Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Don't blame the author!

by Carola

I'm in the middle of checking the galleys (known these days as First Pass Pages) for the third of my Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, Requiem for a Mezzo. It's going to be reissued with new artwork next January.
The process involves re-typesetting the text. I'm very glad I've been given a chance to go over it. You wouldn't believe how many fresh errors have crept in. There are letters missing from the middle of words; letters replaced with a different one; transpositions; and even one four-word phrase printed twice consecutively.

Last week I was checking the first pass pages of Buried in the Country, my fourth Cornish mystery, due out in December.

The manuscript went through my own final edit before sending it off, my editor's reading, the copyeditor's reading, my reading and editing of the copyeditor's corrections and suggestions, and then typesetting. The result was--not unexpectedly--considerably worse than Requiem's. Besides a few things all the editing eyes had missed, I found the horrid results of the typesetter's trying to make sense of my red-pencil changes to the copyeditor's brown-pencil changes. But as well as those, there were several introduced errors such as missing letters (as for was, offical for official), a name not capitalized, and oddest of all, scotch for splotch!

I hope I caught everything, but I wouldn't swear to it. Nor can I be certain that my corrections will make it correctly into print.

It's a complicated business going from a .doc file to a book. If the end result isn't perfect, don't blame the author!


Jean Henry Mead said...

I've heard and read that no book is perfect. I went through the same problems with several publishers, including one that published the original version before the editing. Annother publisher decided at the last moment to change one of my interview books to an attack on academia. I demanded the book back and sold it to another publisher. After nine publishers I looked into indie publilshing.

Carola Dunn said...

Minotaur's been pretty good, but things always creep through the cracks. At least I had a chance to review Requiem.