Walls no less than 15 times while proofreading, copyediting, and content editing. Even still, I guess it wasn't enough to catch some of the flaws that have surfaced in the first edition. Some nights, this is what I felt like:
2) Scrivener is great. Don't get me wrong. I don't know how I would organize all of my material if I was just writing in a Microsoft Word processor, but some of the things the company does irks me into blinding aneurysms. For example, Scrivener recently updated their entire system to synchronize with all of the other programs Mac offers. Sounds great for the company...but for an author? They've just made my editing process 10,000,000 times more difficult. Have you noticed that EVERYTHING has autocorrect now?? I type there and the computer switches it to their. Sometimes I think there is a little goblin in the screen that just screws with me for its own hellbent enjoyment.
and, 3) Luckily, Lulu has a revision feature that allows its authors to return to the project and revise the project without penalty (except for the proof novel you must purchase to make sure everything looks alright). I've already scanned the file, fixed those typos and submitted the new project to distributors with the same ISBN and everything. Crisis averted.
GAHH! I can't express the importance of proofreading and editing. I tell my students all the time that it's one of the most fundamental and foundational skills everyone must learn in the English classroom. People, whether you think so or not, do not take kindly to simple mistakes in grammar and spelling. They are such a turn-off to readers, even if they love the story. I know this because I, myself, am critical of those mistakes. Just the other day, as I finished Neil Gaiman's, Anansi Boys, I found myself criticizing the 4-5 spacing, grammar, and spelling mistakes throughout the work. What it comes down to is the simple fact that it's natural to judge in this case. People want perfection...and authors should be striving to reach it all the time.
That's why there's a 2nd Edition already in the system, waiting for confirmation from Amazon and Barnes & Noble for complete distribution. There is an upside to this. If you are (or want to be) one of the lucky ones that have, in your possession, a copy of the 1st Edition of Walls, there will never, ever, EVER be any more like it once the rest of the 1st Editions are sold. Just think, when I'm rich and famous (I'm banking on it - Stephen King, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks style) and have 30 novels out on the market, the 1st Edition of Walls will be worth MILLIONS on eBay.
In the meantime, here is the breakdown of what I have in stock:
2nd Edition Revised: ($15.99) R.T. Donlon's Official Page : Click "Books" and follow the link for 10% off your Lulu purchase.
1st Edition: (18 in Stock at $15.99/copy) - Message me on Facebook at "R.T. Donlon - Author".
2nd Edition Proof Copy: (I have only 1 in stock locally priced at $15.99) - Limited Edition "limbo" proof copy, contact me on Facebook.
Until next time, enjoy reading Walls with or without the typos and rate/review me anyway! I'll take praises AND criticisms! As always, you guys are the best. Check back later for more autumn details about R.T. Donlon short fiction, book signings, and events galore!