Apr 1 2019

Dingoes ate my italics.


So there I was, just doing a final proofreading of the full-sized edition of The Steerswoman–  sort of cruising along, since the text had been scrupulously proof-read so many times before. Even the few typos that slipped by in the previous edition had already been noted and expunged!

The cover came back looking really good, with just a couple of tiny adjustments needed (their barcode white area was differently-sized from the space I left for it; the black area of the spine needed to be just a hair wider).   All I needed was just this one last check before releasing the book into the wilds.

I was halfway through the book, when I found myself slowing down, pausing… and thinking back.  Hey, wasn’t that one word, there, originally said a bit more… emphatically?

Pulled out the previous edition, and: Yep.  Every one of my italics had vanished.

Not just words stated with vehemence, but the names of ships, and certain types of internal musings — all the italics, gone.

This was caused by the copy-and-paste process, when I took the text from the .doc version of the smaller-sized  edition and pasted it into a new document formatted to the larger size.  I strongly suspect that when I pasted, MSWord might have asked me a question like, “Hey, do you really want to do this?  Because, you know, you’re going to lose all your formatting.  You’re all right with that, right? Just sayin’.”  To which I likely blithely replied, “But of course!  This document is formatted to a larger size!  I would not want to keep the setup of the smaller size.  That would just be silly.”  And hit OK.

Reconstructing from supposition, there, but that’s probably what happened.

So, here I am looking at every page of the old edition, finding every instance of italics, finding the place in the current edition, and flagging it.  After which I’ll fix it in the document, reconvert to PDF for publication, upload it, get yet another proof copy,  and scrutinize it again.

On the up-side, the cover came out pretty darn good, and the ring, jewel, and chain show no sign of having been extracted and pasted cheesily onto the map.  I’m happy with that.

So, just do this, get it done, re-upload,  get a new proof copy.

After this: Time to do my taxes.

Which, after all this proofing and correcting… well, I’d almost prefer to be doing my taxes.  Not quite, but almost.