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Palmfrond
12-09-2008, 08:42 PM
I was amazed to find that my publisher has no means of electronically tracking changes during the process of editing a manuscript. They feel that MS Word is "too unstable" and prefer to use blue pencils. I feel very uncomfortable putting the only copy of the current version in the mail, so I make the blue pencil marks and then track all the changes myself using Word. What do your editor and copyeditor do?

Crinklish
12-09-2008, 09:04 PM
We work on paper at my house...though not with blue pencil. I think the reluctance to work electronically may stem from the fear that somewhere along the chain, author/editor/copyeditor may just erase someone else's editing? That said, I know Penguin has recently shifted all its editing to electronic/track changes, so it's probably the wave of the future. You just need to get rid of the dinosaurs like me who still feel weird editing on screen!

Palmfrond
12-09-2008, 10:52 PM
You're probably right about the fear of uncontrolled editing. There must be some sort of document control used by big corporations that prevents the original work from being altered and monitors changes by who has made them, but maybe it's very expensive.

ChaosTitan
12-09-2008, 11:18 PM
With my editor, we did both. First major round of edits was done on hard copy (although I think she used blue and green pencils). I implemented the changes on my computer file and sent it back to her without track changes on--she just saw the clean draft. The second round, which was mostly for nitpicks and grammar stuff, was done with computer track changes from both of us.

The copy editor sent a hard copy, which I sent back.

Palmfrond
12-09-2008, 11:45 PM
Three examples of paper! Anybody know what sort of editing program Penguin uses?

Tanya Egan Gibson
12-09-2008, 11:50 PM
My editors at Dutton (an imprint of Penguin) used Track Changes in MS Word. It's worked out really well, especially since I can write back in balloons to ask the copyeditor questions or provide explanations for some of my decisions (such as my using neologisms).

My agent and I used Track Changes in Word, too, when we made changes prior to her submitting the manuscript to houses.

Palmfrond
12-10-2008, 12:07 AM
Thanks. A bit of ammunition to use in the battle to drag publishing into the twentieth century!

Clair Dickson
12-10-2008, 12:12 AM
You're probably right about the fear of uncontrolled editing. There must be some sort of document control used by big corporations that prevents the original work from being altered and monitors changes by who has made them, but maybe it's very expensive.

Word's Track Changes actually keeps track of which author made the changes. You can also show changes by all or one of the authors who have affected the document.

Also Word has a merge feature where an edited version and an original version can be merged with changes between drafts noted.

The technology is already in their hands. But, if they're afraid of Word... then there are other issues there. =)

Most computers today are pretty stable, with the exception of hardware failures and the occasional glitch.

illiterwrite
12-10-2008, 12:13 AM
I'm with Penguin. All copy editing was done electronically. Only galleys have been sent via hard copy. And I have to say that there were quite a few missed edits when we worked on hard copy vs. electronic versions.

Tish Davidson
12-10-2008, 05:12 AM
I work as nonfiction editor as well as a writer. Development editing is sometimes done on paper, but close editing is done using MS Word Track Changes. If I am concerned that I will do something terrible to the manuscript that I did not intend, then I save copies in different stages of the editing process.

illiterwrite
12-10-2008, 06:18 AM
Oh, and bad things can happen. With my first book, I realized about half-way through reading my copy editor's changes that he had edited the wrong version of the book. I thought I was going to pass out (or throw up).

selkn.asrai
12-10-2008, 06:56 AM
I work as nonfiction editor as well as a writer. Development editing is sometimes done on paper, but close editing is done using MS Word Track Changes. If I am concerned that I will do something terrible to the manuscript that I did not intend, then I save copies in different stages of the editing process.


Yes, where I worked, initial/substantial edits to the MS were done with Word Track Changes. Proofreading at following stages was done in hard copy (even with digital, we printed them out) with post its and lovely colored pencils. Then they were sent back to the printer for the next round with corrections applied.

Moonfish
12-10-2008, 11:03 PM
Oh, and bad things can happen. With my first book, I realized about half-way through reading my copy editor's changes that he had edited the wrong version of the book. I thought I was going to pass out (or throw up).

A wee bit OT but: I co-wrote a non-fic once and my co-author did that... Throwing up was very close when I realized it half way through my changes to her changes on the wrong version.