One of the best things about life here on earth is that there's always more to learn. We have endless opportunities for learning. From the mundane to the profound, learning new things is what keeps life interesting.
Don’t you think?
Here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up recently as a first-time author going through the publication process:
1. 287 manuscript pages equals 352 paperback book pages. I had always wondered about this. I figured a standard manuscript page (in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins) might be roughly equivalent to a mass market paperback page, considering how the words are shrunken to fit the smaller paper. But it turns out you get more book pages for your manuscript pages. Go figure.
2. Books can be available for pre-order on Amazon at least seven months prior to the release date. This is also something I had wondered about. I don’t know if seven months is standard or typical, but that’s how early my first book was posted on Amazon. (Coolio!)
3. Copyediting involves a lot more than correcting typos. I actually took a copyediting course eons ago when I lived in New York. It was fun to learn proofreading marks and find mistakes in the sample text. Nowadays, I’m not sure who even uses proofreading marks anymore, except maybe English teachers. All edits happen electronically now.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I received my manuscript back from the copyeditor, and I was blown away by her meticulous attention to detail. She checked for issues with spelling, punctuation, capitalization, editorial style, internal consistency, grammar, and more. She made a lot of little corrections in the document using track changes. But she also made recommendations to me in the form of queries in the margin. Here’s a sampling of those queries:
4. Speaking of spelling, I've learned that, for some reason, I tend toward the British spelling of certain words. Like the word “towards.” My copyeditor changed 64 instances of “towards” to “toward”! Apparently, "toward" is the preferred American English spelling, while “towards” is more common in British English. Alrighty then.
5. People are kinder and more supportive than I ever imagined. Since going public with the news of my upcoming book, I have received so many kind and encouraging comments from friends, relatives, co-workers, and online acquaintances. It's so heartening and makes me want to be nice to people too. :)
6. Anything is possible. There are many sayings around this concept: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” I think they’re all true, and this is something I learned a long time ago. Yet, it’s also one of those truths we need to continually be reminded of. Fulfilling my dream to be an author is definitely one of those reminders that anything is possible.
That's enough for now. I’m sure I've learned much more--and I know I WILL learn a lot more in the days ahead. But now I must write.
P.S. Have you learned anything new lately?
P.P.S. Is there anything you'd like to know about the publication process? I'm happy to answer any questions!
A nature-loving, mystery-reading, magic-seeking, daydreaming kinda gal, Jennifer is the author of the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries.