|The Crown Tower on the left on it's way back to the publisher as The Rose and Thorn, on the right, arrives.|
In March I received the final layout proofs for The Crown Tower. It arrived from Orbit in a soft manila colored envelope. I spent the last two weeks reading through it and making last minute corrections—in pencil. Not sure why, but Orbit insists I use pencil.
I’m not even certain why I’m sent a hard copy of the manuscript. I remember when I first started with Orbit I was asked if it was okay to do digital editing. I wasn’t certain what that meant. Digital editing? Was this some sort of high tech gadgetry that only huge publishers could afford? I imagined that a computer would digitally scan each page and automatically fix all the typos and grammar errors that a simple word processor couldn’t handle.
Not at all certain what they were speaking about, I asked. Digital editing was done via the Internet using Word and such advanced techniques as track changes and comments. This baffled me because I assumed that was the only way anyone would edit a manuscript. So I had to ask, what was my alternative?
A stack of printed pages mailed to me, and a pen.
I almost laughed. Seriously? Why would you even ask? Does anyone edit that way? Orbit’s response was—yes. Apparently a great many insist on it.
I still find this odd, but okay.
So last week I curled up on my bed with my stack of papers, my pencil and pencil sharpener, and thumb-licked my way through the first novel. Not a bad read, I thought. Just as I was packaging that up to send out, The Rose and The Thorn, arrived, which is good because I needed something new to read and really wanted to find out what happened to poor Royce and Hadrian.