Sunday, August 03, 2003
Yawwwwnnnn...okay, just about recovered from last week. The deal was, my company and the publisher we were working for had a different definition of "light copyedit." In my irreverent summation of our copyediting levels, "light copyedit" means "You give us crap, we make sure it's spelled right." "Medium copyedit" means "You give us crap, we make it not suck." (I don't think we've actually defined "heavy copyedit," but I imagine it would be something like "You give us crap, we rewrite it and your author gets paid for it.")
Anyway, after we'd (i.e. I'd) made sure this book was spelled right, the publisher told us that they wanted the book to not suck, and unfortunately they only told us this a week before the fucking book goes to press. The 600-or-so-page book. Which has to be a) copyedited, b) approved by the authors who made it suck in the first place, c) designed, d) flowed, and e) printed. Um, yeah, sure, we can do that...
So I and our other copyeditor got three, count 'em, three days to get the fucker done. Which was difficult, since I was going at a rate of about three pages an hour, and I'd been assigned three chapters that were about sixty pages each. Bozhe moy...
Well, anyway, as I said previously, we knocked the bastard off. And although I felt bad about not getting a really good job done by 9 a.m. Friday morning, I'm glad we didn't get the weekend to work on it; then the weekend would have sucked, and I wouldn't have gotten to sleep in until 1 p.m. yesterday and 11 a.m. today, and drunk three or possibly four glasses of wine last night. (This morning I had the first hangover I've gotten in years; I didn't use my Handy-Dandy Super-Duper Surefire Hangover Preventer, which is: for every shot of liquor, glass of wine, or bottle/can of beer, drink at least one 8-oz. glass of water. It works perfectly; I haven't had a single hangover when I've used it.)
Anyway...went to Center City today, finally bought new shoes (I've been wearing the same pair of black stack-heeled loafers every day since last September, and they're much the worse for wear), got some tops at the Ann Taylor Loft in Liberty Place, and spent a long time in Border's trying to find something to read. If I ran the entire publishing industry, two of my immediate decrees would be: no more fantasies based on King Arthur, and no more mysteries with Sherlock Holmes. If you're not Arthur Conan Doyle, I don't want to hear your latest brilliant idea about how Sherlock Holmes goes to upstate New York and solves some crime involving an Erie Canal shipping magnate, or whatever the fuck these people come up with. And I think Malory, T. H. White, and Marion Zimmer Bradley have covered the Arthur waterfront just fine, thank you. So no more mist-enshrouded fantasies where all the names are spelled funny, please. (Uythyr Pendraghon and Mworgayn L'Faye and so forth...yeesh, authenticity is all very well and good, but since you aren't writing in Anglo-Saxon, could you kindly make the names comprehensible?)
Okay, I think I'll lay off the publishing industry now. For the most part I suppose it does very well. And I do someday hope to be published, so I don't want to jinx my karma. But still...if only people who couldn't write couldn't get published, the world would be a little bit of a better place...
[ at 8:15 PM • by Abby • permalink • ]