Charlotte CollinsCopyeditingJane AustenJane Austen SequelsPride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice sequelsProofreading

Errors: Those Dreadful Things

Charlotte Collins in the flesh. Sort of.
Now that I am finally back at work after a week of helping my ninety-one-year-old grandmother through a very difficult shoulder surgery, I am able to see Charlotte Collins in book form.
I cannot describe the sensation of actually holding my book in my hands. It is at once wonderful and scary. This sheaf of paper is completely my product. The text, the interior design, the cover design, the mistakes…they are all mine.  As an independent author and publisher, I can blame no one else.
Of course, that’s not to say that I had no editorial assistance on this project. My friend, relative (through marriage), and fellow author Beverle Graves Myers gave me a wonderful critique and copy edit. My mother and, yes, mother-in-law did the same. I even read it to my husband while he was trapped in the car with me. That was instrumental in weeding out the slow-moving passages. Nothing reveals a dead zone in my writing more than having to read it aloud to someone else.
And now the book is here, and I’m a proofing it. The publication date is looming over me, and I see the book with new eyes. What will people think? Will they like my interpretation of Charlotte? Will they like the characters I’ve created? Would they have preferred a different plot? Will they think it’s funny?
No, I did not want that white
line at the top! Trim size error
must be resolved. Just one
more thing on the independent
author’s plate.

I am trying not to second guess myself and focus on finding and removing errors that might have escaped the previous edits. And there are always errors, a fact that is the bane of every editor’s existence. It is impossible to find them all, but I try. Although I am reserving judgment on the printer, the most major error is the trim size. It came back 1/4 inch larger than I requested, and I have been in touch with them about resolving the issue. It is surprising what 1/4 inch will do to a cover. No, I did not want that white line there! I look forward to seeing it correctly cropped when my new proof copy arrives. Other than that, I am thrilled with the printer; the paper quality and print job are very nice. It’s a real book that will rival any other on my shelf for quality.

So today I sit with Charlotte Collins, and despite my fears and the red pen in my hand, I must say that I am enjoying reading it again. And I hope you will enjoy it too.

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