John Berry Novels Blog
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The Joy is in the Details

            So I’ve always read and or heard from authors that the months and weeks leading up to the publication of a novel is pure drudgery.  The reading and re-reading of the manuscript at each step of the way as it gets formatted and set for printing can make you go cross-eyed.  The proofing to make sure there are no typos.  It’s always been something that authors dread and complain about.  My thought has always been, ‘I’d like to have that problem.’  I mean really?  You’re going to complain because you need to spend the time and energy to print your novel with excellence and quality? 

            Now, I’m faced with the same tasks as I go through the final stages of readying A Night of Horrors for publication.  I’ve reviewed several versions of the cover, picked a few to refine, made changes to those, reviewed the next round.  I’ve ready my novel I can’t tell you how many times.  I’m doing it late at night, because I have a job in a large company and have lots keeping me busy during the day.

            But I find myself energized.  There have been a few nights as I’ve read through a few chapters set for the “special Kindle edition” of the novel that I have trouble getting to sleep!  Now maybe I’m naïve and maybe it’s just that all of this is new to me, but I find that working through all of these things is a real kick in the pants…in a good way.  I still find myself reading faster as Lewis Powell makes his way up the steps of the Sewards’ mansion before he brutally attacks the Assistant Secretary and Secretary of State in their own home.  I turn the virtual pages faster as I come to the point where Booth steps up behind Abraham Lincoln as the President pulls the flags draping his box in the theater to get a better view of someone he recognizes.  Then bang!  And a puff of gray smoke drifts from the box in the theater before all hell breaks loose.

            Then I have to tell myself to slow it down and read it for formatting, grammar, typos, spacing problems and the like.  Unlike other things in life, I find that the minutiae of the publication process quite fascinating.  Each step of the process brings it closer to fruition.  Each completion of a task means I have had control in making sure the novel is not just a great read but it is an excellent book.  By taking the route I’ve taken of publishing directly my novel as an e-book on my own, I have had far more issues to deal with.  But I tell you what – I’m finding that there is joy in the details.

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1. Larry Phipps | June 30, 2011 at 05:23 PM EDT

John, since I'm one of those readers that says \"whoa!\" when I come across an glaring error, let me assure you that your joy in the details is gonna mean more joy in the reading for those who share my passion.

Of course, that might mean I end up losing sleep since there won't be anything to kick me out of the immersion experience. But it's going to be worth every circle under my eyes.

Proof on, stout fellow. We're counting the days . . .

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