Really Prolonged Hitch in the Publishing of CORRESPONDENCE

I’ve found out the book can’t be put into two columns, one for text, the other for what should be footnotes anyway. If the text changes, the note column doesn’t change with it. The notes are part of my artistic design for the book, a story there that breaks into the text at the end, an effect spoiled if they’re all put after the end instead of as footnotes (or as notes in a column beside the text).

Worse: the problem I’d thought solved isn’t because Kindle doesn’t do images very well. This is assuming a version of the book that can go onto Kindle as the columned version can’t. The problem was this: Betty arranged her poems on the page unstraightforwardly. The explication of how each related to the other spatially on the page which one could not textually represent was verbose and ineffectual (because no reader could follow it) and messy. That was solved, although only I knew what the problem was and that it was solved by images of the pages of poems from the archive being inserted into the book as plates. This cannot be done on Kindle, so on Kindle there wouldn’t be these poems, and maybe Kindle won’t accept references in the text to the images either. Or something. Nor can I now insert the poems in a straightforward form into the finalised version of the text, I’m told, since the note columns don’t move with the text! Terrific.

The follow-up has been: publisher deserted by or has deserted layout designer; new layout designer had same problem as old designer; the editor informed the original layout designer who asked me who’d heard nothing; I forwarded emails from layout designer to publisher and have heard nothing either.

I guess the publisher has got herself into a fix she can’t get out of and is playing with her food, since that she can do: raw food.

No wonder she was in need of a break. My beloved publisher is back, brooding over the egg that is CORRESPONDENCE.

I had coffee with her. The problem was no printer would typeset the footnotes. I could never have conceived that would be the problem and nothing in the voluminous indirect exchanges by email etc had alerted me it was, but, footnotes? “You’ve abandoned the columnar notes?” I didn’t know that either. Why should I? She’s the publisher. There was another version. “An earlier one,” I remembered had been done by the layout designer but… I sort of doubted: would it contain the later changes to text and notes? Since computers give the facility of footnotes, how could they not be printed? The publisher, like the printers, wanted them to look good. How good did footnotes have to look? Anyway…. The designer, who may have made them look good enough to print, wanted nothing more to do with the book I was told. I offered to ask my other two publishers – yes! you wait all your life for one, when three come along at the same time – for advice, which they gave and I’ve forwarded.

Nothing came of that. My beloved publisher was building up to going back to the original layout designer and apparently did, saying the latter wouldn’t touch that mess and certainly not put her name to it. The situation looked parlous. I offered to intercede and my intercession was accepted by the publisher. The problem was I didn’t clearly know what the difficulty between these two was in order sure-footedly to address it in such a way the layout designer was brought back. It was, as I expressed it in an email I took an hour or more composing, like being blind in the dark without a white stick. It worked, however. But I would not put it past these women to muck everything up again.

I’m having a smoother ride with another publisher’s, Chomu’s editor who came round to go over my short story he’s publishing, a small part of which is already in CORRESPONDENCE. The editor didn’t like it but his co-editor said it was truly dadaist, as it certainly is, therefore appropriate for a Dadaoist Anthology. The superfluous o derives from Dao, the Chinese way. I made one small textual change in concession to his need to underatand everything at a conscious level in order to clarify the meaning for him. Trouble is it’s the wrong meaning. I’m going to have to let that niggle go though.

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About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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