Monday, November 19, 2007

productive weekend

Current work: fiction and nonfiction
Listening to: Bach
Reading: Michelle Styles, The Christmas Wedding Wager (I loved this – some of the twists I guessed, but that’s because of some of my nonfiction, and her details are absolutely accurate so it was really satisfying. Great heroine, gorgeous hero (I could see Mr Armitage acting this role…), a plot that really worked, and lots of wonderful (and accurate) period detail. And VERY Christmassy… it really put me in the mood.)

So. Saturday, went shopping with DH and the kids. He made the mistake of ‘we’ll do the boy stuff, you get our niece’s birthday present’. Righty. Soon as the boys had gone off to find Dr Who stuff, Madam looked at me. ‘Does this mean we can go shoe-shopping?’ (Ha. Well, she has to make up for me, because I have more Radley handbags than pairs of shoes (four handbags, since you ask – which isn’t that bad).) We found this gorgeous pair of suede boots, and then there was the phone call. ‘Where are you?’ Um. In the shoe shop…

I also did the majority of my Christmas shopping on Saturday – online. Much, MUCH easier than struggling round crowded shops with heavy bags. I have a really manageable list for Thursday (when we have no electricity so I can’t work at home – it’s to do with work on a transformer – but am going to have library time to finish off HVV and pick up some books I’ve ordered from the Norfolk Record Society).

Then I went through How To Research Local History to prepare the second edition. Interesting exercise. You need to:
  • check if the audience has changed in terms of gender/age/background/overseas markets (in which case you need to alter the tone or scope of the book – in my case, it hasn’t, and it’s still aimed at beginners so it’s still practical)
  • catch any typos that slipped through the last edition (there were about three so I was very pleased)
  • address any criticism from reviews (mine had wonderful reviews, because it is a practical guide. The only negative coment was that the index was too thin, which I will address at proof stage – it’s impossible to do it before because you need the correct page numbers)
  • check details of all contact addresses, websites, phone numbers and email (and blimey, there were a lot of them!)
  • think about adding value (I have – expanded some sections and added two new appendices of useful information)

And yes, it was time-consuming.

  • Stage one, go through old book in pencil, checking info and adding sticky notes to the page so I know there’s a change when I come to mark up in stage six.
  • Stage two, read through the text and make additions/corrections.
  • Stage three, there’s been a house style change in headings, so go through all headings and alter where necessary, making sure they’re changed in the index.
  • Stage four, another readthrough to check I’ve caught everything I intended to.
  • Stage five, add new copy.
  • Stage six, transfer all changes (either to a fresh copy of the book in red pen or, as I thought it made more sense for the typesetter to follow, on a Word file - I really hope my editor agrees that print is easier to read than an author's scrawl).

Plan for today: other history book. Note to self: no slacking on the internet. The d-word approacheth.

5 comments:

Liz Fielding said...

Darn it, I need a little "madam" to improve my shopping experience. All I ever seem to buy is food!

Michelle Styles said...

Thank you very much.

And btw there is a new Josh Groban Christmas cd...it sounds lovely. SIGH.

I am sure the 2nd edition will be fine. I know the first edition was truly excellent.

Kate Hardy said...

Liz - you're welcome to join us :o)

Michelle - no flannel there: I really enjoyed it. (If I don't enjoy a book I don't talk about it - yours wasn't the only one I read this weekend, and I gave up on another book last week.) Thanks for the heads-up re JG - will add that to my list for DH. And thanks for the encouragement re the second edition. (This sounds weird... but I use the appendices a lot myself, so I know it's a useful book!)

Melissa Marsh said...

I did a lot of my Christmas shopping online last year - loved it. Didn't have to wrestle with the crowds.

Kate Hardy said...

Melissa - I'm a convert now :o)