Friday, August 2, 2013

My Rod and My Staff

2nd August 2013

The internet is an amazing thing - if blog-hits are anything to go by, my book should sell really well in Latvia, pretty well in the United States, but it won't be flying off the shelves in the United Kingdom. Of course, it won't be on any shelves in the United Kingdom until possibly and hopefully the United Kingdom is no longer the United Kingdom, but Scotland and England side by equal side. The book  will be available on Amazon UK until then, and is already there for pre-order.
There has been a lot of activity between me and the publishing house in the last weeks, almost as though it weren't seven months before publication. I have been promised galleys this month, so perhaps that is why they are busily trying to assemble the book as it will appear next March. Galleys (I had to look this up myself) are bound copies of the book, as close to the final copy as they can get. It will look like the final copy, but still might end up having things changed. I am not yet sure if it comes with the cover on it. But it will probably have "For Preview Only" stamped across the front, just so no one can sneak it off and sell it. Apparently the galley copy of "To Kill A Mocking bird" eventually sold for much more than the first edition of the original book. It's excruciating in a way being at this stage, because if I had the time over, I would probably change quite a bit in the book, explain some things, expand some parts. I just feel that I am much looser with the material now and the beginning of the book in particular would be less stilted if I could redo it. But it is too late for that, and I just have to let it go. I read that Emily Bronte was never satisfied with "Wuthering Heights," and would have altered things after it was published. Anyway, I am in good company.
Galleys are also put together for reviewers, which makes me more than a little nervous.

 Last week I filled out my part for the book-club section at the back of the book. This week I got samples of actual pages, any page that might look different from its neighbours, like the chapter headings (complete with a sketch of an antique-looking clock - not sure about the clock, but at this point I am not fighting. If they spell Scottish "whisky" right (the proof reader was trying to redo it as Irish "whiskey," heaven forbid) and allow me the odd Scottish coloquialism - they fear for the brains of the American reader, but there are hardly any Scottish words in the text, and where they appear they do so in context, so perhaps they underestimate the great American reader.)
My agent's prononouncement on the page samples is that they are "gorgeous," so I am not arguing. I got to see the acknowledgment and dedication pages and the title page, also a page with a break in the text that required a little Celtic squiggle. I dedicated the book to my father, who is no longer with us but for whom this publication might have been a crowning moment. He took out an ad in the local paper of his home town when I got into Oxford, for goodness sake! Let's hope the veil of time doesn't ultimately separate us from the dead and that on some plane they participate in these peak moments. I am currently reading a book by Anthony Peake which suggests that death, as in the complete dying of the light, is a logical implausibility, but that is a whole different story for a whole different blog. His, for example. I just hope my dad is around in some form or other to see that something came of the neurotic teenage years and the flustered early twenties. He didn't live much past that, and that was oh so long ago. I hope people who knew him will smile when they see the dedication and know that the apple doesn't ever fall too far from the tree.

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