Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bubble wrapping a book's creation

Prairie Dog Cowboy is in the last stage of publication, and and now we wait for the finished book to appear . The scheduled release date is October 15. Since this is one of my books, I can hardly wait to hold a copy in my hands, the prize after months and months of work and effort on my part and Jordan Vinyard's.

Does anyone realize how many problems can pop up as a book works its way from author and illustrator through the editing process and designing and formatting before it actually can be printed? Looking back over my experiences at all stops a book makes, I'm amazed any are actually released. However, that's another blog post - gremlins in the publishing business.

Prairie Dog Cowboy has taken over a year, but that's really not a long time in the publishing world. Other books have taken two and three years from contract to release. Why? Because doing a good job takes longer than throwing something together.

Many of us have picked up a book and found too many errors, inconsistency, and lack of cohesion. We wonder how editors missed the problems. Some times, editors may not know what to look for or hurry the process. Other times, no editing or proofreading occurs. Experienced editors are required for a good results, as is thorough edits and multiple revisions.

Perhaps the author failed to edit the final proof sent him (or her), personally, but accepted that editors did their jobs. I go over mine with a fine-tooth comb, over and over. I know that there will be something missed, but I want to be sure the errors are few if any, and nothing major.

The best way to survive the experience of creating a book is to put the time, effort, edits, and revisions needed into having as perfect a book as possible. Now, that's bubble wrap.

Note: Cross posted on Vivian's Site


Helen Ginger said...

Man, what a great visual -- bubble wrapping your book. Protecting it.

Thanks Vivian.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I can't wait to get my copy of this one!

unwriter said...

Writing is easy. It's that darned editing that takes forever! But even at that, things are missed. The author is always the worst person to edit their book. We see what we wrote, not the words themselves.

Good post!

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Ron. Nope, we can't see what we wrote, but what we meant. That's one reason to lay our work aside for a few days and then come back and read again.

Audrey Dodgen said...

I can't imagine the difficulty in producing such a work. Congratulations on your success in it.

Vivian Zabel said...

Hey, Audrey, thanks. It's good to hear from you.

See, all that teaching about writing did pay off. *laugh*

Joylene Butler said...

You give very sound advice, Vivian. I hope new writers take heed. I learned the hard way.

3000 hits on your old site? That's very impressive. I'd love to hear how you did that. Honestly. My site isn't get any traffic, & I think I'm doing everything I can. Either I'm more boring than I realized, or I'm just missing the mark.

Any suggestions would be very appreciated.

Best of luck with your new site.

Vivian Zabel said...

One suggestion is to be sure anyone you interview or review in your blog promotes their appearances there.

I emailed some other ideas.

Rena said...

Good luck with the new book, Vivian!

Morgan Mandel said...

You're so right about careful proofreading. Even when you do it, something seems to want to slip throught the cracks.

Much success with your pending release!

Morgan Mandel

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congrats on your book, Vivian. I love the cover. Looking forward to reading it. My Christmas list is growing and growing. :)


Vivian Zabel said...

When I lived in Morocco umpteen years ago (from when I was 13 - 14), our Moroccan friends showed us how every tapestry, every painting, every Arab made item had a slight flaw. They felt that if something had no flaws that something terrible would happen.

So, when I see that inevitable mistake (there's always at least one, usually very minor, thankfully), I remember what our Moroccan friends told me and feel good that there was only one. *laugh*

Lillie Ammann said...

I like the Moroccan philosophy! As has been said, every book has at least one error. It would be nice if it were intentional. :-)