Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Other Side

Well, we made it! The entire book has been thoroughly copyedited. A massive compendium of incredibly nitpicky notes has been sent back to the publishers, and we on the other side are now hunkering down to await their reply... either in the form of the next draft or a vitriolic missive inspired by the aforementioned nitpickiness. :)

I rather hate this kind of proofing; it's such a negative process. Why is it that blanket statements work so well for praise, but only meticulous complaints work for criticism? And why are there such inequities in the weights? "I love what you've done here, this is beautiful! Can we please address these 12 things I don't like?" Which half of that statement makes the most impact?

I'm certain I'm being overly sensitive. These guys are pros, they know the process far better than I do.

The publishers have put together an amazingly beautiful piece, I quite assure you! Polishing takes time and causes headaches, but such is the way of these projects. We're so amazingly close to a finished product now, it feels absolutely surreal. This book has always been a concept... a file sitting on a hard drive... a stack of curly edged pages, over-saturated with cheap printer ink. It is bizarre to hold something in my hands and realize this is just one or two steps away from being an actual book, not simply a book-to-be. It's also a bit nerve-wracking, and I fully admit that the pressure has been high in the past week. I'm sure I've passed some of that nervous energy on to my team, and I can't thank them enough for their tolerance, their hard work, and their Wizard-like attention to detail!

For now, we're back in the Hurry Up and Wait holding pattern. I expect that we'll see another draft within a week or so, at which point we'll all turn back to our punch lists, check to see what's been addressed, and then comb through everything all over again. Thankfully, this process should be considerably more streamlined the second time through! But make no mistake, we'll be just as diligent and unforgiving as before.

In the meantime, Rarities mastering looks as if it's about to begin. The Radio City site should be updated within days... and more and more events are lining up (including a couple of book signings!)

I get the sense that we're all in Middle-earth full-time through October now. Fine by me! :)
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