I love technology! On Tuesday, 10:09 a.m., I ordered a proof of my book from CreateSpace, which is a 'print-on-demand' (POD) company. POD means that books are neither warehoused or stocked--they are literally printed as the demand comes in. When I placed my order on Tuesday, my book was printed, shipped from South Carolina, and delivered to me in Canada by 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. A book that had never before existed arrived on my doorstep the very next day!
I am still in awe of this new print-on-demand technology. The book industry is transforming by leaps and bounds and I am so excited to be part of it.
Now for a reality check: After jumping up and down with excitement after opening the cardboard box to reveal, for the first time, my book in print, I realized it wasn't finished yet. It needed one last review to make sure the text, design, and layout were absolutely perfect.
Upon opening the book, I had to laugh when I immediately found a spelling error! Even though the manuscript had been professionally edited and proofread a million times already, I still found an error. But then I remembered how I had deleted the word 'acknowledgements' by mistake from the table of contents, and then quickly retyped it before sending it to the printer and somehow I had missed the 'd'. Totally my mistake and a valuable lesson to learn about slowing down and working more carefully. It's not a race, right? (although, I often revert to thinking it is.)
Some other problems that I found include a missing price on the back cover, an interior image that was too transparent and needed to be darkened, header text in light grey that needed to be darkened, and paragraph indents that were too big.
Although it means more work, I actually like finding mistakes because it means that I have a chance to fix them before anyone else sees them. Also, nobody's perfect, so if I didn't find any mistakes then I would just think that I wasn't looking hard enough.
Stacey D. Atkinson is completing work on her debut novel Stuck, which she plans to publish through the indie Mirror Image Publishing.