Still proofing, and have still been working on the Cheviots

I have two blog posts partly written that I've been trying to find time to finish—I've enjoyed getting them started, and hope you will enjoy reading them when I can finally post them! Yet it's been a whirlwind around here, and blogging is my "treat" that I haven't had time to indulge in.

Mostly I've been proofreading pages. We had first pages. Those went back to the publisher. Now we have second pages, which arrived just before Christmas, and have to be shipped back Thursday evening for overnight delivery. On every job related to this book, I notice how large it is. Each time, when I reach the end of the section on sheep, it feels like I have completed whatever task it is for a huge project (and I've done a lot of huge projects, so I know how that feels) . . . and then I realize there is the next section, on all the other animals, yet to be done.

On this proofing pass, I'm almost to the end of the sheep. It's going to be a long couple of days. I'm blogging right now before I'm really awake. Maybe I won't notice that I should be proofing already.

However, things are progressing. Yesterday we got the schedule for the rest of the production cycle. At this point in publishing, the schedule begins to be more and more intense and unable to be fudged by a day or two. We will have ONE more review of the pages (that's three sets of page reviews—one more than usual—and three are absolutely necessary on this book).

Although I love pictures, I'm not sure I can come up with one for this post. Yes, I can. These are first pages, but believe me, second pages look exactly the same from this distance.


In other book-related news:

The BIG news is that it's available for pre-order. Check with your independent supplier or your favorite source. Preorders are available from IndieBound, Powell's, Amazon (I can pull it up on Amazon in Canada and the UK and Germany and Japan, but not the U.S.), as well as Barnes and Noble, and Border's. (In my role as publisher of other titles, Border's has been providing some complications to be dealt with lately.)

(I note as I'm pulling links that I'm not listed as an author of the book on most sites, except Amazon Germany and Amazon Japan, and that I can't find the book by any means, including ISBN, on Amazon US. These are metadata problems, and can be fixed . . . I need to go tell someone at Storey . . . but the fix will never be fast or complete. Again, that's the way it just is.)

There are some sample pages available online. The excerpt shows what's called a blad, which stands for Book Layout And Design. The contents of blads are selected for use as a preview tool within the bookselling trade and if you, as a potential reader, want a hint of the content . . . well, it only shows one aspect of the book (yes, a dominant aspect, but still). There's lots more depth to what's actually between those covers.

The table of contents really covers four pages, not two. (I love that photo at top right, which is from Solitude Wool . . . we knew what we wanted, and bless them, they had exactly the right image! It's a Clun Forest sheep, and their Clun Forest/alpaca yarn in some fingerless mitts. The bottom photo is a Devon and Cornwall ewe and lamb, and is another of my favorites. I should be able to remember what the middle yarn is, but right now I don't and I don't have time to check. Oh, yeah: Lincoln Longwool.)

The next spread shows the start of a family treatment, for the Blackfaced Mountain family. We have an unusual arrangement for the breeds and animals, because I wanted (still do, and yes, the book does it!) to be able to compare related types of wools. It took Carol Ekarius and me quite a while to work out what groups to use, what would be in them, and what to do with the breeds that didn't fit in groups. 

Next we have three breeds' individual treatments: Suffolk, Derbyshire Gritstone, and Hebridean. What's confusing about a blad is that it need not have ANY relationship to the sequence of the book's content. It's supposed to look pretty and make booksellers go, "Yeah, looks good, I'll order a carton and see how it does," not to make sense. Only one of these is a Blackfaced Mountain breed (Derbyshire Gritstone). Suffolk is a Down breed, and Hebridean is a Northern European Short-tailed one. However, you can see the type of treatment (unproofread!) that the breeds are getting (some breeds have more pages).

What you can't see is all the background information, which is extensive. Or, of course, any critters other than a small handful of sheep.

