I know, I've said that before. I turned in "final" files back in August, and wrote about it again in December. The pages I submitted in August were subject to review and comments by Editor Charlie, Editor Andrea, and an independent fact-checker. That took a couple of months. Turned out they found a lot to comment on.
I worked with Charlie to address those notes--most of which made the book better and, in a couple of cases, saved me from real embarrassment--and submitted a whole new batch of files a few weeks ago. Charlie and Andrea went through them again, and Charlie also ran them by another editor at Abrams who's a real stickler. That round turned up about 40 all-new corrections.
You know what I hate? When you're fixing one mistake and, in the process, you make another one. Those are hard to catch. I hate that.
Just a note here about how publishing a graphic novel differs from publishing a non-graphic novel. If I'd written a regular book comprising nothing but text, the editors could've quickly and easily solved the vast majority of problems themselves. A comma here, a hyphen there. But in a graphic novel, the words are part of the pictures. They can't fix them. If a word balloon requires a dash instead of an ellipsis, they have to tell me where it is and I have to change it myself, then send the whole page back to them. I just realized while typing that now what a pain in the neck it is for everyone.
So I finished those final corrections last weekend. Then, I went through the entire book myself very carefully one more time. I did that Monday and Tuesday, and, astonishingly, still found things to fix, including a typo no one had caught through any of the previous reviews. I revised six or seven pages and uploaded them yesterday afternoon.
And . . . I'm done.
What happens now is that Designer Neil lays out the pages for press. His contribution to the ultimate look and feel of the book is substantial: page design, fonts, graphics, spot art, the front and back covers. WHTTWOT will have a couple of "special effects" that Neil needs to make work. He and I have talked several times over the past months (all by e-mail or phone--I've never met him but am looking forward to it someday) and are working quite closely now. I think I'm lucky, in that Neil seems very solicitous of my input. I gather some designers get pretty prickly when anyone interferes with their vision for a book, even the author. I'm happy that's not been my experience.
I've been a writer for various media for a long time, and can say without a doubt that nothing I've ever produced has been as closely scrutinized by so many editors as WHTTWOT. Mom's Cancer got a pretty good going-over, but wasn't even close. As I joked last time I wrote about the editing process, I'm also certain that the very first thing I lay eyes on when I crack open my new book fresh from the printer will be an obvious gaffe. Because that's how I roll.
look like. Please don't reveal spoilers!