In some senses, I suppose self-publishing is a supreme act of self-indulgence. Nevertheless, I actually thought it might be helpful for other budding writers, whose books might not neatly align with what mainstream publishers are looking for (like satirical novels of Canadian politics for instance), to tag along on my little self-publishing journey, such as it is. So periodically, I’ll provide these little updates on where I am in the process.
Earlier this week, I received my official Editorial Evaluation from iUniverse, the publishing house I’m using through Chapters.Indigo.ca. The publishing package I chose included a professional review of my manuscript from a seasoned editor. As you might imagine, my stomach was not quite feeling like my own as I clicked open the evaluation. With eyes squinted and face clenched, I whipped through the evaluation. How do you spell RELIEF?
All was well. I found it to be a very thoughtful and insightful review of the novel. The editor clearly read it carefully, all the way through. I believe the editor was American but only through the spelling in the evaluation not because anything written revealed any lack of understanding of Canadian politics. There were only two minor suggestions for changes and I have taken them to heart… mostly. Firstly, I have shortened the Prologue somewhat so that the pace is sustained. Secondly, the editor suggested I give consideration to eliminating the Angus diary entries that conclude most chapters so that his character emerges only through Daniel’s eyes. Interesting idea and I understand the editor’s rationale. Having said that, I feel quite attached to Angus’s point of view and the shades of his personality and character that are revealed to the reader, but not necessarily to Daniel, in these brief entries. Based on my own thoughts and the views of a small circle of friends who have read the manuscript (thank you, thank you, thank you) I’ve decided to go part way, recognizing that my proximity to the novel likely compromises my perspective somewhat. I have shortened the diary entries to ease the interruptions in Daniel’s narrative, but they’re staying in the story. As always, your thoughts on this would be appreciated.
One milestone survived in the long road to print. Next stop, professional copy editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax… (not inexpensive, but worth every penny I figure.)
I leave you with a couple of the summary comments made by the iUniverse editor in the official Editorial Evaluation of The Best Laid Plans:
“The story moves along at an enjoyable pace throughout. The energy of Daniel, Angus and the other characters flows off the page and readers will become quite attached to these characters. Most of all, though, the voice the book is written in is original and engaging — just the perfect amounts of earnestness and cynicism mixed together.”
“The quality of the writing is high. The writer goes beyond merely giving an account of the action and enhances it describing it and commenting on it in clever ways (“The Chief of Staff’s left eyebrow lifted in a Spockian arch.” etc.).”
Breathing easier now…