March 5th is a date I hanker back to – a time when life was more normal.
I was flying to Dubai for a quick set of club gigs and I had a very busy remaining March to return to with a series of dinners and events to speak at.
But who knew what lay ahead?
That I would not speak at any of these events and in fact that these gigs in Dubai might even be my last gigs of the entire year. Comedians are not considered key workers - which I guess is probably about right.
March 5th this year was also notable because it was World Book Day – a day that is necessary in our digital age to remind people of these things called Books. And very important they are too.
The CIO of Dominic Holland Corp – called me to ask what I had planned for World Book Day?
Obviously, my Chief Information Officer is just a friend and I am not a Corporation btw – but she is persuasive and sitting in a departure lounge at Heathrow, we hastily conceive an offer for my books on this auspicious day, World Book Day.
(“A digital strategic marketing initiative”, according to my friend)
I have gigs to do and I’m thinking of stuff I might do on stage.
But when I land in Dubai, I realise that I have some backtracking to do because the half price offer has created the busiest day ever on my on-line shop. Not to rival Lee Child or JK Rowling, but exciting nevertheless and a seductive glimpse of what is out there and available.
Included in my offer – is a promise to my first 10 customers that day – a free signed copy of my impending new novel, The Fruit Bowl.
I say new novel…
…when in fact, it is really an updated novel that I previously published entitled, A Man’s Life.
Like a cover version, I suppose. Like the way that singers/bands have the temerity to release their own version of a previously recorded song.
Although in this instance and in my defence, at least I wrote the original novel and so I have every right to go for the new and improved Version 2.
And not to just to improve the manuscript but also to purge the typos that somehow had not been caught by the professional copy editor of the original novel – and marred too many people’s enjoyment of my story.
At over 100,000 words, this is not a trifling task and I quickly realise that there are many typos.
Then there is matter of having a new jacket designed – having the new manuscript read and signed off by people I trust and with an eye for errant typos. Then having said manuscript (clean and typo free) formatted by another professional for print-on-demand platforms and eBook versions also – and then delicately uploading these files to the fiendishly complex and sensitive on-line platforms ready for publication date.
13th July 2020 BTW
The whole exercise is intricate and laboured. In more plain speak, a complete ball ache – and yet I managed to get over the line – with some considerable help from a few kind friends. And Sam again, an original editor, so clearly as blind as me!
And I was able to order myself a small number of copies for friends and family and of course, my winners.
I was delighted to dispatch copies to the following who span the globe…
Morgan Chaston Hudspeth
George Louise Felstead
And sitting down with my new (pristine) novel – to record a video reading of Chapter 1 for my Patreon site, imagine my gall when I spot a typo on page 2! And then another on page 3…
It’s a disaster.
An image here of the dog ears!
The thing is laden with errors and I need to start again. To proceed through the entire manuscript to make the corrections. Pay for re-formatting and then re-upload…
And so the above recipients have books that are already out-of-date. My apologies.
I have said before on this blog that I have a sort of literary blindness when it comes to my writing. My brain sees what it knows it is trying to say and this is costly and tiresome for someone who is hoping to write for a living – (at least while I cannot gig, anyway).
The Fruit Bowl is coming soon and as ever I have high hopes and evrthng crosd.