A little over a week ago I received my final edits in the mail, or as they call them in the publishing world “Page Proofs.” They came by fed ex and once again, it was a printed version of the entire book. This time, however, the words are printed on the paper in the dimensions they will appear in the actual novel. At novel size, my book is 408 pages long. Not the 320 pages that it says on Amazon. Apparently 320 is the standard length they issue when they’re not sure yet how many pages your book will be.

The first thing I noticed was that the copyright page had my “real” name. What’s the point, I wondered, of having a pen name when they put your real name on the copyright page? I emailed the Production Editor, who assured me I could use whatever name I wanted on the copyright page. But after talking to other authors, apparently this isn’t always so. It depends on the publishing company. Some make you use your real name, while other’s don’t care. With that taken care of, I settled down to basically read my book…once again.

I had about 20 days to check the proofs for accuracy, typesetting and editing. If I found something wrong, I was to mark it with changes. I found a few typos and a few repeats that I want deleted. About 20 different little things, almost all of them my fault. I only have to return those pages that need fixed. They made it clear that there are to be no more changes in plot and text can not be rewritten. Which means, all of those stiff sounding sentences, all that repeat…it’s there for good.

It’s thrilling, getting this close to the end. But at the same time, its terrifying. One step closer to publication, no going back, no fixing anything at this point, no adding anything. The book was written over two years ago and I’d like to think I’ve grown as a writer since then. But will that show in my work? Hopefully its good enough to pass the debut author test. We’ll see in five months! Yes, five months until publication!

Now, its back to work on the second book. I’m working on those last 100 pages still, trying to wrap up loose ends. Dare I hope it will be done in a month?

P.S. I’ll announce the winners from the Romance Junkies blog on Friday. There’s still time to leave a comment!