PUBLISHING DIARY: What to do after the oh-no second… Euyep! I messed up! See, I completely finished my edits on the Beyond: Conversion this weekend and then started applying them to what I THOUGHT was the master edit copy. However, not so much in reality. So, I placed all of the edits against the older manuscript. Arrrg! Crud! Now what?
Okay, here’s what I did! I now have two different files, each with different edits in them. Thankfully, I had set “Track Changes” in Word, so I know what changes I applied to whatever version that was I had changed. So, first plan – rename the darn file I’ve recently changed as the “Mater Edit Copy” and put the date and time at the top. Hopefully, that will prevent another fistful of stupidity.
Next thing, I found the version of the manuscript I used to convert the book to Kindle format. So, this version has the edits that were done BEFORE I started going through the book on Kindle (and there were quite a few, let me tell you). I have no hope of remembering what these were, so I took the “Master Edit Copy” and the “Kindle Copy” and converted both of them to STRAIGHT TEXT FILES! Why? Why, you ask? Well, thankfully, I have an ace in the hole when it comes to file comparisons – thanks to advice from a friend at work!
She introduced me to a lovely little program named “WinMerge.” I was able to put the “Master Edit Copy” in its left pane and the “Kindle Copy” in the right pane, and then see the differences between the files clear as day! Now, was it a fast process to find the edits and merge them over? Nope. It took hours, and it was fairly brain dead work. However, it was a steady course to getting what I wanted – namely, ONE file with all of the changes in it.
Okay, so what are the lessons here? First, version your files no matter what – If I had done that, I wouldn’t have had the problem. Second, (something I did right) use “Track Changes” in Word. Third, don’t delete what you think are old versions. Fourth, even if your method of fixing your mistake is long and slow, stick with it. To quote from Frank Herbert – “The slow way is the safe way.”
So, what are my next steps? Well, now that the edit is complete, I want to publish out the file with the changes to my editors so they can see what I’ve done. That way, they don’t need to tell me about edits I’ve already made.
Thanks! See you in the future!