Copyediting “Reliquary” Ebook

Publishing a book is a detail-oriented process and, to a large extent, most activities need to be done in a fairly specific order. Mess with the process…and you’ll pay for it later. At least, that’s the experience of David Keener, commissioned to do the ebook for the anthology, Reliquary, being published by Tannhauser Press.

“After the copyedit phase,” stated David Keener, “it’s fairly common for a book’s text to branch into print-specific and ebook-specific versions. That’s even more the case with a complex project like Reliquary, with internal illustrations, custom separators, chapter-leading dropped caps and some complicated custom typography. Which was why we were dismayed when we realized—well after the split—that the copyedit phase hadn’t accomplished all we’d hoped.”

After that, David brought in Donna Royston to do an emergency copyedit. “The usual procedure, at least in the indie world, is to order a proof from CreateSpace. Then you hand that to your copyeditor and she marks it up in red ink.” David sighed. “Lots of red ink.”

With a second round of copyedits, producers have the choice of copyediting the original content and then re-branching. Alternatively, if the separate branches have diverged too much, it may be easier to apply the copyedits to both branches. “For us, it was the latter,” David explained.

After all the delays (for this and other behind-the-scenes drama), the producers decided to release the print edition as soon as it was available. Accordingly, John Dwight finished the final design work on the print edition and published it on Amazon. Logistically, it was anticipated that the ebook edition would follow in about two weeks.

For those who aren’t familiar with the copyediting process, Worlds Enough thought it would be interesting to share a summary of typical copyedit markings:

Copyedit Markings
Copyedit Markings

“Yeah,” responded David Keener. “I’m really tired of seeing these.”

Be on the lookout. The Kindle edition of Reliquary will be available next week.

Note: (2017/05/25) Yeah, OK. That next week thing didn’t happen. Reliquary got preempted by some other projects. Still, it’s next up in the queue, so we’re looking at a June release for the ebook.

Note 2: (2021/01/06) CreateSpace is gone now, at least as a brand. The functionality got folded into Amazon’s Kindle ebook creation toolset quite a while ago.

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