Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Gathering Momentum

It's been all go - the nightmare of proofing or at least having another proof read of, Cartwheels Collective Publishing's latest book, a Brief History of Justice, has been continuing, as author and printer negotiate what went wrong with the galley proofs. As I've observed in previous blog entries, no one publishes a book without being crazy or at best prepared to deal with a lot of stress. So another morning has been spent changing the layout and font of the main text, which in turn necessitates changing all the page numbers...for some 67 chapters...plus the prelims...and then noticing with horror that the last chapter doesn't seem to have been proofed at all! so of course, it has to be done too...Never mind finding those places where a word has been put into 'find and replace', and of course the computer has found a word within a word - say 'rent' in 'apparently' and changed them all regardless so you get a word like 'appatornly' as it takes out the said rent and replaces it with a 'torn' just to use an example. Printing a book is a nightmare, and printing a philosophy book, with all its complex use of language and names of philosophers and philosophical terms, (even in an accessible book of short essays!) is doubly so. Expect a deal of shouting and wondering how your co-editor could possibly have missed this or that.
The answer is of course you/they did. Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason' or J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' spent years, decades indeed before all the typos were gone - a single work, especially over three hundred pages or four hundred pages long will suffer from such mistakes until printed more than once, possibly more than several reprints. It's far too big a task for anyone with three jobs, or for two people with three jobs, to ever get right first time. But the thing is that it is getting done.

Despite (as I've also written before) the easy bit being the writing, the printing being the nightmare, and the actual selling the real hard work, I'm looking forward to seeing a shiny new book by the press ready for sale.

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