So as I said in the first post, when you get galleys you actually have a bound book (if incomplete and not as nice as your future finished book) in your hands, which is a big deal. But page proofs, even though they’re not bound, are the last step in terms of dealing with the words. You actually see how the pages will look like (my very sharp art director has, for instance, used the shield from the Highway 61 as a graphic to set off the chapter numbers, which I like very much), which is fun.
Of course, the main thing I was doing was proof reading. There’s a professional proofreader – nobody can properly proof themselves – but that didn’t stop me from finding some very embarrassing mistakes…since I’ve fixed it, I can confess now that I wrote about the “House Unamerican Affairs (of course it should be “Activities”) Committee”—where the hell did that come from?—at one point, but while it’s in the galleys, it won’t make the final version. So that’s done now.
There will be a 16 page photo insert, which will include some Library of Congress pictures of older stuff, some wonderful images of Mississippi John Hurt, Dylan, and Baez from Dick Waterman, and some great atmospheric stuff from along the river (Charlie Patton’s grave, Hannibal, the mine in Hibbing, and so forth) by Susana Millman. And I’m working away on getting permission from various music publishers for the right to quote from lyrics…a slow business.
But October’s getting nearer – I can feel it.