Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reading One's Own Books -- Bronwyn Jameson

There of many joys in being an author; near the top of my list is the arrival of author copies of a soon-to-be-released book. These are the complimentary copies sent by the publisher, and opening the box and seeing the actual book for the first time never fails to delight me. There's something almost decadent about seeing so many copies of one's book in the one place.

This week I received my author's copies of VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM, and this one delighted me even more than usual. The lovely cover looks even better wrapped around the book. The back cover blurb sets the ideal tone for the story. I opened a book and read the Dear Reader letter and the dedication, as I do with each new book, and I thought about all the work that went into getting from original idea to printed book and the people who helped me get there. In this case that involved a lot more work and time and people than usual, because this is the first book in Diamonds Down Under, an author-led continuity series.

I think I can safely say that none of the six authors had any idea just how much work would be involved when we embarked on this project. But now that the hard work is over and the series is close to kick-off, we share an extra degree of pride in the accomplishment and an extra spark of excitement in seeing the finished product. Which brings me to the point of this post....

Usually I don't read my books, for several reasons. Firstly, I'm afraid of finding typos or printing errors and being something of a perfectionist that just stresses me out. Secondly, I've read the manuscript enough times through edits and proofs that I really don't need to do so again. There are so many other wonderful books out there to read -- I never have enough time to read them all, so why waste time on my own? Thirdly, there's the little niggling concern that the story might not be as good as I want it to be.

But this time I surprised myself by reading Vows & A Vengeful Groom from cover to cover, and it wasn't nearly as painful as I imagined. Who knew? *g*

So, authors, do you read your own books when your author copies arrive? And readers, do you (like me, the perfectionist!) notice typos and errors in printed books? Do they irritate you or can you read right by them with scarcely a blink?

Vows & A Vengeful Groom is my 13th published novel and a January 2008 release from Silhouette Desire. Visit my website to read an excerpt and the lowdown on how the Diamonds Down Under series came about.


Ann M. said...

I can't wait until this continuity series. I'm pouting because it will be released in the States before I can buy down here. Although I'm hoping to order your book while I'm home in Dec./Jan. to bring it back to Australia.

It was great meeting you at Sizzle, Seduce & Simmer's release party.

Typos and other errors - it depends on the error. There are times it does take me out of the book. I've let authors know when I know that the book will be reprinted and hopefully they can correct (hardcover to paper). I know that editing is a hard process and that after a while one will not see an error because you've looked at the wording so many times.


christina said...

Like Ann, I can't wait to start reading the series. The pictures of diamonds on your website are lovely, Bronwyn, especially the 'dewdrops' on that rose.

tam said...

This sounds like a wonderful series!

Annie West said...

Hi Bron,

I know you girls worked so hard to get that continuity series done. I can't wait to read it!

Hey, I'm glad to hear the thrill of receiving new books doesn't wear off. It's so great to see them and touch them and dip into them. Normally I don't read them - like you I'm worried that they won't come up to standard or I'll find something in there that I missed. However, when I got my most recent book (released next year) I did read quite a bit and enjoyed myself! But the siren call of the current book dragged me away - had to get my priorities straight (G)!


Jane said...

I've never read a romance set in Australia before, I can't wait. Sometimes I do notice typos and it bothers me a little. I do realize it's easy to miss these things even though they have been proofread several times. I'm more bothered by inconsistencies, like the changing of eye or hair color. In one scene the person's eyes are green and then later they become brown.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi, Ann. It was lovely to meet you at the launch, too. Have you seen the fab. collection of pictures on Anne Gracie's website?

Hope you do manage to pick up VOWS while home for the holidays, although if you don't then you only have to wait another month for the "down under" version (Feb 08.)

Good for you letting authors know so the same error won't be repeated in reprints. I agree on the difficulty of getting everything 100%. Even after we send back final proofs, someone has to key in the changes and again errors can happen. It's the human factor.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Christina, aren't they gorgeous pics? I love the one with the flower as well.

Tam, hi. Hope you enjoy the series.

Jane, I agree entirely on the inconsistencies. Really bugs me when the eye colour changes! LOL.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi Annie! It sounds as though we have a similar view to reading our own books. Just as well I love reading yours!!

Estella said...

Sounds like a great series!

Yvonne Lindsay said...

I don't read my books when they arrive. I couldn't stand to find something that I knew was too late to change, so I suppose I'm a bit of an ostrich in that way. As a reader I'm more bothered by repetition of words, mannerisms or phrases that really stand out.

deseng said...

Hi Bronwyn,

I can't wait to read your new book! I hope to pick it up at my favorite bookstore close to my town.

When I read a book and notice typos, I just skim over them. Mostly, I just correct them in my head and then move on to the next sentence. Being an editor I notice grammar mistakes, punctuation, spelling errors and so on, probably more so than someone else. Reading is a joy to me, especially your books in particular!


Bronwyn Jameson said...

Oh yes, Yvonne, I'm an ostrich as well. (Just wish I had their long skinny legs! LOL.)

Hey Michele, what a lovely thing to say. I hope you love Vows & A Vengeful Groom as much as my other books.

Donna Alward said...

I read my books. I wasn't sure if I would or not but when my first one came, I couldn't help it.

I like doing it, I like reading it as a reader might though I probably do notice things more...occupational hazard. But I also like having the chance to visit those characters again, because by the time I get the book, it's been several months. :-)

Lois said...

Hmm, well, when it comes to typos, I sometimes catch, sometimes not. . . but off hand, I really can't think of anything that takes me out of reading it. . . which proabably means it's never happened. LOL :)


Bronwyn Jameson said...

Lois, that's good to hear. Means the authors you are reading are doing a fine job pulling you into their storyworld.

Donna, wonderful that you can enjoy your characters from a reader's viewpoint. I find that perspective difficult with my own books, but then I managed when reading VOWS so maybe it's not so difficult after all!

RachaelfromNJ said...

Very interesting post! I've read about authors reading their own books before to refreshen their mind on a series they're writing. If I was an author, I would read my own books! :)

Lily said...

Reading your own book... don't you almost know it by heart!!