Friday, 5 March 2010

Make it proofed.

I had a wonderful cup of celebratory coffee yesterday, to celebrate being finished with the galley proofs. So today, I will use the wonderful early-spring weather to carry the packet to the post office and send it off - next step toward publication: done.

I may have been sighing a lot over how much text there is, and about reading it all again (and again), but I also feel that it is absolutely wonderful to work together with a publishing house on this. I read the stuff, I mark the little typos that had skilfully managed not to get noticed by anyone, I write my comments about picture sizes and picture placement and single letters with special Czech or Polish accents that were taken from a different font and gaps a little too small or a little too large between words and special characters or between lines; then I send it off to somewhere else and magic! All the marked-up things are taken care of! By SOMEBODY ELSE!

Having done the layout for the thesis submission version myself, I can very much appreciate how much work goes into these things - because once you change something in the front of the book, the change might well ricochet further on, maybe to the end of the chapter or even to the end of the part or, if things go really badly, all to the end of the book. And re-checking and re-layouting some 500 pages and change  - believe me, that is not what you'd like to do on a sunny afternoon or a rainy one. So I try to be a good layout-wise author and when I need to make a change, I try to do the wording so there's only change in that one paragraph or on that one page. Wasn't possible in one case in the first run, though, and that really ricocheted for the rest of the chapter.
And when I tried to do my best not to make ugly work-intensive changes, I send it off, lean back, have a celebratory coffee (or two) and am very, very happy that I am not alone in this. Hooray for publishing houses and the wonderful people who work there!

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