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A First Time Author's Journey

What to Expect When You're Expecting a Book (February 9, 2015)

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What to Expect When You're Expecting a Book (February 9, 2015)
I got a nice email from the editor at the publishing house who is going to be working on the manuscript. I'll call her Emma. In addition to a nice "hello" she also shared a document that describes the process that the manuscript will go through. I found it to be a nice overview of the different steps that I will share here. (1) Submission: By the due date, an author submits "a good and clean publishable manuscript, as free from errors as possible." I had to send both a printed copy and electronic copy on disks. "Please note that once you submit the manuscript, we consider your submission 'final'." (2) Macro Edit: The developmental editor (DE) reviews what I submitted - a check called the "macro edit." The DE's job is to check to see that we have fulfilled all the obligations we had in our contract. The DE is also screening for RBTs - Really Bad Things - like plagiarism, libel and secretly encoded messages that turn people into zombies when read backwards. OK, maybe mostly for just the first two things. (3) Transmission to Line Editor: If the manuscript passes the Macro edit, the DE sends it to the Line Editor and includes a summary of what was found in Macro Edit in a memo called the "state of the manuscript" memo. (I find the label 'Macro Edit" to be a better description of a bunch of the editing Mike and I already did to get rid of throwaway words like "very" and such.) (4). Line edit: LIne editor reviews the manuscript for the 5 C's - consistency, clarity, cogency, conciseness, and coherence. Line editing gets into everything from grammar and spelling to organization and factual accuracy. Every time the LE has a question, the author is supposed to get back to the LE within a day. The process is done via emails instead of my sharing a redline copy in Word. (5) Format and design: Once the line edit is complete, the interior of the book gets designed and formatted - subheads, fonts, design elements, chapter starts, running heads, etc.. (6) Proof and index: A separate proofreader proofreads the files and creates the index. (7) Author read: I get a copy of the resulting files called the "author read" or "galley proof." It will either be a PDF or a hard copy. I get about 3-5 days to read and verify that to keep on production schedule. The only things I can ask to be changed are type-os, grammatical errors and mistakes. I have to resist making any changes other than that. I also have to double secret pinky swear not to share it with anyone because copyright has not yet been registered. 16. Final review: Any changes I have are given final OK by the Editorial Director and then it goes off to the printer. And here I was thinking all the hard work was done...
Posted on March 14, 2015