If there has been one defining factor of Disintegration's publication it has been this: The book has been pushed back. A LOT.
So what has been going on? I just wanted to give you guys a quick run down and explanation
Up to the last three months, it's really been more of an issue of my overestimating what I can do. When I published Revelation, I already had the entire trilogy written. My assumption was that six months was more than enough time to edit the mess that was the second book, and get on with the publishing process.
I figured I had time, so I wrote, edited, and published Infraction. As much as I love that book, it was probably not a good choice at the time. Not when I had so much work to do on Disintegration. To be accurate, and entire rewrite. I tossed over 2/3 of my original manuscript.
Of course, after this rewrite I still had to go through my typical quality screening: Critique Partners, Developmental editing from the very talented Sione Aeschliman, more scenes cut and added, and then some heavy proofreading from my Critique Partner Janelle Garrett.
This is where we ran into some bigger issues. Keep in mind, I'd already had to push my release date back once. You see, I'm a nanny, and my boss had just had her second child. The 4-5 hours of nap-time where I could get work done dried up overnight. And I was much more tired by the time I got home.
Once I finally got past the rewriting stage and tried to get into my Critique Partner's editing notes, everything erupted into chaos. I had two weeks left to edit and publish. The google document froze up for a solid week of it. Every time I opened it, I struggled to keep my cursor moving, no matter which computer or account I used.
I prevailed. It took thirty or so minutes to load, and actually typing was like watching molasses drip in the dead of winter. However, with some diligence (and a good deal of crying, screaming at the computer screen, and beating up my pillows) I managed to get things moving. My critique partner was a hero, and copy-pasted chapters into their own new document where I could edit with some ease.
I won the battle but the war had just begun. Just as things started heating up, I was stopped suddenly in my tracks by another bug. And on the last few days of my second week of editing! The google doc now had decided that, despite the fact that I was marked as the owner of the document, I did not have the permission to edit it. I still had a few chapters of notes from my critique partner that only existed on this copy.
My husband spend an entire, stressful night trying to fix it for me, before finally realizing that this was a bug that he couldn't just patch up. He opted to copy and paste the remaining chapters onto yet another new document. I was stuck with both open, having to check one for notes and actually edit it in another, before transferring the final product onto the document that had my previously edited chapters.
Getting exhausted? Yeah. It's not over.
At this point, my personal life was already crumbling around me. I'd gotten devastating news that made it hard to focus on breathing, much less editing. Day to day life had become a struggle in our little family for other reasons, which meant that my husband and I were at each other's throats. We probably had to "kiss and make up" about twenty times that week. Meanwhile, at work, Baby J was loosing weight and refusing to breast feed, making a lot of extra work for both his mom and I. And a lot of extra tears from a cranky boy and his older sister (who felt a bit left out with all the fussing)
But the computer bugs hadn't run their course.
In brief way of explanation, there are two ways you can comment on a google doc. You can either make a suggestion, by typing in the document. If you are given the correct permission, your edits will show up in the text in a different color. The owner has the choice to "accept" or "deny" those suggestions. The second way you can comment is to click on the comment button, highlight a section of the text, and leave a... you guessed it... comment.
The document had saved all my Critique partner's changes in the document, without any of the "suggestion" options. While comments still remained. This meant that, essentially, instead of improving, my typos had increased at double the amount.
For instance, if my critique partner had suggested I delete its and replace it with it's the text now read itsit's.
I fixed this by careful, deliberate reading, and some hair pulling and more screaming.
Eventually, however, I was able to get to the end of these edits. It was a day full of work, and I didn't actually send of the document until 3:00 AM, but it was done. Of course, I missed a few things. Author's notes, stuff like that.
Good thing my formatter and cover designer is a superhero.
Susie from Poole Publishing Services set to work on my book and got the documents back to me in a flash. There was one final insult. Another bug.
I read through the formatted eBook, hoping to speed read through to make sure there were no obvious errors. A bit of a cheap way out, sure. I should have focused on real polishing. Still, I wanted to the book out in the month of August.
But arbitrarily, a bug had the final laugh. A bunch of the inner dialogue from one particular character had been changed from italics to regular font. It might not seem like much, but it made the conversation between two characters virtually unreadable.
There was absolutely no understandable reason for this. Especially in the way that it happened. One particular character had been targeted, and the other italics ignored. Strange, sure, but I've given up trying to understand technology.
So where am I?
Disintegration has been pushed back one more week. Right now, my focus is to get it out on September 8th, 2018. Almost a full year since Malfunction released. Double the time I'd given myself for it.
I'm not going to lie, it doesn't feel good. I want to bring a level of professionalism to the table. Getting books out fast is important in this business, sure, but it's more than that. I want my readers to be able to trust the promises I make.
But there is something even more important: transparency and integrity. I want my books to be high quality reads. I am putting a piece of myself out there, and asking you to pay for the chance to read it. What I refused to do, is to toss some half-baked book out there and call it even. That's not to say that my books will never have typos or errors. What I am trying to say is that I will not take the easy way out when it's a choice between a good book and a fast one.
I hope that my efforts are something that you can respect, and that my book is something you can enjoy. For the time being, I'm on schedule. But, if I get crushed by a meteor in the next week, or eaten by and alligator, or strangled in the cord of my violently hateful computer. Just know that it's my rotten luck holding out. I should maybe give my critique partners my passwords so they can publish Disintegration...