I was thrilled when Black King Takes White Queen made the finalist list from which the short listers were chosen. I was ecstatic when my novel was short listed. I didn't get any further in the OZMA Awards, but for someone who's only been self publishing her work for less than 2 years, had written the book in less than a month and on the spur of the moment entered the less than perfect manuscript copy to the contest...I got further than I thought I would.
So- I recently revised all the interiors of my novels and most of my story collections-cleaning up punctuation and grammar issues, a few misspelled words, justifying the text so the pages looked cleaner down both sides, lower the chapter headings and making them larger and bold font (the same with individual story titles in the story collections), and revising some of the covers to make them more enticing to the reader's critical eye- I thought I had the ultimate version of Black King Takes white Queen...until I sat down and read the first chapter and found random hyphenated words in the middle of sentences (due to the justifying of the text, these hyphenated words had been at the end of sentences....UGH! and ARRRGGGHHHH!)
So, I had to pull the book again from Amazon and reload the file onto my laptop and FIX the UGLY hyphenated words once and for all- somehow the majority of them cropped up in the first half of the book only with fewer still lurking in the rear half.
And then, when done with that tedious chore for what I hope will be the final time...I gave the cover a critical looking over and decided too much green, the black back cover copy was too difficult to read...so cover colors revision time. I changed the title band and back cover to earthy saddle brown, changed the formerly black cover text from black to bright spring green. Now the brown and the greens blend in better with the cover photo, the back cover text is easier to read.
Got the book back up and ordered two copies, one for me, one for the contest on April 20th. They arrived TODAY! Yea! Went online, completed my entry form, paid my entry fee, printed out the paperwork, then packaged up the novel with its papers and stuff it all into a Priority Mailer box. The postmark deadline in May 1st so hubby has been BEGGED to deliver said parcel to the USPS TOMORROW to be shipped!
Nothing is ever easy around here...but my motto is that if I am going to put myself out there in front of judges, then I want my book to look the best that it can be before I send it. (OCD- maybe...but that's just the way I am.)