After the copy edits …

I was sent an author’s review version of the copy-edited manuscript to look at it yesterday. Reviewing it required me to learn how to use the “Track changes” function on Microsoft Word, but I finally figured it out. Without that, the production coordinator wouldn’t know what changes I had made.

It’s fun to see the manuscript starting to look a little more like a book. Chapter numbers are in a different font now, and the paragraphs are dropped on the first page of each chapter, the way they are in real books. Publisher’s information is now included too.

The manuscript, despite all our careful copy edits, still had some typos in it along with some formatting errors. The font, for some reason, had morphed from Times New Roman 11 to Times New Roman 10 in some places, and then had puffed itself into Times New Roman 12 on another page. There were also missing paragraph indents and that kind of thing.

But it most case, the final tweaks were from me looking at text that I’d written and re-written, discussed with the copy editor and then changed, only to discover I still didn’t like the way it was worded.

I’ll be glad when this book is on the shelf. I suspect that otherwise, I’d never be completely finished picking away at it. I’d be like that artist who keeps sneaking into the gallery with his paintbrush to touch up his work.

Next step — proofreading. And a conference call with marketing and publicity tomorrow morning to discuss what we need to do to actually sell this book. I’ll keep you posted.

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