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Baking Bible Book Production Phase 5

Feb 17, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose

And I thought it was almost done!!! Woody and I finished proofing what turned out to be around 8,000 numbers for volume, ml, ounces, and grams, and integrating all the new Beta Baker notes. As we had already competed the read through, with me reading aloud over the phone and Woody checking the manuscript, I thought it was in really good shape but decided that I really should read it again to myself.

To my surprise, I turned up new changes such as eliminating the "into the glass bowl" which appeared many many times and unnecessarily each one! As the instructions begin with "Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a glass bowl," when I wrote "press the mixture through the strainer" there really was no need to repeat "into the glass bowl" as no one would strain it over the counter or floor!

Then there is the question of the use of the comma, for example, Have ready a 2 cup microwavable measure with a spout lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. As I reread that I realized that it could mean that the spout is lightly coated rather than the inside of the cup unless I put a comma after spout.

So far, I have found only one incident of ingredients not used in the order in which they were listed in the chart but my philosophy of "if there's one there's more" means Woody and I have to read each chart and compare it to the text to check for order.

Of course the copy editor and wonderful proofers will do all this but as I've discovered, this being my 10th cookbook, the eye so often sees what the brain thinks should be there rather than what actually is there. So once more into the breech dear friends. The cleaner the manuscript is when turned in to the publisher (29 days from today), the better the chance for a near perfect production.

It's such a blessing having a second pair of eyes participating in this process. Woody is king of the excel spread sheet and has created one for each of about 200 cross references so that when the manuscript goes into pages, we will know exactly what and where we are referencing. Here is Woody's break down of the seven stages of our work so far:

Besides a few to several draftings of each recipe, we have found it necessary to do a:
read through: I read each recipe over the phone to Woody while he read the text on his computer screen.
macros checks: we confirmed that if we wrote a certain technique for one recipe, ex: "melting chocolate" that it was the same for all recipes using the same technique.
global changes: since my use of words has changed over the course of many books, we standarized a set of words and terms.
page 00 charting: we refer the reader to see another page for a description or technique, which in the manuscript phase can be only stated as page"00." We checked to make sure the reference existed and noted where in the manuscript it could be found.
each ingredient checked: we confirmed that if we wrote, " 1 cup of bleached cake flour weighs 3.5 ounces/100 grams on page 4, that it was consistent throughout the rest of the recipes on other pages.
ingredients on the chart matched to the recipe's body: we made sure that every ingredient in the chart is also in the recipe's body in the order in which it was listed on the chart.
final read through: another read through with a fresh set of eyes and ears to confirm that everything made sense.

Comments

Does anybody have a good base recipe for dark chocolate yeasted donuts?

REPLY

What a labour of love this is, Rose and Woody! I assure you that your efforts shall not go unrewarded. This latest tome will be treasured by your fans worldwide.

REPLY

I am on the fence of getting my first cookbook writen and have a feeling all I want is to be pictures and introductions and if the reader really wants to bake my cake, to refer to Cake Bible! All my cake components are there!

REPLY

I view writing prose much the same way as writing software, but we have some great tools available in programming languages that products like Microsoft Word don't provide easily. For instance, you have to repeat your chocolate melting instructions over and over. I can just write "InsertChocolateMeltingInstructions()", and I can be assured it will be the same every time. If I change the instructions, it will be instantly propagated everywhere. I could also write something like "InsertIngrediateQuantity("Bleached Cake Flour", 1, Cup)" and it would spit out your "1 cup of bleached cake flour weighs 3.5 ounces/100 grams". Perhaps it could also automatically build the list of ingredients based on the ingredients included in the instructions.

Also, the programming software automatically verifies that I use consistent naming conventions, and if I change a word I use in one place, but not another, it generates an error message. Likewise if I refer to another location in the program that doesn't exist.

(BTW, there is a programming language called "Chef" that uses cooking terminology to write computer programs.)

REPLY

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