I'm sending off my book manuscript to the publisher in a week.
I've gotten some good feedback from one of my senior readers, though some of the things she wants are things I just can't do. Detailed comments are a mixed blessing: on the one hand, you want real concrete suggestions to improve your work. That's what sending it out for review is all about, after all. But now, as I face a one-week deadline, I was feeling that all I wanted was someone to tell me "It looks good. Time to send it off. They'll have areas you need to improve, but it's where it should be for this stage. Send it."
That's right: I just want someone to read the MS and tell me that it's good. Pathetic. But guess what? Another senior reader, who saw a much rougher portion of the MS several months back, already said just that, more or less. So I went back today and re-read those old e-mails, and I felt a little better.
Now, senior reviewer one is no dumb bunny. If she has questions or suggestions, then surely one or more of the press' reviewers will have the same issues. I need to be prepared for that. But senior reader two is a smart cookie, too, and wouldn't tell me that something was good if it sucked. I know them both well enough to know that they both have my best interests at heart. So here's my startling conclusion: they're both right. The MS is not perfect (nor will it become so in the next week), but it's not going to embarass me when I send it off next Monday.
I'm hanging on to that right now.
And in the meantime, I continue revising.