Before You Send your Manuscript to the Printer….

Twilight Healer features Barbara Custer's timid respiratory therapist finding new life as a vampire.At my Mylar balloons’ encouragement, I got my refurbishment of Twilight Healer underway on July 24. Teresa Tunaley did a beautiful job with calligraphy on the lady-in-white front cover image (illustration by Dreamstime). Once I slapped together a new file with revised masthead, I’d have it up on Amazon within a few days, right? Wrongies. None of y’all heard a peep out of me since the 24th. What’s more, nobody’s seen the new cover on my website, Amazon, or anywhere else. That’s because the balloons weren’t finished giving me orders

As I copied and pasted Chapter Seven from the old Twilight Healer file’s contents to the new file, a familiar cry echoed from the balloon tree by my chair: Bar-ba-ra! What do you think you’re doing, Bar-ba-ra?

I stiffened upright, knowing full that I was in for it, and answered: I’m preparing the new TH file so I can send it to the printer.

Balloons: Without reading it? Don’t you think you ought to, you know, proof it?

Me: Proof it? That file’s been proofed twice – once by a content editor and then another editor from Tree Press Publishing years ago.

Balloons: We don’t care if ten editors went through it. You’ve copied and pasted that file many times, converting it to an eBook, and you may have lost material. If you’ve got a missing paragraph, you’ll wind up with a manuscript that looks like hell. You can’t send that file to Amazon or anywhere else without reading through it. Remember, anything that’s poorly done under the NTD imprint will reflect on the other books.

Me, after a deep sigh: So you expect me to go through every line. OK. I guess that means you want me to update my biography, as well.

Balloons, after rubbing my head: Dat’s wight, wabbit. While you’re at it, how about including Teresa’s biography, too? She did a beautiful job on the cover and deserve credit, don’t you think?

Me, with a sheepish smile: You’ve got me there.

Okay, so I’ve been reading each chapter as I format. Good thing I listened to my Mylar balloons. I’ve learned things about editing I didn’t know years ago that I applied to the book. Also found a few mismatched sentences. As for updating the biography, well…there wasn’t any. So I need biographies for me and Teresa. So the revising / formatting will take a little longer than I thought. Editors can do much for the book, but they’re human and can overlook something. So if you decide to self-pub a book previously published by another company, search every page for typos before sending the manuscript to Amazon or any other distributor. Ditto for the cover blurb, too. Your readers will thank you for it.

About Barbara Custer

Author of: Twilight Healer Steel Rose Life Raft: Earth City of Brotherly Death Close Liaisons Infinite Sight When Blood Reigns Infinite Sight Publisher / Editor of Night to Dawn Books & Magazine
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  1. I like the cover (g). Good choice.

  2. joseph j patchen

    I know I spend more time re-reading than creating these days and my eye is catching more than my mind catches. The formatting process is the trickiest. Smart balloons.

  3. Great post, Barbara. I’m toying with writing a third in a series and picked up books one and two (the first written about six years ago) in order to re-read the story and what do you know? I’m editing the first two. Swiftly realised my writing has improved to such a degree that these books are doing nothing great to represent me. When I’m done and the contracts are due for renewal I’m going to have to speak to the publisher and if necessary, withdraw them and take them elsewhere or self-publish. Anything rather than let them continue in the current style. I’m not changing the story to any great degree but my writing has sure changed and I’m spotting every mistake of sentence construction I made. Of course you can’t update every book every few years, but some really do need an overall or burying. Writing is a process whereby you never stop learning…but that’s probably a good thing.

    • Twilight Healer needed work…nowadays I never publish any book without a biography for the author and illustrator. What’s more, I didn’t use a regular illustrator – I used the one the company supplied. Shame on me! When you know better, you do better. Glad you liked the post. ~ Barbara of the Balloons 🙂

  4. Yes, getting it right is important if you want to get somewhere.

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