So, good thing I took notes about the changes I want to make to chapter three of my WIP, because last night I got the copy-edited manuscript for HOUSE OF SHADOWS and that gets priority.
Usually the publisher gives you something on the order of two or three weeks to get the copy-edited ms back to them, but I always like to beat deadlines, so I’ll try to turn this around in less than a week. I usually find it takes about four days to go over a copy-edited manuscript, as long as I can work on it every day.
You can just go through and look at all the copy editor’s flags, and since it’s faster, it’s kind of tempting to do it that way if you’re busy with other things, but Orbit in particular is VERY CLEAR about wanting any substantive changes to happen at this stage and not at the page-proof stage (which is the stage at which every page looks like it will in the book) (because changes at the page-proof stage cost money, so you can see why they care about this).
So that means it’s best to actually read through the whole thing with careful attention. You also want to do this in case the copy editor missed something — and let me say here that I heart copy editors. They don’t miss much. I’m so impressed when a copy editor says “Here on p. 314 you say Thus And So, but this seems to conflict with something you said back on page 10.” See how much attention they have to pay to everything in order to do that? I think I have a knack for this kind of thing, but copy editors seem to have a BETTER knack for it.
Also, unless you have gone through this, you just can’t believe how hard it is to catch every single typo and every single instance of a repeated word and so forth. Layer after layer of checking and there can still be a typo or three in the page proofs — or even in the final book, which is SO EMBARRASSING.
So anyway — I’ve sharpened my colored pencils and cleared off my table and everything is ready. Hopefully not more than four days for this little project.