Last week I brought the corrected galleys in to my publisher Wiley, in Hoboken. NJ and Ava (the production editor) and I went to lunch at my friend Maricel Priscilla's wonderful Cuban restaurant Zaffra. Ava is the best production editor I have ever encountered in fact she is just plain incomparable: clear, organized, concerned, calm, gently but firm, loving, intelligent, and just plain charming and adorable. This is not to say that we always see eye to eye. If you read the article about Marcella Hazan in this week's New York Times, you will have had a glimpse of the possible/inevitable battles that often take place between the author's point of view and that of the publisher's. They can be quite acrimonious so I am all the more grateful that Ava comes from the approach of appreciating team work and wanting what is best for the book. Our major point of contention was the subcomponent recipes. About 8 of my buttercream recipes have two or more components. Most publishers like to put these components before the title of the recipe in which they are used. Most bakers and cooks passionately prefer them in the order in which they will be needed when baking/cooking. Most of these incidences appear in the wedding cake chapter--for obvious reasons the most complicated chapter in the book. Together we found a way to have the sequence as I envisioned it but with far greater clarity than it was originally. This meant my reconfiguring many things from the pdf galley files--hard to see--hard to copy into word documents--and how I spent the entire weekend. Changes like these are fraught with potential for mistakes but thankfully Lisa Story, the typesetter, is a meticulous genius so I am only a little concerned. Ava will review my reconfigurations and then send them to Lisa so we can see how they will look before making them final. I should say semi-final because after Lisa completes the process of inputting over 1000 changes from Woody and my review of the galleys, the book will then go into design and first pass pages. This will begin happening while I am in Switzerland on a culinary press trip the first 10 days of October. The week of my return we will take the final group of cake and process photos and it will not be until the first week of January that I get to review the first pass pages with all the photos in place--I think. Judging from the past phases, no doubt there will be more happening in the interim. Stay tuned!
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