which is to say, I haven’t started the serious read-through of them yet.
They’re due back August 24th, so have to get moving on that. This week. It’s just that all sorts of things have happened–they arrived just before my birthday (and I DON’T read galleys on my birthday), and then we had a vomiting-child episode that occupied everyone for a while, and then when I DID look at them, it turned out that the pages were photocopied instead of laser-printed, which makes it impossible to judge the quality of the maps/graphics/timelines, so I had to ask for a new copy, and then…
Well, I just don’t like reading galleys. You have to pay very close attention to your own words while knowing, all the time, that you can’t make any more major changes. A quarter of the way through the book, you start to think about all the ways you could have done a better job. By the time you’re halfway through, you’re practically gagging on your own prose. (Sorry, kind of have gagging on the mind still.)
I did do an initial look-through and noticed to my alarm that all of the maps had been shrunk down as much as half an inch from the previous book. You probably can’t tell the difference very well from a photo, but here they are side by side, a full page map from The History of the Ancient World and the same size map in the Medieval World galleys (note the extra lines of text on the bottom page).
In some cases, the reduction in size made the maps much harder to read. Even when it didn’t, it just made the pages look…squinched. The first book was so clear and uncluttered.
So I went back and forth with my Norton editor, who talked to production, and they’ve agreed to restore all maps to the original sizes. Which is an excellent and admirable thing for them to do, particularly since this will add fifty pages or so to the book and make it more expensive to print.
Now that’s been settled, all I have to do is READ the thing.