Self-Publishing Part 8: While Still Preparing the Book, Growing a Seedling Platform with 25 Pages of Errata

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

One of the things mentioned by the person delivering the Quality Edit was that after the book was typeset, I should have it proofread in its final form: things can happen when the conversion is made from MS Word to the typesetting software, and further things might simply come across differently when typeset.

Yeah. (Note the slight frown caught in the corners of the mouth.)

Well, I wasn’t pleased with yet more cash coming out of my pocket, but understood needing the proofread: Nothing like a few typos to steal the spotlight in online comments about the book, and I suspected something could have slipped through if only because of all the unnoticed errors and unseen weaknesses the previous pairs of eyes had so far found.

Because I had cut so many words out after the developmental edit and had paid for all remaining rounds of edits using the original word count, I had a decent amount of cash due back, and so I applied it to a proofreading, keeping the actual new dollars leaving my pocket rather modest given it’s still a fairly long book.

Perversely, I hoped I’d be wasting that money and the proofread would come back basically empty. After all, it’s been through so many edits plus my own readings.

Instead, I got my money’s worth.

A bit over a week later, the errata came back: 25 pages, stuffed with corrections—about 20 per page—mostly dealing with consistency of formatting, but with an unnerving number of grammar errors.

How could I have not seen these? Most of them are so obvious.

            Of the 500 odd changes, I rejected only 18, and many of those not because a change wasn’t needed, but because the suggested correction wasn’t quite what I wanted or the text needed, and so will have to be made based on a second proofread: mine. There were a few questions for me to answer and a couple of disagreements on usage, and in one place, an editor finally agreed with something I’ve known for decades the the in The Ohio State University is legally part of the name, thus part of the proper noun, thus capitalized. A small thing, but in this case, one I liked persevering in. Odd what we writers can find pride in, no?

A second grammar correction that editors have issues with (after my use of then as a coordinating conjunction) is a period after said/say when the same person continues speaking. Like the below period used purposefully to indicate long pause made for dramatic effect:

“Look at it this way. She can, for all intents and purposes, live here. For free. Or,” Jonathan says, abruptly stopping the melody. “We can give her the keys and she can start paying some rent.”

The suggested comma after melody, while grammatically correct, is NOT the way Jonathan spoke it. He’s been playing his keyboard, and to accentuate the starkness of the choice stops playing. Time passes here: a long breath, to heightened contrast and drama here. This period stayed. But, most of the time, I agreed that there was no long pause needed, and a comma matches not only the grammar but the manner in which the words were spoken. A bad habit caught, but still not broken I imagine.

I made quick work of the changes, most of them simply needing “accept” to be typed in the row next to it.

But there is also a problem with the cover: a rather significant one.


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