Monday, October 01, 2007

Good Enough?

After sending the manuscript and cover files to LSI, I got a message from Jane, telling me how happy she is that we're done. HOWEVER, she found two small errors in the text of the back of book info. Was it too late to fix them?

Great! Just great! I took a look at the book and saw what she was talking about: I didn't capitalize "Ford" and the word "she's" means "she is," not "she has." Lovely! My brain immediately began tabulating how many books I would have to sell to cover the cost of changing the file I had just sent to the printer. And does it matter? Such tiny mistakes; the kind most people won't even notice, and if someone does, they probably wouldn't buy the book anyway if the mistakes bugged them that much. No, doesn't matter. Go with it.

Or does it? Am I really the kind of publisher to let mistakes slide just to save some cash? Quality is extremely important to me. One of the biggest complaints people have about small presses and self publishers is poor quality. I don't want to be one of those presses. There's a reason my partner is a stickler for the proper use of a comma. Attention to detail shows professional work. Medusa may be small, but we are professional and I won't lower my standards just to save a few dollars.

You have to decide what "Good Enough" means for you. There is a point when you have to go with what you have because the deadline has passed. I'm sure Laura has looked at her manuscript a few more times since giving it to me and wishes she could add or change just one more thing. No. It is good enough and now it's time to let go. Rick, our designer, has tweaked and re-done the interior text at least 22 times. There's more he'd like to do, but the deadline is passed. And once the book is printed and out into the world, I'll bet I find a dozen things I wished I'd done differently. Too late. I've sent it to the printer.

Thankfully, LSI has an excellent communication system and my account manager was able to help me send the corrections without additional costs. Once I get the sample copy, I really hope I'll be able to look at it and feel satisfied that it's good enough for Medusa. There's no such thing as perfection, so good enough will have to do.

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