Lynne is having severe problems connecting to the Internet, so you’re stuck with me as a last-minute replacement, I’m afraid.
I’m in the middle of going through the proofs of my next book. It’s detailed work, as we all know, but it’s also surprisingly educational (and generally a guarantee that you’ll never want to read the book again in your life).
Definitely. After all, it’s been a while since you looked at the manuscript, so there’s a chance to see it with fresh eyes and pick up on the mistakes you’ve made, and that the editor’s missed. It could be a typo, because one or two always seem to slip through, or something as simple as repeating a word a few lines down.
Granted, the instructions are to only make the changes that are absolutely necessary. And you need to remember the pagination, too. Still, we all find things that could be phrased just that little bit better, and when you see that, well, you want the book to be the very best it can be…
Those are the mechanics. But what really makes it an education is having the chance to judge your work objectively. That’s a double-edged sword, of course. Sometimes it’s a sweet surprise, when the work is better than you imagined. But other times, well, we just hope those are few and far between.
I’ve found it’s best not to try and proof too much at a sitting. It needs all those Spidey senses alter, and full concentration. I’m generally good for 30 pages at a stretch, which probably makes me a wimp.
What about your proofing experiences? Any horror stories?