Thursday, June 7, 2012

"You can have too many cooks in the kitchen, but you can never have too many proofreaders."

Our last greatest task in creating our Nepali-English picture book has been to attempt to assure the accuracy of the Nepali text in the folktale.  We worked with Narad Adhikari, Nilhari Bhandari, and Kapil Dhungel. On the final design that was already with Sid Hall at Hobblebush Books,
Page from The Story of a Pumpkin where proofreaders found words we had to fix. *
Nilhari  and Kapil  found some misspellings. We no longer had a word document  to edit.  It was type set in InDesign. We were under deadline with Sid to send the book to the printer. It was Friday night.  Kapil had penciled corrections on a sheet of white lined paper.  Nilhari had written them on the manuscript (like the page above).  They didn’t always agree on words to be corrected. But we all wanted  the book to be right.  At the last minute, Sid found a way for us to get corrections to him.  Narad typed up the words that he agreed needed to be corrected.   Still using Preeti font, he typed these words into a word document.  My job  on Saturday morning was to go into Sid’s PDF file, and highlight the Nepali words that needed to be replaced.  We e-mailed Narad’s word list – 15 words – and the pdf with 15 highlighted words back to Sid.  In less than an hour Sid e-mailed back, “It worked like a charm.”  I have no idea how he did it, but Sid brought those Nepali words into the type set book.
One other change:  at the last minute we decided to do a split run, hardback and paperback.  Sid e-mailed:  ”You’re going to need another ISBN, then.”   Now we know we need a new ISBN for the book in any format it’s in,  hardback, paper, e-book, pdf.  So quick, I got another ISBN for the hardback.  Sid is a dream to work with. He did not panic.  He simply mentioned that he thought we had proofread before we gave him the book.  But every time we got a proof to look at,  we saw a word or letter  that had to change.  Thank you, Sid.  As I write this, The Pumpkin is in the hands of the printer.
Narad Adhikari spoke the words that are the title to this post.  
* P.s. What do the Nepali words mean? Well, this is a dramatic scene.  The pumpkin, our hero, has just TOLD the king that he wants to MARRY one of his daughters. No spoilers here. But the pumpkin is very convincing. 

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