I was minding my own business last night, when my home phone rang. Frowning, I squinted at the caller ID, and knew I didn't know anyone in the 801 area code, and the name was unfamiliar as well. Heck, I knew I wasn't behind on any payments, so I took the leap, and answered the phone. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was the copy editor from my publishing house!
Now, if you're like me, you haven't a clue what a copy editor is and does. To the best of my knowledge, the book has been laid out by another staff member, and the copy editor and I go through the laid out book and take care of any hyphenated names, and widow and orphan lines.
So what exactly does that mean to me?
Apparently, we go through the book line-by-line, checking out for formatting problems. I might add here that the formatting problems show up from the layout version of the book, not the original manuscript I sent in. I was told it would take several hours. My copy editor will be calling me back tonight (at 11:00 p.m....I'm a night owl), and we'll get started.
What does this all mean?
It means that I'm this close to holding my finished baby in my hand. Apparently, after working with the copy editor, the book will go back to the layout person, then back to the copy editor and myself to take care of any remaining problems.
Then to the press!
Can you believe it all? It has been a little over a year since I signed my contract. I didn't know that most of that time between my contract and publication were many silent months while the publisher worked on other books.
So, if you get a call from an unknown person, and you have a book under contract, by God, answer the phone!