So, forthwith are posts that I had in waiting. I'm tired of looking at them, too. If they no longer make any sense, well, I've had a few other entries like that as well.
* * *
If you're a self-publishing author and you don't know how to format your manuscript properly, your book is going to look like absolute crap when you get it back from Amazon's CreateSpace . . . unless CreateSpace has different levels of service, and one of them actually gives a darn what your book looks like as Amazon taps your bank account.
This post is neither a coupon nor an attempt to gather more clients into the LoD fold, although I never mind doing so. I worked long enough in the insurance industry to understand spreading the risk.
while at the same time
6/2/2012: I have no idea why I saved this. I think I liked the part of the sentence that appears after the second em dash.
A Day in the Bunker
I'm going to take a page from one of the most offensive yet most popular Internet sites, the Drudge Report, and break the news here. Anytime someone tries to put out some dirt on Matt Drudge, he immediately posts the article on his own site, as if to say, "I got nothing to hide." This is another way of saying, "The best defense is a good offense."
On to larger matters:
You've received all the tracked versions of every document you've sent me (all of which I've kept), so you've seen exactly what I've done along the way -- no portion at all of which has been farmed out. I don't farm out my work any more than you farm out your prophecies.
You've had no complaint about the work until now. You've had scores of opportunities to say that you didn't think my work was up to snuff and to end our relationship based on the quality of the work you were receiving from me. I've never heard a single word from you along those lines -- even though you claim that you've been rereading and rereading the manuscript. If there were really something seriously wrong, you would have noticed it long before now, and you would have terminated the relationship long ago. You obviously felt comfortable enough with my work to continue to send me regular updates for nine months after editing the original manuscript, and to send me emails asking for advice, which have always been answered. Along the way, you'd mentioned at least twice all the money you'd be sending me once the book came out because you treat well those people who treat you right. Those aren't the actions or words of an author who is unhappy with the editing.
I can guess at any number of reasons you now no longer want me to work for you, but I'm not going to try to get into your head.
Every person who is in publishing full time will tell you that copyediting is part of a process, which includes proofreading as well, and proofreaders often catch what a copyeditor has missed, especially in a manuscript that at this point is being slapped together totally haphazardly, with a sentence here and a sentence there out of context going out for editing. If the manuscript overall is now not reading the way you want it to, it's largely because of the process you've undertaken since last November.
I've been getting emails since last November with documents titled things like, "last change before typesetting" and "one last thing." You can attribute it to [ . . . ] or your desire to have this book be its best, but I've worked with any number of folks who also have issues with [ . . . ] and who want the best for their publication, but who also intuitively understand what it takes to make a publication its best and how to work with an editor to bring that about. Your approach to the text of the book at this point is akin to a dog who keeps digging up a bone and looking for somewhere else to bury it. You just can't leave it alone, and confusion is the inevitable result. If you want to blame me for that, that's your decision. The corrections you've been sending my way have resulted from your claims that you had a better way to say something, or you've been adding new material (election, Michael Jackson, new interactions at churches), or you've been qualifying your experiences in [ . . . ] to make sure you don't land in additional legal trouble. Never have you said, "I didn't like the way you did this. Please review." Never. Not once. And that you kept sending me material clearly showed you thought I was doing something right.
According to your own account, you've gone through photographers, web designers, cover designers, and editors before me -- blaming them for all the problems and their inability to do what you want them to do. I'm now added to the list. Without the gift of foresight, I suspect the pattern will continue with typesetters, proofreaders, indexers, printers, distributors, bookstore owners, publicity people, and so on. When I read in your book that you'd been in 20 car wrecks, 19 of which were not your fault, that about summed it up. And when I read repeatedly in your book about your lack of faith in the United States and the American judicial system, yet when I look online and see that you are constantly in court, asking that very same American judicial system to clear up your problems for you, I see that I've been dealing with a bundle of contradictions all the way along.
You are certainly correct that I would not reedit the manuscript again at no charge. And I'd be wary of vendors who give you rock-bottom rates and claim decades of experience. I don't think you'll ultimately be happy with their work either, or you'll find that they'll start charging you for continually making changes and adjustments (as they should), which will make their original low price end up not so low in the long run.
You say that this book will come out on God's time and according to God's plan; if that's the case, then your dealings with me have just been part of a grander scheme in which you claim to have complete trust. Or maybe it's like the judicial system: it's something you fall back on when it suits your purposes.
I wish you the best of luck with the book.
*Headline: thanks to William S. Burroughs