My excitement levels are almost unbearable!
But then I put that aside, to get on with the job of checking the manuscripts for the final time.
Already I discover why hard copy proofs are so necessary – there’s a layout problem with one volume. I hadn’t realised until I saw it ‘in the flesh,’ so to speak, instead of scrolling down onscreen.
A lesson in trust
Initially I forgot to ask the printer to supply proofs before going ahead! It’s so long since I was involved in the production of a physical book, not just ebooks. That hiccup made me wonder if something had suddenly gone wrong with the serendipity with which this project has so far been blessed. (What? Did the Universe not support it after all?)
Oh, me of little faith! The printer had only got as far as doing the covers when I realised and called a halt – and the covers are lovely. Whew!
Then, the resulting delay actually worked to my advantage.
I’d invited my stepdaughter to visit, to help me (finally!) go through her late father’s papers. I’d been putting that off too long. She came to stay for a few days this week, we got the job done, and in the course of it we found among his papers some of mine – including a great photo of me at the time of the Pentridge poetry workshops which my memoir is all about. I’d forgotten I had it.
In fact, I put out a call a little while ago, to old friends and colleagues, to see if anyone had snaps of me from that era. Seems they’re quite rare! But one friend sent me a couple from only a few years later, and I chose one of those for the book. The photo my stepdaughter and I came across is very much better, and from the right time.
If I hadn’t caused a delay to the printing by being belated in requesting proofs, and if Cecilia hadn’t come to help me with her father's papers this particular week, just before the proofs arrived, I’d never have found that photo in time to insert it into the book in place of the other.
Serendipity is still happening!
Note: Yes, printer’s proof copies usually come bound, but this printer’s binding machine was damaged in the last of the severe floods we've had here in recent years, so at present she sends the binding out to a colleague. It's not essential at this stage, and would be an extra cost and more delay.