Another lurch forward!

As of yesterday, we now have a bank account for the Press.  I’ll have to link it up to PayPal and then I can get the online shop software sorted out, but we now have a mechanism for actually selling these e-books of ours!

The first title has come back from our illustrious proof-reader/editor and the second is even now in her hands.  This is all a little later than we had hoped as she spent a large part of the winter debilitated by illness, but having seen the bang-up job she did on the first script I am more convinced than ever that she is a vital part of our operation.  The schedule for the rest of the proof-reading is going to be tight, but she assures me she can meet it so I’m absolutely not going to worry about that!

Meanwhile, progress on the website has been stellar.  The new software turned out to be much more like the old software than I expected; although it calls things by different names and is organised differently it works in very much the same way and within 24 hours I was feeling fairly comfortable with it.  In case anyone doesn’t already know, I had a computer disaster over Christmas and have had to transfer from Windows-based to Linux-based software for absolutely everything – word processing, graphics, web design, the lot.  This involved an extremely steep and at times terrifying learning curve which, thank goodness, seems to be flattening out now!

To my astonishment over the past couple of days two new scripts have come in, both as the result of casual discussions I have had with their authors.  One is over 100,000 words, the other is more of a ‘taster’ at 14,000 words.  There hasn’t been time yet to read them both, let alone form any kind of opinion, but it’s obvious what I’m going to be doing over the next few days!

Also, I have been preparing the first .pdf file.  It isn’t finished yet by a long way but I’m starting to see how it will shape up and I must admit I’m rather pleased with it.  I spent much of yesterday just hyphenating – and came to the conclusion that there’s a good reason why that sounds so much like ‘hyperventilating’!  It turned out to be an unexpectedly stressful process, but a very necessary one where such short line-lengths are involved – we don’t want to end up selling masses and masses of ‘white space’, after all.  The look of the finished product is very important to me.

Over the weekend, I managed to fit in a quick ‘research trip’ to the website of one of our rival e-publishers, I won’t say which one.  I wanted to see how they had handled certain decisions with regard to site layout and organisation, to get an idea what would work for us.  While I was there, I had a more general ‘stickybeak’ around their wares – just to see what the level of the competition was.  It’s a nice website, there’s no arguing with that, although some of their decisions would not have been mine.  However they don’t appear to have anyone involved in maintaining it who has any idea how to punctuate direct speech, and when I clicked on a random title to get a sample of the text I was somewhat mystified to see a description of a ‘gregarious turret’ on a house.  Made me wonder whether there was any editing going on over there at all.

Every time I think I’m getting too obsessive about editing, too nit-picky about trivialities, I’ll go back and have a look at that site to cheer myself up.  We’ll make mistakes, I know we will, and we may have some disasters along the way, but at least now that we’re forewarned we should be able to ensure that we don’t make the same mistakes as our rivals – and let’s, in any case, hope that we never get too big to pay attention to the important little details!

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