Just before I start this post, a quick update on my Twitter experiment. You know, the one where I asked is it really as simple as following more people to gain more followers for yourself - well, slowly but surely I think it's working, but so far my ratio of following to followers still seems far too high (not in my favour). Never mind though, I'll keep at it!
I want to talk today about errors in the Print on Demand publishing model and in eBooks and the reasons why this happens. Authors frequently take the blame for badly formatted and poorly edited work and I've found myself defending, well, myself. There's nothing more demoralising, trust me. But enough of the self pity. Starting with the book production process - typesetters take the author's word processing file (which has been electronically edited) and import it into a page layout program such as Adobe InDesign or Quark. As soon as the import happens, the file is stripped of all the author's formatting. They then turn the file into attractive book pages as per the publisher's design specifications.
At this point, all connection with the author's original file is lost. Any changes made now are created solely inside the page layout software, NOT in the Word document as well.
From these page layout docs, typesetters generate PDFs to send to the publisher as page proofs. The publisher and author - or in my case, just the author - mark their corrections on the PDFs and send them back to the typesetter, who makes the changes. From experience I did 4 or 5 rounds of proof corrections, but worryingly I kept picking up on new errors each time. In the end, I had to say enough is enough, or I'd still be editing today...
Therefore the final PDF that goes off to the printers is often quite different from the author's original Word file!
Now, if the publisher decides to produce an eBook, the process starts over because currently the page layout files used for the book are too complicated and inappropriate for eBook production. This means going back to the original Word file from the author - and because this document doesn't reflect the editorial and proofing changes that the book underwent during the page layout process, the author's Word file that winds up as an eBook is often full of errors.
Talk about going round the houses and making hard work of it all!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.