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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Light

The need to keep editing


There’s a certain naivety to this independent publishing lark. Quite a lot of the time, I feel as if I’m making it up as I go along, and I’m grateful for the expert guidance of kind people who actually know what they’re doing.

This first book, Like Me has always been on the long side. More than 120,000 words was edited down to about 96,000 words, and a much better book for it. When I considered the length—long for this commercial romantic fiction genre—I just reasoned that this was the story I was telling, and it too that many words to tell it.

All fine, until I tried uploading it to Amazon. Ah. A hitch. When you publish in this way—in paperback and eBook—there are certain parameters. Print costs. A set minimum price at which you can sell the book. It turned out that because the book was long, the print cost was high enough for the minimum paperback price—already more than I wanted to sell the book for—meant I would receive no royalties (money!) at all.

Crisis. Was this a doomed vanity project, in which I would never even recoup my costs? Were all my efforts over many years, pointless and/or wasted?

I spent a restless night agonising over the problem.

In the morning I wrote to Emily my editor. What if I finished the book 50 pages earlier? How would that change Me Too the next book in The Millingham Series, also a fairly hefty tome?

Did I have the guts to change the ending at this late stage, and if I did, would it work?

 

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