Sunday, 8 November 2015

'Sketching People': Checking the Colour Proofs

I received a package from my publisher just the other day, with some very exciting contents...

It was the colour proofs of my Sketching People book. 

I seem to be juggling lots of different projects at the same time right now, but the urban sketching book is at least one which is very nearly finished. 

The colour proofs are when you finally get to see what it's going to look like. Even though I've been very hands-on throughout the progress, I've been dealing with it in batches, so never had the chance to look at it as a complete project. Plus I'd never seen the final design of many of the spreads, so I couldn't wait to get a look. 

By this stage, all the design has been finalised, all the text is in place, exactly as it will look, and all the images, whether photos or sketches, are in their final positions on the spreads. It was lovely to see everything looking gorgeous! 

But I wasn't just sent them to admire: my job was to go through the whole thing with a fine tooth-comb, checking it over and making any final notes about alterations that needed making, or errors I noticed. That meant reading the entire book, which took a while, as you can imagine. 

There were actually lots of little things I picked up, both to do with images and text: I made two pages of notes!

One slight complication was that this was the US version - the text has been Americanised throughout, which does not just involve changes to words, but also some big changes to punctuation. I was surprised to discover for example, that in the US, a colon is followed by a capital letter! There were also many differences over where comas are used. 

The text will be re-Anglicised after the proofs have been approved, which means Quarto employing someone to make all the changes: apparently less complex than trying to re-instate my original text. All a bit odd, but everything is, as usual, very US-led. That's where the biggest market for the book will be, despite it originating in the UK.

The biggest single issue I picked up, was the placement of annotation arrows: used to point to where I am making specific comments about particular elements of a sketch. Many of them were not quite pointing to the right place, because my designer didn't always quite understand where I was referring to.

All sorted now though. I am very pleased with how it looks. The quality of the colour is great and the design really sets everything off beautifully (thanks Moira!).

I'm told that it should be ready for publication sometimes around the end of February. You can pre-order already, but don't worry - I will definitely be letting you know when it's ready.


I need orange said...

Um. I could be wrong, but I can't remember ever being told that the word following a colon should start with a capital letter.... (Born and raised in the USA. I've always lived here and was taught American English here in the USA.)

I don't know who gets to make the rules about this sort of stuff.... !!!

I looked at Wikipedia -- colon usage is far more complicated than I ever realized!

The examples in the Wikipedia article nearly all use a lower-case letter after a colon (and the article specifically addresses American English, for the most part).

Lynne the Pencil said...

That's interesting. It looks really weird to me, but I am used to the UK punctuation.

Ultimately it's Barrons, the US publisher, who set the rules for their co-edition. They will get a copy of the corrected proofs to go through. I imagine that Quarto, who work a lot with Barrons, must know how they like it. Odd that it's not what you're used to though.

Kirk Whiteside said...

I agree with 'I Need Orange'; I also have never seen that "colon-capital letter" usage ever utilized.

Lynne the Pencil said...

How very strange. Anyone else?

Deborah said...

Strange (and interesting for me as I do occasional proofreading). I read a lot of American blogs and articles and have never seen an example of capitalisation after a colon so far as I can remember - but I just looked up Wikipedia from the link above and it does seem that the protocol varies - perhaps it's not quite such a universal rule as it is in British English. And maybe the usage is slowly changing?

larry said...

I agree with those questioning your editor's capitaling words after semi-colons and colons. I worked as editor in chief of a couple magazines in the US and never heard of this. I also just checked the Chicago Style Manual to confirm that capitalization is not recommended.

Cheers --- Larry

Wendy Piersall said...

I've been tinkering with your Crafts class and it has been a massive help for drawing characters! Do you have a pre-order link for this book? :)

Wendy Piersall said...

Darn autocorrect. Craftsy class. Not Crafts class. :)

Wendy Piersall said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Candy Gourlay said...

It might just be house style?

Lynne the Pencil said...

Glad you are enjoying the class Wendy!

Re pre-ordering: I have nothing specific from the publisher. I assume people who have pre-ordered have done so through the web. If you want to go direct to the publisher, it's Barrons for the US but Search Press in the UK (not sure where you are). Both on Amazon of course.

Here's a non-Amazon link for the UK book -