I don’t consider myself to be unduly superstitious; apart from spilt salt over a shoulder and not walking under ladders, that is. However, recent events with a book I have just published have caused me to raise an eyebrow, or two (I’m no Spock though!). The book was originally published with a title that referred to a curse. The author, a friend of mine, decided to expand the book into a trilogy and wrote a further two books using the same characters. The later books necessitated some changes to the original ‘Curse’ book when it came up for reprint. After much discussion, it was decided to rewrite the book and to give it a title that followed the theme of the second and third book titles. That’s when the troubles started!
From day one I experienced problems in setting up the rewrite for publication. The document was in Microsoft Word 98 and my version is Word 2000. Not a problem, I thought complacently. Little did I know. The main problems seemed to stem from the auto format, which even more so than normal, preceded to mess up things at regular intervals. Oddly enough, these problems were never evident in book two, which went through to publication with a minimum of problems, mostly self inflicted.
As the problems escalated, we started talking about ‘the curse’. Eventually, after much struggle and tearing of hair(see photo in biography for result!), it was ready for conversion to a pdf document for printing. It was at this point that ‘the curse’ really upped its game. If we thought the auto format was bad, the page set up proved even worse. Because a book is set with margins outside the normal print default, word kept on insisting on reverting to the default setting despite pressing the ‘Ignore’ facility.
‘The curse’ had now become ‘That b****y curse!’ After several faulty proofs, we finally arrived at a pdf which satisfied everybody. The pre-production staff checked everything, several times and so did the author and myself. With bated breath we went to print. Everybody agreed, the pdf was spot on. What a relief, we’d done it.
Until we got the books of course. As a final present, ‘that b****y curse’ had one last laugh. It managed to insert a blank page where none had existed before, throwing Part Five of the book on to the wrong page!
THAT B****Y CURSE!
Postscript. It took three attempts to post this! True.