When we last heard from Our Hero (hey, that's me!) about his book, his editor had approved of the draft and sent it along to a copy editor to check it over.
I figured that would take a while, but it took three weeks. I got the manuscript (called the MS by those in the know) in the mail last week, and was at first shocked: it was covered in marks!
A copy editor checks the MS for grammar, spelling, and mechanical stuff (font usage, footnotes, line spacing and the like). So really I shouldn't have been too surprised that it was full of markups. Literally every single page had something on it, but the vast majority were where the copy editor was pointing out something for the layout people: make sure this number uses a multiplication symbol instead of the letter "x", don't capitalize this word, do capitalize that one, and so on. Some were more serious, like subject/predicate disagreement (my kryptonite), repetitious text (that only happened once, and he was exactly right to point it out), and so on.
I was expecting to take a week or two to review it, but it only took two days. Piece of cake.
So I handed the MS over to a FedEx guy an hour ago, and soon it will be winging its way back to New York, where the folks at Penguin Viking Publishing (imagine the logo possibilities for them) will start to actually put it in book form.
So that's another big milestone. October still seems way over the horizon, but day by day it gets closer. We're converging on the cover art, and soon I'll have to start thinking about blurbs for real. The next actual step, I think, will be look at the galley proofs, but that really won't be for a couple of months or more.
So it's on to the next project! Which is, um... hmmm. Better get on that. I need a next project!