A few short years ago, a writer expected to write, submit, work with an in-house editor not only on the minutia of the galley proofs but also on the book itself. A good editor could help turn a so-so book, a pig’s ear of story into a silk purse. Not today; not unless you are an important author all ready. The chores of today’s beginners include: sending a polished manuscript to the publisher, which needs little in the way of revision; designing or helping to design the cover; inventing a marketing plan; garnering quotes for the book; revising the galley proofs; writing and releasing a press release…the list goes on.
In my case, because my current book, The Facepainter Murders has all ready been released electronically, I am at the revising the galley proofs stage. This involves a line by line review, to catch everything from spelling errors(few) to consideration of the proper use and punctuation of the em dash. Until recently I didn’t know the em dash had a name, much less rules about its use. Now I’m on familiar terms with Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, and recently had another look at Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, Lynn Truss’s amusing and informative little book about the comma.
At the same time, I’m writing the third book in this series, taking protagonist Anne McPhail to Bermuda, as well as revising another non-series book.
No money to be made at my level in the book-writing business, but it’s excellent at keeping the brain going, and I hope forging new connections.
Check out Nancy Pratt’s blog– http://nancyhereandthere.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/basket-weaving-and-vote-counting for her accounts of travels in Ecuador, and her photos of the people of Ecuador