The Deixis Press Weekly - Issue #24
This edition of the newsletter is all about prizes, parties, proofing, and profound angst.
Last week I realized that YET AGAIN I hadn’t been keeping track of what I had been doing because I hadn’t had a chance to catch my breath, so I made this cheat sheet for myself before summarily failing to write the newsletter:
Monday - proofing and prizes
Tuesday - proofing and parties
Wednesday - administrative hell
Thursday - god knows
Friday - are you seriously kidding me: it’s October?
It’s Tuesday again, so I’ll just do a quick rundown of what’s going on here.
Last week I had a finish-up of two major proofreading projects, for $real cash money$. They nearly finished me off, for a couple of reasons:
*** Let me first say that I very much enjoy proofreading; I enjoy reading a variety of things, and even if those things aren’t what I would naturally choose to read for pleasure, I like reading them. I liked reading both books that I am about to slag off. ***
The first book was a celebrity memoir, which I won’t identify in any more detail than that, obviously, because I’m a professional. Although it was revealing, which is clearly what anyone wants from this type of book, it was pretty dreadful: packed with cliché and an obvious desperate need for the “author” to be adored (I put “author” in quotes because I’m sure it was ghostwritten). This book set me up for a few very depressed days, for one major reason: if it sells tens of thousands of copies, it will have done badly, while I’m trying desperately to sell hundreds of copies of books that are actually good. (It’s just jealousy, which is not a good look for me, and which is in no way helpful in this industry. I know that; leave me alone.)
The second was a crime thriller, which again I won’t identify. Reading it was quite a lot like watching the most salacious and gritty parts of any soap opera, so it was entertaining enough, I GUESS. The problem was the author’s desire to use all existing English punctuation on every page combined with their inconsistent ability to use it correctly. Yes, I can fix it all and leave the author’s voice alone–if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be a proofreader. Here’s the thing, though: even though the two books were the same length, the crime drama had TEN TIMES as many errors as the celebrity memoir. That rate of inaccuracy is … fine, of course, but, after the second unexpected extra day, I really needed to get on with other stuff and stop fiddling about with balancing dashes, ellipses, and semicolons.
IN THE MIDST OF ALL THAT, I started submitting my existing books for prizes, and I learned that even my upcoming books have deadlines that are too close for comfort. I had a particularly low moment when I realized I had a deadline in 5 weeks to provide a physical copy of a book that is not yet typeset and which does not have a cover.
Possible? Yes. Yes, I can make it happen. I will make anything happen if I can see any path, however murky. That’s not what caused the low moment. The low moment came when I realized I didn’t need to bother: the book is, in fact, not eligible for the prize, because it’s a collection of short stories–because that’s the UK for you.
MEANWHILE I am also sorting out the big launch party, which I am very much looking forward to. How many people will come? Very hard to say. I have triple the number of not-yet-replieds as regrets–and not-yet-replied is also double the number of confirmed attendees.
add the thing to the doodad, divide by thingummy and subtract half,
This is one great place for me to realize that I can relinquish my need for control: I’ll just give the venue the list of the people I’ve invited. I don’t need the exact numbers. Breathe. It’s not a thing. It’s ok.
I’ve also got stuff to do like: Write up invoices! Go to the post office! Find out that the builder who is supposed to tear the plaster out of my house can’t start until January! Find out that the books I sent to that one prize came back undeliverable! Go to the post office again! Find out that the other builder who is damp-proofing and leveling my floor wants to start Monday! Realize that builder doesn’t have a key! Realize my car is in West Sussex with an 8th of a tank of petrol during a fuel crisis! Remember I’ve once again forgotten to do promotional work for Some Rise By Sin despite “DO PROMOS” sitting right on top of my list!
Well. I guess I can only say it’s a good thing that my third proofreading project was delayed by a week.
So that was last week: proofreading and trying to get some admin done. And this week will be similar you know. I have the following on my list to do by Friday:
Do final (minor) edits for The Transfer Problem by Adam Saint
Go to the post office [yes, again]
Finish edits for Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives by Genevieve Jenner, and get them back to her.
Email advance readers for both of those books
Continue prize investigation/submission
Honestly, that’s all I’m going to be doing. So should I just go ahead and send this now? Way too late for last week and way too early for this week? Yes, why not.