The proofs of Nightmares with the Bible are sitting right here on this laptop. If I’ve seemed distracted, now you know why. My life is unaccountably busy for a mere editor, and I’m afraid my September is being consumed by proofreading and index-making. I had some fiction I wanted to submit this month, but proofs are a necessary part of writing and for those who take nobody’s word for it, reading them is important. I have books on my shelves from very reputable publishers literally littered with typos. I fear that. I try to read proofs with as much concentration as a busy life will allow. And yes, proofs come with hard and fast deadlines. I only wish they’d been here in July. Or June. But still, Nightmares are on their way.
Since this was a “Halloween season” book, the goal was to have it out in September or October. That won’t happen now, but there were a couple of things that transpired along the way: one was a pandemic. The other was another paper shortage. Strange as it may seem, both of my last two books came out in a time of paper shortages. In 2018, the industry had supposed ebooks would wipe out print. That didn’t happen, and when Michelle Obama’s Becoming took off, well, let’s just say academic books weren’t a priority. Printing schedules across the industry got bumped and books from small publishers targeted for a specific date just didn’t match the demand. This year the paper shortage is due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Paper suppliers shut down for a while and, guess what? Print came back!
In any case, hoping against hope that we can make the November publication date, I’m trying to read the proofs with record speed (and care). That means other daily activities may suffer for a little bit. Those of us who write think of our books as something like our children (not quite literally that high, but not far from it). We want them to be launched into a world that will be receptive to them. And so my morning writing (and reading) time has been dedicated to Nightmares with the Bible. And indexing said book. I’m not good at many things, but one talent I do have is concentration. Until these proofs are submitted (hopefully ahead of deadline) there won’t be much else to which I can pay attention. I’ll continue to post my daily thoughts, of course, and if you can click that “share” button on Amazon’s book page it’d be much appreciated.