It’s been an exciting week in the Year of Reading the World camp. That stack of paper you see in the picture above is the edit of the penultimate draft of my book, Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer, which comes out in the UK next year, published by Harvill Secker/Random House. (It will hopefully be coming out in some other countries too – watch this space.)
On Monday, I had a meeting with one of my editors, Gemma Wain, and we talked through the changes still to be made. It was an extraordinary moment. After 18 months, three drafts and quite a lot of headscratching about how you conjure a book from a blog like this, I realised that the finished product was nearly there. And – better yet – we were both rather pleased with it.
That’s not to say there isn’t still work to do. Those little red marks are Gemma’s comments – and yes, there are around three of them on each and every one of this draft’s 263 pages. Still, for the first time, I have the feeling that the finishing line is in sight.
The team at Harvill Secker seem to agree. Apparently, they are keen to send proofs out to key readers and reviewers as soon as possible. So I suppose I better stop writing this blog and get started.
Now, let me see, should I keep or delete that comma in paragraph one…
Congratulations. Getting this far is an amazing accomplishment that many writers only dream of. Take the time to revel in your success!
Thanks Sam. I shall revel!
So exciting! Hang on in there for the final (seemingly never-ending but really final) stretch! Looking forward to seeing/reading/buying the book so keep us updated.
Thanks so much – I most certainly will.
Congratulations, 18 months of work …. hats off to your hard work and commitment 🙂
Thanks Sreejith. I appreciate that.
Must be a special moment for you……..
Congratulations , keep working a little more and then :SUCCESS!
Wish you all the best!
Thanks very much – I’ll do my best!
Congratulations! That’s wonderful. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog and now I get to read the book. Enjoy the next few months. There’s a lot of weird things to be done before pub date (my book launches tomorrow), but it’s all worth it in the end 🙂
Wonderful – thanks Isla. What’s your book called? Have a great launch!
It’s “Polska, 1994.” Thanks for asking!
I had just bought your book (Part 1) and look forward to the Postcards. Does this mean that Part 2 will not be published? Will Postcards include the material from Part 1. You write well and I am am amazed at your self-discipline in completing this project. What is next?
Thanks but I think you’re thinking of someone else – there’s a blogger in Australia who is self-publishing a blow-by-blow account of his literary travels under a similar title. He’s about half-way through his quest. My book is going to be rather different.
Thanks for straightening me out!
Great work, you must be very proud.
Thanks – starting to feel that, although there’s a way to go yet…
Aiie! I don’t know you but I’m definitely pleased for you. Looking at that binder there with all the comments takes me back to writing my thesis…took ages to write, ages to edit, but the feeling you get when you’ve done it is great 🙂 enjoy it.
Thanks very much – I will!
Congratulations! It’s great to see such a good idea for a blog turned into a book; hope it makes more people interested in world literature.
Let me add my congratulations to those that have already been registered. I’m already looking forward to your book, and presume I will be able to buy a copy, even though I live outside the UK. I hope so–without having to wait an additional year, I mean.
I can imagine you starting a blog about the process of turning a blog into a book.
By the way, I have begun Tete-Michel Kpomassie’s book, which in a general sort of way reminds me of Hunters of the Northern Ice, by RIchard K. Nelson. Both combine acute observation with complete respect for what they see.
Thanks Brad. Yes, the blog into book metamorphosis is quite a journey!
Hunters of the Northern Ice sounds like an interesting read – I’ll look it up.
Congratulations and so good to see the book nearing completion. I hope we’ll get a few copies out to the Pacific – I may have to make sure of it.
Thanks Chakriya. How lovely to hear from you. I hope you’re very well. Very best wishes, Ann
That’s great !! Congratulations !
I hope i reach this level someday 🙂
Thanks – good luck with your projects.
I would really appreciate if you can just once go through my writing http://ershanu16.wordpress.com/ and drop the reviews
Thanks. I’m afraid I’m snowed under with my own projects, but I wish you all the best with yours.
Congratulations! The editing part is always the hardest but the most rewarding – I Hope it all goes well for you, I am only a new follower to the blog but I love what I have read so far!
Congratulations on this wonderful opportunity! I look forward to reading your book when it makes it’s way to the States. 🙂
Thanks Mary. I hope that will happen soon!
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