Friday, May 11, 2012

Almost Done. You'd Think.

By this time, my book was supposed to be in print. However, it appears that launch planning in the publishing world appears pretty much like launch planning in all other worlds.

I met my editors today, and my eyes almost fell out of their sockets when I saw the number of corrections they've had to make while proofing. The pencil marks were all over - around ten per page, to my dismay.

I had been told very nice things about 'how the book is quite well-written and therefore there's no real editing we'll be doing, it's mostly just proofing'. But over the last few weeks, the sheer number of changes that have been marked up - due to being errors in logic or just carelessness of some form or just bad punctuation ( ouch!) - have, unlike the content of my book, not been funny.

There it is, right there...the previous sentence was too long to be easily comprehensible. Apparently, I do that. Apart from making cardinal mistakes like putting my full stops after the quotes. And using too many adjectives (Double Ouch!). But today's session was a fabulous learning experience because the Chief Editor is one talented lady with an way of expressing things that you just get. The book is getting the benefit of her experience and as a result of that sharp eye and sharp pencil of hers, is getting tighter and sharper.

They say it's going into print by Wednesday latest - I am a bit apprehensive about it, but it seems there is no choice - it's gone into the Advance Information Sheet for June and therefore it has to be out in June. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!

Editing is apparently a never-ending process and the way it works is that only as one set of changes are incorporated, do the next set of issues emerge - and the cycle continues ad infinitum, almost up til the time the book goes to press ( and sometimes even while it is doing so) - I'm just crossing my fingers that we've got most of the main issues in place. It's quite an eye-opener though. Things like -

* I'm staying in a company guest house already but I mention I'm about to enter the corporate world?
* How could he have helped me prepare my resume for placement season if I just met him three months ago?
* I've fallen sick on the flight to Jaipur, but it couldn't have been a flight from Delhi because that's just too short a time frame.

These are apart from the other pure embarassing things like -

* He felt a tug on his bamboo stick
* He rummaged wildly through my drawers.

The other basic issue has been that we've had to quickly try and cut down the number of pages from 300 to about 250 because we're trying for a magic price point and this requires being ruthless with my verbosity.

While doing this is when I discovered - blogging and writing a book are very different. Almost all the incidents that went out were ones that at some point I had just lifted from my blog. For me personally, the biggest learning has been that when it comes to writing a book, you have to be fundamentally more considerate of the reader. And while my blog has been absolutely instrumental in opening up my writing and giving the confidence to even attempt a project as ambitious as a book, it has a very different role to play.

So coming to that role - I'm thinking that I'm going to start a series about the process of writing. Kind of like this particular post, except a lot better organized. This is because I struggled a great deal to just figure out the basics like how to write, how to get published, how to re-write - the basics of how it works. And while I'm hardly 'experienced' yet, it is a process that's underway. What do you think? Would that make sense?

People prefer to comment on Facebook and reply to Twitter posts nowadays, but on this one, would appreciate if you could give me a sense here. Also need to know whether any of you are still around and awake at the end of this post.



Tell me what you think?

And yes, pray for me - am hoping despite this delay of a few weeks, next month will see a better, tighter final version of Just Married, Please Excuse in the stores. And that is definitely worth the wait. No?


  1. Yes wide awake :D
    Yash, praying all the way for the book "Namyo ho renge kyo". Buddha guidance & support comes your way.

    Very excited & eager to read your book. I am sure it is going to be an enjoyable read just like each of your blog post

  2. Hi Y,

    I have been following your blog for a while now and find it to be quite interesting. Really waiting for your book, actually came here to check on the update as it was to come out in April. Some more wait, but I am sure it will be worth it :)

    As for your idea of writing about "how to write" - I think that would be awesome. I follow this writer called Holly Lisle - who does this extensively, and has helped a lot of people get published. So yes, any help of this sort would be great for aspiring writers like me.

    Looking forward to your book and more...


  3. Honeslty, I think there are bloggers who use FAR longer sentences than you do, but I'm by no means an editor, so there. I'm still here because you're self deprecating and even when you say good things about yourself or your kids it doesn't sound like "I do things better than any of you other people out there".

    Your sense of humor doesn't hurt either. I believe your style combined with Vijay's presence in a post usually guarantees that for most part :)

  4. Thanks for the pointers.I am doing a book with Harper too and got back my first edit comments. Now waiting for the 2nd. The book will be out only around year end though so I guess I need to tighten up.
    The page thing is a sure thing that is going to come up, I am already 10,000 words over limit and have to find a way to cut short.

    Yes and it is very different from blogging :)

  5. That sounds like a great idea - a book in itself!

  6. Prerna - Thank you very much :-)

    Yashi - Will check out Holly's writing, thanks

    Unpredictable - thank you, and YOU, I guarantee will love the book :-)...lots of Vijay in that one,as you might have guessed

    BongMom - a big Congratulations to you! It's going to be quite a ride...

    Poornakatha - thank you, will probably do the series then.

    LG - I ate your comment somehow, but here it is - thank for the kind words and being one of the old regulars :-)

    ''I have been a follower here, and think you are one of the best writers I have read. I am surprised that there were so many pencil marks. Your editor I am sure was a ruthless, perfectionist. Yay to you. You'll now get a perfect perfect book out.

    Just curious. Using long sentences is not necessarily bad, is it? I think it brings out your unique style? Especially in creative writing, where you can let your imagination sore?

    Yes, articles on "how to write" will be very useful. Looking forward to your book and your articles.''

  7. Hi Y..Have been reading your blog since a long time now but commenting for the first time!
    Just to say that I really love your writing and your sense of humour, which I believe is unique !
    Looking forward to your "how to write" posts..For some reason , I believe , I am going to benefit a lot from them .:-))

  8. Commenting a tad late, but had to say this - your long sentences are precisely what makes it more fun and more real! Its part of your style and if that were edited it won't have your stamp any more no?!

    (I kno 'no' should not be used but really nothing else can substitute that word either!)


Hi there. Go on, say it. Well? WELL?