I just finished integrating my line edits on the entire document. Goddamn what a tedious chore that was. Here’s the most interesting statistic of all:
Opening word count was 53,383. Final word count is 53,570.
If I were only keeping stat’s on word count the difference between the two versions would be .35% – or a tenth the size of the actual difference between the two versions.
If I hadn’t kept statistics for even part of this process, I would still have no better sense of what had changed, because my estimation of alterations, lacking any hard evidence, would run probably about 10%, based on the time it took me to make the changes and the amount of changes made. The selection bias of my memory would skip over the pages where I removed one comma or changed “he” to a name and did nothing else, focusing instead on the pages where I added or deleted entire paragraphs. But with the measure of 3.4% from the first quarter of the book, I maintain that is about what I changed on the whole. The number of errors did not magically increase or decrease as I got further into the text. I am nothing if not consistent, apparently.
So now I am done with the text of this novel. What remains to be done before publication is creating a cover (so many steps there…finishing the clothing, buying necessary props, doing the photo shoot, touching up the chosen image, selecting and buying a title font, and finally laying it out into an actual cover that says what I want it to say, genre- and tone-wise), cleaning up the document and converting it into an ebook file along with all the pretties, and finally writing back-copy and deciding how to categorize and tag its metadata for maximum visibility with the target audience. Oh, and ideally also remaking the covers and ebook files for my Twelfth Night stories and revamping the look of my website to match the new covers. You know. Just a few minor details to take care of before I can show this one to anyone.
But the important part is done. The story is written and cleaned up to the best of my ability. I could slap a blank cover on it and upload it tonight if I wanted to. I don’t, because I want to take the time to publish it right, but I could.
That 3 1/2% difference (if we’re talking total time involvement on this project) between just throwing something out to the public and taking the time to tailor its look to best effect is, as I have already stated, entirely worth it to me.