Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Away we go - Part III

Yeah okay. I know this is the first here, but hopefully the first of many. If all goes well, I will be documenting the continuing growth of my life as a writer. The word hopefully here is significant. But on with the news ...

Last week, before my sojourn to the concrete wilds of Sydney I created my first book. Not had it published or saw it turn up somewhere on a website. From scratch, and using ,materials found in my own home (some of which i bought from ebay - love ebay) I created a galley copy of my new collection (ten years in the making is new, ain't it?) of short stories A TOUCH OF EVIL. I now have a crude, but functional physical book. You can turn pages, look at words, actually read them and all sorts of good booky type stuff. And I am chuffed. Yes, you read it. Chuffed.

Making this thing was a trial, having never attempted that much formatting in one sitting, which turned out to be several sittings, and despite the fact that I still haven't actually gone through the whole thing, I have found errors (hey, there was bound to be some) that on screen I would never have even thought of. Most important is pagination, the layout of where the pages go. I know some wags out there will be hooting with derision. Page one follows page two and so on, they will snicker. My response - awww duhhhhhhhh!!!

No, as I have seen, and on inspection confirmed, there is a method in this madness of laying out a book. The first page of every story needs to on be the right hand page. Therefore, by that logic, page 1 is now right hand rather than left hand. Easy to fix, but on screen who gives a rats, right? Having that one line too many for a neat page ending - a little more tricky to fix, but had me do another edit and I lost some bits I missed in earlier edits, making the story that little bit better.

It also helped me redesign my corporate log for my publishing arm, which - thanks to LULU - will allow me to be the master of my own domain as far as printing and distribution, anyway. And I now look at publishing and think Shit! How do the big boys do it so easily.

But enough. This is my first post here and I hope you enjoy it. Please respond if you have pertinent comments, advice or discussions to add. If you spam me you are toast.

Thanks for reading. More to follow.



  1. Congrats on completing the task Barry!! I have tried formatting to get a decent pdf file for proof reading, and even that takes a few trials. The errors you notice when your work is in print seem so obvious, when they seem to hide when on the screen.
    Is Touch of Evil available yet? Where and when?
    It will be interesting to see how your experiences with working with Next Stop Hollywood, compare to creating your own book!
    Keep us posted!!

  2. That seems like a huge task, Barry. My publisher bemoans the formatting problems too. Better her than me, I say. I did print out my ms and made a beautiful glossy A4 cover for it and then had it bound. You are so right, it is easier to pick up the typos and gaps in hardcopy and I think it is easier to read than off the screen too.

    I knew about the opening page of the story being on the right hand side, preferably beginning with page 7 and the total pages should be divisible by 4, even if that means having blanks at the back of the book. There was a good reason but I can't remember, now.

  3. All I can say is - Congratulations, Barry.

  4. Thanks for responding. No, it's not out yet, but so soon i can taste it. already trying to tee up signing days and stuff. Posting a new bit now...