I’m experiencing the final birth pangs for the book–otherwise known as page proofs. At this stage of the process, I get actual pages that are laid out exactly the way they will be in the US edition, with all the typographical features, the acknowledgments, the dedication–the whole thing. My job is to correct the proofs, looking for mistakes and inconsistencies, noticing little infelicities of expression and wording, making sure that I don’t want a line taken out or another line put in somewhere.
For those of you who are curious, the final book looks like it’s going to be 41 chapters covering around 560 pages. So: a big, thick, chunky book just like the first two!
Writing the book is hard. The copy editing process is mentally taxing, as you are trying to sort out problems. But the page proofs are also difficult because it’s the last time you actually have your hands on the manuscript with a chance to change things. After this, another set of proofs are run off for one last set of corrections. Often, I don’t see those. A professional proofreader goes over the text instead because frankly, authors can get a little wobbly at that moment and start making more changes!
Then, it’s off to the foreign publishers to translate, Jennifer Ikeda and Penguin Audio so it can be recorded, and then to the printers where it will be run off, bound, put in covers, boxed, and then put into the warehouse so that it can be sent out to stores to be put on the shelves on 15 July!
Meanwhile, I’m working on various other projects associated with the release. A film crew is stopping buy on Monday to do some videos for my UK readers (I’m sure others of you around the globe will be able to view them, too). I’m working with Viking, Penguin Group USA on an exciting project that will feature in promotion for the book (more on that later).
I’ve been talking with my French publisher Orbit France on plans for the autumn 2014 release of the book. We are talking titles, covers, and travel plans and I hope to have more information for you very soon.
We’re also nailing down travel plans for Canada and Europe in August, September, October, and November. As you can see, we really are trying to get me out there to as many as you as possible before I go back into the classroom in January.
You are all being incredibly patient waiting for news and–gasp!–books, and I do appreciate it. Everything we are doing is so that we can put the best possible book in your hands in July (or later) and also celebrate the grand culmination of Diana and Matthew’s story in style.
I’ll be back again in two weeks with another update–which believe it or not will be less than 100 days until the book’s release.
Image: my proofreading stack–half finished, half to go–along with all the tools I need (pencils, ruler, pen, reading glasses, post-it notes and lots of Honest Tea!