I always told people that I never listened to or read the published versions of my books. The thought of doing so made me cringe. What if my work was awful? What if I found a typo? What if I found a continuity problem? Ugh, more frightening than Halloween. (The movie with Jamie Lee Curtis. Not the holiday.) So I just didn’t do it.
Since that first paragraph was written in the past tense, you know where this is going, right? So how did I get past the cringe factor?
At the beginning of October, Harlequin and Scribd came to an agreement to place 15,000 of Harlequin’s backlisted books on Scribd. Two of my books, Sharing Hailey and Waiting for Ty, were in that 15,000. The deal is this; if a subscriber borrows a book from Scribd and reads 20% of it, the author of that book receives her standard royalty, as if the subscriber had bought the book. Of course, I was curious as to where that 20% dividing line fell in my books. So I started flipping pages. As it turns out, I can’t flip pages without reading what’s on those pages. So for first the first time since turning in the final edited manuscript of Sharing Hailey almost three years ago, I read the published version.
Guess what? It didn’t suck. In fact, it was pretty damn good. (And yes, I was sober when I read it.) I read the whole book. I found one typo. (I’m sure I missed some!) But I was quite pleased with the finished product. Then I started Waiting for Ty. I liked it, too. I have yet to read Tempting Meredith. Since it’s a recent release, it’s not on Scribd, and even if it were, I’m still too close to that final edited manuscript.
Of course, my joy was short-lived. After all, I am an insecure, neurotic author. Sooo I started having panic attacks. What if my work-in-progress wasn’t as good?
I decided it didn’t matter. (Yes, wine was involved at this point.) My WIP might not be as good right now. Since it’s a rough draft, that’s okay; however, the knowledge that I’m capable of producing something I’m proud of is reassuring. I’ve got it in me. Hard work and a story I’m passionate about will bring it out…eventually.
And if you’re wondering, I don’t read my blog posts after they go live. Just the comments. So don’t leave me hanging. How do you feel about reading or listening to your books after those final edits are done?