Having corrected any grammatical errors, we thought our work was almost done. Wrong! No matter how many eyes have scanned the pages of a manuscript, it’s amazing how many times one can read through and still find misplaced or missing full stops, unwanted gaps, commas in the wrong place and other minor faults. I lost track of the hours spent making these amendments on the computer.
April rolled around. Things seemed about right. Time to submit our manuscript and the cover to Breakout Media Communications for printing. Several examples of the cover were needed to get certain colors right, but that’s all part of the process.
We learned how important it is to document everything required at the outset, to save costs and misunderstandings. Adequate margins are a must, at least 15mm all around .Nothing shouts amateur more than narrow ones. Our preference was justified text; the book size:45×205.
Of course, for such a special edition, the finest quality acid-free paper was imperative.These days, too many mainstream books are leaving the shops with cheap, yellowing pages.Above all, we took nothing for granted. Something discussed weeks earlier can easily be overlooked.Errors creep in during the printing process; we listed these fixes line by line, paragraph by paragraph, page by page.
Meanwhile, we rang around seeking a Launch venue,visited several possibilities, finally settling on the Harold Park Hotel at Glebe, which has an excellent record for hosting poetry events. Happily, Tuesday the 14th May at 6PM was available. We liked the large room, next to a bar with great facilities, including microphones and equipment. We stretched our budget to light eats ( first drinks of choice free). Col was getting excited. With months of hard work behind us, this night would be something special!
Coleen elected to find a launcher, which proved more difficult than expected. Many women she contacted were previously booked . Then Eureka!. A well-known writer and broadcaster, interested in women’s issues and achievements, said ‘yes’. We couldn’t have been happier.
The convener of the Women Writers’ Network , Siobhan, would introduce the launcher, several women had volunteered to read their poetry, Joy Hruby, actress, eisteddfod adjudicator, 2007 OAM recipient and presenter of Joy’s World on Community Television Channel 31, would say a few words. Silda, Colleen and I would also briefly describe the process of assembling an anthology.
Believe it or not, we had reached the proof stage, when only minor changes are made. It’s expensive and discourteous to demand major variations at this stage. When a proof arrived, we checked for missing commas, typos, errors in spelling of names, listing them all with great care for ease of correction.
The second proof arrived – unbelievably, there were still a few fixes to be made! And Richard, at the printers, casually mentioned that our volume was too slim for having the title on the spine.We felt devastated.