Book editing: Decoding the Lost World of the Maya

by Lindsay McAuley, independent author

Project dates: March–May 2020

Project tasks: Structural editing, copyediting, manuscript formatting

This intriguing book charts independent author Lindsay McAuley’s journey from Chichen Itza in Mexico to deep within the jungles of Guatemala. On this personal odyssey, he also travels to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and across the Caribbean on a replica Phoenician sailing ship dated to 600 BCE.

The author combines historical and mathematical analysis with his intuition to show how he believes the designers of the Temple of Kukulkan in Mexico integrated time and the Maya calendar within its architecture.

This was a fascinating and complex book editing project. My tasks included:

  • combining separate chapter files into one document and organising the front and end matter
  • creating and applying Word styles to headings and bodytext for consistent formatting
  • preparing a list of figures and tables and inserting captions supplied by the author into the manuscript (more than 100 in all)
  • copyediting the text for clarity, flow and readability, including mathematical copy
  • correcting spelling, punctuation, grammar and typos
  • creating an editorial style sheet to ensure consistency of language and style
  • editing the reference list to conform with a referencing style
  • recommending extra material and referencing
  • flagging potential copyright issues
  • editing the back-cover blurb and author bio.

Lindsay’s book can be purchased by contacting the author through his website.

Decoding the Lost World of the Maya book cover

Hear from the author of Decoding the Lost World of the Maya

Charlotte Cottier could be described as an editing avenger. As a first-time self-publisher and independent author, I would have been lost without her precision in helping me reorganise my thoughts on paper. Charlotte is undoubtedly a highly skilled surgeon of her craft.

Lindsay McAuley

Visual artist and independent author