Friday, August 30, 2013

Vinegar Friday and a proofread FAIL!

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because as you will understand once you read today's post, I can't count on friends as proofreaders!

People sometimes ask me about how I transformed a year's worth of blog posts into a book. 

"I guess it was pretty easy," they say. "After all, you already wrote it, right? You just had to copy and paste it and you were done."


"Yeah, it was that easy," I pan. 


To be truthful, it was a pretty overwhelming process and I put countless hours into it. If you've been following Vinegar Fridays since the beginning, you know that on any given Friday, I could ramble on about vinegar and ants, vinegar and soft heels, vinegar and coffee pots, and God knows what else. Well, I knew from the start I couldn't just throw the posts together. It wouldn't have made any sense. 


My daughter, Bethany, volunteered to print all my VF posts. This is where the copying and pasting came in, by the way.


After she gave me all the posts, I carefully cut them all apart according to subject. There were piles of paper strips everywhere! Finally, I sat down and figured out how many chapters I wanted, divided the sections of posts accordingly, and started writing. Trying to combine all these snippets so they finally made sense was harder than you think. And it took more hours than I thought it would take.


I found I had to do more research and add more information to some of the scrawnier chapters. Of course, that took more time. I also added a preface, an introduction, a closing, and, in a fit of inspiration, a children's story featuring my grandchildren, Lincoln and Laura.

Finally, I had the manuscript together and sent it off to four different proofreaders who carefully perused it, looking for errors. They each found a few, I corrected them, and sent it off to my friend, Heather, for layout. We haggled back and forth a bit before it was ready and then, in November 2011, I sent it off to Lulu.com and it was published.


Of course, I ordered my first 60 copies without seeing a proof first. Big mistake. Then I gave them away as Christmas presents, sold a bunch more, and sent them off to reviewers, still without proofing the book myself. Another big mistake.


One night, a few months later, I decided to read through the book myself, since I was appearing on a television show the next day. Horror of horrors! I found 30+ grammar and spelling errors and typos. Aaakk! I was appalled and humiliated. I wanted to crawl in a hole. Seriously. It was awful.


Heather and I worked hard to correct all the errors and I republished it, this time with an index, which I hadn't bothered to include in the first round. It was tedious work, but well worth it.


So, that's the story of the book. I'm glad I struggled through it and came up with a finished product I'm proud of. I can't tell you how many times each week I reach for it, turn to the index (reviewers you were right when you said it needed one) and find the remedy or tip I am looking for. If you don't have a copy, I'm not sure why that is. It really is a valuable resource and it's cheap. Right now, you can buy it directly from me, via Paypal, for just $8 plus $3 s/h. 


Email me if you're interested. You can also check out some of the reviews and access links for Amazon, Lulu, and Barnes & Noble if you'd rather buy from them. Just click this link.


Keeping it green with vinegar (and you can, too!),



 







In accordance to the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, it is my responsibility to let you know that the above is a sponsored post.

2 comments:

  1. Even though I am sure your first publishing experience might not stand out as the best moment of your life, sharing your experience is inspiring. :)

    ReplyDelete

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