February 5, 2009

Being the fifteenth in a series of posts about a book proposal, from concept to print.

Click on the category ‘A journey to a book’ in the left sidebar to bring up all of the posts in the series.

It’s June 2008. The manuscript for Easy Appliqué Blocks now leaves tech editor Robin’s hands and goes to the copy editor. The copy editor’s job is to look at everything in terms of grammar, spelling, consistency, logic, and the Martingale style guide. There will be no more editing by email. From this point on it’s all done on paper. (This avoids having too many versions floating around, and it sounds like they learned this the hard way :).

I received the copy-edited version by snail mail, settled in with a cup of tea, and gave it a thorough read. In a few places I stumbled over rough patches where added detail plus removal of commas made things seem to rush headlong. Some sentences weren’t what I’d like, and there were still some not-quite-right things about the illustrations. All normal at this point. I rolled up my sleeves and got to polishing!

There’s actually a lot of humorous stuff going on by now. For example, there’s the word “fine.” I started out talking about fine thread for appliqué. The question comes back, what is meant by fine thread? Thin? High quality? I change it to skinny. Skinny is not going to fly so it’s changed to fine, thin thread. Needles can’t be skinny either so the copy editor changes it to thin. I don’t like thin so I change it to slender. We’ll see what it ends up being!

The copy editor capitalizes sharps but I put that really cool slash through the S and make a note that it’s a type of needle, not a brand name. And then there’s the West Highland white terrier, which I give the ol’ triple underline treatment and explain that the West Highland White Terrier is a breed name. [Note: I lost on both counts, the first to the Martingale style manual and the second to the dictionary LOL. You’ll see the canine workaround in the book.]

The copy editor says that appliquér needs to be spelled appliquer, but that bothers me totally. That just looks like applikwer. Why is it that you can write appliquéing but not appliquér? I write a long impassioned plea on the manuscript to keep the accent. We’ll see.

heart-and-buds.gifI dug out my guidelines for proofreading marks and had a high old time of it marking up the paper manuscript. It took me back to my high-school journalism days, when I used to LOVE working on the Chapel Hill High newspaper. I even get to use ‘stet’ a few times.

That reminds me… Robin sent me a link to the Yarn Harlot’s blog where this very well-known knitting author wrote about the publishing process. Hilarious! For a good laugh about stetting, read her posts of January 24 and 25, 2008.

I put it off as long as I could. I had to take care of my author photo, as I’d received a nudge from the author liaison. I begged Gregory Case to take me in, and he gave me an appointment for a sitting. I drove “over the hill” to San Jose and emerged unscathed from the photo session, and with a pretty decent photo. See the first in this series if you haven’t already done so.

I sent the marked-up post-copy-edit paper manuscript back to Robin on July 2, 2008, a couple days before my deadline. Stay tuned!

Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs


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