Just another quick scan through . . .

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Quick scan resulted in at least thirty typos and a spectacular mistake at the start of a chapter.

Think I’m getting the hang of this now.

Get new copy, confine oneself to bed with tea and no phone. Read. Even though you think you’ve checked every single word, even though you can recite chunks in your sleep. Even though you are so ‘into’ the text that you suddenly stop in the supermarket, box of pasta in hand — shit that should have been a colon on page seventy-five, not a comma. Even then there will be an error somewhere.

To sooth myself I looked up ‘publishing mishaps’. The best was probably a pasta book published by Penguin. At some point the text read: take a teaspoon of freshly ground black people . . .

No hole would be big enough to swallow you up.

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YES! almost . . .

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All you other writers out there, all of you who have entered into the world of self-publishing, you know, I’m sure, what those last few hours of faffing with text and loading it all up is like . . . Finally after tears of frustration I pressed the publish button and it was all over — buy a proof copy? yes good idea. Very good idea as when I got the book. delivered pretty promptly by UPS, I had a good scan and found some glaring errors. How can I have read the damned thing forty times and not seen that chapter 21’s date was 199 rather 1999? I do remember correcting it but perhaps I didn’t save it . . . ? Anyway I’m impressed with the Lulu result so far and isn’t incredible that these things exist?

You send a pdf to where? somewhere in . . . I really don’t know where, America’s a big place; I’m not even sure if my little book passed through some huge automated machine there or in the UK. I suppose I have a romantic idea of some old bloke with a pipe and a labrador sitting by a fire in a darkened room — click — Oh another manuscript captain, go fetch, thanks, now what’s this one about? Better get the press set up again.

How many books must this factory/office/place produce every day/ How many people like myself wait keenly to see the finished product of their months/years of painstaking work?

I hope I ordered the ISBN number this time so my effort can clamber onto the pile of waiting titles to be logged onto the vast planet of Amazon.

I’ll let you know.