The challenges of being a riter…

TFB2

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?

Er…

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)

Yeah, whatever!

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…

Julia King

Avery Wickersham

Morgan Chaston Hudspeth

Heather Foster

Melanie Lafluer

Michelle Grohl

Louise Holden

Emily Dooley

Shawn Collins

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.

 

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45 Comments

  1. Florence June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Sounds absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Vatika June 21, 2020
      Reply

      Microsoft Word also has a read-aloud function! So, it can do the reading for you and it might be easier to catch on to any errors. I have used it once before for a piece I wrote.
      Also Happy Father’s Day! Hope it’s delightful.

    • Michelle S June 21, 2020
      Reply

      What a shame a “well done ”
      job is so hard to come by these days . Hopefully third-times-a-charm for you .Good luck to you

  2. Jo June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Hi, you have probably heard about this before, but I write a lot of essays in college and I have the same problem. What I do to avoid skipping over typos is either read it out loud as you recently did, or change the font before correcting the paper. What my teacher says is that when you change the font your brain reads it as if it was a brand new paper, so you don’t “guess” any words and pass over the mistakes.

    I hope this helps you with future books!

    • Dom June 21, 2020
      Reply

      thanks but what future books?

  3. Paul O June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Happy fathers day. Hope the entire Holland Company treats you well. Breakfast in bed, leaving the house for some quiet time, a long walk in the park with your favorite (Tessa), a delightful meal, and a few drinks at your fav pub. Cheers!

    • Dom June 21, 2020
      Reply

      none of the above – but a game of golf with 7 mates and all back to mine for cold beers, racks of ribs and apple crumble courtesy of Nikki and Sam. No complaints my end. I am a lucky man. I know this.

      • Camila :) June 21, 2020
        Reply

        Probably my favorite days are when i see that there is a new blog to read!! Thank you for that!! And happy Father’s Day ♥️

        • Dom June 21, 2020
          Reply

          my pleasure. A great relief to have readers!

  4. Regina June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Literary blindness is a terrible affliction. I find it affects not just things I hope to publish in the future, but even social media posts and comments I write on blogs.
    Happy Father’s Day btw! (At least from the US. Is the date the same in the UK?)

    • Dom June 21, 2020
      Reply

      I didn’t know it was until this morning

  5. Lorraine June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Read the blog on your site and loved it Dom. Just wishing you a wonderful Father’s Day. Hope you got more than “a pat on the back” quoting one of your son’s

    • Dom June 21, 2020
      Reply

      me too (but with no hash tag)

  6. hannah June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Happy Fathers Day Dom !1 I hope you have had an amazing day with your family and you have may be treated yourself to some more golf !! Hopefully they let you win this time seen as it is your day. But I’m so excited for the book and I am sure it will turn out great

    • Dom June 21, 2020
      Reply

      that’s the plan, thank you

  7. Bethany June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Hi Dom! I understand that you have a professional copy editor, but if you ever need a fresh pair of eyes to check for typos, I would love to help you. I am not a professional, but I have had some practice copy editing and really enjoy it. If you have any questions, please email me at bethanyk5404@gmail.com 🙂

    • Bethany June 21, 2020
      Reply

      Oh, and just to make it absolutely clear, I wouldn’t expect anything in return It’d be enough just to be able to read your novel!

      • Bethany June 21, 2020
        Reply

        Yikes…that last comment had a typo haha. In between “return” and “It’d”, I had inserted an emoji, but it disappeared when I submitted the comment lol.

    • Dom June 21, 2020
      Reply

      in all honesty Bethany, I don’t think this would be fair of me to accept but thank you

      • Bethany June 21, 2020
        Reply

        I really wouldn’t mind — it’s a hobby. But no problem! 🙂

      • David F. June 21, 2020
        Reply

        I’m looking forward to reading it! anyway it’s always a pleasure to read your blogs and happy Father’s Day
        P.s. I wrote you a message on Messenger on June 1st, if you could read it you would make me happy! 

  8. Jess June 21, 2020
    Reply

    I tend to have this “literary blindness” too. I received very good advice for my English teacher a few years back. She always told me to first of all, not worry about the typos and get the idea out and then to review the first draft (and to go easy on yourself while doing it) Hope it helps.
    Hope you had a good father’s day! I frantically tried to make a card this morning and failed, and ended up giving my dad an e-card and chocolates. (In my defence he liked it)

  9. Kimberly June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Oh, man. I know the frustration! I’m so sorry, you are so close too. I also do the same thing though and it drives me nuts. I just deleted a bunch of unsolicited advice of tools I used. Instead, I will wish you a happy Father’s Day. I don’t know if the UK is celebrating Dads today, probably not. But you seem to have done a great job raising sons. Having all daughters myself-5 – I am impressed with what your family has done with The Brother’s Trust. You have definitely left a special mark in this world. A very good one.

