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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Proof is in the Pudding

One thing electronic copyedits did for my publishing schedule was to shorten the time from turning in copyedits until seeing proof pages! Well, it certainly seemed to shorten the time, because the Packet of Proof Pages from Penguin arrived last week while I was off having a great weekend at the Colorado Gold Writers' Conference.

Of course, just because they got them back to me quickly, it didn't mean I had a lot of time to work on them - about ten days. And darned if I wasn't just getting back into The Soul Mirror development! But, in general, reviewing proofs means one read-through and goes pretty fast. I just wasn't sure how things were going to look after my interesting experience with the copyediting.

So how did all those complicated copyedits hold up?

I was really impressed. Everything looked GREAT! It took only a few pages to realize that all the changes I was so worried about were correctly reversed, and all the tweaks I had made were incorporated smoothly.

Only one small thing did I notice (and, you observant ones will note, I mentioned it as a risk when I was writing about this process). Never have I needed to correct so much punctuation in proof pages.

The problem is that Word's TRACK CHANGES function draws lines from all these margin boxes to the place in the text where the change occurs. Just as when you're trying to type punctuation into an online form, the lines overwrite the punctuation, so you can't tell whether the period or comma is there just by looking. In TRACK CHANGES, you have to switch to FINAL mode (hiding all the layered corrections), to look for stray or missing puncs. And I just didn't have time to look at every line. So we're back to paper and pencil now. I mark them, return those pages, and that will be that.

The verdict: The Spirit Lens is done!

By the way, email me the name and address of your favorite bookstore and I'll send a batch of Spirit Lens bookmarks. We want to make sure your store is well stocked!!

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