Just one last thing to do to get Le Road Trip manuscript ready for publishing.
I have to out my original art work and original hand-set type into a format that can be turned into a book-shaped object.
Heres how I do it (on my dining room table):
Top left: binder containing original manuscript.
Bottom right: 11-inch by 14-inch sheets sent to me by my publisher Bloomsbury with position marks for each page, numbered from 1 – 215.
Center: paper cutter to trim these out-sized sheets down to a more manageable 11-inch by 11-inch square .
Bottom left: pile of already-trimmed sheets.
This is my light box, on which I have taped (Scotch tape is crucial to the whole process) a guide that represents the true dimensions of the final trim of the book, with lines and markings to show me where the center lines of the page are, both vertically and horizontally.
I have to place every single page of my manuscript onto this guide and position it so that all the art work and text is straight, aligned, and mounted with the proper margins for top and bottom AND with extra allowances for the “gutter”…that is, the edge that is going to be bound.
Yes, I have to do this manually for each and every page, all 208 of them.
For reasons that have to due with the fact that during this scrutiny I still find stuff that three editors missed and rectifying it takes research and materials i.e. glue, scissors, tape, white-out, mucho cursing. I also have to keep all these loose, mounted pages in order and, well, it gets messy.
I got the bright idea to tape pages onto the walls of my dining room so they could dry — remember, I am gluing the art work, and taping the text into place.
This is true: I sprained my left hand with repetitive motion somewhere around page 135 and had to tape up my favorite index and middle finger to prevent further injury which meant that I was, for all accounts and purposes, left totally right-handed … and still I had to keep turning out pages, and pages, and pages…
Today I am happy to announce that I have finished all the mounting, the last-minute editing, the last-last-minute patching up, and the last-last-last-minute re-writes/re-paints (yes, I did re-paint two whole pages)/re-edits.
From now, until pub date May 2012, it’s Bloomsbury’s baby.