In the last couple weeks, I have had the opportunity to look at the galleys of the magazines in which my stories will be appearing. The experience is a heady one. There are your words, and you didn’t have to type them this time, and someone else has formatted and made them look pretty. Of course, it’s a little tedious at this point because all you’re doing is looking for typos and ‘does that comma go there’? I’m pretty sure in one of the stories, the editor added in semi-colons. That kinda threw me, but it looked good so I didn’t say anything (of course, I could have done that last minute too, after a while you’re just not sure what’s yours anymore…)
Now it has me thinking about book galleys and having to read through your whole book for little typo shit. My eyes cross at the thought! At work we get what are called ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) which are basically the same thing that the authors get to proof. It’s the pre-final edit before the actual publishing takes place. And sometimes, whoa!, the mistakes that get made in layout.
I have an ARC of Jennifer Weiner’s Little Earthquakes. At some point there is a whole scene immediately repeated.
In the ARC of 20 Times a Lady there are multiple, painful misspellings (in one case a ‘butt’ for ‘but’–could be slightly embarrassing).
The good news is that in a professionally formatted piece, the typos almost jump out at you. It’s really hard to miss them. The consistancy of the publishing makes the mistakes twice as bad. Mistakes are easy to miss on loose-leaf, self-formatted paper (and one the computer screen).
So, here’s to getting it right (hopefully! my eyes are tired).
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.