Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
More Adventures In Publishing
by admin - 23:15 on 04 April 2011
What a day – this self-publishing business can be hard work.
The latest drama began when Marten James learned from Brian, Norman's sidekick, that not only had printing of The Bumper Book of Black Isle Snappery's new run not yet begun – a week after the promised start date – but that they didn't have the paper to print it on.
Three authors immediately began chasing the alternative printers already sounded out to find out how quickly they could turn around a short print run, and my planned afternoon of learning new songs for tonight's gathering of Shaker was abandoned in favour of preparing sample page files for email to Dunfermline and a DVD of complete page files for delivery to an Inverness printer tomorrow.
Then, a further twist. James phoned Norman and Co again, to speak strongly to the boss himself, but was told by an underling that he was busy showing First Minister Alex Salmond around the premises. It's amazing where electioneering will take an MSP.
When James did get Norman on the phone his first question was: “Can you give a copy of the book to Mr S?” The reply from Norman (who printed half-a-dozen for his firm's purposes and is clearly proud of his work) was: “I already have.”
So The Bumper Book will shortly grace a bookshelf somewhere in Holyrood. You can tell how pleased Alex was to receive his gift.
Further conversation elicited a promise that printing will begin tomorrow, when the paper is expected to arrive, and we should have the books by April 18. Hmmm... we'll see.
Demand for the tome continues to be high: the waiting list grows and online orders are now in the pending tray. Some readers are so impatient that yesterday one bought a copy on Blurb, despite the higher price. To discourage such behaviour (we earn much less that way, after all) I pushed up the Blurb price to £30 and reminded visitors that a cheaper and better-quality product could be bought from us.
But some people won't be told – today someone bought a £30 copy. I've now increased the Blurb price to £50 and made the don't-buy-here notice even more prominent. If that doesn't work I'll make the price £100.
If you wonder why I don't just switch off the Blurb page, that way we'd lose the preview.
What with one thing and another there was little time for snappery today, but despite that some notable wildlife was observed. This morning (cameraless) I watched a red squirrel while paying a call on the former Chief Gnome's former right-hand man – I have permission to return any time with the Pentax – and this afternoon goldfinches were seen on the feeders for the first time this year.
And this evening, while writing this very blog, I spotted one of the resident mice who darted across the kitchen floor into its refuge among the shoes that live under the stairs and within handy distance of Bess's biscuits. (Do you still want to stay the weekend, Dee?)
However, the highlight was a new pine marten visitor – the smallest seen on our windowsill. Marten websites and James the expert agree that it's too early in the year for this to be a kit, so I'm intrigued where something so teeny has come from. It was at most two-thirds the size of Mystery Marten, maybe half the size. We'll keep watching.
As for Shaker, the curse continues. The rehearsal was cancelled at the last minute because Matt injured himself – a one-footed drummer's as much use as a one-handed guitarist.
Can't wait for next instalment ...
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