It’s been a long year and a half, but Show Your Work! is almost a “real” book. (That’s the cover, above.) We’re currently making edits to the second pass of the manuscript, which means being fussy about word choices, taking out a sentence then putting it back in, etc. Here’s a little screengrab of my edits to the first pass:
I like to do all editing on paper, but sometimes it takes a few days for the full manuscript to get from my publisher’s doorstep to mine, so I use the iPad app Goodreader and my trusty stylus to make annotations that I can then export as a PDF and send back to my editor.
There’s a lot of miscellaneous work to be done, too, like filling in the “back matter” of the book, with these “deleted scenes” (as this is a book about process, it would be wrong not to show my work):
Now that things are pretty settled, I’m entering what Jonathan Lethem calls “The Gulp”—the dangerous phase of publishing where the book is done, it no longer belongs to you, but it doesn’t belong to anyone else yet, either. (Or, as Alain De Botton put it recently, “The process of publishing a book is like telling a joke, then having to wait for 2 years to find out whether it was funny or not.”)
I’ve been making a few little teaser posters for fun:
But, as the book doesn’t come out until March, I’m going to step back and take the rest of the year to regroup, make art, doodle, catch up on reading, and hang out with my family.
Making this book has not been easy, but I’m glad I made it, and I’m proud of what it is now. (A book can be a pain in the ass to write, but it can’t be a pain in the ass to read.)
You can pre-order it here.