Re-Proofing the Proofed Proofs

Ben's front cover Create Job

A new version of my cover showing a vanishing American worker fending off the perils of being downsized, merged out of a job because his position is now redundant or being dismissed in order to cut payroll to provide bonuses for company executives.

Many of those who still read books criticize us authors for minor typos and errors in our books.  They assert that for their money they should have an absolutely perfect product. The harshest criticism invariably comes from those who have never written a book, and what’s more, are not likely to ever write one. It is intellectually easy to throw darts at someone’s work while contributing nothing in return. In the case of my present book, Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife, I am now going through the proof copies of the manuscripts sent by Amazon’s Create Space who is publishing the softcover and Book Baby who will be producing the e-book.

Looking over the manuscript for perhaps the 14th time, and after having a friend proof read it and paid another to have it proof read, I found 20 errors that needed to be corrected to reconcile matters such as a consistent use of commas, capitalizations,  heading rankings, extra words that were relics of the editing process, broken words that coincidentally correctly spelled other word and mechanical issues such as missing sentences and run-together paragraphs.

This stage of manuscript proofing is not the time to do a wholesale re-write of the book or make radical changes. Nonetheless, I found one instance where I had cited the same example twice in the book, and I changed 22 words to use another example of the process that I was describing. In another case I eliminated two redundant words at the end of a sentence. On the Index, which my e-savvy editor had little use for, I asked that the title be made a chapter heading as used for the regular book chapters instead of being a line of text.

Part of the hair-pulling process of proofing a PDF file is that I do not have the software to correct it directly, but I have to make detailed notes of the changes and send these to the designer who makes the corrections, and then I resubmit the altered manuscript. This leads to the possibility of his making errors in the corrections and me having to check and correct those, send the manuscript back, receive the re-corrected manuscript and start the manuscript submission all over again.

With the resubmitted PDF there is the inherent problem that any changes in the manuscript can result in line shifts going from one page to another which can throw off the index references and potentially introduce an entirely new set of run-on paragraphs and dangling headings left as the last line on a page. This is less likely to have serious consequences if the chapter being impacted has ample blank space on the last page to accommodate the added lines or single piece of punctuation. One would hope for esthetic reasons, if for no other, that this last page has more than a word or two on it.

The sizes and the margins on each page must fit within the design parameters of the cover. This is another cause of common rejections of the manuscript as the PDF cover cannot simply be sized up or down to fit the printed pages of the book. The entire cover must be redesigned and resubmitted. This was also the case of my book. I took this opportunity to ask that the arrows on the cover be changed to black for better visibility on a small-format display. Ben Baker, a friend and fellow author who is assisting me with the book, did a remarkable job of redesign on the cover, but on the rear of the cover there was a broken line of text to be corrected. This was done and the cover was resubmitted and accepted.

With all of this we, that is Ben and I, are still not out of the woods. The cover has been approved, but now the manuscript must be approved again, just as if it were a brand new submission, taken through a mechanical review by Amazon, another proof copy approved, etc. All of this adds at least another week to the production process. I had the foresight to allow for all of these processing delays when I announced the publication of the book in August, 2018. Nothing in this book-publishing business seems to go as fast as one could wish. This is something that I have learned through publishing 18 books.

These nit-picking changes do not in any way change the significance or thrust of my book, which is to explain how and why a person should start many businesses in their lifetime to accomplish whatever goals that they have at the time. The ultimate objective is that by the time you are in your 40s and older you already have a business running quietly in the background that you can immediately put into full-scale activation when the time comes that you find yourself losing your life-time job or being abruptly terminated for reasons that you never learn. This is happening to tens of thousands of workers every week. A couple of weeks ago Toys-R-Us laid off that number, day before yesterday a large international banking firm, Citicorp, did the same. Tomorrow it could happen to you. If this is happening when the economy is is good shape, think about what will happen during the next economic downturn. It is better to be prepared and start your own business at any age, so that you can control your own financial future.

So that reviewers will write favorably of the book and libraries will buy it, these nearly insignificant issues must be dealt with; regardless of the potential significance of the book’s content. In short, the form of the message may trump function.

All of the issues that I raise, and those mentioned in other posts, are not uncommon in the book-publication process. Although easier than it once was, it still is a involved undertaking what commonly leads to back-steps as well as progress. The book is still on track for an August release and advanced copies may be ordered below:

If you are fortunate enough to already be retired and have more than ample resources, consider buying copies of this book for placement in local libraries, homeless shelters and the like. Those who find their lives in some stage of transition badly need this information. Even if I can only reach 1 out of 100,000 with this information, it can lead to improvements to individual’s lives and business start-ups that will keep America’s workers working.

Create Your Own Job Security

Generally available for special promotion price of $10.99.




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