2 Mar 2009
Having been in and around publishing for nearly three decades, I know just how slowly the business can move. You might imagine that web-based POD services might have injected some of that Internet-speed dynamism into the process. Well, not really.
The good news is that Lady Caine is officially published - at last.
Actually, it's been available for sale from Lulu.com for a while now. But because I wanted an ISBN number for it, there were a few final hurdles to jump.
With Lulu's 'Distributed by you' package, the company purchases a set of 10 ISBN numbers, which you own. The first of these is automatically assigned to the project you nominate.
Up until that point, you can merrily make as many revisions to your project as you like. But ISBNs are tricky things: they are really quite specific to a particular edition of the book. So any major changes may require assigning a new number.
Once the ISBN is assigned, Lulu demands that you purchase a proof copy of your book. Although the book remains available for purchase by the public, Lulu won't proceed any further with the 'publishing' process until you have reviewed your proof copy and logged back into your account to approve the book.
If you find a problem - as I did - you can still make changes, but you have to buy another proof copy. My change was minor, but important to me. The final page of the book was followed (as the rules dictate) by a blank page. However, this page still had the header and page number found on all the other pages. It was also a right-hand page, facing the final page of text where the copy ends very near the bottom. A reader might assume that the blank page should actually contain text which has somehow been omitted.
So I changed this, resubmitted the file and bought another proof. As nothing except that final page had been changed, I approved the book without waiting for the proof copy.
At this point, if you want to make further changes, you have to buy a revision service, as well as purchase a proof. That starts to make things expensive.
Mind you, I say 'soon'. Apparently it takes eight weeks for all this to happen. Oh well, I've waited this long...