The word “tangible” is very important. You can have as many ideas and theories as you like, but there is nothing quite like having physical evidence that you can touch, feel, and sniff.
Today I received the first tangible evidence of being a writer: the postman delivered the proof copy of the paperback edition of my first novel, One Equal Temper. I’ve set it up as a Print On Demand offering using CreateSpace, chosen mainly because it’s easy and cheap. I plan to push the “publish” button at the end of March.
But, for now, I am revelling in having, in my hand, the fruits of my labour over the last eighteen months. And there really isn’t anything quite like it. I’ve read the words more times than I can count, and I’ve had printouts for revision and proofing – but this is different.
Sure, if you look closely, you’ll see that the production quality is a notch below a commercially printed book. The alignment of the left and right pages is a fraction out, and the binding isn’t as good, which means that you have to leave a large gutter and which makes me fear for the strength of the book if I were to open it too far.
Additionally, now I have it in my hand I can see I’ll have to make one or two tweaks to the cover design, but of course that’s why I have a proof copy.
Despite those imperfections, it’s a book. A real book, one you can put on the shelf or take on a plane or read on the beach. I suspect I will be picking it up quite a few times, just to reassure myself that I didn’t dream it all.
I’ll be taking a close look at it over the next few days to make sure it’s as good as I can possibly make it. Then everyone else can see, too!