Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Time for Copy Editing

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!


Vivian Zabel said...

It won't be long now, Katie.

Hey, many publishers take three years to get a book out. We're almost speedy -- emphasis on the almost. *laugh*

Karen Cioffi said...


Interesting post!

Karen Cioffi

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Shucks, is it because I live in MOntreal that no one calls me? GRIN

Congrats, Katie, can't wait for the book to be out. Kudos!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Congratulations, Katie. I hope you'll keep us posted step-by-step thru the process. I'm anxious to live this experience with you, and I'm sure a lot of others are too.

Anonymous said...

I see your enthusiasm Katie. I'm happy for you, congrats.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Oops, forgot to ask. How long from the time you signed did your editor call?

Vivian Zabel said...

Katie and editors have been working in spurts for the past year. This call will be from the copy editor. We have the author help with this step so that if any rewording is needed to take care of problem areas, the author will do her own rewording.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the heads up.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

LOL! Oh, yes, those copy edits. I learned a lot from mine. Congratulations and good luck.


Lisa L. Leibow said...

It's amazing how much waiting is involved during the path to publication. Isn't it? Good luck with the next step! Can't wait to see Guardian out there on the market.

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Paige Ryter said...

How wonderful!! Congratulations! That has to be one of the neatest feelings. :)

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Congratulations, Katie. What a fabulous holiday gift!

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