Final edits and endorsements

A quick update to share: I’m working this week on the final copy-editing of my book. That mostly means ensuring the text adheres to the Chicago Manual of Style, something I’m not accustomed to as a reporter (we use the Associated Press stylebook). And the lion’s share of the editing is fixing end notes, of which the book has about 700. It is not exhilarating work, to say the least, but I recognize the importance of it. I spent years in libraries taking books off the shelves and scouring the index and notes for primary sources to use in my own book, so I want to be sure to leave good directions for future scholars.

After I turn the manuscript back in, it goes to someone called a compositor, who basically turns it from a Word document into the pages of a book. I receive that in September and then get one more chance to go through it for typos and very minor errors. That is also when the index gets created.

There is one fun thing happening right now: I’m receiving blurbs to put on the back cover of the book and online. I’ve got several in hand that I’ll share over the next few months, including some from prominent national researchers that I’m very proud to have received. For now I’ll share a local one, from Joan Coles Howard. She is the daughter of pioneering Black Rochester journalist Howard W. Coles, who founded The Voice newspaper in 1934. I write about her dad in the book and also use his research (his papers at the Rochester Museum and Science Center are a tremendous resource).

Joan worked alongside her dad on the newspaper for many years then succeeded him after his death. She’s now working with Teen Empowerment and others on a few projects to maintain the history of the Black Third Ward, a neighborhood of which her family was an integral part. Here is what she was kind enough to write about my book:

“Everyone should read Justin Murphy’s Your Children are Very Greatly in Danger. The book should be read far and wide because it provides a better understanding of the historical realities that have brought us to where we are today. The issues addressed here are American issues and not confined to Rochester.”

Thanks, Joan! As I said, I’ll share more endorsements as soon as I finish with these (expletive) end notes.

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