Proofreading ULTRA yet again

When you see an error in a book traditionally published, you think, oho – shit editor.  When you see an error in a book self-published by the author, you think, oho-ho-ho – shit author.  This is just horrible!

With the relaunch of ULTRA as A DOORWAY INTO ULTRA, the first thing I did was proofread the first paperback proof I ever received from Createspace.  Until now, all the proofing I’ve done has either been on my computer (where it’s easy to miss things) or on my Kindle (rather laborious to write down every error).  But in the old proof copy I had, I could scribble away in red ink as much as I liked.  What fun!  But, oh, horrors, some of those errors are terrible.  Really easy to miss when reading quickly and I imagine that most people do miss them.  However, since I’m know how annoyed I get if I come across too many errors in a book, I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel the same about mine!

New title (or more expanded), new cover (hopefully) and newly polished edition:  is it worth it?  Ultra is, so far, the only book I’ve self-published that isn’t part of a series, so I tend to overlook it.  It was the first book I published, an experiment that required a huge learning curve, and one that filled me with doubts.  However, rereading it newly, years later, I’ve discovered that it’s actually quite good.  Not excellent but honestly, much better than a lot of dull garbage that comes my way.  Despite the fact that I wrote it AND I know what happens in it down to the last detail AND I’ve read it a zillion times before – I still found it quite a page turner!  If your own book still feels exciting after all those drafts and edits and hours spent proofing, then it can’t be half bad.  Which is a frightfully British way of saying, see here, this is quite good!

I’m currently fixing up the tiny (yet glaring) errors, doing three manuscripts at the same time so that I make the same decisions for all three.  This means my screen is full of three rather narrow documents in rather small font, which is hard going on the eyes.  It’s dog work and there’s been plenty of that in this self-publishing business – you just have to get on with it.

But it’s good not to have to feel slightly embarrassed by this book.  It means I can go ahead with the relaunch with some confidence.


About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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