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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Travels in Xanadu-du

Aaargh. We've had a couple of weeks of completely unexpected delay in the production of my wonderful novel. Firstly, I thought I had uploaded the files to the printer's website. There was no obvious way to verify this, so I emailed my 'client services representative', who ignored me for a few days and finally, after a whole wasted week, said the files had not been received by them, and explained the completely impossible-to-find way to find out what the situation is on their (absolutely bloody horrible) website. Marvlious.

So I uploaded the files again, and after a three-day wait the pre-flight crew in the US complained about 'multiple missing fonts'. We're talking about PDF files here, and standard practice when creaing PDFs is to embed any unusual fonts, but not to embed things like Arial or Times New Roman which are present on every PC and have direct equivalents on Macs, Linux boxes, etc. So these #$%#$^ in the US were quibbling about the absence of Arial and Times New Roman. Arial is actually used in the headers of the bookblock, but TNR appears nowhere. Anyhow, I had to produce and upload another file for the bookblock, and force the embedding of these common-as-muck fonts, and then wait another three days while they got around to opening it. Finally: two days ago the status was 'printing'. Yesterday, the status was 'shipped'.

Hopefully I will receive the proof copy tomorrow or the day after. If it's ok I can order the initial print run and fulfill the pre-orders that we have. So those of you who have not yet ordered your copy: the special offer of a full-colour map of Xanadu-du, signed by moi, still stands, but only until the point where the book goes into production. So get thee over to the Xanadu-du website and place thy order.

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