I had a minor rude awakening this weekend. My proof copy of The Winter Garden came last weekend, so I decided I would give the book one more round of proof-reading to find some leftover typos and make sure everything was in order. I quickly found out, it was not perfect.
Somehow italics in certain chapters magically disappeared. No idea how it happened, but somewhere between the original file and the paperback, half the italics in the book did not translate. Luckily, I discovered the issue Saturday night and fixed it using Word’s compare draft feature along with control-find. At times, I wish I didn’t reference so many books or have my characters think so much, but the issue did make me very aware of what nearly skated under my quality-control radar.
This is why when you create a paperback, they send you a proof-copy to check over. At first, I didn’t notice it because half the book had italics (sprinkled throughout), but chapter two didn’t along with many others. Comb through your manuscript with eagle eyes. Take your ebook or original copy and compare it to your paperback because that is how issues like this are spotted. I didn’t notice it until I was correcting typos and had my Word file for the ebook and paperback editions both open and saw that a book title wasn’t italicized.
Apart from the italics issues, I also caught quite a few typos or awkward phrasings that were easily smoothed. Proofing is a time to put the final polish on your novel and make sure everything is up to snuff. Luckily, now it is all fixed, though I’m sure I’ll find more silly errors within the coming months, but the issues have been caught and the both formats have been finalized for publication.
What am I going to do with the 35 days between now and March 31st when The Winter Garden is released? Hopefully work on book three. More about that will come as I get further into it.