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We’ve nearly reached the light at the end of the tunnel, but ….

Yes! We have approved the typesetting – yahoo - but as ever there is a tale. I stated last week that I would be chasing the publisher, and I did, on Thursday. Are you surprised to hear that the day after I sent my email the file was sent to us for approval with no mention of my email (this is the second time this has happened i.e. a chasing email not mentioned in the reply). A quick peruse before we joined friends for a meal revealed a wrong picture had been used in one of the sets of photographs. This sort of thing always worries us, because you wonder what other mistakes have been made. We had a weekend job of checking the whole manuscript once again. I will resume this story when I reach Monday.

As just stated, on Friday evening we did something ‘normal’ and not book related (although we did take our pretend book along as one must take every opportunity to take pictures and videos for use on social media) and went for a meal with friends to a newly refurbished local pub, The Church House. It was very warm, the food was superb and the staff lovely, a very enjoyable evening.

But back to Thursday. Another early morning call to Judith’s phone; she’s on the loo so I stagger out of bed, stark bollock naked (but I guess you don’t need to know that) and wander into the kitchen (that has no curtains or blinds on the windows) searching for her phone and thinking “what’s happened now – to her dad”, but no, it was not her dad but the gas engineer, calling us, as arranged, before attending at her dads. It was a different chap to last time so I gave him him a recap on the story so far. It didn’t take him long upon arrival to find the fault. Apparently his colleague had left some sort of switch on the actuator (in the airing cupboard that houses the hot water tank) he had replaced, in the wrong position, and now everything was working correctly. Later Judith told her dad to leave the temporary oil radiators in position as she would put them away when she called with his shopping on Saturday.

The bus examination with Judith’s grand nephew did not take place as Judith’s niece had forgotten she had booked the whole family in at the dentist on Thursday afternoon, so that will have to wait until another day.

Saturday. Judith shopped and went to her dad’s whilst I DIY’d around the house, starting with resealing the shower base, erecting the new and cleaned bird boxes and then mowing the grass. Well, attempting to mow the grass, because halfway down the first strip smoke bellowed from the motor so now I wasted the best of an hour stripping it down to inspect the motor and see if it was repairable: it was not. That meant another job added to the list i.e. check the second hand ads to see what was available before searching online to purchase a new one. Update: possible sellers would not reduce prices so I ordered a new one which is currently sat in its box beside my desk waiting to be put together. There's no rush as there is biblical rain outside at the moment.

Upon returning home from her dad’s, Judith asked for a large drink. Even though her dad’s central heating is now fixed, her dad likes using the electric oil filled radiators, even though Judith tried to point out that they are more expensive to run! Whatever, it’s his money and whatever keeps him happy.

The weekend was a sporting couch potato one for us, what with SailGP sailing on both days, the Brazilian Grand Prix on both days, women's world cup rugby final, Billie Jean Cup women's tennis, 18ft Skiff sailing from Sydney Harbour on Sunday morning (we watch it on YouTube over breakfast), Manchester United live on the telly on Sunday afternoon and the men's cricket final. We were lazy and ate and drank too much, but who cares. In between all the sport we went through the manuscript once again and fortunately could find only a couple of minor faults, apart from the wrong photograph, and on Sunday evening replied to the publishers email stating that until the photograph issue is resolved we were unable to approve the manuscript for publication – we didn’t even bother to mention the minor faults.

Monday morning was a “count to ten” moment when our project manager sent an email requesting a copy of the ‘missing’ photograph as she couldn’t find one amongst our files. Take a deep breath Philip, exhale slowly and do not pull the trigger on the shotgun. I could have vented steam and replied giving the dates of the emails we sent (with the photographs attached), some resent at their request, but I did not. I replied politely and attached yet another copy of the photograph. However, within the same email we asked a question about the spine of the book, a yet unresolved issue, but have had no acknowledgement of either the email or question. It is all very frustrating.

On Monday evening we attended an authors meeting at our local library. Originally we were due to pick the grand nephew up from school and bring him back to ours for tea. However, his mum’s plans changed and she was able to pick him up after all, so that enabled us to have an afternoon vodka, or two, before catching the bus into town to call at our local ‘spoons pub for a ‘pre-gig’ meal and coffee, before making our way over to the library.

This was our first time attending such an event and we did wonder whether anyone would be there or not. No worries on that front as there was a decent audience (perhaps attracted by the free cheese and wine, although there was a refreshments contribution request bowl – I only had a card with me, so for us the cheese and wine were free) and the librarian had to fetch two chairs for us to sit at the back,

There were four local authors and each introduced themselves before giving a reading from their latest book and then taking questions. We did have a laugh during the introductions as all of the panel had degrees of one sort or another, some several, and Judith whispered to me that we at least had a BA; Bugger All! After they had all finished, the panel took general questions, and Judith kept them very busy with a multitude of questions (hey, we have a book coming out and need as much knowledge as possible), whilst I only had one question and that was about marketing. This subject kept them talking for quite a while and was interesting for us as two of the panel had deals with traditional publishers and the other two were Indie authors, like us. It was reassuring to learn that all of our research and our chosen marketing path, especially social media, was the correct way to go. The only negative of the evening was when the panel all agreed that to publish a book, one needed patience. At this, Judith gave a deep sigh; she always says she has great tolerance but little patience. It’s a little hiccup that we can overcome.

And that’s another week gone in the blink of an eye.

Don’t forget to tune in next week,

All the best, stay safe and be kind


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