Oh joy of joys! This is when we cross our fingers to see what our editor Stephanie and copy editor Suzanne think should be revised from our proofed and reproofed Rose’s Baking Basics manuscript. In the past, prior to the advent of electronic editing, this took weeks of exchanged handwritten notes, mailings, and phone sessions.
With The Baking Bible, we had our first experience with electronic editing. ‘Track changes,’ enables the editor and copy editor to type in their comments and suggested revisions on the right sidebar of a computer generated manuscript.
In copy editing, one is always surprised by how many “how did I miss that” or “that was on our style sheet and we didn’t follow it”! We knew that for The Baking Bible we would have many such surprises, because we were weaving a common writing style from the four different ways in which I had written over the past thirty-years. But we were not expecting this new manuscript to have as many revisions, because we have established a consistent style and also there were fewer pages of text. This is because many pages will have step-by-step photographs and captions in place of much longer text.
Suzanne had several formatting ideas, some of which we welcomed, in addition to her meticulously identifying some inconsistencies between similar texts throughout the manuscript.
My preference was to tackle the copy editing with back-to-back days for continuity. So Woody and I spent several 12 hour-long days that seemed like bushwhacking our way through the revisions and comments, with our agreeing, or stating why we preferred our original text.
A bright spot came towards the end when Stephanie emailed us our book designer Alison’s sample pages. We scrolled up and down our screens to view 30 simply beautiful pages. A few days later we received the actual two page sample spreads.
Amazingly, our submitted responses this time around did not need a wave of back and forth emails and phone calls with our editor. Only a few queries remained to address.
Next phase will be the complete ‘laid out pages’ for us to review. This is when the manuscript begins to become a real book.