The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, May 01, 2008

MIA: 100 Copies of Silent Girl

by Tricia Dower

For today’s blog, I had planned to run a photo of me opening the box containing my copies of Silent Girl. But the box isn’t here. Inanna received its copies a week ago and mine were to have been shipped directly from the printer along with the others.

“It looks great,” my editor wrote. That’s some comfort.

The box is probably stuck in Vancouver, waiting in the wrong line for the ferry. Living on an island might be special, but the mainland gets everything way before we do.

I’ve got over a week before the launch. If I don’t have the box by then, you don’t want to be around me. I’m jangly enough as it is.

So, I should look for the positive, right? The anxiety of waiting for the books has temporarily displaced my obsession over the possibility I missed a typo.

I proofread those galleys so thoroughly I can recite most of the stories by heart. Colin proofread them. The editor proofed them. So did a professional reader. All of us found different things. Is that good or bad?

What if I spot an error when the box does arrive? Will it be like finding a cigarette burn on a new table or a wine stain on a favourite sweater? Will the book feel ruined to me?

What if other people find a typo and don’t tell me? I still recall the error I found nearly thirty years ago while a communications flak for an insurance company. The woman who edited the policyholder magazine was meticulous about proofreading. She had just dropped the latest issue off at my desk when I let out a little, involuntary gasp.

“What?” she demanded.

“Nothing,” I said.

“Tell me!”

She’d reprinted the words to the Simon and Garfunkel song “Old Friends” on the cover. Except it read “Old Fiends.” She never forgave me for spotting that. In a meeting later that week she referred to me as “Miss Eagle Eye in her prison suit.” (I thought that navy pinstripe number of mine was quite smart.)

A friend who just learned her book is going into second printing is happier about being able to correct typos than she is about the brisk sales. I can relate.

I could relate even more if the books were here. If you spy one in a bookstore, please give me a shout.


Blogger Anne said...

How frustrating! I can't wait to see them, either.

Thu May 01, 01:36:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger T. Lee said...

Yes, Tricia. I groaned for you upon reading this. But it's true, the typos will take second place to the anxiety. Have you contacted Canada Post yet?

Thu May 01, 03:09:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks for commiserating with me, Anne and Tamara. I don't know how they were shipped, Tamara. I imagine it's a shipping company other than the post. I've asked the publisher to follow up. I'm sure the shipment can be tracked.

Thu May 01, 03:23:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Katherine said...

Have faith, I'm sure they'll show up soon. Unless they are arriving via donkey. Do donkeys know how to swim? Bad donkey.

Thu May 01, 10:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Hi all, see post directly above. They arrived this afternoon!

Thu May 01, 10:46:00 pm GMT-4  

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