Update about my book

November 28, 2021

I've been hard at work on the 5th draft of my upcoming, and first, novel - Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone. This draft is a rewrite that takes into account all the suggestions from the editor. Yes, I hired a real, professional editor. Sure, I could have used, and do use, the tools Grammarly, ProWritingAid, HemingwayEditor, and the built-in tools in Word, but I wanted a real editor to read and give me a proper review of what needs to be fixed.

In MS Word, in the document properties, it shows you some basic info about your document - word count, page count, total time the doc has been in use, author, editor, blah blah blah. Some of it can be edited and some cannot. I have discovered, just today, that the total time counter is not very reliable. For example, my first draft showed 5856 minutes. The second draft showed 45,258 minutes, the third draft shows no minutes, the 4th draft shows 14,732 minutes, and my just completed 5th draft, which I've been working on for a few months, shows no minutes, as well.

The page counts on the properties page do not match the page counts on the actual document page, also. They're close, and you'd expect them to be the same, after all, Word doc properties come from the Word doc they belong to. But, they don't match. Okay, well, it's MS.

My next step is to get the manuscript printed here in town so I can read the book and mark up the manuscript. Yes, I expect there are still issues that need to be ironed out. I don't expect much in the way of spelling and grammar problems, though.

Something interesting about those aforementioned editing tools that I use - they don't all agree on grammar. I suppose some use the Chicago Manual of Style and others use the AP Stylebook, or possibly the APA style guide, or even the MLA style handbook. Whatever they are using, they all have different ideas of how the grammar should be handled. Even within a tool, it says to remove a comma, so I did, then it immediately says to insert a comma in the same place. When I put it back, it returned the message that said to remove it. Seriously? The left-hand doesn't know what the right-hand is doing.

And just now, in that last sentence, Grammarly tells me to hyphenate 'left hand' (left-hand), but it does not say to hyphenate right hand. I hyphenated it and Grammarly tells me it is incorrect. So, "left-hand" is good, "right-hand" is not? There it is, a red line under the hyphenated "right-hand" right now.

Those kinds of little issues add up throughout a book and can leave the readers thinking 'what a piece of crap. this author doesn't know how to write.' This is why I paid for a professional editor, and will do so again.

I am hoping to publish the book this spring, if not sooner. How I will publish it I haven't decided on, yet. There are three ways of publishing - traditional, hybrid, self. Traditional publishing is the most difficult to break into for new writers, and they pay the lowest commission (less than 10% of book sales goes to the author), but they do all the footwork to get the book in front of the publics eyes. Hybrid publishers are a dime a dozen and apparently worth about that much. Based on what I've read from an author experienced in publishing they are all scammers. Maybe he had a bad experience. At any rate, they do some footwork, and the author does some. They keep anywhere from 40/50% on up of the royalties. Then self-publishing. It results in the author getting 80%-100% of the royalties, but the author does all the footwork to get the book out into the public's eyes.

So, the book will be out in the near future, keep on checking back here for updates.