?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-11-25 20:30
Subject: [process] Why photocopy the copy edited manuscript?
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:pedantic
Music:evening sounds
Tags:escapement, process, writing
lt260 asked me why I photocopied the CEM of Escapement before sending it back to Tor.

That's a good, and potentially non-obvious, question. This isn't a case of photocopying a manuscript for presentation purposes (which I never do). Rather, the significance of photocopying the CEM (copy edited manuscript) of the novel is twofold:

1) The corrected (by me) CEM is the final version of the book as it will go to the typesetter. By keeping a copy, I am able to respond quickly and accurately to queries during the typesetting and production process. This could be anything from them not being able to read something in my crappy handwriting to a request for clarification on a note from copy editor that conflicts with a note from me. Otherwise Tor would have to fax or express mail me a copy of the page in question for review, which takes time, trouble and money for all concerned.

2) The corrected (by me) CEM is the final version of the text of the book, pending changes on galley, which will be typographical only. In the future if I were to sell overseas rights, or rights to some other edition, I need to have the finalmost edition of the text of the book. If I simply went with my last electronic version, it would be pre-copy edit, and thus lack literally hundreds of changes and corrections which currently exist only as handwritten notes on the CEM, either from the CE or from me. If I were feeling diligent, I'd create a new electronic file on my hard drive with those changes folded in. Right now I'm too busy to stop and do that, but keeping a copy of the CEM gives me the means to do so should I ever need to.

I'm sure other authors and editors can offer their own observations on this process, but that's my two cents' worth.
Post A Comment | 13 Comments | | Flag | Link






User: ex_truepenn
Date: 2007-11-26 04:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:mfu: ik-stet
Also, things do sometimes get lost in the mail. This is not a good feeling.
Reply | Thread | Link



maryrobinette
User: maryrobinette
Date: 2007-11-26 05:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was going to say the same thing. I have thrice received plastic bags from the USPS containing the remnants of a mailed item.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Brian Dorion
User: briandorion
Date: 2007-11-26 06:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So is the CEM the product of the CE and your work on the CE's comments?

If you then sell oversea rights are you not also sell the work the CE did?

Just curious.

Brian
Reply | Thread | Link



(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-26 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for that cogent answer. You expressed it far better than I could have.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-26 15:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yep. It took me a long time to get my head around that.

The example that seems to considerably boggle people is a book deliberately kept out of print by the author or their estate, even when readers/fans want to see it. I finally understood that when I likened it to owning a vacant house. There is no requirement or expectation that you should have to rent out your property, no matter how badly others might want you to.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: swan_tower
Date: 2007-11-26 06:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:*writing
Ah, see, I prefer to input changes to my electronic file as I go through the CEM. But I still wonder if I shouldn't photocopy it just in case one day the mail decides to eat the pages.

But I had also been wondering how it operates for foreign editions, etc. That doesn't answer all my questions, but it's good to know.
Reply | Thread | Link



Patrick Swenson
User: tbclone47
Date: 2007-11-26 07:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All good reasons!

Is this something you did on your own as a usual thing, or does TOR suggest you do it?
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-26 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I did it on my own ticket for Mainspring, I don't recall anyone specifically suggesting it. Rather, it seemed the obvious thing to do. But then, I've been photocopying mailed-in expense reports for years, so that might just have been a business tic of mine.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-11-26 06:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As truepenny says, things got lost in the mail (and on the way to production, and from the mailroom to editorial, and all sorts of reasons). This is the only reason to photocopy your CEM. And this reason should cause EVERY SINGLE AUTHOR TO PHOTOCOPY THEIR CEM (and any changed proof pages) BEFORE IT'S SENT BACK TO THE PUBLISHER.

When I worked at Tor, I photocopied the CEM BEFORE I sent it out to the author. In case it never got there, I had a copy that I could send out to the author (after I photocopy it again).

The copyedit of my book was sent to the wrong address. Now, I was able to drive to that address and pick it up, but my editor had another copy that she could get in the mail to me.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever mail something that you've written on (CEM, proof pages, etc.) back to the publisher without making a copy first!

John Klima
Reply | Thread | Link



Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2007-11-26 10:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've had a CEM eaten by the mail. And I know other authors who've had CEMs eaten by the mail.

This is more than slightly irritating -- it represents a week of hard work on my part, on top of a week of hard work on the part of the copy editor, and if there are no backups it's carpet-chewing time because the whole damn thing has to be done all over again.

And you can't rely on your publisher to retain a copy of the manuscript. Ever seen a publisher's office? They may have it, but it might never be seen again until a 52nd century archaeologist is digging through that layer of the excavation.

So yes, you photocopy or scan the CEM before you send it back -- ALWAYS. In my case, I had a scan (as PDFs) on file; I just stuck it on my web server and said "download it here", and lo! No deadlines were missed and no work had to be repeated.

Incidentally, I do not consider the CEM to be the final version of the text of the book. Firstly, typos will be uncovered in the galley. (This is a law of nature.) Secondly, however many eyes go over the galley, typos and substantive errors will show up in the first edition hardcover. I try to maintain an error list and get it to the publisher in time for the first mass market edition, and the MMPB is therefore the finalmost edition of the text of the book. (And it happens to be a very convenient package to send to overseas publishers, too.) But a book isn't finished just because it's in print ...
Reply | Thread | Link



(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-26 14:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
:: amends checklist ::
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Alyssa: Tarot Mage
User: aqeldroma
Date: 2007-11-26 12:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Tarot Mage
There is also the chance that the manuscript you mailed off gets lost/damaged... it's happened before and it's always good to have a copy!
Reply | Thread | Link



Jim C. Hines: Battle Woodstock
User: jimhines
Date: 2007-11-26 13:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Battle Woodstock
Chiming in as another author whose CEM got lost in the mail. I ended up scanning all the changed pages and e-mailing a huge PDF to my editor on the afternoon of the day they were due.

The pages did arrive eventually, 2+ weeks after I mailed them...
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances