Thursday, May 25, 2006

I wonder what the day will bring?

I awoke this morning with a very stiff neck, no doubt from too much sitting in front of this computer, reading reams and reams of stuff. It has to be done, although like I said, there is no time limit. It will be in my interests to get my part of the final proof read done quickly, as once it is done the book can go to print. The sooner it goes to print, the sooner I can start to sell it and recoup the cost of publication, not to mention the money I have spent in writing it.

Coran has an interview this morning for a job that sounds very promising. It is actually a second interview, the first one being just over a week ago. Today he has to do a Delphi test so that they can see the way he works, and also meet the company boss. If all goes well, he may get the job. Unfortunately, as tends to be the case, he has not been feeling himself these past few days, with the IBS flaring up. This has been acerbated by some healing that he had from our astrologer friend Sarah Jane Grace, in exchange for doing her website. She is a very powerful healer who channels the energy of the planets, and it has really knocked him for six. He knows that he has to do this, as a lot of it is resistance on his part, so is bravely trying to go and do what he needs to do.
For my part, I am waiting for the college to ring and arrange an exam observation for some time next week, so that I can see what the job entails in more detail. The exams do not start until after half term, at which point, as the book will very shortly be out as well, I will probably need to sign off. My benefit has almost run out anyway, so there will be no point in me continuing in the system jumping through hoops in order to please them, simply for National Insurance credits. I would sooner pay voluntary self employed contributons and maintain my freedom.

At the moment it is pouring with rain, so once Coran has gone, I will go and sort out all the rubbish in our shed and take it to the dump. Once that has been done, I may decide to go back to the Church (I was there last night doing the Wednesday service), and give it a good clean. Normally Tony one of the trustees (a man cleaning!) does this, but he has gone to Thailand for a month with his new girlfriend, so the trustees have asked Coran and I to do it for a month during his absence. By the time I finish there it will probably be lunchtime, so I will go home to get some lunch and watch some dreadful daytime television. Then back to the proof reading. I am already up to chapter nine, so have made good progress. If all goes well, it may be finished by the end of the Bank Holiday and I may be holding my book within 2 weeks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The proof reader has finished

I meant to post this a few days ago, but have hardly had time to do anything at all!

The proof reader finally finished last weekend, so this meant I was busy answering reams of questions. It's a good job Richard, my Editor and owner of Authors OnLine Ltd appointed someone with a scientific background, as there were several important places where omitting words by mistake had completely changed the meaning, and only someone with this background would have realised this. He certainly proved his worth. I have not received all the amendments. These were done on screen, rather than paper copies, which I find much easier to look at. It must be a nightmare being a bonafide proof reader with all those bits of paper to keep looking at, since most of them work on paper rather than on screen. Still, the name of my publisher is Authors OnLine ...
As it is it means that I will have to have 2 documents open as I go through the amendments. Technically I don't have to, as with Word Tracker you can display different versions of the same document, flitting between them if you want. I decided that to help me read it and understand the changes that have been made (most of them are simple things, like commas etc in the wrong place, and words that should or should not be hyphenated) I will input them into my original document. Once I have done that, only then will I read the whole thing through.

Unlike with a mainstream publisher, there is no time limit for completing this. I do not intend to rush through it, but it would be good to get it finished by the end of next week, which is half term. Once the schools are back, I will be busy invigilating GCSE and A'level exams, amongst other things, so may not have as much time. I will have to think very carefully when the college ring to arrange my timetable. I need the money, but I will also need some time.

I am also celebrating the fact that I am now spending three weeks on Lundy rather than two. I noticed that the cottage was free for the week after I was due to come home a few days ago, and was not sure what to do, since I did not want this to adversely affect my promotional plans for the book. I asked my pendulum, which said, yes, you should go and you may not get another chance to go away this year. I still wasn't sure, so asked my friend Wendy to check for me. She got the same results, so I have booked it.

Having spoken to Richard, he informs me that it is up to me when I want the book to come out. All that needs to be done is for me to approve the changes made by the proof reader, he will then send the final page count to his son James, who will do the spine, and once that is done it is ready for printing! The book could be available within the month, and almost certainly by the time I go to Lundy!

It may seem like madness to be away for three weeks so soon after publication, but I will be at the end of a mobile phone should Coran or Richard need urgent queries sorted out. I feel at this stage that that third week became available for a reason - because I needed a long break in order to prepare for the mad rush that will follow! It doesn't leave me with much time to organise anything, but hey, who cares, I was not planning to have a huge book launch anyway, just a little party at the Church with a few friends.
I have already sold 100 plus copies to various people that I know through the Church and various websites, so the book will break even with a bit of luck within its first few months. All that remains is to try and get it into some shops, get some reviews in magazines etc, and get out there and sell it!

I am trying not to get nervous as this is such a big step, but one that I know I have to take. It is natural to feel like this, and I am sure all writers go through it, no matter how many books they write. I hope this will be the first of many - but who knows?