Saturday, August 13, 2005

Doing the proofs

Yesterday, I went out to the postbox and had an awful dega vu moment. A thick, obviously manuscript sized envelope. But, my mind protested, my partial surely wasn't that big. How can I be getting a rejection? I don't have any fulls out there! For the life of me, I couldn't think what HM&B were sending. I tore open the envelope and there were the proofs -- with the standard note from Editorial.
Apparently the format for M&B proofs has recenltly changed. Instead of letters, you can now see what the finished work will basically look like.
M&B proofs are different from Hale proofs. Hale proofs look like the finished book, completed with frontpiece, copyright page and double spread for each page.
M&B proofs are double spaced, with each line numbered.
With Hale proofs, you use different coloured pens to denote whether it is a printer error or more likely an author error. With Hale, you make proof reading marks directly on the paper.
With M&B, I need to write out on a seperate piece of paper, the page number and line of the correction, and what needs to be done. I then email my editor with the list rather than posting the entire manuscript back.
Two big things I have noticed. First the en dashes look like hyphens. My editor assures me that this is simply HM&B proof style and the en dashes will look like en dashes in the finished work. Secondly not all of the italics were picked up. This is because it is machine done, and I need to make sure that all the italics (ie for Latin words) are there.
It is fun to reread Gladiator's Honour for basically the last time before I see it in print.
Now is not the time for wholesale changes. It is merely the time for correcting errors.
One big thing I have noticed is that where I have indicated a scene solely due to POV change, there is no longer a scen change. I shall be making that change in my current wip.

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