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I have always hated page proofs. I am reading the Luna version of page proofs now -- and by this I mean the last thing I'll see before I get my hands on the actual book. This is the last chance I have to catch all the mistakes I made before the book goes into production.

I read carefully; I find the Author's Alteration pages to be harder, though. Most other page proofs I've proofread are essentially what the printed page will look like. The AAs, as they are affectionately called, are double spaced Courier, in 12pt, with line numbers down the left side.

I work in Courier, and so this looks like manuscript to me, and it's much harder for me to see the things I actually typed (as opposed to the ones I thought I did) in this format. I would almost pay money to see the actual page proof pages because I think I would catch a lot more than I obviously did.

On the other hand, I'm almost resigned to missing things. Because, of course, while rereading parts of Secret for background for a section of Chaos, the first thing I noticed in the published book was... a typo. V.V.

I also have GST return forms, but I have to get the AAs back as soon as possible (and honestly, I would rather read these than do the taxes).

So... I am sitting in front of my computer, making a post instead of continuing to work on them. This, sadly, is the fine art of procrastination. I also created a Twitter account. Because, yes, procrastinating. I updated my very under-updated web page. Someone elsewhere used the word "multi-crastination", and I find myself living up to it...

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
msagara
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
Yikes. I need the page proofs exactly because the format looks like the book. Otherwise I would not catch things.

Sadly, me too. I really feel like I miss a lot more, this way. And yes, I know I should have caught things all over the place in the many previous iterations -- but my subconscious frequently just sees what it "knows" is there right up until it looks like... a book.

On the other hand, this doesn't excuse the little mistakes I fail completely to catch anyway. Eye color being one.
arouraleona
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
My only connection to the industry is that I read, so the only thing I can add here is how I'm constantly surprised by how few errors end up in books. Especially in series books! So many details that could get dropped!

And then boom, I'll find a best-seller-hard-back-big-money book with big typos and continuity errors. ::shrugs:: What can you do? Things just slip by sometimes, I guess.
barbarienne
Apr. 8th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
My connection to the industry is that I'm the production person who deals with this stuff. :-)

The big bestsellers with all the errors typically happen because the publisher is in a tremendous hurry to get the book to press and have it start earning its keep, rather than dawdling through an 8-to-10-month production cycle.

The other problem is that publishers of big bestseller fiction typically have long lists and short staff. People start cutting corners. The big bestsellers sometimes get short attention from lazy production people because "the book will sell anyway."

At my previous place of employ, we in the paperback division were contemptuous of certain people in the hardcover division because they printed slop. (Not everyone, just certain teams.) We were forever cleaning up after them and making a million correx for our editions. It was clearly the individuals, because they didn't have heavier workload than anyone else. They were just plain bad at that part of their job.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that anything dependent on human input is only as good as the humans doing the work.
arouraleona
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
That makes perfect sense actually. I always thought they'd spend more time because of the extra scrutiny, but I guess that isn't always the case.
trektone
Apr. 8th, 2009 06:31 am (UTC)
Oh, no! Not The Twitter!
msagara
Apr. 8th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Oh, no! Not The Twitter!

It sort of looks like facebook status updates, without any of the other stuff. I find, on facebook, that what I'm interested in are the status updates. But if I only check one thing, when I'm actually working as opposed to pulling my hair out at the words I did write (and the errors that I'm still catching in said words), it's LJ, in part because everything can be -- yes -- longer, and it's a different kind of thoughtful.

Because for someone like me, it takes a bit of thought to pare anything down to 140 characters.
(Deleted comment)
tezmilleroz
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
msagara
Apr. 8th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
http://twitter.com/kiraku_ann Is this you?

No -- I use msagara whenever it's available. It often isn't, in which case I will try mwest, mswest, msagarawest.

But in this case, it was :D. So I guess that would make me http://twitter.com/msagara.
ovirginsaint
Apr. 8th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Aww crap, now I'm going to have to get twitter just to follow you XD <3 And here I thought I could get away with avoiding networking sites like they have the plague.

