Proofing pages

Over the weekend, I reviewed the page proofs for Hellforged. Page proofs show the mansucript all laid out and typeset. When you read them, you check for typos and other minor issues that need fixing before the book gets printed. The book is now in its almost-final form, so this isn’t the time to make sweeping revisions, just necessary tweaks.

It’s interesting how different a book feels when it’s laid out in galleys. I write my manuscripts in Word, double-spaced, and while it’s in that format it feels like a work in progress. I can move paragraphs around, change words, delete or add text. Even if I’ve sent in the final version to my editor, when I open a Word file, the urge to tinker is almost overwhelming.

When I get the page proofs, whether I look at them as PDFs or print out a hard copy, it feels a lot more like I’m reading a “real” book. This is how the pages will look when they’re printed and cut and bound into the books that will soon grace the shelves of your friendly neighborhood bookstore. There’s much less of an urge to tinker—which is a good thing, because it’s expensive to make changes at this stage. Mostly, I’m looking for typos. I always find at least a few.

What I like best about reading page proofs, though, is that it’s the first time I get a feel for my story as a book. That’s always a thrill.


About nancyholzner

2 responses to “Proofing pages

  • Sharon

    Nancy it must really feel like such a reward to see your first site of the new proofs in galley format. I have only written college English papers but I understand the urge to tinker with your work, just change a word here or paragraph there. I look forward to this new book so please don’t tinker too much.

  • nancyholzner

    Thanks, Sharon, I’m so glad you’re looking forward to Hellforged! Nope, I didn’t do too much tinkering. Mostly I checked for typos, but occasionally I’d notice something like an “echo” when a word gets repeated too close to its first appearance or a place where a sentence didn’t quite read smoothly. It’s funny how those issues pop up, especially when I’d been over and over and over this manuscript (I shudder to think how many times). But seeing it typeset does reveal stuff that gets missed in previous read-throughs.

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