The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina - Step 3
But the relief didn't last long. I got an edited version back quite quickly. The History Press doesn't fool around. It was supposed to be a "light edit" but it wasn't just commas and quote marks.
Darcy, the project editor, had many questions, all marked in blue text. I needed to answer all her questions and make any other changes in red. I also needed to read the whole manuscript carefully because she had made changes for readability and style that were not necessarily in red.
She asked the common question. Why is Mountains-to-Sea Trail abbreviated as MST (no periods) and Appalachian Trail abbreviated as A.T.? That's how the governing bodies of the two different decide to abbreviate them. Those are the standard abbreviations that we should use and not try to make up our own.
Darcy pointed out where my wording was unclear and asked questions about a couple of dates that didn't seen right. If that's a light edit, I wonder what would be a "regular" edit. Unlike magazine editors, book editors assume that the author has checked the facts and the spelling of proper names. I must have looked up La Grange ten times to make sure that there is a space between La and Grange. In Eastern North Carolina, the MST goes through La Grange.
Maybe the difference between the History Press and larger presses is that the History Press gave me days to do the edits rather than months. And I only got one shot at substantial edits.The publisher is on a schedule and expect the author to stick to one as well. Next year, they'll bring out 400 books, so they must be doing this right.
Lenny went over the pages as well. Both of us have probably memorized the book by now. I also indicated where I wanted the photographs and checked the captions. Darcy emphasized that this was my last chance to make any substantive comments or wording changes. The next time I'll see it will be in page proofs. By then, I could only change typos. No more word choices.
I returned the manuscript just before Thanksgiving. They use software to change a word document to printable pages. Sure enough, I got the page proofs back a couple of days after the holidays. And that's what I'm working on now.
My bum is numb and my eyes are dead. But the editors will get my comments on time.