So Close and Yet So Far

Alas, it was not to be that simple. When the proof arrived, I tore the packaging open with huge enthusiasm. I just could not wait to see it with my own eyes.

It was not a perfect moment.

While I was so thrilled to see the page layouts together in something that resembled a book, the detailed person in me could see definite problems with the proof. The images looked a little dark (particularly the backgrounds), the title page and dedication page images looked to be grainy or unclear, and one of the double page spreads in the book was blurry or a little hazy. Everything else was excellent! And in fact, I might have gotten away with it, if I’d just pressed forward. But neither Emma or I wanted to produce a ‘good enough’ book. We wanted, through Boogie Books, to produce an amazing book, which fully lived up to its potential.

Of course, when you have no idea what you’re doing, everything is a learning curve. And it wasn’t just a learning curve for Emma and I – everyone involved in the process had to go back to the drawing board and figure out why these issues were issues. This whole process took many reviews and all in all another three (and a half) proofs were produced. Each time we tried to ascertain what was the problem – we re-shot images, re-worked the graphic file and co-ordinated with the printers. Still not all of the problems were resolved.

Pile of Proofs

I can write about it now in a few minutes, but this was not a short-lived process. In fact, the whole ‘review, adjust and try again’ experience dragged out into what eventually came to feel like a never-ending saga that lasted about a year! We eventually realised that there was no other remedy for the title and dedication pages than to re-do them… however it had already taken us a couple of attempts and new proofs to come to that conclusion.

Some of the delays were waiting for the team to complete other deadlines before they could progress the project. Other delays were in waiting for proofs to be posted to team members or new proofs to come from printers. Sometimes it was just the fact that I almost could not bring myself to look at it and give the next review. By this time, I was well and truly over it! And no doubt so were my team members.

Lionel was extremely patient and tactful, politely prompting and trying to get the project over the line. There came a point when he said ‘This book has had the longest gestation period of any book that I have ever produced.’ I knew exactly how he felt! I’d felt ‘pregnant’ with the dream of getting this book published, and yet had been unable to birth it. The word ‘frustration’ doesn’t even come close to how I was feeling at this time.

It was tantalizing close… and yet still so far out of my reach. Would this project ever end? I was wondering…

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