My oldest son Jared decided to read _The Watchman of Ephraim_ for his book report for school. I was honored but I was also aghast when he started finding small errors - typos. Keep in mind that _TWOE_ was edited twice prior to its original publication and once more and then republished before my son even read it. Three contiguous passes, each finding and correcting errors. Yet, a soon-to-be 12 year-old found a dozen typos in an 84,000 word novel.
I'm embarrassed and upset with myself! When you self-publish, YOU are the publisher. That means the buck stops with each of us! No one else is to blame for the quality of your finished published work. So anytime any errors are found, we only have ourselves to blame. Yet, as with all mistakes, errors and failures that I have committed in my life, my engineering background kicked in driving me to improve the process. I've already had a meeting with my primary editor and we discussed the errors found. Interestingly, even before my son found the typos she had approached me and said that she was not satisfied with her editing of _TWOE_. Furthermore, she had already promised me an improved editing process for my upcoming novel, _Signs of War_.
My point with this log is this ... editing may be the single most important aspect to self-publishing!
While the quality of storylines, plots and themes are subjective to our readers, editing quality is not. Simply put, any kind of errors - grammatical or typo - should be completely unacceptable to all self-publishers. We all must have a 0-tolerance approach to the quality of our published works.
When it comes to the overall quality of your work and it's potential appeal to the masses, nothing is more important than an impeccably edited book. Nothing can better communicate to your readers that your INDYPUB'ed work is on par with any TRADPUB than an error-free publication. It's more important than cover design and its more important than cream-colored paper. That's because the quality of your editing transcends any one published work. In fact and especially for a SELFPUBBER, a poorly edited book will categorize you in the minds of readers as a poor writer. Even worse, for first time SELFPUBBERS like me - first impressions are lasting impressions, so we MUST take care to make sure that our self-published works are as flawless as we can make them.
KEEP THIS IN MIND - when it comes to self-publishing:
Poorly written works reflect badly on the writer, but poorly edited works reflect badly on the entire medium (read: all self-publishing)!
And as a point of pride, I'd like to announce that, because of his meticulous efforts - I will be giving editing credit to my son, Jared de Marigny. Congratulations son!
The newest edition, complete with Jared's corrections will be published before the end of May. My objective with my new novel and every published work thereafter is to publish flawlessly edited works ... on the first pass. That's a promise I make to my readers and to myself.
As for my writing progress ...
I've mentioned in past logs that my writing volume has been plagued by too many distractions, commitments and activities. We all know sometimes there's no way around it - life WILL get in the way ... personal stuff and business stuff - all that will limit WOP.
I decided to take a look at my daily routine - to see where I could improve the efficiency of my time. I came up with a re-juggling of my normal daily schedule that is now allowing me to start writing earlier in the day. Also, to help minimize fatigue (and shed the 40lbs of ego-busting, uncomfortable flab hanging around my mid-section, butt and thighs) I've incorporated my Total Gym workout into my day.
Instead of a 3x per week, 20-minute workout (that I never seemed to get around to), I've broken my workout into four isolated, separate 5-8 minutes sets (of three reps of 10). I'll get up and work out 5-8 minutes (one exercise each time I work out) then take care of business. Then before I eat my main meal of the day (around 1-2pm) I'll do #2. After writing a few more hours, I'll do #3 and then right before I turn in, #4.
It may not be the best way to workout BUT it IS helping me to write more! I think the small shots of adrenaline spaced out throughout the day are more effective in keeping my head clear than a once-a-day 20 minute grind. I'm a little sore, but that's only because I was so out of shape to start.
I added the detail to this last section about working out because I think it's important for every writer (or anyone else for that matter that sits on their keester for a living) to incorporate some amount of exercise into their daily routine. It will DEFINITELY make you sharper, which will DEFINITELY lead to more output in your labors ... and let's face it, you'll be healthier for your trouble!
For me, my paltry daily average of WOP has TRIPLED! I still have a ways to go before I can average 2,000 words per day, every day, but my new routine is definitely a path to achieving that objective.
Back to it!
(Please feel free to leave comments – your comments can be as helpful as anything I write for others. I hope this series turns out to be less my talking at you and more – a group of like-minded storytellers that self-publish or intend to. Peace & God Bless!)
About Gerard de Marigny
Gerard de Marigny is an American novelist and screenplay writer. His newest release is WHITE WIDOW (Cris De Niro, Book 7) and he is currently writing the sequel to the Amazon-Bestselling Modern War Western, JOSHUA'S COUNTRY.
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