We have pricing and an ISBN. The ISBN is 9781603427111. The US price for this 448-page, full-color, massive book is $35. HARDCOVER. I'm both pleased and stunned. A reasonable price has been part of Storey's concept all along. I figure I'll make $X on royalties anyway (books are always huge gambles for the authors). I can either make $X because we sell a small number of high-priced copies, or I can make $X by selling a large number of reasonably priced copies. Book pricing and selling isn't that simple, but hey, I'm really pleased that I could actually afford to buy this book {grin}.

(Canadians, the CDN pricing is not under Storey's control—I've checked! and Storey has registered their concerns with the price-setting entities for a couple of years, to no avail—yet some online sellers can offer discounts that bring the pricing into appropriate parity with US sources. . . . This is unfair to independents, we know, but it's not something mere humans at our level can do anything about.)

There are rumblings about a special edition, too, with some extras, but I have no information yet about the realities of that.

Release date is planned for May 4, 2011.

And now I need to get back to proofing. As with all blog posts, I thought this would be a quick job and . . . well, now I have to let Storey know about the metadata before I can turn over the next page and see what crazy typos it contains. The Cheviot information we cleared up for first pages isn't in this version (a reason for "third pages"). Although my blog post on the Cheviot confusions just got found by someone who e-mailed us new, useful details on the topic!

1. Metadata makes me crazy.

2. I love the people I connect with through this blog.

More soon. I trust.

Where does the time go? I was supposed to be through ten pages by now.

Gad. I just found a HUGE typo. The errors in display type are easiest to miss. Somehow the Devon and Cornwall Longwool's PRIMARY header has turned the breed into the Cornwall and Devon Longwool. And I'd already proofed that page on this pass.

I just checked, and the header was correct on first pages. Someone "corrected" it between then and now to an incorrect name. This is when you, as the proofreading author, feel like you've dropped through the rabbit hole and the Red Queen is yelling "off with her head!"


Other quick news:

The DVD is at rough cut stage and is due out in February.

Assuming registrations come in, I should be teaching at CNCH in May.

I am hoping to be at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (just being at Maryland, not teaching).

I've been asked to teach at SOAR in October. No contract yet, but we're working on the very complicated logistics of getting fiber.


While we're all waiting for the book, go listen to Sasha's SpinDoctor podcast about it, if you haven't already. She's running a cool contest.


29 thoughts on “Still proofing, and have still been working on the Cheviots”

  1. Perfect release date! Just in time for my birthday. 🙂

    Best of luck and strenght for the last things on your book. Can’t wait for it to come out.

    – One of your students in Stirling.

  2. It’s getting more and more exciting! Says another student now spinning what’s left of the Cotswold from Stirling :))

  3. Sarah, it will be WONDERFUL if you can come to SOAR! I'd love to meet you. Yes, there's likely a way you can help. I'll catch you up through another channel.

  4. Barbro, yes, it's very, very exciting. And I *might* actually get the pages proofed by the end of today, which is when I need to ship them back by overnight delivery. I've finished the sheep and started on the goats.

    Isn't Cotswold a delight? The pictures of the Cotswold samples in the book are some of my favorites, and the photo of the Cotswold *sheep* makes me smile every time I see it. It's a little unusual as a photo of a Cotswold, and it's absolutely charming.

  5. I remember you, Malin, of course! And thanks for the reminder . . . Stirling was an amazing but also distracting experience {wry grin}. I'm so glad the release date is in time for your birthday. I'm really glad to see the book available for ordering internationally. Thanks for the good wishes. There's this proofing, then one more check (which will be intense, because of the number of changes that have to be made), and then . . . out of my hands for a few months, while it's being printed.


  6. I was a bit intrigued by the Cotswold at first, but the forth sample I made was quite comfortable spinning, so yes, I like it. It’s only a few locks that I combed, but they give me a hint of what this wool can be. Fine, lustrous and strong. I’ll do a mini weaving sample when I’m finished 🙂

  7. Glad to hear from you again–I was wondering how you were doing with this colossal task! Congrats on all the exciting teaching plans for next year..all very neat stuff to enjoy in 2011! I am excited for you in terms of this book. It will be such a relief when it is published and released into the world!

