Wednesday, August 15, 2018

On Reading My Own Books

I was going to post a snippet of the mostly-edited beginning of Sleeping Ugly this morning, but as I sat there, reading it again and deciding what amount of it to post, I saw some stuff that needed changing.  Or I think it needed changing.  I changed it.  Then I sent that part off to AWE to get her take on it.  She may tell me I've lost my everlovin' mind.

They say a book is never actually finished.  An author will always find stuff that they feel needs to be changed - even after it's on the shelves for other people to read.  Which is why, once I upload a book for publication, I don't read it again.  There lies the path to madness.

Oh, I look at it after publication.  But only to make sure the formatting is correct.  I never read it.  Sometimes I get the urge, but I squelch it pretty hard. 

No, Meissner, I says to myself*.  Leave it alone.

Because I know if I ever do start to read the published work, I will have the overwhelming urge to take out the editing tools.  A snip here.  A changed word there.  An entirely re-written passage along the way.  And by the time I'm done, it won't be the same book other people have already read. 

That's why I'm always happy when some reader contacts me to point out a typo.  (As long as they're nice about it.  Which they have been so far.)  I mean, I do my damnedest to make sure there aren't any flaws, but I know one might slip by on occasion.  Except, since I never read my books once they go live on Amazon, I won't find them. 

Not re-reading my books is kind of a sanity saving device.  At some point, I have to say 'This is done.  Finished.  Finito."  And let it be.  Otherwise, I'd never get anything else done and nothing else would be published.  I'd just be editing all the time.  All The Time.  Ugh.

What about you?  If you're a writer, do you read your books again after they're published?  How do you quiet the internal editor if you do?  If you're a reader, have you ever contacted an author and told them about typos?  How'd that go for you?

*I call myself by my maiden name in my head.  Hubs is Sanderson.  I'm Meissner.


  1. See e-mail...then STOP!! SLEEPING UGLY is awesome - now get it out to the public, already!!!

    Oh, and reading my own work has caused me to NOT finish many manuscripts - and to always second guess my writing chops. I've also never contacted an author about typos.

  2. I reread my own work only to make sure a detail in my WIP is correct. *Only*

    I had to read a chunk of Necromancer's Anchor - now I want to rewrite it. And I want to change the beginning of Illusion's Child. And -

    No, no, NO! Onward only! LOL.

  3. Uhm...guess I'm weird. Or it's because I write long series and I can't remember details for $h!+. Yes, I sometimes wish I'd rephrased or used a different word but then I move on. That said, I do get to "fix" things when I put together the compendium volumes--putting two Moonstruck books together with new material. That's allowed because it's basically a new work. But that's me.

    And what Janet said! Get SLEEPING UGLY out in the wild! I need something to read. ;)