2012 marks the close to the first year of setting out to be an author of mainstream fiction. It has been quite a ride. Naturally, I would have done certain things differently in hindsight.
I would have kept quiet longer after the first draft. There was a serious underestimation of the time editing would take, because the standard is approachable perfection. The 94,500 words in the first draft of The Anvil of the Craftsman reduced over the following nine months to 92,835 (according to Smashwords). People were instantly anxious to get their hands on it, and stayed in that state for too long a time.
The work as far as we can tell is error-free, not counting the vagaries of diction in dialogue. The Single Candle Press editress recently found three dropped words in one of Isaac Asimov’s works, since she now reads everything with a practiced eye, so we do not feel as bad about the many glitches expunged by the time AOTC hit the virtual shelves. If another appears, I would be tempted to issue a revised edition. Error is that annoying.
I learned a hard lesson in discovering the necessity of cross-platform proofreading. The initial release candidate draft of AOTC went out with too many snags that became annoyingly apparent as I reviewed the manuscript on the e-reading simulator. Though we proofed the MS Word version until our eyes were bleeding, the different layout of the Kindle simulator and PDF defeated the “brain-fill” effect that was keeping errors out of view. Many formats, many eyes is now the mantra. I hope to do better with the strategy next time for the sake of the Betas.
The enormity of the challenge in overcoming obscurity is daunting. There are many routes to discovery, and exploring them all takes time. Words are my passion instead of selling. Writing is drawing me back to the keyboard. Ad dollars are easily wasted, and there will be more research finished before any of those are committed. This was a venture, not an indulgence.
2011 ends with three novels conceptualized and outlined, two written, and one published. 2012, God willing, will see the release of the sequel The Britteridge Heresy, and also possibly a third—the last title of the Anthony trilogy. More friends will be discovered. More fans will be earned.
This is the time of year to look both forward and back, as did the mythical god Janus, for whom next month is named. Take up your store of wisdom and carry it with you into a promising New Year. Together we are all moving forward.
Choose to Love, -Dale Amidei