Monday, August 27, 2007

Things are not too good in Godz-own

The start of the spring weather here in New Zealand should be a happy time, but the country doesn't seem to be doing too well. The exchange rate has been going up and down but mostly down like a yoyo. Milk price is going up, but that is because the dairy farmers are doing well with exports, and this will have some good 'flow-on' effects. Not so with the water-flow-on! Too much dairying and the Canterbury plains will not only get starved for water but the pollution from cows will even seep into the top-notch purity of the city water supply. The students are revolting - rampaging down to Dunedin and setting lots of fires, pelting the police and so on. This country has woken up to shocking statistics on domestic violence and judges that are not doing their job properly in defending (mostly) women from stalkers and ex-partners who bully, assault and even kill. Small children are being knocked around - some killed - on a scale that's hardly equaled in any other country. We have here the biggest prison population in OECD countries bar the USA. Six or seven major finance companies have collapsed. And so it goes on ... and I continue to find new mistakes in my book copies as I go through correcting the old ones by hand, which is most aggravating. Apart from 'whale's tale' is now mistakes in Reedon's poems, which the editor lady didn't have a chance to correct, as they were written later: 'loose' when it should be 'lose', and voice spelt 'vioce'. Actually, 'loose' rightly should rhyme with 'choose', and the spelling of 'loose' should drop the 'e'. English really is a stinkingly unreformed language (spelling-wise, at least), and far too full of fish-hooks to be a decent international language. But in publishing this book, I've basically only myself to blame. I can tell you, when I do the next book - 'The Rat People' - every word will be scrutinized before printing!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Self-publishing 'disaster' for Okraalom

My novel 'Okraalom' is out and in print, as an experimental limited first addition of 150 copies. And I must include the word 'experimental' as I've learned some bitter lessons from this experience. Mostly because I didn't 're-edit' after including all the corrections and most of the recommended changes from my editor (who I suspect also missed a number of small errors) the finished product was 'infested' with 70 or 80 mistakes - a few quite serious in relation to the consistency and meaning of the story and characters, but most merely trivial. Trivial they may be, but so many that all the copies are to an extent 'ruined' by them. All I can do is ferret the errors out and correct each copy by hand. The book is still a fine-looking book, but with hand-corrections dotted through it? I'm surprised that it is still arousing interest - copies being sold at a rather low price, and a sci-fi fantasy outfit in the USA has persisted in its interest so far.

Of course I'm cursing myself for rushing the final print through and not getting down to rigorous checking before giving the g0-ahead to the printer. But it's no use beating up on myself now. It's a case of having spent quite a big sum of money in a 'careless' way and suffering for it as I go through the tedious business of correcting copy after copy. Even today I discovered I'd missed a silly mistake: "shaped like a whale's tale". And that after I had exchanged several uncorrected copies for the supposedly fully corrected. Once the damage is done, with so many mistakes in such a large book, it's probably virtually impossible not to miss a few on first attempts to get it right. I have done about two chapters of the next book, about the distant future rather than the past as in 'Okraalom'. I will certainly take a very different and much more careful editing approach to the printing or sending-for-possible-publication of the next book.