It was really exciting for me when my page proofs arrived-- the first real, concrete sign that my book was coming out since the contract. Then I looked at them.
I really appreciated that the copy editor was so careful and thorough, but periodically, I'd just throw up my hands. She changed commas to dashes and added commas, spelled out numbers and "okay," and pointed out logical problems she found. I thought I could just skip through the book, looking at the changes and initialling them, but I couldn't.
I had to read the book through again in order to answer some of the more complicated problems-- why didn't the police interview the bartender, or search the victim's house? How many doors were there to the office?
All changes longer than a sentence had to be typed and attached to the appropriate page, and had to be copied onto a disk as well. Once I'd read the book through and made the changes, which took nearly two weeks, I had to spend a couple of hours on the last night printing, cutting, and stapling, then putting the package together to be returned to Haworth.
Coincidentally, I had dinner with my friend Vicki and her friend Woody, who I'd known was a surfer-- but I'd forgotten. He was able to do a last minute read on the pages that had surfer terms, and give me some really good suggestions. Now I just have to hope we caught everything!