Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Big Format

I spent much of the spring and summer revising my book, reading the proofs, correcting some errors, and getting it to press.

It went from contract to book in about six months, which by publishing standards is the speed of light. A book format, a big format, takes time and effort to get into shape. But there is nothing quite like the feeling of having a book in the pike and knowing it will be bound. When I did this for my first book, the experience was akin to making love for the first time. You concentrate less on the act itself, and more on the wonder of it; then when it is over, you hope that you will get to do it again.

Writing and then getting your stuff out there is like no other sensation. Your words will have a life of their own. But it can also be a bruising experience. There is the experience of rejection (which is nearly universal for writers); the critique of the work --- which at all times is blunt and nearly always insulting. Finally, there is the lack of feedback. Who reads the book? Is there anyone out there who is moved by the story? How do we know?

Ultimately, it doesn't matter. As others have said with more style than I am, the writing is important, not the ultimate result. That said, I'd not like to give up the big format of book publishing. There is nothing like it at all. It is the highest level of the writing chain of being.

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