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Category: Books

Page Proofs

I’ve just sent off the page proofs of Marry In Secret — Rose’s story.
I find page proofs agonizing to do. This is the final step in preparing the manuscript for publication — my final step that is, not the publisher’s. It’s the last time I get to change anything. 

The stages in writing for publication go like this:

1) I send my manuscript to my editor at Berkley.

2) She reads it and makes comments, tells me the bits she likes, points out areas she thinks aren’t clear or that I could strengthen or tighten or expand on — that kind of thing. She doesn’t change my sentences or anything — these are just general comments about the story. It’s called a structural edit — concentrating on how the story unfolds.

3) She sends her comments back to me, and I go through the manuscript again and make any changes I want to, keeping her comments in mind. It’s usually been a few weeks since I read it, so I can see it with a fresh eye. 

4) Then I send it back and she reads it and if she’s happy with it, it will be sent to a copyeditor.

The copyeditor edits on a word and sentence level. She will correct typos and apply house style to things such as hyphenated words and the use of commas. Copyeditors are wonderfully picky — they will spot that the timeline doesn’t quite follow — mine actually prepares a day by day calendar for each story — or spot that someone’s eye color has changed, or a butler had been renamed. Continuity things.

They also spot grammatical errors, and the words that I’ve forgotten to change to American spelling — Australian spelling is the same as English spelling, so my people go travelling not traveling, and move towards the door, when apparently Americans would say toward. A copyeditor also spots when water gurgles nosily down a pipe instead of noisily. She will query expressions like “walking in a crocodile” (the way school children walk in a line, two by two) in case readers might not understand, and “the wee small hours” which could be a tautology. (It is, but it’s also a common expression.)

5) The copyedited manuscript then comes back to me to go through again, so I can approve  or reject those changes and make any other changes I want to. It’s the last time I really get to change anything. As well as the small things the copyeditor has flagged, I might decide to delete a scene, or add one in — I did both this time around. 

6) Then it’s back to the main editor for a final read through, and then it goes to be laid out exactly as it will appear in the final book. 

7) This then comes back to me in a pdf for a final final read through to spot any mistakes. I find this stage in the process excruciating. By now I’ve read the story I don’t know how many times and I’m usually sick of it. But I have to read it, not for story, or expression or characterization, but for tiny little mistakes, a comma in the wrong place, or a typo that everyone has missed — really nit-picky stuff.  Because if I miss something, it’s certain that a reader will pounce on it. This time I found 7 small mistakes — to instead of so, that kind of thing. I might have missed some but by now I’m practically cross-eyed.  The next time I see this book will be as a real book, published, bound, and when it’s too late to change anything.

8) I send back my changes — I list them in a document, but I also print off the pages affected, mark the changes clearly with a pen and take a photograph of each page and email that to my editor. That’s how it’s done these days — all electronic.

So now Rose and her story has gone. I always feel a bit sick when the final final version has gone. There’s nothing I can do now except hope people will like the story. And get cracking on the next story — George’s story.

 

Exciting news

Nominations for the Australian Romance Readers Association annual awards are out, and I have three listingsFavourite Historical Romance (for Marry in Scandal), Favourite Continuing Romance Series (My Marriage of Convenience series) and I’ve been nominated for the Favourite Australian Romance Author 2018

The full list is here.

The winners will be announced at an awards dinner in Sydney on February 23rd in the gorgeous historic dining room at the Castlereagh boutique hotel. 

These dinners are always a lot of fun, as readers and authors mingle, eat, and talk books. I love them because I get to catch up with friends — both readers and authors.

It’s always a fun night. You can book for the dinner here.

Alternatively (or additionally) you can attend the High Tea that takes place from 11am – 1pm and devour yummy cakes and savories while you meet people and talk books. For the high tea booking, click here.

I’m also pleased because the photo ARRA is using of the awards shows three of the awards I won in 2016 and one by my good friend Keri Arthur.  That was our table — and yes, we did drink that champagne.

 

Last year my table was also very lucky. I won three awards and my friends Kelly Hunter and Keri Arthur also won. That’s them in the photo below,  holding their awards.

 

 

 

Thank you to all the volunteers who organize and participate in ARRA — romance readers are so wonderful and enthusiastic and encouraging.

A jigsaw puzzle of my new cover

Here’s a fun little exercise for the holiday season.

It’s an on-line jigsaw puzzle of the cover of my new book, MARRY IN SECRET, coming 2 July 2019.

Click on the image, or on the link here and it will take you to the jigsaw site. Have fun.
Oh, and this is my gorgeous new cover. You’ve already seen it — all my blog and newsletter people saw it first. But in case you need it to help you with the puzzle, here it is again.