Biography Progress Report 24.2: What’s Going On

Year of Ann Dvorak: 205

If you watched yesterday’s video, you would have seen the grand unveiling of the hard copy proofs of the Ann Dvorak manuscript. If you didn’t watch, you basically missed me opening a box with a large stack of paper in it. But, what does that large stack of paper mean?

It means two things. First, I need to read the entire book and keep an eye out for any grammatical errors or factual ones that I may have previously missed. I spent the better part of yesterday re-reading the manuscript. At first I was apprehensive. It’s been a few months since I looked at it, and I was fearful that I would hate it. However, for the sake of sounding egotistical, I have to say that it’s a pretty good read and I’m damn proud of it.

There were two copies of the book in that box, and the second copy is for compiling an index. That’s right, I am responsible for compiling an index or hire a professional indexer for roughly $3,000. This was the part of the process I was truly dreading. Fortunately, one of my colleagues at the library who also happens to be one of my dearest friends is a cataloger with an affinity for things like indexes and offered to help. By helping, she actually meant compiling the whole index herself which she has been slamming through. Amusingly, she frequently thanks me for letting her do this, when I should actually be kissing the ground she walks on. For all the crazy Ann Dvorak has sometimes brought into my life, there has also been some outstanding people holding my hand along the way.

Once these two tasks are done, I think that’s it in terms of my involvement in the production of the book. However, I’ve got marketing and more marketing in my future, so the hard work is just beginning.


  1. Mike July 25, 2013

    Watched and enjoyed yesterday’s video – brought back memories of the Seinfeld episode involving George’s days as a “hand model”.

    So did you find any errors? Would your over familiarity with the manuscript make it more difficult for you to find mistakes? Any independent party (or parties) do a similar proofing?

    Ah, so now I know why some books have no indices. The author is either too lazy or too cheap! Surely, a “star” writer does not have to worry about such mundane matters. Same think with the marketing of the book? I know name authors do the interviews/talk shows/book signings, but they are likely not responsible for making the arrangements. Is the marketing of Ann’s bio an issue that has been discussed with the U of K Press during the writing process? Can you share with us a little of what you will be doing to get word of the book out there?

    The gestation period of “HFR” has been a long one; we fans anxiously await the birth.

  2. admin July 25, 2013

    There are small errors, like punctuation, and a couple of factual things that I caught after I had submitted the manuscript. I had two people proofread it before it was turned in, and UPK assigned a copy editor who went through the entire manuscript. Now that it’s laid out, there is going to be another proofreader assigned, in addition to me looking over it. I have stepped away from it for a few months, so I have been reviewing it with a fresher set of eyes, but I was relieved to hear that UPK is having someone else look over it.

    I am pretty sure someone like Doris Kearns Goodwin is not compiling her own index for fretting much over marketing, but as for the rest of us… I have discussed marketing a bit with UPK, but am planning on having to do a lot of it myself. My husband had a graphic novel put out by a major publisher a few years back and they literally did nothing to promote it, so we learned the hard way. UPK is really good at getting books distributed to book reviewers, bloggers, and libraries and will probably arrange some signings, but I am definitely not sitting on the sidelines and have already started making arrangements with various outlets.

  3. Mike July 25, 2013

    I got an autograph of Doris’ delightful memoir “Wait Till Next Year” at a book signing; a baseball fan, she was poignant in describing the sense of loss when her beloved Dodgers left Brooklyn for La La Land in the late 50s. Anyway, hope you can schedule some signings in the Midwest.

  4. Vienna July 26, 2013

    I’m glad you have shared with us all that has gone on in the writing of your book.i would hope that a lot of us bloggers online will publicise it when it comes out. I know I will.

  5. admin July 26, 2013

    I am willing to bet Doris did not have to arrange the signing or pay for travel. I’ll be doing Chicago in April, and if I visit my in-laws in Des Moines will try to set up something there. Since I have to foot the bill for travel, my book tour is probably going to be very limited.

  6. admin July 26, 2013

    Thanks Vienna, I really appreciate it. Some of the bloggers have already been very generous in helping to publicize it. Let’s hope it continues!

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