I’m getting stuck into the editing now, my favourite part of editing, but it’s proof-reading rather than real editing, checking an OCR’d text against the original scan. And the styling decisions I have to take are tiny, but far-reaching: AD, or A.D.? The Chance Of A Lifetime, or, The chance of a lifetime? Do I embolden my headings, or apply a heading style, or just leave it as plain as needed?
Trouble is, I’d normally go and bother the designer about this sort of thing, because they’re the ones who design the heading levels and will know how the letters feed into the template, and will tell me what I should not do to make InDesign any more difficult than I think it’s going to be. But I’m lacking a designer. I do have one, he’s beavering away on the series design, but I don’t have anyone to talk to about the daily dropping of text into layout yet, so I’m going to have to make it up as I go along.
Generating the digitised texts was another interesting experience. We can feed scans of texts into Adobe Professional, and out comes a nice plain text version. Then I have to proofread against the original scan, click, click, click, working in Word, checking in Acrobat, and back again. Because I forgot my wrist-rest where I’m working this weekend, I’m already feeling a little sensitive around the pisiform (or is it trapezium? one of the carpal bones). I could of course have printed the scan out, but that would have been a waste of ink and paper. For this kind of work, screen is best and fastest.
Proof-reading is gentle, light relief after the switchback of massive learning curves I’ve been negotiating this week. I spent so much time on the phone,or waiting for websites to load, so I can jump through the next hoop in my journey to be legally, fiscally and financially correct. I’ve been signing Letters of Engagement, and typing expense claims into the new accounting software (it took me a day to work out what a Chart of Accounts was. It’s a menu of code numbers). I’ve been talking to publishing colleagues old and new about professional indemnity insurance, and what I actually need (their consensus: none, actually, given what I’ll be publishing. This will worry my lawyer and upset the broker.)
But the most exciting thing to happen was sending out my first Letters of Agreement, for critical introductions for two of the Handheld Classics. The signed copies are on their way to me in the post. I shall create a special folder in the filing cabinet for each of the first two projects, and I shall get on with proofreading their texts. I shall also cosset my carpals.