The Book-in-Progress is slowly but surely moving toward being the Book-in-Production. There isn’t an officially official date yet, but I’ve gotten what should be the last round of edits, and been told that it should be out this fall, just in time for holiday gift-buying.

Between the book and my class, I don’t have a great deal of spare mental energy for blogging. Here are a few notes from the ongoing book work, though:

  • I am amused to discover that the official way to enter a cross-reference is to put “Page XXX” in the text. Not the page number, mind, the exact string “Page XXX.” I’m told that the production people will find and insert the appropriate page number.
  • It’s really difficult to proofread a host of minor edits scattered through 240-odd manuscript pages.
  • One of the most difficult things in this process has been that new results keep coming out. I spent a while agonizing over whether to insert a one-sentence mention of Chris Monroe’s lastest teleportation results. This would be much simpler is scientists would just take a hiatus until I’m done with the manuscript.
  • I got sent an author questionnaire, asking for biographical information and other publicity-type stuff. Included in the long list of questions is “Are you a member of BJ’s/ Sam’s Club/ Costco?”
  • I’m pleased to discover that I don’t hate the book yet. Or maybe that’s a bad sign– I gather that loathing your own writing is a prerequisite for finishing a book.
  • I made a bunch of revisions yesterday, and last night I gave Kate, my alpha reader, copies of the three chapters that had the most substantive changes in the last round of revisions. She read them over while SteelyKid was napping, and gave me back a whole bunch of comments and suggested changes. None of which involved text that I added or edited yesterday.

That last one really puts things in perspective– one of these chapters has been read and re-read, and revised and re-revised about twenty times. And there are still tweaks to be made. It’s a good reminder that “done” does not mean “perfect.”

Comments

  1. #1 Kate Nepveu
    February 9, 2009

    Seriously? Gosh, I was sure that they were to the changed stuff.

    Given that and the overall sleep deprivation, I’m sure you know just how much weight to give those suggestions . . .

  2. #2 Uncle Al
    February 9, 2009

    Errata can be cleansed but updates are beyond paper. Include a stout link that will catalogue relevant post-production publications and discoveries. OTOH, that makes you a minor slave to the book but a foot up on the Second Edition. OTOH, if nobody shows (Google Analytics) your obligation is discharged.

  3. #3 Nick
    February 9, 2009

    Who decides if/when it’s eventually released on the kindle? Is that something the publisher has asked you about or do they just assume control of all publishing channels, both real and virtual?

  4. #4 Matt Leifer
    February 10, 2009

    “I am amused to discover that the official way to enter a cross-reference is to put “Page XXX” in the text. Not the page number, mind, the exact string “Page XXX.” I’m told that the production people will find and insert the appropriate page number.”

    That’s exactly what I do when I’m writing a paper in LaTeX and don’t want to interrupt the flow of writing by looking up the label of the thing I want to cross-reference. Then you can just search for all the XXX’s to fix them later. I guess it wouldn’t work for a book about porn or the history of extra strong mints though.

  5. #5 Matt Jarpe
    February 10, 2009

    In fact, done and perfect are mortal enemies. If perfect enters done’s universe, or vice versa, both will be destroyed.

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