Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

The end of an era

by Rob - September 18th, 2009.
Filed under: Publishing, Wake.

Received today, via FedEx, the actual production manuscript for my novel Wake, returned from Ace Science Fiction, my New York publisher. This manuscript is the one that was marked up (in various colors of pen and pencil) by the copyeditor and the book designer and me (and Carolyn, too). I now have 18 such master manuscripts in my files, one for each of my novels to date.

But this will be the last one. Ace is switching over entirely to electronic production (they’ve come a long way since 1991, when, after much pushing by me and my Ace editor back then, Peter Heck, my Far-Seer, was the very first novel they ever typeset from an author’s computer disk).

I now submit my manuscripts by email, and starting with Watch, the second WWW novel, they’re being copyedited electronically, too. It’s more efficient, yes, but it does signal the end of an era, and, of course, the kind of single, master marked-up manuscript that will no longer be produced was of considerable academic interest (I’m getting close to being ready to donate my papers to an institution). The times, they do change …

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