April 18, 2006 spout writing

WinForms 2.0 book just about ready

Mike and I submitted our last round of comments to the WinForms 2.0 book last night. The way it works is, after we submit the final” manuscript, the copy editor has his/her way with it. Then Mike read all 1300 pages, making sure that the copy editor didn’t change the meaning of anything. After that, the publisher moves everything from Word to Quark so that they have the control they need to produce photo-ready copy for the printer and sends us a set of PDFs.

With the PDFs in hand, we both read the ~1000 pages again (the move to Quark puts in the final styles), looking for things that got messed up during the move between software packages or new things that we notice. Theoretically, we’re only checking for formatting, but I always take this opportunity to read the entire book all the way through with fresh eyes (which is why I made Mike do the copy edits — so I had some time away from the book to get fresh again). That yielded about 50 pages of comments for the publisher to apply, including dropping about 5 pages of content that didn’t add enough value to be worth the space.

And then the iteration begins. We submitted 50 pages of comments on round 1, they provide round 2. We submitted 10 pages of comments on round 2, they provide round 3. Last night, we submitted about 4 comments, none of which would ever be noticed if they weren’t submitted. I asked for a round 4 (just cuz I’m anal), but for all intents and purposes, we’re done. And how do we party animals plan to celebrate? We’re taking 90 minutes for lunch. Off campus! : )

By the time all is said and done, not counting the front mater or the index, chapters 1-19 and appendices A-F will be 960 pages. It was about 1300, but we cut and we tightened up the styles to keep it to 3 digits while still covering roughly twice the technology (WinForms 2.0 is about twice as full-featured as WinForms 1.x). We were careful about not cutting anything useful, but we were ruthless about cutting stuff that didn’t meet the bar. Hopefully you’ll like the results.

Windows Forms 2.0 Programming is supposed to be printed the first week of May, so you should order yours today!