What a way to spend the Bank Holiday!

With perfect timing, at the end of last week, I received the proofs for the text of my book. This has involved a very steep learning curve as well as a few problems.

Proofs ready for correction

First I had to get to grips with the Proof correction marks – the little squiggles that tell the typesetter what they’ve done wrong. The only one that I had come across before was the symbol that I thought was a carrot (actually caret) which means insert something. The reverse, to delete something, must be a runner bean, complete with curly stalk (I’ve been eating a lot of them recently!). Actually I’ve found it is called a Dele and resembles some of the “d”s I’ve seen in old documents. I love the sound of the Pilcrow, but that’s not on my list – a new paragraph is indicated by a red step round the words.

The first mark I needed (to centre text) wasn’t on the list. Not a good start!

The marks I am using most are a dot in a circle and three parallel lines.

A diversion, back to when I had my manuscript edited. This is a snap of a couple of sentences in the marked up copy:

Marked up text from editor

Would you accept the changes? This was my first book. At the time I was not sure of the correct punctuation. The editor must know best, I accepted them.

I think the original is correct and most people seem to agree. (If anyone thinks the amendment is correct, please get in touch and explain why.)
My book is full of the second version!
Thank goodness I realised, even at this rather late stage. I am doing an awful lot of correcting – for those who don’t know “dot in a circle and three parallel lines” is replace with full point and change to capital.
I am tempted to make other changes. Now that I have written a second book and got to grips with editing, I realise that the first is not as well written as I thought.
But it is too late for that now.
I have mentioned several times about how important it is to get your work professionally edited.
I am starting to wonder if that it right.