Let’s start off by getting the exciting news out of the way. Ready?
I finished editing my book!
So that’s, ya know, pretty good.
Just kidding. I’m ridiculously excited to be finished. No more late night editing sessions. No more second-guessing myself about what I should cut and what I should keep. No more rousing arguments with my mother over the whimsicality of the word “whirled”. Ahhhhhh …
I’m pretty psyched, not going to lie. So, what next?
I’ve sent the newly revised and shortened manuscript of Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight into It out to my quickest reader friends. They’ll devour it over the course of a week, and give me back their impressions. Now, hypothetically the book should be flawless, so really what I’m looking for is a confirmation that the book isn’t too fast-paced now that it’s much shorter. I don’t think it is, but again, that’s what the readers are for.
Once they finish reviewing the manuscript, I’ll sent it back to my Editorial Consultant at iUniverse. I was on the phone with her today, and she’s advised me that I should get a Return Evaluation. The Return Evaluation costs $249, although she mentioned that she will be able to underwrite the cost for me, so that’s great. Remember my post about getting my Editorial Evaluation back? A “Return Evaluation” is basically the same thing. It’s even done by the same editor.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. So when I got my first Editorial Evaluation back, they advised, A) shortening the manuscript, and B) getting a copy-edit. A Return Evaluation gives the editor another chance to advise me about how to improve the book. The shortening thing is taken care of, and assuming he/she doesn’t find any new, glaring flaws, I should be good, content-wise.
That leaves the copy-edit recommendation. You see, I now have a second chance to convince this editor that my book doesn’t need an expensive copy-edit. How do I do that? By visiting The Chicago Manual of Style Online website, and signing up for their free 30 day trial, I can access their full style guide for a month. That means I can try to bring my manuscript up to the American Publisher’s Standard before re-submitting it to the editors at iUniverse, all without spending a dime.
The edits shouldn’t be extensive. I figure it will be mostly along the lines of capitalizing certain words, sticking punctuation outside of quotation marks, etc. So the plan is to spend a few days trying to copy-edit on my own (a difficult task, since as the author I’m already way too close to the material). But I’ll give it my best shot, because $2000 for a copy-edit is a lot of money, and I don’t want to spend it unless I have to.
Some of you might be wondering at this point, why pay for a copy-edit at all? Why are you even using iUniverse? Why not self-publish independently through Smashwords?
Here’s my reasoning. I already paid for the iUniverse publishing package waaaaay back in May. It’s a done deal, so no point second-guessing. Therefore, I’ve decided that, for this book, and this book alone, I’m going to go the full iUniverse publishing route. That means doing the Return Evaluation if they say so, getting a Copy-Edit if they say so, etc. Everyone I’ve talked to at iUniverse has been really great so far, and they seem very enthusiastic about helping me, so I’m 67.8% confident they’ll do right by me.
When I get the finished product in my hands, I’ll look back and judge if paying whatever the total amount comes out to was worth it or not. If it was worth it, then I’ll probably work with iUniverse again. If not, then I’ll scrap iUniverse and self-publish everything myself from now on. Call it me being foolhardy, naive, and gullible. Call it a learning experience. Whatever you want to call it, that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it!
Adorable image of the day: