I have a confession to make. Don't get too excited just yet, I didn't kill anyone or rip the tag off a mattress (I'm not that crazy). No, my transgression is on a smaller scale, yet potentially damaging just the same. Thankfully, I've taken steps to correct it, but my story provides some insight for anyone who is working on self-publishing a book.
In November 2017 I was in a bad place mentally; on the verge of a breakdown and completely lost. Needless to say (yet being said anyway), it was not a fun existence. At this point, I had written a few short stories and a handful of others that were stuck in eternal development; the thought of writing a novel was nowhere on the radar.
A very vivid dream visited me one December eve, and that was the catalyst. Writing began immediately and moved along at a pretty good clip, an eclectic soundtrack pushing me along.
Fun Fact: One of the songs that came up at random was 'Bermuda' by Roky Erickson, the very song that inspired the book's title. Honestly, the lyrics were too perfect not to fit:
Are you are you Bermuda bound Pulled and called like by a siren sound It's so high and it's underground But you never come back From all you ever found in Bermuda
Anyway, let's not get sidetracked, this is a blog about lack of patience, not inspiration. The first draft was ready in May of 2018. Having no expendable income to cover it, I took some time away from the book before going back and editing. I made one full pass. Then two. Then a third on a printed copy.
Everything looked good, right up until it didn't.
After editing, the manuscript was formatted in two specific ways: one for ebook and one for paperback. The formatting was fine, no major issues, no ugly-ass book. The problem came up when I started reading the paperback.
There were typos.
Mother of God.
Granted, these errors weren't enough to take you out of the story (no plot holes or continuity errors), but they infuriated me just the same. All the writing, editing, re-editing, re-re-editing, and still there were mistakes. There are few things in this world that are as disheartening as holding a physical copy of your own book and spotting errors.
While those errors were quickly corrected, it highlights an issue that many indie authors face, which is a low to nonexistent budget. Ideally, you'll be able to hire a talented editor who will ensure that all the i's are dotted, the t's are crossed, and the their's aren't they're's or there's (unless they're supposed to be), but that's not always an option.
Best thing to do in that situation?
Don't be impatient, like I was.
Separate yourself from the work. Take some time to work on something else, be it another writing project, a hobby, or something else. Give it a week. Give it two. Hell, give it a month. Come back to it fresh and read through it carefully. The temptation will likely be there to rush through it (Hey, I wrote the damned thing!), but that will only increase the likelihood of you missing errors.
Well, it's time for me to get back to work.
Til we meet again...