The thing I like best right now about being a self-published author is my ability to make revisions fairly easily. I am doing a final revision of Black Knight, White Rook right now, even though the book is out in the marketplace. No matter how many times I read the manuscript through and thought it was as perfect as it could be, my daughter reads her roof copy and finds some more minor issues, like commas. Also, I just reread Black King Takes White Queen and realized I need to fix some comma issues and a couple run-on sentences in that book. Also, while reading this book again I noticed that Owen Cant's parrot was named Harry. In the sequel I accidentally named him Edgar which was Officer Thornton's dog whom Ivy had treated, and also the name of Ernie's stepfather. So I need to correct the parrot's name in the sequel.
In rereading Black King Takes White Queen I found a lot of subplots simmering beneath the surface of the main story that can be further explored. The character of Buck is really rather minor in book one. I don't even think he had any actual dialogue in the first book, he was mentioned as Roth Fremont's cousin, Roth and Buck were trapped in a cave with followers they had recruited to help Romney and Ivy in their war against Rayna. He shows up with Roth after a trip to Ebander Greenaway's nursery with pumpkins at Halloween, and is referred to maybe once post war as having lost his cousin in the fight.
In the sequel, although Ivy thinks of her son Ezra as the little black knight in the chess game of their life, as Kelly pointed out when she finished reading the novel that it is actually Buck Weaver who is the black knight who helps to keep his Queen safe when she journeys to Wales to save her husband, her marriage and ultimately their lives.
I have some grammar and comma issue to fix in both books, but overall I'm satisfied with the storyline. It's rather complex in the first book as a fairly large cast of characters is introduced and developed, and their history is laid out. I found myself laughing in some places, crying in others. And that's what I like about writing, being able to draw the reader into the world I've created, making them care about the characters.
I'm working on the last revisions of Black Knight, White Rook this week, and then I'll tackle the comma, verb tense, and few run-on sentences I found in Black King Takes White Queen and get those remedied.
When you self publish you wear all the hats...it's a huge job trying to make your book as perfect as you want it to be...and even tougher when you think it's reached that point, let it go out there into the deep sea of published works and then find minor issues. Fortunately for me I can reel it in, fix those little issues and cast it back out there as many times as I need to until it's as perfect as I can make it.
The thing that really annoys me with the novels I buy are all the issues not caught by professional proofreaders and editors. I read books with a pen in hand fixing the issues I come across, like missing words, commas missing, and even occasionally larger issues, like a character's name being wrong in the middle of the book! I can pull my book and fix these sort of things whereas authors who work with big publishers have to just cringe and bear it. There are a couple books I've just thrown aside because they were just so bad- badly written, badly edited and full of grammar, punctuation, verb tense and other errors that should have been caught. I realize some authors specify no changes to be made...but really, if you're an author and you're putting your work out there for the public to enjoy, wouldn't you want to put the best book you can write on the shelf?
I'm grateful for the editing and proofreading assistance I get from my daughter, who also writes. However, I should really learn to be more patient with the process before putting a book out. Although I may think it's as perfect as can be, I am always finding little things I can make better once they're out there.
Once I'm finished with the final revisions of Black Knight, White Rook I'll pull Black King Takes White Queen and put the final polish on that novel, although when I finished reading it through again last night I was satisfied and happy with the story that it told (and know why my co-workers began hounding me for a sequel as soon as they were through reading it!) Seven people were given what amounts to Advance Readers Copies last week...I'm anxiously awaiting their feedback.