Received my “proof book” in the mail yesterday: A Broad Abroad in Iran: An Expat’s Misadventures in the Land of Male Dominance. A day that took 100 years to happen, or so it seemed. When an author gets their proof copy or galley copy, the onus is on them to make sure it is error free. It’s their last chance to change anything that needs changing. I really don’t think that is mentally possible. After working on your own book for three or more years, you begin to know the lines by heart, and even skip over errors because your brain is reading it as it should appear, not by what your eyes see.
I’m embarrassed to admit how many times my manuscript has been edited. When I finally thought it was perfect, I submitted it. Then I opened my proof yesterday and found many errors. HOW COULD THAT BE?
It’s called “Paralysis by Analysis” and a very real enigma, meaning at some time in the last three years YOU NEEDED TO STOP EDITING!
After you’ve moved text around a gazillion times, you’re bound to make errors, and so it is! “Oh, this line could use another strong verb,” you think to yourself. I can change it to read yada yada yada, and off you go, changing it, moving it, and cutting it. BUT, underneath all that verbiage is hiding the Edit Antagonist, who makes sure you miss one of the words you’re moving, or actually hides it so you can’t move it. Sheesh. This job is hard!
However, that said, reading prodigious authors’ works in the past, my editor’s eye always scans as I read, looking for typos or other errors, and I find quite a few. Which tells me…even the big guys can make mistakes.
Last month I read—on my Kindle—a memoir by Mary Higgins Clark. I read Chapter 1, then 2, then 3, and when I clicked on the next page, expecting Chapter 4, I found Chapter 1, 2 and 3, repeated. So… I rest my case!
The book will be out in three weeks, look for reviews online at Reader-views.com, as well as my website and Amazon. You can also order it at any book store.
The first five “Pre-Pub” orders will be free!