Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Page Proofs

Norma VanRheenen read the page proofs for American Salvage and she found a couple of actual errors that I had not found in my reading--it's amazing how those errors hide from the author. So I read the page proofs as well and made more changes than I really ought to have made, maybe a hundred changes in word choice and other minor details. I changed the title of one of the stories from "The Solution to Ben's Problem" to "The Solution to Brian's Problem," because really there aren't people named Ben around here. According to my managing editor Kristin Harpster Lawrence, authors don't normally get copies of the second page proofs, but I asked her if she would send them to me so that maybe I could get Carla to read those, since she should be rested up from reading Rhoda Janzen's book. One gets so few books published in a lifetime that one hates to have an error in any of them.

This photo was taken at Steve and Shawn Wagner's House (Shawn Wagner is someone who appears in the acknowledgments page), and we had just been trap shooting. There were lots of mushrooms in their yard, and they were talking about eating some of them. But look what happened to Alice, I said.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Page Proofs

The page proofs have arrived for my collection, and I was given two weeks to proofread them. And now I have wasted five of those days grading papers and cleaning my office (I always have to clean my office before critical stages in the publishing process). Wayne State paid good money to copyedit my book, but they don't hire proofreaders, so I need to make sure I catch all mistakes at this stage. After several beers last month, Carla Vissers had agreed to proofread the book for me, but when I contacted her a few days ago, saying I had to have my book proofread by November 11, she told me too goll darned bad, that she was proofreading Rhoda Janzen's book, also due back to the publisher November 11. So, it's not enough that Rhoda is taller than me and slimmer, or that she has a PhD after her name or got a six figure advance, but now she has co-opted my proofreader. Why, if Rhoda weren't fabulous, I might think a bad thought about her. By coincidence, Rhoda and I have the same size feet, size twelve, which means Carla can't use that as an excuse for rejecting me and choosing Rhoda. This is a photograph of Carla.

Update: Norma VanRheenen has agreed to proofread my book. Whew! That was a close one.