Run out of copies of 24 for 3. Went to see Chris, the printer, who is ill and short-staffed and a little post-festive, but he’s promised me 60 more copies for Monday.
We’ve sold 400 books, and covered the start-up costs. Now we need to sell more: to publish new titles this year, and to start paying people (authors, proofreaders, etc).
Five months ago none of this existed. It began with an envelope on the doormat at the end of last August: inside was a cheque left me by an uncle who had died (he made it to a hundred) earlier in the year. Next day I talked with a printer down the road in Chiswick, and we got going, and one of the attractions of this way of publishing (for someone who’s both lazy and impatient) is the speed with which things can happen. If you discount the pre-publicity, the sending-out-for-review-in-good-time, the product placement, etc – and I do see the point of all this; but CBe isn’t in that marketplace – you’re left with editing, design, typesetting, proofreading, printing, binding. At a push, a pamphlet could have all those things done to it and be ready for selling two weeks after the text comes in. For most books this is irrelevant, but for a few – work commissioned at short notice for a particular event, say, or whose impact depends on its closeness to topical events – this could work in our favour.