Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Two Completely Unrelated Things

This lovely bloom is, to my way of thinking, as pretty as many an orchid or fancy tulip. Pale chartreuse petals, flamed with orange -- and a mop of cream colored -- what are those? Anthers? Stamens? Whatever -- it's a gorgeous flower. And just now, the forest floor is littered with them -- the blossoms of the tall tulip poplar trees that grow in such profusion here.

That was one thing.

Here's another: A few posts back, Merisi asked who was responsible for incorporating all the changes from the edited manuscript into an electronic copy. I didn't know and emailed my editor -- who also didn't know for sure. ( She knew that she didn't want to do it and I knew that I for sure didn't.) But Herself promised to find out and get back to me.

Monday morning, true to her word, here came the email -- a forward from one of the folks in the Production department who said: "The compositor does it. I think they contract the work out. It used to be housewives in Pennsylvania, but now I think they send it overseas."

I find this fascinating. What are those Pennsylvania housewives doing now -- are they greeters at Wal-Mart? massage therapists? mystery writers?

And where 'overseas' are these outsourced compositors? I guess an in-depth knowledge of English wouldn't actually be necessary -- all the compositor really has to do is understand the proofreading marks (something I'm still working on.)

Further proof that it takes a village to turn out a book.

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Pat in east TN said...

I have also thought the tulip poplar flower very unique and beautiful and always gather one or two that have fallen to float in a bowl of water on my dining room table.

Always something new to learn about the process of a book becoming a book.

Wolynski said...

If a series is called Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery, I know I want to read it. Beautiful photos.

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Pat -- what a good idea -- i'm getting out that shallow bowl right now!

Wolynski -- Hey, give it a try! It's pretty different from Las Vegas and that's the truth.

I started the blog really to show readers pictures relating to the books -- it's turned into everything and the kitchen sink (ah! there's an idea for a post) but there's still a lot about the books.

Does a furtive nudist keep his/her clothes on?

NCmountainwoman said...

Wow! I never knew we outsourced edited manuscripts overseas! Surely there are enough under- or semi-employed people right here who would be willing to do it for a fair price. Ain't fittin' I tell you...ain't fittin'

Vicki Lane said...

NC Mountainwoman -- 'tain't. But in publishing, as with everything else, it's the bottom line. Presumably the folks in (I'm guessing) India are cheaper than the housewives in PA.

Carol Murdock said...

It really does take a village.
Who knew? Had any green tomatoes yet?

Tammy said...

Hey, I want to be one of those compositors! Or something. Ha... I agree, it ain't fittin'--It would make a nice little part time job for someone. It was an interesting bit of information though, to hear about yet another step in this 'making of a book'.

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Carol, My tomatoes are just now blossoming -- it'll be a while!

Yep, Tammy, it does seem like a shame. I have no idea what the pay is -- but it's definitely a tedious job and require full attention -- if I were doing it, I'd have to read the ms. through first, just to satisfy my curiosity, because you couldn't enjoy the book while you were adding in all the changes.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Vicki, a long and depressing essay on the publishing houses in last week's Nation. You can go online to find it, if you don't subscribe.
And--I heard on NPR that we are now outsourcing wombs to India! Test-tube babies, I guess? Frozen eggs, embryos?????
I love the tulip poplar. It's our "marriage tree."

Vicki Lane said...

Almost all the news about publishing is depressing these days, Kay. I believe Romance novels continue to do well.

Eleanor said...

I have edited and proofread many manuscripts - theses, academic articles, academic books and study material - and all my sympathies are with the housewives from Pennsylvania or wherever who have to correct documents. It is backbreaking work!
On a nicer note, I am off to buy the fabrics I still need for my Maple Leaf quilt project on Friday - I was inspired by the community quilt in your book.

Vicki Lane said...

Eleanor -- do post a picture when your quilt is done! I thought that Maple Leaf quilt in the book was spectacular, considering what rank amateurs my friends and I back then.