Editing– Part III: the copyedit
May 22, 2011
First Draft
June 12, 2011
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Editing – Part IV: the First Pass

Last week I wrote the happy news that I had finished the final edit for my book. (Actually it was two weeks ago – work exploded at my day job, and regretfully, I had to skip a week.) This week I write with the happy news that I am really done with the editing now. I received an overnight package from St. Martins stating that the “first pass pages” were enclosed. The first pass is a Xerox copy of the book that requires one additional proofread before the advanced copies are printed.

I was asked to review for typos and printer errors at the same time a proofreader from St. Martins was making one last check. I was also allowed to make minor changes, although special instructions were provided for any change more than one sentence in length. All changes were to be completed in colored pencil on the manuscript. There was a request for a two week turnaround time. I believe limited advanced copies of the book will be printed next. I assume one more read will be required before the final printing takes place.

The instructions on the edit informed me that changes are still possible at this point, but they should be minor. Major changes – such as reworking a chapter – may include a charge to the author to help cover the cost of resetting the book. Fortunately, I found no need for major changes, but I was glad for one more opportunity to catch minor errors. All prior editing took place using the review feature in Microsoft Word. The only glitch, for me, was that when I accepted the editor’s suggestion, or made additional changes to the document, the words were broken up with the review marks. It was difficult for me to see what the final document would look like with all changes accepted. I found a few instances in this last edit where I remembered editing, but the final sentence was not as I intended. I’ll have to come up with a new system for the next book.

As a side note, work has started on the new website. We hope to have it up and running by July 1st. I’m excited about the first images. My goal is a website that gives the reader a visual feel for the book. I’ll be anxious to hear feedback.

Next week – writing the first draft