Monday, 17 May 2010


After the torture of the edit comes the Copy Edit!

This is the publisher's way of informing the writer that he or she is illiterate (I actually think it's a negotiating tactic designed to undermine their self-worth - is there or is there not a hyphen here? - so that they are more amenable in future negotiations).

They give your book to one of the five people still remaining in Britain who fully understands the nuances of English grammar (in my case a guy called Merlin Cox) and tell them to critique it to death. The result: paper swathed in red ink which corrects every misplaced comma, every over-enthusiastic hyphen and every transgression against the gods of syntax. Unfortunately Merlin also made some points about things I'd overlooked (now that's what I call sneaky).

How was I to know that sewerage was the pipes and sewage was the stuff running thru the pipes? Well folks, I do now!

So for the last week Nelli and I have been making a forensic analysis of DM 1; combing its pages for typos, illogicalities, repetitions and unnecessary ellipses. I hate this book! I am crossed-eyed reading the bloody thing!

The problem is that the copy-editing (hyphen? God only knows) of DM 1 comes hard on the heels of copy-editing Nelli's book which was a real mess. We spent ages recrafting the Safety Section making sure that anyone attempting to start bead making knew that flames were hot (d'oh) and that if there's hot glass around it's a good idea to wear safety glasses. Anyway...

Everyone wants the perfect book (especially the authors). So let's read it just one more time...