Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Self-publishing 'disaster' for Okraalom

My novel 'Okraalom' is out and in print, as an experimental limited first addition of 150 copies. And I must include the word 'experimental' as I've learned some bitter lessons from this experience. Mostly because I didn't 're-edit' after including all the corrections and most of the recommended changes from my editor (who I suspect also missed a number of small errors) the finished product was 'infested' with 70 or 80 mistakes - a few quite serious in relation to the consistency and meaning of the story and characters, but most merely trivial. Trivial they may be, but so many that all the copies are to an extent 'ruined' by them. All I can do is ferret the errors out and correct each copy by hand. The book is still a fine-looking book, but with hand-corrections dotted through it? I'm surprised that it is still arousing interest - copies being sold at a rather low price, and a sci-fi fantasy outfit in the USA has persisted in its interest so far.

Of course I'm cursing myself for rushing the final print through and not getting down to rigorous checking before giving the g0-ahead to the printer. But it's no use beating up on myself now. It's a case of having spent quite a big sum of money in a 'careless' way and suffering for it as I go through the tedious business of correcting copy after copy. Even today I discovered I'd missed a silly mistake: "shaped like a whale's tale". And that after I had exchanged several uncorrected copies for the supposedly fully corrected. Once the damage is done, with so many mistakes in such a large book, it's probably virtually impossible not to miss a few on first attempts to get it right. I have done about two chapters of the next book, about the distant future rather than the past as in 'Okraalom'. I will certainly take a very different and much more careful editing approach to the printing or sending-for-possible-publication of the next book.


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