What is the best and worst thing you can do right before you release a new book? Why go to a master class on editing, of course. As I sat there, one week before the final draft needed to be uploaded, every possible thing that did not align with the instructor’s suggestions ran through my mind. The problem was, she kept saying “I’m not saying you can’t do it, it just has to be really good if you do.” Which led to thought number two: is it good enough to get away with it?
What this all comes down to is simply this: my books are my babies and I hate to let them go.
It is sad to say that I probably have let my real babies go easier than my books. As a parent, we know the moment our children are born that one day they will leave us and go out to live their own lives. With that thought in mind, we prepare them to watch out for dangers and always be prepared. Somehow, I put my eighteen year old son on a plane trusting that he would make his connection and the college van would be at the airport when he arrived 4 states away. In a few days, I will leave my sixteen year old daughter at a college 2 states away believing that the college staff will watch over her for the next 3 weeks. My husband and I have given them the tools they need to make it, they just need to be given the opportunity to put those skills to use.
But my books? What do they have? My children have the benefit of 2 parents with different perspectives and background who guided them through their upbringing. They are a combination of my husband and myself. My books? That is all me. Heck, my husband, supportive though he is, has never read any of the books I have published. This black man from Norfolk cannot wrap his mind around Regency era England. I have laughingly read comments from my readers while he stared at me with no expression whatsoever, not understanding the jargon. When I let them go, these works have to stand on their own two feet, all by themselves.
This might lead you to believe that I am one of those overly sensitive authors who cries when she gets a bad review. I am not. I love bad reviews. Well, maybe love is a strong word. Good reviews are great, but they don’t always do much to improve your writing. Bad reviews, if written well, let the author know where they went wrong so they don’t do it again. I also love to laugh at reviews that are just absurd. (I got a 1 star review from a person who had not bought my book because they thought the price was too high.)
So what am I doing now? I am doing a final edit – after I thought I had already done a final edit. But it’s okay. All will be well. When this edit is done, I will let go because that is what you have to do. Just like our kids, you have to send them out in the world so they can impact others for good or bad (though we pray it is good). If we aren’t going to share them with others, why bother creating them?