Book production editor, Ava Wilder, is going to have the last word on this, the very last book production posting. Her eloquent words speak for themselves but I can't resist adding that she is an extraordinary person, professional, and writer in her own right (as you will see); and I think it is important for everyone, but especially for all book writers present and future, to hear her views on book production.The first paragraph are the words of praise that were music to my ears but which I was planning to keep private until Ava encouraged me to share them. The second paragraph is what she wrote specifically for all of you.
I am so happy you like the pages. Pam and I inspected them and we are quite pleased, but the bound book will look so much more impressive, you will see. Pam thanked me for my work several times in the last few days, too. I thank you for being the perfect author/production team member: diligent, attentive, responsive, punctual, detail-oriented, involved, devoted, and, foremost, generous toward your readers. I think you should post my compliments on the blog site and also explain to aspiring or working book authors that the qualities I describe are most desirable by publishers and not easily found. I wish more authors realized that publishing teams work really hard to make the best, most beautiful books out of passion and devotion--and definitely not for money or fame. But the reality is that we are spread very thin and often understaffed or underbudgeted, forced to juggle multiple complex book projects simultaneously. Having the authors take on an active role as team members during production, surrendering some of their authorly pride, and picking up some slack at a time when they are tempted to sit back and relax (after all the manuscript has been written, a gargantuan effort in itself) does wonders for the motivation of everybody else involved and for the quality of the end product. It helps to have the authors adjust their schedules and make themselves available as often as needed, keep answering piles of queries within 24 hours, relentlessly pursue photo permissions, keep rereading their manuscript as often as asked to look out for errors, and, finally, trust us we know what we are doing. For authors like this, we don't mind working evenings or weekends and want to do work with them again and again.