The Sheriff's Catch

By James Vella-Bardon

A man forced to join the Spanish Armada must flee fatal capture in 16th Century Ireland

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Typset Delight


Dear tercio del patrón

I’ve been absolutely over the moon all day today, and here’s why:

On 1 November copy-edit got back to me with the following message:


I really think you’ve nailed this. Thanks so much for your hard work on it – I really think it has paid off.


They also asked me to have a quick look at their changes, which I did overnight, getting back to them with my final feedback the very next day. Once this was approved, I gave copy-edit the green light to send the manuscript (MS) off to be proofread and typeset.

The following twenty days felt like a combination of being in Limbo and stuck in the doldrums. Now that we've reached the pointy end, waiting for updates from the UK publisher is certainly not getting any easier.

Which is why I almost choked on my Weetabix this morning when I received the following message from London:


Hi James

And here we are! Here’s the typeset book, after the proofreader’s corrections have been made.

Once you’re happy with it, I’ll sign it off, the editorial process complete! Once again, I think you’ve made huge strides with this. Here’s to book two!


To be honest, I had already opened the PDF before reading the first line of his email. I was tingling all over with excitement at the prospect of seeing my typeset MS. Which was nothing compared to my absolute ecstasy as the document opened before my eyes. In literary (and wholly 100% biased) terms, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Here take a peek:


I’m just so overwhelmed and delighted, like a boy who’s biggest dream is materialising before his eyes. And there’s another 320 pages for me to review over the coming week. Which is perfect timing really, given that I’ve just finished the last book I was reading today! Can’t wait to get stuck in, and draw the curtain on Phase 4.

What else, what else?

Oh, I also received the following message from Unbound’s Head of Digital, about the book cover design, on 3 November:


Hi James,
We are ready to start the process of designing your cover. This is an outline of how it will go. There is a questionnaire attached which will help you to explain in detail your vision for the cover of your book.
After you’ve completed this brief you will then talk to our Art Director on the phone. He will talk about the cover with you and discuss any specific requirements, go through the questionnaire answers and listen to your vision for the book as well as outlining the process in more detail for you.
This whole process should take about 4-6 weeks.


Exciting times, and to think what a pipe dream this all seemed less than a year ago.

Again I wish to extend my thanks to everyone, and it won’t be long now before you’ve got that book in your hands.


Best regards



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