By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli
A humble learning experience may enlighten us towards the path of enhanced knowledge. It may even serve as an illuminating moment in the annals of our minds and souls. Zen it may sound, yet thanks to my talented and brilliant graphic artist, the road to Indie Publishing is slowly becoming less opaque to me.
As much as I would so very much like to share his name, I have promised him I would not. In these past months, he has taught me much about the fluid world of publishing. One of the greatest lessons gleaned from him is the complexity of transferring a manuscript from Microsoft Word [full of encryptions] to Scrivener [which choked on the Word encryptions], ultimately casting aside Scrivener in lieu of PressBooks [part of WordPress where my very own blog is located]. Other steps are involved, but the aforementioned serve as rudimentary stepping-stones that move towards the published book.
Next on the horizon appears the ubiquitous PDF of the manuscript. Sometimes a well proof read manuscript becomes corrupted. A hazardous result may be viewed as the author reads again, albeit this time in the PDF, errors that did not manifest themselves even after the careful work of a professional copyeditor and the umpteenth reading of the manuscript by the author. After my first book, Spirited Constellations, published shortly before December 25, 2015, much to my chagrin, had errors that were not evident in the original manuscript.
This is why a Second Edition of Spirited Constellations will be available this week on Amazon and through Createspace. Ultimately it is my sole responsibility to make sure the published book is as error-free as possible. While I find mistakes in “good editions” of Jane Austen’s books [gasp!], in several textbooks I require in my classes, and why Julia Child flipped out over errors in Mastering the Art of French Cooking [the First Edition], in the end, I humbly point out that we are humans, not computers, proof-reading our work.
I ruminated obsessively over my second book, Spirited Constellations: Travels because I want it to be as right as possible in readers’ hands. At the IU Writers’ Conference the first week of June 2016, I spoke at length with a prolific author who won a huge book contest in his genre, landed a contract, quite his computer architect job, and has been writing full-time for the past several years. He informed me that even with copy editors and copywriters, he still has to go over his work with a fine-toothed comb. It is laborious work, but he underscored that at the end of the day it is his work.
Now I am much improved at tuning at the cacophony of daily life, the job that pays the bills, the distractions of social media, and my lack of focus at the end of a workday. Instead, I strive to attend to my writing and boning up on what the graphic artist imparts to me. He knows that some of what he shares I may not understand the first time around, but he knows he can drum it into my head until it sticks. Patience should be his middle name.
Ciao for now.