The Vigilance manuscript was finished last week. The entire process from my first outline to the final manuscript took about 12 months.
Initially I thought I was done in September of last year. After getting feedback I decided to scrap the second half of the manuscript and re-write it. This represented a 25,000 word shift, about 50% of the manuscript. The initial draft of the 12 chapter manuscript was completed in January 2021.
After that the editing process started. Editing means choosing what “big picture” content will be included in the final manuscript. Entire chapters were dissected, condensed, then re-written. Subheadings were added for better organization. Every editing pass yielded a 5,000-10,000 word change, which is 10-20% of the manuscript.
When I was happy with the content in each chapter I moved from editing to the QA (quality assurance) stage. QA is a general term for editing at the paragraph level. That meant fact checking, choosing where paragraphs start and stop, and deleting all unnecessary sentences. Every QA pass yielded a 1,000-2,000 word change, which is about 2-4% of the manuscript.
After QA came proofreading. Proofreading is a final check for grammar, sentence structure, and an additional round of fact-checking. This was the most stressful part for me because I had to confirm every name was spelled correctly, every fact was verified, and the manuscript was free of grammatical errors. Every proofreading pass yielded a 500-1,000 word change, which is about 1-2% of the manuscript.
We’re not done yet! After editing, QA, and proofreading the manuscript was formatted for a book. The layout phase was primarily done by Scribe. At this point I was so burned out I didn’t want to even look at the manuscript. I had a heart attack when I noticed someone’s name spelled incorrectly in a footnote of chapter 12. Luckily the error was corrected before the layout was approved.
Finally, the book is converted to a single file then sent to the printer. In 4-6 weeks I will have the paper copy of the book!
Vigilance will be released on June 22! Stay tuned 🙂