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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Final edits on E-book; or, how to go permanently cross-eyed in one afternoon!

     My Wonderful Publisher sent me the final PDF file to audit and review yesterday morning.
     I have an ISBN number and everything. I'm SOMEBODY!  (Best Steve Martin, "The Jerk", impression here.)

     After the first few minutes of jumping around and being excited, I got down to the business of proofing the copy that will transform into e-reader format very shortly. I discovered that my writing style has a few quirks which will now be conscious decisions to eliminate when possible!
     1) I use way too many dashes.
     2) My publisher has an in-house rule of no semi-colons in dialogue. Ever.
      Scanning the document and correcting these tiny little punctuation marks yesterday was like an Easter-egg hunt in tall grass. The publisher had already done the semi-colons for me, but I found a whole bunch of my double-dashes (which some well-meaning website had informed me was the way to do it on a formatted manuscript) had been missed by my first pass. Because my book is 104K, it took me pretty much all day. I had to stop at noon and refocus, because when I picked up my iPhone to read my work email, I had to hold it at arms' length. I'm not that old! (Well, I am, but, seriously...!)

     Wonderful Publisher (Fire and Ice YA) was very supportive and patient as I kept finding more dashes in my second edit, after she'd corrected the first pass. She assured me that when I get the proof for the print copy, I will probably find even more things because it appears different in printed form than it does on the e-book proof.

     My first experience in publishing so far has been positive and educational. I've made a lot of friends who are mentors and fellow newbies (The Coolest People Ever, as we are now known!), and together we are navigating these unfamiliar waters. I am still learning to navigate the world of social media. More on that later. I'm still clueless.


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