Monday, September 08, 2008

Page proofs

Over the past few weeks, I've received the page proofs for two of my upcoming books. Page proofs are the layout versions of what the book pages will look like when you buy it, with any color, graphics, sidebars all put in place by the publisher. It's my first look at what the book will look like, as opposed to the basic manuscript I turned in. When you see boxed text in a book, the author probably submitted it looking something like this:

Did You Know?
The average amount spent on wedding favors is over $300.

When that is coded and placed in a book, well, you know what that turns out like. So this process is fine-tooth-combing the page proofs for any typos and cut-and-paste errors, and this is when we also chop out any extra text to fit the page number spacing. When the text is converted into the final font and sidebars are created, that takes up some pages. So out go a lot of the extras, paragraphs are cut down, segments are chopped. But in the end, we've got a perfect fit.

I'm thrilled to have these two books into production -- especially since one set of page proofs had been delivered to the wrong house, and we thought they were lost until a kind neighbor drove it over here! -- and focus fully on the book I'm working on now, which includes a topic I've been wanting to tackle for a long time. But first, the dishwasher needs emptying, the counter needs cleaning...all the usual distractions faced by everyone who works from a home office. At least I don't have a parade of workers ringing the doorbell this week -- we wisely requested that our township mark where our water, sewer and gas lines are under our lawn...and wouldn't you know -- our water line runs EXACTLY where we were planning to plant our new dogwood tree. THAT would have been fun. The lines are marked, the house is quiet, and I get to --- wait, there's the doorbell. The fun never ends....I'll get to writing at some point.