December 9th, 2012

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

A Week of Pages

All last week and until an hour or so ago, I was working on page proofs.   Page proofs, for the non-writers here, are what you get after the copy-edited manuscript has been set in type (electronically, these days) and the pages look just as they will in the eventual book.   They're also the last chance to fix things.   In theory (and mostly in practice) all the marks on the copy-edited manuscript have been transferred to the file, making it perfect.  In actuality, whether you do the copy-editing electronically or on paper, some corrections don't make it in, and some new problems do arise. 

The ideal way to proofread the page proofs is to have the copy edited manuscript and the page proofs side by side and go over them word by word, punctuation mark by punctuation mark.   The page proofs, being set in type that's smaller than the manuscript's, will not match up, page to page.  So it's not just scanning straight across to see that the lines match, but...a diverging pair of lines.  And "match" isn't the operative word, exactly, because there may still be uncaught errors in the original, as well as in the page proofs.   

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