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Thursday, 8 May 2014

I raise a glass to Patsy Trench

Two weeks have passed since I sent the first draft manuscript of ‘Mike Pannett’s Childhood’ to the man himself. He tells me it’ll come back, with notes and suggestions, next week. That means, of course, that I’ll deliver the completed piece rather later than I would’ve hoped – but….

The ‘but’ is that this unexpectedly long hiatus has given me time to catch up on a few other jobs, mostly connected with the projected publication of The Red House on the Niobrara as a hard-copy book.

I still don’t know quite when that will happen. I am taking advice from Patsy Trench, once of The Literary Consultancy, now delivering curses (no, make that COURSES!) and presentations in self-publishing. Last December I attended one on preparing a manuscript for e-publishing, a second on preparing for hard-copy, print on demand publication.

Armed with a few dim recollections of what we learned in London five months ago – and a sheaf of notes Patsy handed out, which take you step by step through the process – I have this week made a pretty fair stab at it, and am close to completing the formatting process. Yes, I have had to consult her a couple of times – and yes, I have been told I need to upgrade to Word 2007 rather than stumble on with the 2002 version – but otherwise, the notes got me through it. They are crystal clear, and very helpful.

Patsy’s courses are aimed specifically at those of us who thought we could never do anything so ambitious as prepare a book for the printer. It was her own efforts at self-publishing The Worst Country In The World: The true story of an Australian pioneer family which prompted her to devise first the notes (on her blog), then the courses. I most definitely recommend them. Here’s her website: 

Since most of my readers are Stateside, I may as well direct you to one of her other  endeavours, her theatrical tours of London:

And while we’re at it, here’s the link to the book:

As for my current efforts, I am hoping that I’ll have The Red House ready to send off early next week. I’ll order a single proof copy, wait for that to arrive, then brace myself for any glitches. After that, I’ll order a batch for myself and set it up for sale, via amazon, as any other book.

I like being between projects. It’s a little like having a holiday.

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