    • (: June 21, 2020
      Reply

      Happy father’s day Dominic!! Hope you have an amazing day, God bless you and your family

  10. Carla June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Great blog!! I’m sorry for the typos all over again haha.
    Happy Father’s Day to you Dom! I’m 100% sure you’re a great “dadster” haha! Have an amazing day!!

  11. Sydnee Coleman June 21, 2020
    Reply

    First off, Happy Father’s Day, Mr. H
    Second, lovely blog, and I’m the same when it comes to my writing, when I (If I ever) finish a story I put it away for a bit, and get it back out, to see if there are any typos littered through out it. I have the habit of making “that” into “the” and “how” into “who” and vice versa. Also, I just can’t spell to save my life sometimes. I wish you luck and hope it turns out ok

  12. Gina June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Dom, kudos to you for the effort! I’ve read somewhere that our brains can read words even if the letters are crazily skewed as long as the first and last letters are correct. Tanhk you for the geart raed!
    P.s. sending social distant love and hugs to you and the fam.

  13. Mu June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Great post, every Sunday, it is a real treat.
    Typos are hell.
    Following is a link to Ilona Andrews‘ blog. She has to create a policy for her readers to spot typos! Maybe a good idea for Patreon s’ subscribers, they could find the typo.
    https://ilona-andrews.com/2020/clarification-on-comment-policy/
    Good luck, I am looking for the novel in July,

  14. Márcia Malaquias June 21, 2020
    Reply

    I liked the cover of the book, but today is dad’s day in England 😉 what hilarious gift or card did you receive today?
    Happy Dad’s Day ❤️

  15. Julia King June 21, 2020
    Reply

    This is hilarious! I am so excited to read this book even if it does have typos. And if you ever need someone to proof read in the future, I’ve had co-workers ask me to check their grammar and spelling in emails, ha! (*writer, although I’m pretty sure that mistake was intentional)

  16. louise June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Hi Dominic.I loved reading it first time round and just re read it and loved it even more (typos included) Hope you are all keeping well.Xx

    • Dom June 22, 2020
      Reply

      ta lou, you must have loved all the old refs from our childhood. Back at ya, man

      • louise June 23, 2020
        Reply

        I sure did..Happy happy times at St Eddies…By the way I loved I, Gabriel.One of my fav lockdown reads.XX

        • Dom June 24, 2020
          Reply

          hey louise – thanks for reading IG – I loved writing that story, albeit not an easy novel to write. Everything crossed for The Fruit Bowl…

  17. Beth June 21, 2020
    Reply

    Don’t worry I’m sure everyone suffers from literary blindness
    I’ve tried getting my younger brother to read (Harry Potter specifically since they started the chapter readings online) but it is so hard to get him to actually follow along. He’s almost 9 and thinks its an achievement to read a ‘My 1st ABC’ book… I don’t even know why we still have that book

  18. Mi June 22, 2020
    Reply

    😉 Blessings to you guys! :-*

  19. Ree June 22, 2020
    Reply

    As a newly published author myself, I completely understand the challenges. I read A Man’s Life a few years ago and cannot wait for The Fruit Bowl. Favorite books are meant to be read over and over again and yours are no exception. Best of luck!

    • Dom June 22, 2020
      Reply

      hey that’s v kind of you to say so, thank you

  20. Jim June 24, 2020
    Reply

    Recently started enjoying your blog.
    I recently had a Veteran’s Memorial Built for our town. I read the inscription over and over. I cannot believe I did not notice that “Country” was spelled “County”. Luckily I had my daughter read it and noticed the error. You know the saying “it’s not written in stone”
    Well it would of been and an expensive error that would not of been fixable. Always have someone else proof read!!!

    • Dom June 24, 2020
      Reply

      lovely story Jim – a salutary lesson, thank you

      • Jim June 24, 2020
        Reply

        Enjoyed reading Eclipsed. I have no idea where anything near envy or jealousy towards Tom is expressed.

        • Dom June 25, 2020
          Reply

          quite right, thank you. With great energy and determination, I have managed to keep these feelings concealed!

          • Jim June 27, 2020

            I was going to add – Just well earned PRIDE.

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