This week and next week are my busiest weeks of the year. I’m a free-lance copy editor, working primarily for my former employer, Publishers Weekly magazine. Next week is the publishing and bookselling industries’ trade show, now called BookExpo, followed by a new consumer/readers’ show called BookCon, and PW does a daily publication called Show Daily each of the four days of the two conventions. Each is full of advertising, and the printer needs lots of pages in advance, called the preprint, and that’s what we’re working on this week.
For the past month I’ve been copy editing dozens of stories at home. This week I, and the two editors, get to read the page proofs, at least twice, after our art director does layouts and prints pages.
So today, I arrived at the office (this work can’t really be done long distance) around 11, bringing my breakfast with me. Spent the next eight hours reading pages, answering copy editing questions, kibbitzing with my editors, recommending a movie to the fiction reviews editor, snacked on the Girl Scout cookies brought by the Show Daily editor, chatted baseball with the publisher (he’s a Yankees fan, I’m a Mets fan).
When I got home at 8, I ate my takeout soup while watching the Mets lose, read some more page proofs and made corrections. E-mailed the nonfiction reviews editors that I would be late working on their files. Washed the dishes. Finally got a chance to balance my checkbook. Did my daily crossword puzzle. Packed up my backpack for tomorrow—when it will be a repeat of the above.