Last night, I stayed up late to finish reading the first pass pages of IN3 — which is the last time I’ll get to make changes in the book before it goes to printing. (This isn’t the last time anyone will look over it before printing, though; a team of proofreaders will do second and third passes on it, until it needs no more work.)
Historically, my first pass pages have all been . . . interesting. INCARNATE had HoHugging and similar hilarity. (Not to mention a missing paragraph and migrating dialogue tags!) ASUNDER had these weird symbols wherever apostrophes and quotes were italicized.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be changes, though. The pages sticking out to the left are all the pages I’m sending back to my editor, so she can put my changes in the master document that lives at HarperCollins.
First pass pages are printed to look like the book. They’re in the book layout, with the font and chapter headers and all of that. They’re what ARCs — Advance Reader Copies — are printed from. Changes in the first pass stage are supposed to be minor: fixing typos, word rep, HoHugging, spacing, or whatever. A chapter title changed in ASUNDER. My changes are typically very minor at this point, but I know other writers who’ve added scenes, changed endings, etc.
Still, there are quite a few minor things changing in IN3. The ARCs printed won’t reflect these changes. Only the final copy.
I love ARCs — I love getting them and reading them before other people (and the taunting that goes along with) — but I’m going to tell you a true story: I cringe whenever I see someone reading an ARC weeks/months/years after publication, because I know what kind of changes I make between ARCs and final copies. I can’t even guess what other authors do!
I’m really, really excited about IN3 ARCs going out into the world in a few months. And I’m dealing with the fact that advance readers will see that hideous word repetition on page whatever. But I’m really looking forward to final copies in January/February next year, because they will be clean and shiny. (And that sentence — no, don’t look at it! — will be better structured.)
But speaking of IN3 ARCs, have you entered my giveaway to win one of the very first ones?