Biography Progress Report #27: The Proofs Are Proofed

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 225

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks or so going over the hard-copy proofs of Ann Dvorak, Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel with a fine-toothed comb, hopefully finding any remaining issues. Yesterday, I sent off around 60 pages with corrections. I spotted a few typos here and there and a couple of glaring errors.  Most of my changes were small things like adjusting sentences to make more sense and eliminating word repetition. I used the extremely boring word “effective/effectively” so many times to describe Ann’s performances, that I was ready to punch myself.

If there are two things I have learned while writing this book (I actually learned hundreds of things), they are; a 100,000 word manuscript is going to have a lot of mistakes and typos, and I am a terrible proofreader. Prior to submitting my first draft to University Press of Kentucky, I had two very capable proofreaders go over it, one of which is a walking encyclopedia of classic cinema. They both found many corrections, and then it went to a copy editor who made additional revisions. From there, I received the laid-out proof which I read twice, along with Indexer Kim who also read it and found the word “complied” instead of “complied.” That mistake got by four of us. Kentucky also sent the proof to an additional proofreader. That person found “impeding” instead of “impending,” “absolved” instead of “absorbed,” and “closest” instead of “closet.” They didn’t even catch “complied!” For the record, I found none of these incorrectly used words, which was very frustrating.

At this point, there have been at least six people who have read this thing, looking for mistakes. I like to think that we caught them all, but who knows? So, when you finally have Ann Dvorak, Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel in your hands, please be assured that twelve eyes did their damnedest to make this book perfect.


  1. Scott August 13, 2013

    You have complied, here on Day 225, a very interesting account of the painstaking attention to detail that is attendant to writing and publishing a book.

    Since many/most of us have not (and, in all probability, never will) do likewise, this is the closet we’ll come to knowing what the process is like. So getting to vicariously feel the various elations and frustrations that you describe from time to time on here, as it relates to the project, is, in combination with the wealth of knowledge to be learned about the subject herself and her times, a most welcome addition.

    So as we, somewhat impatiently at this point in time, await the impeding release of “Ann Dvorak, Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel” please don’t fret over miniscule errors that might remain in the finished product. In the big picture, it is certain that any potential reader will be far too absolved in discovering a fascinating subject to even notice or care.

  2. admin August 13, 2013

    Well played, sir. And thanks!

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