That thump you heard late this afternoon? Yeah, that was the FedEx guy dropping off the ream of paper containing the copyedited manuscript for my forthcoming Star Trek original series novel, That Which Divides!
Actually, I lied.
Gone (at least for the most part) are the days when the copyedited manuscript was dropped at my doorstep, with the writer taking blue pencil in hand and marking any requests for fixes, or typing up new pages of text to be inserted between existing paragraphs, and so on. Nope! Now, we have the “digital copyedited manuscript,” which is just what you think it is: an electronic version of the file sent back to me, with a copyeditor’s marked in the document thanks to MS Word’s “Track Changes” feature. Comments appear as inserted boxes.
This is the third novel I’ve written (or co-written) for Pocket — and fourth project overall, counting my novella for Star Trek: Vanguard – Declassified — where copyedits were handled in this manner. While I wasn’t at first sure how I’d take to the modern approach, I’ve quickly come to love it. Making corrections, additions, deletions, etc. is so much easier this way. I just add the new or modified material, which is highlighted thanks to the “Track Changes” bit so that the editor can see what I did, comment next to a copyeditor’s mark if I want that markup or change to not be included, and add any additional responses next to other comments or questions the copyeditor has inserted. No more worrying if somebody will be able to read my handwriting in the margins of a page, or if the rewritten paragraphs or pages I send back with the hardcopy make it into the revised manuscript or, if they do, that they get inserted into the right place.
I have until October 5th to return the file with my changes, revisions, and so on — which is five days later than I was expecting, as I’d figured to see the manuscript a week or so ago with a due date of Friday, September 30th. Regardless, it looks like I have some extra reading to do this weekend.
Also, and since I’m here, I can drop a small hint about the story. As some folks already know, it’s a tale set during the five-year mission as depicted during the original Star Trek series. It’s worth noting that this also is the period of the animated Star Trek series. Just sayin’.
The book still carries an official publication date of February 28th, 2012, giving you plenty of time to read it before The End of the World As We Know It. So, you know…plan accordingly.