from manuscript to bookstore -- the publishing process

The rest of the package
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The copy editing package consists of the copy- and line-edited ms. and some other things that vary from book to book, copyeditor to copyeditor, and publisher to publisher. In the case of ABSENT FRIENDS, here's what I got:

A style sheet that covers my style -- the author's style -- in anything in which English gives you a choice (I say gate-crasher, not gatecrasher) or where, for literary effect, I broke an English rule (a character saying, "Oh God" instead of, "Oh, God.") This sheet also covers names (Engine Co. 168) and trademarked words (Thermos). This is so I'm consistent in my edits.

A second sheet for people, with each of the major characters described briefly, including the page number that the item came from. (McCardle, Owen [7]; gray mustahce [23]; gray eyes [556]; firefighter retired from Engine 168 [23]). Minor characters are listed by name with one distiguishing item (Jesselson, Hugh [99], cop reporter ). This list includes a dog and three cats.

A style and punctuation list, not mine but Bantam's. What's italicized, where the serial comma's used, how to do a possessive when the name ends in s. I may be the last writer on earth who still says "Charles's" instead of "Charles'" but Bantam doesn't. I don't feel strongly about it so I'm accepting the change.

A list of chapter numbers and titles.

A chronology, including a 2001 calendar. This is very important in this book, because of the multiple-flashback structure covering 45 years. I commend the copyeditor (who in certain other ways is giving me a pain) because I'm sure it was very difficult to put together and it's corrected mistakes I made in attributing dates to events.

A list of instructions from the copy editor about how I'm supposed to deal with my editor's queries, how to add any new text including the acknowledgements and dedication, and how I really really must get the thing back on time because the deadline's serious.

I believe it.

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