Just thought I’d take a wee break from copy-editing the manuscript to pop in and say hello.
Much has happened on the FFF [FINDING FRASER front] since last we spoke on the subject. As you may remember, I am currently working on the copyedits.
For those of you unfamiliar with this process, I thought you might like just a little taste.
As noted in update #1, this book has gone through a rigorous editorial process. It is in pretty good shape already. However, as everyone who has ever published a book knows, there is NO ONE more important than a good copy-editor to get the job done properly. In the olden days, manuscripts used to be marked up by the editor and sent back and forth through the mail, but since I’ve been writing books, we pretty much always do it digitally. That is, the author emails the ms to the editor, who does his or her thing and sends it back. I write my books using a software program called Scrivener, but all the editorial is usually done in Word, via a tool called ‘Track Changes’.
So, just for fun, here’s a peek at what part of my manuscript looked like when I got it from my copy-editor:
Yeah, those green bits are the changes I need to make or discard.
Just to be clear, I had a peek at the meta-data behind the file. More than 6,000 edits on a 100,000 word manuscript.
Now, this includes both text and layout, so not only is every word checked, but the alignment of every sentence, the spacing and consistency of every piece of punctuation, and in this particular book the many, many vagaries in font and format. Still…
If it isn’t obvious by now, I’ll say it. I have the world’s best copy-editor. Mary Ellen Reid is a writer, and a reader and a seller of books, and she knows how seriously I am taking this project. How lucky am I that she’s turned her eagle-eyes to this task?
Because here’s the thing. In my experience, this is one of the pieces — perhaps THE most important piece — where it’s possible to get it wrong as an Indie author. It is seriously easy to put down the words, slap them into a file and upload into an ebook these days. But so many — far too many — writers rush through to get their words on the page and the book into print, either digitally or via print-on-demand without taking the extra steps to make sure the finished result comes out the way it should. And so often the appearance of the final product reflects this process.
Even after having FOUR sets of editorial eyes on this book, I know we’re going to miss something. And I don’t mind that, really, because perfection should only be reserved for the Gods, yes?
But I’ll tell you, after this process, we are not going to miss MUCH! And I hope the book is all the better a read for you, because of it.
I also hope you are enjoying the blog posts of other Indie authors that appear on Tuesdays. So far we’ve heard from the wonderful Ev Bishop, James McCann, and Laura Bradbury. Make sure you tune in for a chance to win a book from one of these amazing writers each week! I’ll put up a post with the winners of Laura Bradbury’s books in the next day or so, and you can look forward to yet another amazing Indie tale on March 3!
I love hearing your thoughts and comments. You can give me your take in the section below, or find me on Facebook and Twitter. And as always,