The last few days we have been reviewing our proofs for the book. This is a “trial copy” of the book done at the printer using the actual print files. Exactly what you see now is what you’ll get 1500 more of. So make sure it’s EXACTLY what you want to see and how you want it to look.
We caught several tiny changes. Which is the whole point. Catch them now, before you have 1500 more just like them. Twelve keystrokes is all it took to correct several small errors (most of them technicalities that would’ve escaped 90% of our readers. But you want to get as close to perfect as possible. And that’s what proofs are for, bless them.
But then, this last change was the hardest. Seven more keystrokes that I have begrudgingly accepted — but I’m NOT happy about it!
The rule. The rule, you see, on title capitalization is pretty clear. Verbs take uppercase. But “was” is such a such word. On the cover it looks so right in lower case. In fact, in every iteration, from front cover to title page to back page to website address, “was” looks exactly right.
But the rules don’t really care. Doesn’t matter that it’s such a such word. Even “is” belongs in upper case, say the rules. It’s a verb. End of discussion.
Who cares?! It’s OUR book. It’s MY title. I’m the author. And, actually, I DO have final say. I can overrule (get it? over-rule) the editors if I wish. Call it a stylistic preference — because that’s what it is. Not an error or an oversight, but an intentional choice on my part.
But. Besides rules there are Awards. (That was an unnecessary but intentional upper case “A” to capture the near-sacred character of these things.) Beaver’s Pond Press, our publisher, has a very good track record on awards for independently published books — they may well be one of the most-awarded independent publishers in the country. And the editors at Beaver’s Pond Press are very hopeful that our book has what it takes to garner some awards.
But the competition can be stiff. And even little things like “perceived errors” (because it’s not a real error, it’s a clear preference) in the capitalization of a three-letter word in the title can be the difference between “Award Winner” and “Honorable Mention.”
So, on the cover, on the back cover, on the spine, on the last inside page, and in the web address, it will be When God Was a Little Girl. Because awards can significantly extend the reach of a book. And this is a book that deserves a long reach. And that really matters more than the difference between “was” and “Was.”
But still: rules … damn them.
And when you see the finished book, with the upper case W in “Was,” try not to stare. It’s already going to feel pretty self-conscious.
Once these last changes are made at the design stage, the printer will get the green light to start printing, probably on November 11. Then we just wait for an opening on one of the offset presses, and somebody loads the paper and the file and hits “PRINT.”
Finally, the Kickstarter campaign is off and running. We’re doing very well, with about two more weeks to raise funds. We really hope to soar right by our $5000 goal since we’ll have $10,000 in bills to pay. Pledges are welcome; generosity is encouraged. The book is beautiful. You’ll be glad you did.