4 March 2013

Financial Update

If you sign up for this blog I'll be letting you in on the closest guarded secrets of the publishing industry.
How much money can I make from publishing?
How much can I earn from my novel?

Watch this space for a day by day financial update!

This is where I've been spending the last three weeks.

Previously, I've told you about some of my writing experiences. I've described how I write (with a fountain pen in a nice notebook) how I send off voice files for transcription, how I ended up (?) writing crime thrillers rather than science fiction and how I manoeuvred my way into being published.

There's a lot to learn, that's the beauty of life. I'm learning all the time, mostly about me, how I am and what makes me the way I am. But also technical stuff. Writing technique, what works and what doesn't. Stuff like that. Now I'm faced with some rather interesting details which all seem to be Catch-22 situations.

In case you missed Joseph Heller's polymesmeric bestseller, it put a new expression into our vocabulary so you owe it to yourself to check out its origin.
There's a situation in the first few chapters of Catch-22 where a military policeman is investigating the inappropriate censoring of mail. He confides to Yossarian that he's made a major breakthrough and now believes that the person signing himself as Washington Irving and the one who calls himself Irving Washington may possibly be one and the same.

Today, in court, it took most of the day for the prosecution to establish something similar. The defence were happy to admit it all right at the start of proceedings but the prosecution wouldn't let them and insisted on spending the whole day boring everyone almost to death.
But that's a situation in Catch-22 but not Catch-22 itself.

Catch-22, to paraphrase, says that you have to be insane in order to be excused active service but if you apply to be relieved of duty on this basis it shows you can't be that mad and therefore you can't qualify.

I've been asked the following question:
'How many pages is your book?'

Publishing seems full of these Catch-22 questions.
In order to publish a book you have to have an ISBN number. In order to get an ISBN number you have to fill in a form which asks you when your book was published, who published it, a copy of the title page and the bit at the start that includes all sorts of details that you can't possibly know until its actually been published.

So, it seems, in order to publish your first book you have to have already published it!

Another thing is the cover. The cover design has to fit the book, and the designer has to know the spine width. In order calculate the spine width you have to know how many pages the book is. To work out how many pages it is you have to produce a print ready pdf file in the font and layout the printer is going to use. In order to produce the pdf file you have to know what the book will look like when printed and you don't know that until you get a proof copy. To get a proof copy you need the cover.

You also need a barcode of the ISBN.

So, it's no use getting all your ducks in a row, they also have to quack simultaneously.  

My publication date has been set! Details to follow.