by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson
At long last it’s here. The release day of your new book. The cover is gorgeous, the print PDF and the electronic versions are pristine. All the editing passes and revisions are finally over with and each sentence has been polished until all of them shine like diamonds. You’ve got your excerpts ready for publicity, the various sizes of your cover are waiting to be posted, you’ve done your keywords and metadata for release… all that awaits is for you to push the ‘Publish’ button.
And your finger hovers hesitantly over your mouse as you frantically search your mind and your manuscript for anything you might have forgotten. Stress brings a sheen of perspiration to your forehead as your clicking finger starts to tremble. Remember the old saw “Horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow”? Well, just about now I always start to glow like a horse.
This is it. This is what you’ve been working for for so long. But is your precious book ready? Really ready? Maybe just one more check… just to be sure?
Believe me, you can ‘just one more check’ yourself into total stasis. I know. I’ve done it. Especially when the book is a very important one.
You see, that’s where I am right now. One year ago this month The Husband and I started out for Egypt, where we had been invited to stay at an archaeological dig house. The excavation director is a very dear friend and had suggested I might want to set a murder mystery in this lovely old house built in 1906 by an English Egyptologist named Somers Clarke that is now the excavation headquarters. Of course we went and though we have been to Egypt several times it was just about the most magical trip of my life.
The resultant book is A KILLING AT EL KAB, and it’s going to be released in the middle of this month – almost to the day we arrived at El Kab. As I am an avowed Egyptomane, this is one of the most important books of my entire life.
And I want it perfect. I have driven both my cover artist and formatter almost to madness with my pickiness and these last few weeks The Husband has been positively grateful to escape to his job every morning. I have been through the manuscript and the various formatted copies so many times that I can recount great chunks of copy from memory. Yet still I hesitate to hit the ‘publish’ button. I tell myself it’s because I haven’t yet received the paperback proofs.
More likely it’s because I know that somewhere deep in the manuscript there lingers a malign typo, waiting in hiding until the book is available to the world before it makes itself known…
Maybe I should go through the book again… Just to be sure.