One of the things I had to teach my students back in the olden days was that you don't just have to write the book, you also have to read it and edit it. I had a lot of students who asked, "Isn't that what an editor is for?" And my response was basically, "Sure, dude. If you have an editor who takes any garbage you barf up and she fixes it for you, then I guess the whole, "Make it the best you can on your own," philosophy doesn't apply. (And, yes, it was always a male student who asked this question)."
Most writers don't have editors until after their book is bought and even then, not that I'm saying there aren't amazing editors in the world (I know quite a few of them), how do you know that the editor assigned to your book cares about your book at all? It's always in your best interest to get it as right as you can before someone else takes the reins. I believe this is fact.
So what I've been up to since the proofs arrived last week is reading and editing my own book: a book that's been edited by others already. (I was fortunate because both Waiting for the Enemy and Battle Rattle had been edited by Nicole Jones and Andrew Eisenman and another editor whose name I need to locate buried somewhere in my saved emails. And even with all those eyes, there were still things that needed correcting, and it's likely something will still sneak through the gauntlet. I've read a ton of books that were published by the big houses that had errors in them. It just happens, and all you can do is your best to make sure that the errors aren't so insane that they ruin the book. If I see a misplaced modifier or a comma-splice once in a hundred pages, I am pretty happy to let it go. If it happens in every sentence and it's not for some sort of stylistic purpose, then it'll begin to grate on me. I guess I get that from my grandmother; she's the kind of person who writes to the county newspaper to let them know about typos. God bless her.
The majority of the reading I've been doing has involved the search for minor irritants: issues with tense, commas that left for vacation and never returned, strange "find and replace" issues (there was a character named Eric whose name was changed to Liam, and when I replaced all the Erics in the book, this also changed the Erics within other words. America became Am(Liam)a...unacceptable. Eric's name was also Mark at one time, and when I changed all the Mark's to Liam some characters had "birth(Liams)" that needed word surgery. Anyway, that stuff is all noted, page by page, line by line, word by word, and I am excited to get right back into iStudio Publisher to finish up the edits within the layout proper.
For everyone who is curious about a release date, I cannot say for certain, but it looks like early to mid October. I'm very excited to share new reviews and plenty of other random exciting stuff that's been happening while working on this book over the next few weeks. I'll also be running a Goodreads giveaway for Battle Rattle and Other Stories once the book is ready to roll. So stay tuned for that in case you want to try and get a copy for free.
As far as where you can pick it up in a physical store, that's gonna be a whole new area for me. But, if anyone has a recommendation (i.e., if you have an indie bookstore where you prefer to shop and want to get Battle Rattle and Other Stories at the physical store to, you know, support them), please send me an email or leave me a comment with the store's name and location, and I will do what I can to get the book on a shelf there.
For those of you who are interested in having the book mailed directly to your house (Lauren Yagiela, M.D.), that will be an option too. I'll have those links posted here on my website and will post about it. Of course you can always just search for my name or the book title on Google. I'm not hard to find on the internet. If you wanna see me in person, then you're going to be competing for my attention with my wife and daughter; so you are unlikely to win.