Tag Archives: proof reading

Frustrating formatting!

That moment you’ve been waiting for, when you open up the file and they’ve turned your manuscript into a book with pages, numbers, and chapter titles. My name is on the top of every left hand page, and the book title is on the top of every right hand page. There are simple artistic touches and fancy fonts, ISBNs, copyrights, and… a lot of formatting problems!

I was quite emotional when I first saw the way they’d put it all together. I couldn’t have asked for better, to be honest. I gave them very little to go on, just some basic cover ideas, and the rest was up to the designer. The cover still isn’t quite right, but with some discussion and a smart idea from the designer herself, it will hopefully be fixed. Then there’s this formatting issue. Having never done this before, I wasn’t sure if this was normal. Having only got to chapter 7, after almost a week, with reams of notes that largely identified missing paragraph breaks, I presumed that this was the whole point of my first real proof read. Then my husband pointed out to me that, surely in this day and age, shouldn’t it be relatively easy to convert a Word document manuscript into book format? It would appear not!

So I took his advice about just getting in touch with my manager and questioning it. I’ve mentioned before that I have a good relationship with her and feel I can pretty much ask her anything, no matter how stupid I worry it might be. Turned out to be a good call, literally. She was soooo glad I highlighted this early in my proof read because yes, basically the formatting should have been done better than it had been, and this would have been a HUGE waste of my time if I’d got to the end of the book with my 5 million pages of notes only to find it could have been easily fixed. I guess I’ll know for next time – hopefully there will be a next time!

Meanwhile, it is being reformatted…

That will do nicely!

I never in a million years thought I would ever receive such a positive evaluation. Sure my beta readers gave me great feedback, but most of them are friends, some of whom know me very well. It would be difficult for them to be unbiased. Only one of my six beta readers doesn’t know me and had no idea who had written the book. She was hooked from the beginning and was making all the right noises by the end. It was enough to convince me, and to some extent my husband, that with fine tuning my manuscript could possibly be good enough to be published.

So, just how positive was the editor’s feedback? Well, the manuscript is strong enough to go straight to proof reading and copy editing in its current form. It’s not perfect, but I personally don’t need to change a thing; all the minor adjustments will be done in the next phase. I worked hard to make it as good as I could get it, but I have my husband to thank for going through it with a fine tooth comb. I can’t be mad at him any more for not believing in me at the beginning of last year, when I plucked up the courage to finally tell him what I was up to. Admittedly, those first five chapters he read were shockingly badly written, and not surprisingly put him off reading any more. But, eventually, even when he had better things to do with his time and life got in the way, he helped me polish it and make it shine!

We are about to go away on a family vacation, and spend some quality time by a pool in a nice round 30 degrees, thank you very much. I can truly go away now feeling proud, positive and able to relax while the professionals do their job sprucing up my manuscript and designing my cover.

See you in a couple of weeks!!