Why re-editing is like open heart surgery…

And so the saga continues. Will it have a happy ending? Will manuscript (ms) meet publisher and live happily ever after on my shelf? I love editing, but I am now embarking on the fifth round over 10 years and quite frankly, I’m losing the will to publish. It’s ironic, if not anachronistic, in this day and age, to be holding out so long and through so much frustration, to have a solid, hardback book. Only 400 copies will be published and it will be priced at between £50-60, so all those nice people, who kindly said they would love to read my book, will be lucky to get it on Amazon for under £40. There’s friendship and there’s £40 for a book you will probably never read.

There is another way, which I pondered whilst knitting the other night. I want to have complete control over the book, I know how to market it and to whom, and I can lay it out tolerably well. I want people to read it and buy it and would prefer royalties of 80% rather than 8% and for it to be widely available – can you see what’s coming here? Yes, self-publishing an e-book. Huzzah (I’ve been watching too much Mike the Knight).

However, much as I love my Kobo and the thrill of having so many books at my fingers to chose from, I am still old-fashioned enough to want the fruits of over a decade’s labours to be permanently captured within the pages of a ‘real’ book. So I cravenly agreed to another round of edits, which will mean another week of digging around in the bowels of my ms, sacrificing a hard-researched nugget for further engagement with a rival’s work. To which I say, read their book, don’t make me sacrifice my research to summarise theirs!

So once more into the breach, with a campaign curtailed by annual leave, with an arsenal of cut and paste technology and word counts, and armed with the knowledge that this is the last push, which will either spell victory for the hardback or for the ether. Either way, a childhood dream is going to get realised in 2013 and that’s a motivating thought.

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