It seems like months since I wrote END and finished the first draft of The Key of Solomon. Like all authors, I wish that was the end of it and I could just hand it off to my readers at that point. But I know that was just the beginning of the work that needed to be done.
It was actually September 15, about five weeks ago, when that moment occurred. Since that time, I have done lots of other things. Here’s just a snapshot, so you can understand what happens with a book’s production.
First and foremost, I got away from the manuscript. I read some other books, watched some movies, worked on my house, spent some time with my wife and my dogs. That’s important both for the benefit of my brain and my book. You have to give yourself distance so that you can see the project as objectively as possible, which still isn’t totally possible.
Then I started the editing process. I went through the book, looking for continuity errors (what did I say one way in one chapter only to contradict myself later on?), spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, flow errors, and simply places where I didn’t like the way the story was going. That took several weeks.
I then handed it off to Celeste, my handy-dandy editor, who was available for a quick edit. She did a fantastic job of providing eyes that saw what mine didn’t see. It’s a strong temptation to avoid sending your manuscript to someone else, especially in my case (I was an editor for several decades), but it is ALWAYS necessary. And I swore an oath to myself that her opinion would take priority over mine.
At the same time, I sent the book off to my two Beta readers. One of them responded back, stating that she really liked it, but gave me a page full of errors to fix. Even with me looking at it, and Celeste editing it, 3/4 of the errors were new. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s nigh onto impossible to have an error-free manuscript, but the goal is to get as close as possible to being there.
This week I am working with my cover designer, Lori at Hell Yes Designs (formerly Wicked Designs). And yes, the name is not my idea. But she does good work. I filled out her questionnaire, did lots of homework online and sent it all in late last night. If all goes well, we will have a cover sometime this week.
In the meantime, I have been formatting the paper version and the ebook version of the book. We’re almost there, but I keep finding small errors. Sigh. Big mistakes are easy to see. It’s the little ones that slip by you….
We’re getting there. I look forward to the launch in early December. And I hope you do too!