For anyone following along at home, here’s what’s happening with my novel, Everywhere She’s Not.
As you might recall, we had some issues with the hard proofs–the hardcover and paperback samples we got back from the printers. No worries; it’s to be expected. But it meant some formatting work on the interior pages had to be redone.
While that work was happening, I took advantage of the time to give the text itself a good looking at, which I hadn’t done since I’d received the final proofread back from my first editor a month or so before.
Pretty soon literally ever page in the book was looking about like this:
Which might look like a lot of changes for me to be making at this stage of the game. But it’s not. In every case the text was fine like it was. But here I had a little window to make the whole of the book that much better, so I decided to go for it.
It didn’t take long; running through the whole book this way only took me about two weeks. But it did necessitate having to hire another proofreader, since it pretty much guaranteed I would introduce new errors into the text.
So I hired a new proofreader (who, because there is a God, agreed to the extremely rapid turnover I needed), sent her each re-worked chapter as I finished it, and we wrapped up the entire book in about 15 days. Awesome.
But here’s the thing about hiring any proofreader: You never know what they don’t catch. You see what they do catch, of course. But that’s where that curtain drops.
And while I was mightily impressed with the very little my new proofreader had found, I had never before worked with her. So I couldn’t have that absolute confidence I want. And I had, after all, made a lot of changes in the text.
So I hired one final proofreader. Very luckily for me, Bruce Steele, my editor at The Asheville Citizen-Times, said he’d do the job for me—and quickly, too. And with him I do have that absolute trust. He’s one of the two or three best editors I’ve ever worked with.
I knew that if Bruce had pored through and okayed the final product, I’d be putting out a book as clean as it’s possible to get.
I received the first half of the book back from Bruce last week. It was crazy clean. The proofer before him had done even a better job than I thought she had. Bruce found almost no mistakes–but what he did find, of course, was gold. (In the book, for instance, I had written “Creature of the Black Lagoon.” Bruce caught that: it’s from the Black Lagoon, not of it. He found maybe four things like that, total—which, given that it was about 50,000 words, is amazing.)
I’ll get the second half of the book back from Bruce this Friday. Assuming that the second half is as clean as the first (and he says it is!), then inputting his changes will again take about five minutes.
And then we’re done. DONE done.
Meanwhile, we’ve tweaked the cover. It now looks like this:
We’ve got another week or so to play with the color of the title font, but this looks like our boy.
So we’re just waiting on that final text, and . . . we’re off to the races.