Sunday, January 20, 2013

Too Much of the Red Stuff (and I don't mean wine)

So - I haven't been blogging properly I realize. Just shoving links up now and then - although links I thought you'd enjoy.

Apart from a schedule of posts for my Expat Focus and BBC America columns, I am also knee deep in the editing stage of a new book. I can't really discuss the topic at the moment as it's a few months off a launch date and a professional team could quite easily nick* my idea and publish it as a downloady thing in about a week. And let me tell you, that's not just me being ridiculously cautious. Having had my book title ("Rules, Britannia") nicked from under my nose once before, I am extra cautious.

* to nick in the UK is to steal; in the US it is commonly used to mean to scratch or graze something, as in "nicks in the wooden table". Just to be clear - I'm talking about the stealing version here.

So the 55,000 word document (over 120 pages) went off to my professional editor before Christmas. Now, having once been in the business of presenting written information in the corporate world, I know my bullet points, my indentations and the need for clear communication. Or at least I thought I did. Apparently, before my editor can even start making suggestions about the content, she needs to clear the abundance of red on each page! Red being how the typos and other errors are high-lighted.

Oh the shame!

Actually, she did say she thought the material was very clear and easy to understand, but still.... . Call myself a writer?

In my defense/defence the way I write non-fiction is to do tons of research and try to put it in some sort of logical order as I go along. Then, as I amass more information, I start dividing it up into chapters. Inevitably, when I'm looking for stuff on one sub-topic, I will come across information about another topic so I have to go back and slot it in elsewhere. When you're trying to remember whether this piece of information is a sub-heading (14 point font, bold), a sub-sub-heading (12 point font, bold) or just text underneath that (12 point, no bold) it tends to well, go a bit pear-shaped. Or, as my lovely editor has discovered, we end up with a lot of red ink on the page.

Oh well, at least I'm not calling myself a professional editor. Cringe.


  1. Well - at least you're that much closer to publishing, right?
    Hope the worst of it's behind you now, at least!

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  3. Do editors charge by how many pens they use? ;)

    I think these are exciting times for you and every step is getting you closer to publication date.

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  5. Guard your baby with your life!! Giving birth to it seems like it gave you a bit of hassle but as you know once it is birthed (pubbed) you will forget all about the cramps!! Good luck

  6. I've just about released my latest book and I felt the shame as well. Noticed typos in the edited version that was uploaded to Kindle and have to re-upload it. I feel a total idiot. I think even professional editors get it wrong sometimes.

    CJ x

  7. Good luck with it all, Toni. Can't wait for it to be published then I can brag about you! Xx


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