But it's you, Ms. West, so I'll make a happy exception <3
beautiflntmr
Apr. 8th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
It must be hard, especially with the courier font. Usually typos and other mistakes just don't jump out at one unless they're in a Times kind of font.
Now stalking your Twitter!

Er.. Following! Following your Twitter!
<.<
>.>
book_wench
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
I'm following you now! I'm on twitter--I like it because it doesn't tempt me to spend a lot of time on a proper blog post. For me, it's also like being neighbours with people who in fact live very far away.
msagara
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
I'm on twitter--I like it because it doesn't tempt me to spend a lot of time on a proper blog post. For me, it's also like being neighbours with people who in fact live very far away.

This will come as no surprise to you -- but I actually find the 140 characters challenging; I have to slow down and cut out words. I thought it would be a bit like Facebook's status updates (which are what I read), without all the extra apps (which make me crazy because I feel guilty about not responding, but I really really don't want the extra clutter). But I seem to need about 200 characters. Or 280.
lyssabits
Apr. 9th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
You can always write serial tweets. ;) Plenty of the really wordy folks do. I shave my tweets down to the 140 character limit when they're *close*, but the ones that are like double the limit I'd just break up.

Not completely unrelated to Twitter but.. I follow Felicia Day (of Joss Wheadon fame) on it and as a result have learned she *loves* your books. ;) You learn all sorts of stuff about all sorts of interesting people on Twitter.
hhertzof
Apr. 8th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC)
Yuck. I've never had to proof a whole book, but I hate proofing things in Courier in general.

Now I shall wander over to twitter so that I can follow you. (That sounds weirdly stalkery and I don't mean it to be.)

Edited at 2009-04-08 11:49 am (UTC)
twiegand
Apr. 8th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)
Just so it's all done before the deadlines, you're good. Don't consider it procrastinating, it's stress relief.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 8th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
Courier looks like typescript to me, too, and I am also bad at proofing my own typescripts. You have my sympathy, and empathy and anything else appropriate. And on typos, yes, there is an horrific one in Living with Ghosts that got by me and I am ashamed...)(Torches in wall scones. Wall scones...)
msagara
Apr. 8th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
And on typos, yes, there is an horrific one in Living with Ghosts that got by me and I am ashamed...)

It always happens, though -- no matter how careful you are, you will always find something that you missed in a printed book. I think it's a law, sort of like gravity. I really, really like the cover for your book, by the way :).
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I really, really like it, too. (Chris McGrath hangs the moon.)
amber_fool
Apr. 8th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
As someone who's never been on the publishing end of the book, your readers understand. We know that, however awesome your writing is, you're human. And no matter how many typos, I'm waiting breathlessly for Chaos. :)
delkytlar
Apr. 8th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
The word you are looking for is "Professionalcrastination", but I think there is a licensing exam for that qualification, and you probably won't find time to take it.

Good luck with the pages. Sounds like a difficult way to proof.
mother2012
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Can't you find someone else to read them? A different brain frequently catches different mistakes.

(I am also very good at procrastination.)
msagara
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Can't you find someone else to read them? A different brain frequently catches different mistakes.

Sadly, no. It's not just the little things like lack of punctuation, which any careful reader could catch, but also the shift in or deletion of sentences, often necessitated because I may have contradicted something or repeated it in the wrong place =/.
book_wench
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'm lucky. I have a friend who is mad for my books and has an excellent eye for typos and inconsistencies--a much, much better eye than mine. So when the page proofs arrives, I just hand them over to her!

That said, I do look them over myself, too, and the AAs would drive me crazy I think.
burger_eater
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
I'm working on my page proofs right now, and fighting the urge to email my agent and cancel the whole contract. The problems I'm finding loom large.

But I'm not going to do it. I'm going to resign myself to being embarrassed.

But Courier with line numbers? That sounds like a court reporter's document.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )