The copy edit is the part of book production process when your manuscript is turned over to a specialist who goes through it with a fine toothed spelling and grammar comb. They also look at word use and repetition, check facts i.e. "are you implying this was a Jon Bon Jovi solo album? Because here's a link to an article that says it was the whole band" (I wasn't, and yes it was), and make suggestions for clarity and punctuation.
Copy edits can be painful, frustrating, humbling, and intense. Mostly they are incredibly helpful, and in the case of Johnny Ruin, mercifully brief. It took me around 90 minutes to sort out the various issues the editor had flagged, and to ship it back to the managing editor. Writing quite a short book is great in many ways, not least that you can't make too many mistakes in so few pages.
What's next? Well I'm hoping to have exciting cover news to announce in the next few weeks. Shortly thereafter, the managing editor will print 'proof' copies of the book in paperback. These will be sent to journalists and critics, and also to other authors in the hope that they 'blurb' the book for me (a short quote along the lines of "I couldn't put it down" "a tour de force" etc). The proof is the last chance to read through the book and make changes, or to catch mistakes. Hopefully there won't be many to catch.
Until next time...
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