November 30th, 2007



The doorbell rang at 8:15 this morning.

Ted and I both thought, "Fzkng kids," and didn't move.

A few seconds later a heavy knock came, at which point I realized it wasn't fzking kids, it was my QUEEN'S BASTARD page proofs arriving, so I got up and couldn't find my pants. Ted, who didn't know the proofs were arriving, also got up, swearing, found his pants, and stomped downstairs. A broad Irish accent said, "Morphy?", indicating I was right, and Ted signed for the proofs and I have opened them and they are Zoh. My. God. Gorgeous. This is going to be *such* a pretty book!

The proofs aren't due back until 19 December. I am, in what I consider a fit of genius, calling in other people to read them while I finish HANDS OF FLAME. (No, sorry, this is not an invitation for people to volunteer unless they happen to live in Cork and can read a...*pauses* *goes to check* ...430, at the end of the day, page manuscript in about 3 days.)

Oh, that reminds me: somebody asked in comments (sorry, can't remember who and am too lazy to go look!) whether there's any manuscript-page-to-printed-page correlation. Short answer: no. There's no specific word per page for printed novels. TQB was a 596 page manuscript and will, it seems, be a 430 page book. All of the Walker Papers are around 450 manuscript pages, but URBAN SHAMAN as-printed is 344 while the others are around 410, because of different font choices and typesetter leading. HEART OF STONE was over 500 pages (509, I think) and the printed book is 438; I expect the second two books in that series will be about the same. The Dermody manuscripts were all 355-360 pages and the printed books are 296-298 pages.

So I'm seeing reasonable consistency per series, but at the same time, go pick up, say, a recent printing of one of the earlier JA Jance "JP Beaumont" books. Those are probably (maybe) 80,000 word books (360 manuscript pages, like the Dermody novels) but because people like bigger books, they've been reprinted with quite enormous type and significant leading, so they end up as 400+ page printed books.

Similarly, with the Bombshell line (and in fact for all the Harlequin series romances), for example, they eventually began asking people to rely on actual wordcount rather than 250wpp*# of pages because if I turn in...well, let me go run an example real quick.

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Also, I got to see the most current version of the TQB cover a couple days ago. It's goooorgeous and I can't wait to be able to actually show it off. *beams*