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Posted by on in Uncategorized

We've got a decision to make. Do we send out review copies of the book before Christmas, with the pitfalls of bad weather, Christmas mail volume and the book being dumped in a drawer as festivities get under way? Or do we wait until 2011 has well and truly got under way?
We decide that as long as the books go out before the end of the second week in December, we'll be OK. Recipients of review copies include clients, academics and people whose opinions on networking we respect. In our covering letter, we ask them to put honest reviews up on Amazon. Active PR for the book with editors and others won't start until well into the New Year, but now it's time to sit back and see what the people who really matter to us think of our handiwork.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

There's an old logic problem about a frog that's trying to get from his lily pad in the middle of the pond to the pond's edge.  Each jump he takes is exactly half the distance of the previous jump, so (at least in theory) he never quite gets to his destination.
That's what the previous weeks have felt like: every time we thought we were there with the 'final' version of the book cover and text, some minor 'gotcha' would jump up and bite us.  Probably things that the reader wouldn't even notice- but we'd know they were there.

We even discovered a mistake in which a case study mentioned a name correctly the first time, then got it wrong on three subsequent occasions.  Not a spelling or grammatical mistake, but one of those things that you can read again and again and not notice, because the brain sees what it wants to see.  Then, suddenly, seeing it out of context in a pdf file on screen, the mistake almost jumps out and grabs you by the throat.

Anyway, job done. Files uploaded and proofs on the way.

So while we're on the subject of frogs, lily ponds and conundrums, here's one for all you proof readers out there.

I first read the following sentence aged about eleven in a well thumbed green cloth bound 'What Every Boy Should Know' type of book compiled specifically for the Sons of the Empire (I wish I could lay my hands on a copy today, just for old time's sake).  I could make neither hide nor hair of it then or for years after, even when I saw the suggested result.  Only when I heard the problem aired on radio did I 'get it'.

So here it is. The following can be punctuated as a single sentence to make it read correctly and sensibly:

Newton where Perle had had had had had had had had had had had had been correct

Yes it can. Answers in a future blog, and I might even put up an audio file in my best voiceover voice to help you interpret the answer.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Writing a book isn't just about getting the words right: it's about making sure that the look and  feel of the book matches the words inside and conveys something of the author's personality.  With two co- authors, that's potentially a minefield, but what Guy Callaby, our designer, has created is a book where we're pretty sure that the collar and cuffs match.  Judith and I both love what he's done, and we hope you will too.

It's been a long slog getting the text right, and an even longer slog getting all the permissions needed for quotes, case studies and graphics with which the book is peppered.

Creating a website to match the styling of the book was something that had me worried until I came across Eric Cuthbert and his team at There-fore.com.   I knew that we wanted a  Joomla- based  Content Management System, I knew that we wanted presentation that was informative and fun but not flashy, and I knew that we didn't want to be 'taken for a ride' with an overblown web development project. What they've delivered so far has been exactly what was requested- to time and to budget. As one of those people who prefers to ride shotgun with a designer to get web changes right first time rather than have endless rounds of iterations, working with There-fore's  Przemek Kenar has been a real pleasure.

As the sky darkens for the Guy Fawkes weekend, it's frustrating that we'll have to wait until next week for very last tiny pieces of the jigsaw to be added to the book (authors' photo by Ali Baskerville of ericart.co.uk) and website (tweaking functionality).

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