If it ain’t one thing…

Jun 29, 2014 | 1 comment

Hard At It

Hard At It

My deadline for the “text material” for Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula is day after tomorrow and so far, so good. Maybe.

I took a look at the “Project Delivery Checklist” kindly supplied by the publisher and see that, yes, my final word count falls within the range (30,000 to 35,000) provided in my contract. At this point, even without counting the in-progress foreword which will probably be 250 words max, I’m at 31,104 words. Check!

That’s 52 pages of manuscript, single-spaced and in ten point type. The word count includes the Dedication, Table of Contents, Preface, Acknowledgements, Introduction, Bibliography and Index. Oh, yes – and eleven fabulous stories (if I do say so myself!)

Yesterday I worked on the Index. It’s an optional feature as far as this publisher is concerned and so it is up to the author to provide it. No problem, thought I. Wrong again.

Unlike other indices I’ve done (for other books, other publishers) this one has to be totally keyed to the manuscript so that in the final formatting, the correct pages will pop up in the index “magically.” In my experience, it has been the publisher who has done the magic part; the author just supplies the list. Or, the author does the index “manually” once the page proofs are done. But not this time.

Say what?

Say what?

My editor kindly sent me clear instructions for creating an index in Microsoft Word, but it was a steep learning curve. It took me all day and into the evening to complete the process – 155 entries. I thought I was finished but realized that the index would be a more useful tool if it included a few cross-references or sub-entries. The instructions say, for creating these items, “see the Help menu.”

Okay. But when I clicked on that little question mark up in the right corner of the tool bar, there appeared a box that said: “There is a problem with one or more installed Help files. Please repair your installed Office installation and try again.” Hmmm. That sounds Way Hard, so I asked Nyel if I could use his spiffy new laptop to find out what my Help Menu would say if it were working.

“I don’t have Microsoft Word,” said my non-writing husband. I was absolutely speechless. If it ain’t one damned thing, it’s another…

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I am SO excited about this project and hope it will be available in time for Christmas!


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