Thursday, January 11, 2007

One Step Closer

I finished the copy edits for DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY today. Yay, me! They've been handed off to the UPS man to be trucked back to NYC and into the hands of the 'production editor'. It seems as if things are truly moving forward now, and after a long year of waiting, things are starting to happen.

The copy edit process went like this:

I got an automated early morning phone call from UPS last week, telling me that an overnight package from HarperCollins was being delivered and would require a signature. I chewed my nails and waited by my front door like a good girl, and few hours later, I signed for a thick package from my editor; my electronically edited manuscript (using Word's 'Track Changes'), 2 pages of written instructions on how to handle HC's new editorial process, and 2 sheets of shorthand notes from the copy editor himself, documenting what he'd corrected or changed. It looked like Greek. Teeny, tiny Greek. And they wanted it back ASAP.

After a quick freak-out, I had to familiarize myself with copy editing symbols (what the heck does that squiggle mean? Why is there a line above this word and a line below this one? What if I want to add a line of dialogue? I liked that comma where it was, thank you.) Anyway, I had to go over the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb, red pen in hand, and make sure every line read exactly as I wanted it to. One final time to edit my baby before it goes into production.

The copy editor had included his name and his email address on his notepages. I sent him a thank you note via email (he did a very nice job correcting my chronic misuse of em-dashes (seriously!) and he was pretty surprised to hear from me. Evidently, most authors do not offer thank you notes to the guys with the red pens. :) Even more interesting, he's a writer himself, and has published a 'psychedelic memoir' of living in Haight-Ashbury during the '60's, entitled I THINK, THEREFORE WHO AM I? Isn't that clever? I ordered it. I find it fascinating that the highly detail-conscious and very skilled copy editor who worked on my book is a former hippy. And a very nice man. Thanks for the relatively painless edit, Mr. W. :)

So anyway, I survived a week of careful copyediting (and so did my eyesight), and the manuscript is gone. I always wondered what the process would be like, and now I know. And I'm one step closer to seeing DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY on the shelves!

1 comment: said...


Thanks for the plug for my book, I Think, Therefore Who Am I? (Memoir of a Psychedelic Year). Have you read it yet? How 'bout a review?

Your copy editor, Peter Weissman