The proof of my book arrived in the mail Monday. My husband offered to bring it to me at work, but I figured that that would just distract me from working. And I wasn't ready yet to share the news with my co-workers. So he read it through and marked places he found issues, like typos or ill-lit pictures. I didn't look at it much that night. I just admired the cover and flipped through it a bit. I was excited, but also a little stalled with it.
Here was this thing, this book, a real book, with my name on it. Everything in it was mine, what I had organized and done and I had to go and pass judgment on it. I had to take my precious, beautiful, perfect baby and find all its flaws. Flaws that were entirely my fault.
It took me some time to get to a place where I felt I could do that. But I didn't want to take too long, because I really want to be done and ready and happy with it. I mean, I am happy with it. But there are aspects that can be improved, and I intend to improve them to the best of my ability. Even if that means re-doing every image (which it does - painful).
I started by reading my husband's comments. I even agreed with some of them! Others, I chose to leave as is, either because I felt he was wrong, or because I felt that my "wrongness" had a purpose to serve. We had a little argument about ending sentences in prepositions. Discussion, rather. Civil, I swear. And I ended up just rephrasing that sentence. I looked at the pictures and decided which ones would need a little tweaking in the program that I use (GIMP II).
Then, after I had started working on the images, which I decided to do first because they're more mechanical than the text fixes, I realized that I needed to re-do all of them. Because the source images were not all 300 dpi, which means that even if I copied them over and then made the copy 300 dpi, that still left them not quite right for print. And if I'm going to do this, I might as well do it well, right?
So, I just have about 50 images to re-create, some text to fix and some formatting to juggle and then, oh then, I will have to make the decision of whether to order another proof or call it good and put it up for sale. And I'll have to re-upload the kindle version that's already on sale, since I have some textual changes to make.
This is exciting. Because I don't care about making sales. This is a project that I am doing for myself, and I am confident that I am meeting my own expectations. With fiction writing, I feel like it's different, because if I put fiction up for sale, then shouldn't I have sales? Isn't that the point? And why do I feel this way? Why can't I just put some fiction up for sale, that I wrote and that I like, and just be happy that it's out there?
Maybe I will.