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Seeing right through it

Posted by on 22 Mar 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Seeing right through it

When scan­ning text or images from a pub­lished source, the mater­i­al on the back of the page can show through and be dif­fi­cult to elim­in­ate. This is not helped by the fact that most flat-bed scan­ners have a white sur­face under their lid. Place a black sheet (print your own if neces­sary) face down on the back of the page to be scanned. This will swal­low the unwanted ‘show-through’ into a uni­form grey back­ground in the out­put, which is eas­ily cor­rec­ted out using the bright­ness and con­trast con­trols in the scan­ning soft­ware...

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Send three-and-fourpence*

Posted by on 21 Jan 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Send three-and-fourpence*

Some time ago I was strug­gling to under­stand why a book I was edit­ing had so many homo­phone, or near-homo­phone, words, i.e., words which soun­ded like the right ones but were (per­fectly spelt) wrong ones. Even­tu­ally I came across two entire homo­phone phrases, again per­fectly spelt, which made no sense in the con­text when viewed as text, but when read aloud soun­ded cor­rect. I finally ‘twigged’ that the manu­script was the out­put of a com­pu­ter­ised dic­ta­tion sys­tem, and asked the author to apply some basic qual­ity con­trol...

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Through a scanner smartly*

Posted by on 19 Jan 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Through a scanner smartly*

A num­ber of the books I have pub­lished are new edi­tions of mater­i­al from years ago for which the text has had to be scanned, and the scan­ning errors cor­rec­ted, before final edit­ing and type­set­ting could take place. I’m able to scan books in a non-destruct­ive man­ner; that is, they remain intact and don’t need to be opened much bey­ond a right-angle to scan each page, so there’s no dam­age to their bind­ings. I’ve put some 15,000 pages through this pro­cess so far and I’ve become quite speedy at it, though it’s not some­thing I’d...

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A discreet indication

Posted by on 1 Jan 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on A discreet indication

Blokes Up North is the account by two Royal Mar­ines officers, Kev Oliv­er and Tony Lan­cashire, of their jour­ney by sail and oar in a small open boat through Canada’s North­w­est Pas­sage. It was a best-seller by the mod­est stand­ards of Lode­star Books, which is why it is now out of print (the object of the exer­cise for a pub­lish­er!). The book was writ­ten by both authors in turn, a para­graph or two at a time, and we wanted some unob­trus­ive way to indic­ate the cur­rent ‘voice’.  I came up with a dis­creet grey ini­tial in the...

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The case for the missing …

Posted by on 9 Dec 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

The late Ken Duxbury was an exper­i­enced and resource­ful small boat sail­or and a very enga­ging writer about his exploits, but he did have one habit I hoped to per­suade him out of as I pre­pared his 1970s Lug­worm tri­logy for reis­su­ing a few years ago: he would all too fre­quently end a sen­tence, gen­er­ally at the end of a para­graph, with an ellip­sis (…) as if to sig­nal con­sequences of the fore­go­ing events. I felt that for the read­er (this one, any­way) this quickly became tire­some. For­get the dots and give us the cred­it...

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