Self-Publishing Part 9: The Galley Proof or between a Hard Choice and Remembering​ Fine Print

by wlancehunt in Personal Narrative

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

Well, the book had gotten the Editor’s Choice designation with the italicized text, so, I figured, it makes sense to put the italics back in, and then, push come to shove, make that argument—the changes weren’t my fault, and I’m really only making it right again—and see what happens. At least, I hope the manuscript was read in the form I sent it in. The launch was getting behind for an April launch, in fact, the whole process was months behind what I had anticipated, so I shoved that worry to the side and pressed ahead.

Dutifully, I compared the latest version of the manuscript in PDF to the version I sent in, ignoring the corrections the editors, proofreader and I had agreed on, and writing, one change to a line, each with the typeset version’s page number, paragraph number, line number within that paragraph, the typeset version’s text, the corrected version of the text, a note as to why the change is needed, and indicating if it was a publisher error with an X, thus:

Page # Para-graph # Line




New Comment Publisher Error
1) 1 1 Last As for us, Amy, there’d never been any real chance. As for us, Amy, there’d never been any real chance. Remove italics to make it fit place better
2) 75 2 Last Maybe she’s waiting for me. And what?

   Scott appears next

Maybe she’s waiting for me.

    And what?

    Scott appears next

¶ and indent. Submitted correctly x2 (keep italics for that one 2 word ¶) X

This document ended up being 81 pages long and included 918 changes. Far, far beyond the 100 change limit for a retech.

This distressed me. But only a handful of these, okay a couple of handfuls, were new requests.

Why should this threaten all the work I’ve put in, the time and the money?

Then it struck me. That last column: “Publisher Error,” i.e. NOT MY FAULT. That awoke a memory of something I read in the small print about what changes I’d have to pay for: “Publisher Errors are always free.” So, if these corrections aren’t my fault, are in fact returning the text to the state they were before the conversion into the typeset PDF, why should I worry?

That though depends on what form of the manuscript the Editorial Review Board had read it in: my MS Word version with all this italicization, or the typeset one sans the formatting.


Thus, before I could send the 81 pages of corrections, I had to make sure what version was the winning one. I asked, fairly sure it was the Word version, but dreading it was the PDF.

The board confirmed it was MY MS Word version.


Along with the corrections, I sent this in the accompanying email:

As I said in my earlier note, I use a great deal of italicization, not only grammatically, but to show emphasis and internal dialogue: sometimes plain text to emphasis something in internal dialogue. (I’ve tried to indicate this wherever it happens with special, highlighted instructions.)


That said, in the attached document, there are

13 wording changes,

12 capitalization/punctuation corrections

7 name corrections

4 spelling corrections

4 lyrics corrections

3 grammar corrections and

876 publisher errors, for a total of 918 changes.

Yeah, 81 pages worth of them.

If I could correct more than one error in a line, I tried to.

In other words, I asked for only 42 changes, 29 of which were correcting errors, leaving only 13 discretionary changes the longest of which involved 6 words fixing a line of lyrics, and the next longest removed 5 unnecessary words.

Should be no reason to reevaluate the manuscript.

They agreed.

Bullet dodged.

But that was not the end of the changes and corrections. Anyone who has done this before knows that never really ends. One simply abandons it.


Know someone who might like this? Post it or Forward this email to let them in on it.

To ask a question or follow along with the self-publishing adventure, join the “Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness” here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: