Did you think I stopped posting about book production because there was a lull? au contraire--I have been too busy doing it to document it. Let me try to retrace all that has happened since the last posting back in January. It will be brief as things are really stepping up what with the shipping to the printer coming up in (gasp) 5 weeks and the deadlines for the remaining phases growing shorter!After bringing in the first pass page proofs will all the corrections submitted by three wonderful proof readers, Woody, and me, Ava returned them as a preview a few weeks before the second round of proofing by the second official proofer (called the second pass page proofs). This was to give me a head start on seeing if all my 100's corrections were correctly made by the inputter. I found 70 plus changes that were not made or not made correctly.
At the same time Lillian, the second official proof reader was going through the same set of proofs which was then resent to me with all of her corrections and queries 2 weeks ago. Lillian is astonishing! She found almost every error I found plus many more on her own and a few queries about things like, for example, did I want to translate the word sifu when referring to Woody's tai chi master. (Woody and I settled on capitalizing it as you would Dr. or Mr.) During this time Pam and I have had many discussions about the final decision for the cover and the blad which is an 8 page color booklet with photos and recipes from the book that goes out to various accounts and publications in advance of the book. We also had conference calls with Gold Medal flour about the DVD and book promotion. And we have met with the free lance publicist Carrie Bachman assigned to the book to discuss the best venues for publicity. Sadly so many newspapers and tv shows have folded book tours around the country are no longer considered to be an effective use of marketing dollars. Satellite media tours called SMT's and online publicity are favored.I've known Carrie for years when she worked at Harper Collins and feel very privileged to have her as my representative for this book. Did I mention the book index that arrived at the same time as the second pass proofs? This is the most extensive and best index of any of my books so of course it is huge. It came as single column double space EIGHTY page document. Proofing it has been the stuff of nightmares. Each cake and component is entered in several different categories and ways with varying rules of formatting which were, at first, very hard to figure out: for example, if an ingredient is in the title that word is listed before the rest of the words in the title. I'm too exhausted to give more examples but you'll see when you see the index which will wind up being about 15 book pages. The good part is that you'll be able to find anything under either the name if you remember it, the main ingredient, or the category of cake or component. Somehow the indexing program missed for example that one of the cakes is a biscuit and belongs in that category. In the proofing process we made about 75 additions/substitutions/eliminations. Whew! What next? Oh not much: More decisions about the back cover, spine, case, end papers, going over about 40 final decisions in the page proofs with Woody, then bringing them in to Ava to go over some of the decisions regarding design (when lines of text have to be shortened to fit the page design, etc.) and then the page proofs go back to the designer/inputter. I revisit Ava to go over the color corrections for all the many glorious Ben Fink photos and toward the very end of April comes what is called the third and final pass when I get to review that all the final corrections were made. If any remain there are only about 2 days in which to fix them and I get to see that they have been fixed on pdf's (the electronic files). Then it's off to China by boat--for the files and paper on which the book will be printed, and off in the opposite direction to Paris for me on the very same day!