Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My desk, on Tuesday

Don't you ever proof your instructions?

We get that every once in a while from people who contact us with questions/complaints. They usually start out with an angry blast and then this question gets worked in somewhere.

And we do. We really do.

This is what my desk looks like this morning. You can tell it's accurate because there is a Diet Coke, front and center. And spread out over my desk, among other things, is the final step for what will be a very, very nice book. Believe me, you're going to want this one. But it's not quite done cooking yet so more on that when you can actually purchase it and hold it in your very own hands.

We proof instructions. A lot. Here's the process:
1. Instructions come in from designers. They are nearly never ready to publish.
2. A technical editor goes through the instructions, editing for style and content. She checks and corrects measurements, yardage requirements, and all the missing items go in.
3. She reads it again at the first layout. And the second. And the third. And as many times as needed to call it final.
4. Another editor reads it two or three times, checking and correcting.
5. And then there's me.
6. And then this is the last step. It's been called final. The color is beautiful. And we pull these proofs. And the heartbreaking, unavoidable truth is that 9 times out of 10...there's something on this too. Maybe it's two periods, maybe it's a missing word, maybe it's the wrong fig, or maybe it's something else, but the clarity of the proof helps these things show like there's a spotlight. (This stack appears to be the rare #10, no notes when it hits my desk.)

This is a very good system. That is why these "Don't you ever proof?" questions are so very few and far between here. When a book like this hits my desk, beautiful and lovely and unmarked, I'm so happy to work with the pros. You can thank Lisa, Jean, Frances, Mary, and Susan for the fabulosity of Leisure Arts quilt, sewing, embroidery, cross stitch, and craft copy. They work hard at getting it right.

And uh, oh yeah...we've got some of the prettiest quilts lining our hallway right now. I'll give you a sneak peek tomorrow. You don't want to miss these.


Regina said...

OOhh - eye candy!

I got bit by a mistake in a pattern - once - very badly!!! You would think that would teach me to make test blocks, but I still don't.

I've been on the proofing end, too - it's a tough job! Glad we've got you!!!

JustCindy said...

Thank you to everyone at Leisure Arts. Your post was interesting today. I learned something new.

Phyllis Dobbs said...

Have you seen those sentences written with the words severely misspelled? It shows that the mind can still read them and fill in with the correct words and meaning. This ability makes proofing much harder and really requires focus. My hat is off to everyone who proofs!