Woo Hoo – it finally arrived, my author advance copy came in the post and I have to tell you it was SO exciting! Now this is not my first book, I’ve written several business books in the past, and the first couple of times, they were very exciting too. But there’s a whole different feeling when it’s a story of fiction, and you’ve allowed the story to unfold and emerge from you – it’s a bit like meeting your baby for the first time. You know her, have grown to love her, and as she’s developed and grown, you know that she’s your own creation and you love her even more as a result of that.
When my advance copy of Margaret arrived, I was dancing around the room, whooping for joy. And delighted to find it was all I hoped it would be, I proceeded to call a few friends, took a photo of it, and then made sure I took it with me everywhere for the last few days and showed it off to anyone who would take a peek at it. I felt like a proud new mum for sure.
Author advance copies are for FINAL checks to ensure everything really is ok before the final print run is authorised. To be honest with you, if at this stage you find something slightly out of kilter, you might as well let it go and remember that perfection is the greatest enemy of creativity. Hold ups for getting a book 100% are hard on the publisher, the printer, and the author. I did notice a word I’d have changed on the back cover if I’d noticed it during earlier proofing, but I didn’t, and do I decided to let it go. We’re on a tight deadline anyway, and sometimes you just have to ‘not sweat the small stuff’.
I know there are bound to be people who let me know about other errors – VERY small ones I hope – but I also hope that anything that does get picked up by readers now, is not only fixed for a subsequent print run, but is forgiven and does not interfere with anyone’s enjoyment of the story.
For the perfectionists out there – 10 or more passes of the book by professional and amateur readers and editors is pretty standard for a book like this – and I do sincerely apologise in advance for any frustration that you may suffer from if all the checking, rechecking, rechecking, and further rechecking of this manuscript didn’t quite nail it to a level of perfection that maybe this story deserves.