Monday, February 16, 2015

Pre-Publication Panic

by Susanne Dietze

Earlier this month, I received the galley edits for my first publication, novella Love's Reward in The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection. The galley is a final proof of the book, laid out as it will appear in print (mine came electronically as a pdf file). Galley edits are the last chance an author has to change any little typos before the book is published.

Exciting times. Seeing the story like this, like a REAL BOOK, is enough to make me cry. It's gorgeous. It's real. It's big time.

Coming May 1! Find it on Amazon.
And it's also a bit daunting. Because ugh, did I really write that awkward sentence? And oh dear, can I rewrite the whole thing?

The answer to that last question, of course, is NO. This is the time to find missing apostrophes, not change the plot.

Oh man. I am the worst writer ever. I shouldn't even be allowed to write checks. Blah blah blah.

Time to get a grip, Self. If one of my friends came to me with these sorts of jitter-induced blatherings, I'd tell her this:
  • This story was critiqued by capable, experienced, smart people.
  • This story was edited by professional people.
  • You need to take a deep breath, honey. You've got a good case of Pre-Publication Panic.
The bottom line is, no book outside the Bible is perfect. (Well, Pride & Prejudice is pretty close, but you know what I mean.) I have made mistakes in this story, and I will make mistakes again in every story I ever write. That isn't the point. The point is, God saw fit to allow this story to go out into the world.

Which reminds me of what I wanted in the first place:

To write the stories God put on my heart, with the hope that someone out there is blessed, comforted, or encouraged by it. Just one person.

Because I've been that person before whose heart was blessed, comforted, encouraged, and, yep, even changed by a romance novel.

So there you have it. My imperfect offering. So I need to get over myself and let God do with it what He wills.

Who is this guy? Why, he's Daniel Blair, the story's hero. And he looks nice in a tuxedo, yes?

Josie, our heroine, has so much on her mind as she bustles around San Francisco. Ooh, I like her little reticule.

I should note that I received the galley of the entire book and oh my goodness, you all are in for a treat. The eight other stories in the collection look fantastic (our own Gina Welborn's story is adorable!). I haven't read every word of the other 8 stories because I've been spending time with Daniel and Josie, my characters, but I've peeked at them. And WOW!

Do you have an offering you're hesitant to give because it's not perfect?

Susanne Dietze writes historical romance. You can learn more about her on her website,


  1. I totally understand the feeling. When I read galleys, I wonder how I missed *that* and *that* and *that* during the editing stage.

    Your story is wonderful!!!! And I'm honored to have my story in the same collection as yours.

    1. I love your story, too! What a talented group of authors. I'm honored to be included!

  2. You could fuss over a book forever, but just like any work of art, at some point you just have to declare it done and let it stand as is, beautiful imperfections and all.

  3. Wise words. God takes books or anything else we do and uses them despite our lack. I just turned in traditionally published book #11 and working hard on #12. I've thought every single one was a disaster. Every single one. But my editors and readers seem to like them, so I press on.

    Hang in there. Enjoy every minute. :D

    1. You've really encouraged me! Thank you! I love your books and I'm glad you press on!

  4. Murdoch Mysteries.
    Great Post Susie. I have no doubts you have a great story there. I preordered the book so it's going to just show up on my kindle one day. I like that part!


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