  8. Joanne, I'ev sure been thinking of you a lot while I work through the pages. There's a strong thread in this book that wouldn't have been there without your help. Thank you again! Back to pages. I have until about 4 p.m. today to get through the rest. Focus, focus.

  9. I know the proofing is making you crazy, I know there’s another pass, and I know this whole huge project has taken up WAY too much of your time, but still… It’s just fabulous! Yay for you and Carol, yay for Storey keeping it a reasonable price, yay for the doors this will open for you. Hang in there. Breathe. And know lots of us are out there sending you patience and energy and appreciation, and heck, love!

  10. Thanks SO much, Susan. Your faith in this project is steadfast and appreciated. And you have seen up close the kind of work (and play!) that's gone into it. All your support is heartwarming.

  11. It’s easy to support this project, Deb–it’s so clearly a huge and very, very valuable undertaking, and it allows you a chance to express some of your passion for the sheep and their incredible variety of wool!

  12. Didn’t think I would be interested when reading your blog recently, but now I think I must have this book. It is a beautiful book. 🙂


  13. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book. I’m fairly new to spinning, and I’ve been buying small batches of all kinds of different fibers to get a feel for them all, and learn what they can do. The book looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to see what someone who knows what they are doing has to say about it all.

  14. Tracy, you are at the spot that I was at in learning to spin where I began to want a book like this! That was many, many years ago. I'm so glad to be getting it ready for you to discover.

    And thanks for letting me know about the Amazon US preorder: it's true, the people at Storey have rattled the correct cages and gotten the listing fixed (I'm even on the sites as an author now {grin}). Must go congratulate the Storey folks on their effective intervention.

  15. I finished proofing the bibliography and sent it back today! It's not a complete bibliography. If we'd tried for that, it'd take another six months to get the book out. But I think we hit the high points. It's six pages of tiny type. Onward we go. Hanging in.

  16. Hi! My name is Camille(28). I have been reading your blog, since before you started writing about the book.

    I am a relatively new to everything. But I have 14 Angora goats. And 3 Angora rabbits. And love to knit and spin.

    I hope to get some rare breed sheep. But, I am waiting for your book to come out. But I am trying to spin as many different breeds possible.

    I can’t wait for your book and dvd to come out! And thank you for all the hard work, that you have done now and in the future!! YOU ROCK!!

  17. Hi, Camille! You are in up to your ears in fiber, with the goats and the rabbits (you have a terrific range of fibers available to you there). The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy can help you figure out which rare sheep breed will work best for your situation . . . yet they are not experts on fiber, so between the book (which will show you what to expect in the way of spinning and knitting materials from the various breeds) and their advice, you should be able to make informed decisions that will make you (and the sheep, and your goats and rabbits, of course) happy. Thanks for your good words about my work!

    Interweave says their newsletter will have a preview of the DVD next week. I haven't seen anything of it since the studio sessions. I'll be as curious as anyone about what the end result is like.

  18. Jeni, I have started an e-mail back to you, and you see why it hasn't gotten finished and sent yet! Happiest 2011 to you, too. Maybe I'll get to visit Scotland again before long?

  19. Woot! I’ve been waiting to see this for a while 🙂
    Once US Amazon has it listed I can pre-order it. (We don’t have an Amazon and our book prices suck big bikkies – $25 in the US means $50 here)

  20. Oh happiness happiness! I have some Christmas money waiting for me at Powell’s-my favorite purveyor of such things. Can’t wait. Meanwhile the winter drags on. Perfect!

  21. Lynne, US Amazon had it listed over the weekend, but I can't find it now. Amazon's listing processes will make a person crazy if you try to make sense of them. It should be there (again?) soon. I ran into the US v. Canada/Australia pricing problems last week. They make even less sense than Amazon's listing processes. . . . I'm glad you can use other channels. Thanks again so much for the Dorset Down help! MUCH appreciated . . . by me and, although they may not realize it, by every reader of the book.

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