I feel like Pinocchio when he suddenly turns in to a boy and he says "I'm a boy!" and then the disappointment when he turns back in to a puppet!
The book arrived amid great excitement and was flicked through and whisked off to Broughton Infants School in Aylesbury to watch their lovely play and be held up for its firs public appearance. Oh how happy and joyful I felt. The children loved it, the parents, the teachers, the headmaster and me.. we all loved it. Until - I spotted, on closer inspection, on page 8 a glitch in the printing. Little marks all around the page numbers that started on page 8 all the way to the end. Then, on the very last page, which was blank, the number 64, not at the bottom of the page but floating about 2 inches above the bottom of the page. Firstly an unnecessary addition to a blank page and secondly - why 2 inches above the bottom of the page?
Showed the book to a friend who just happened to be passing by my gate with his dog and also just so happens to be a graphic designer - result right there! - He agreed that it was not right and constructed a letter for me to write to the printer that would not waffle as I am want to do.
None of the above mentions the damaged books that were received. Do you remember Ace Ventura when the delivery guy (aka Jim Carey) tosses, throws, and kicks the box marked fragile all the way to the front door. (Check out the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q6_9A90cUk, it will make you chuckle.. ) Well I think this same man loaded my books on to the van!
So all in all, cutting straight to the chase, the books are being re-printed and another courier service will be employed to deliver the new ones.
End of story? No!
Showing the book to a fellow beekeeper and relating my tale of woe I suddenly noticed that the front cover is not the amended wing front cover. Oh yes, Tegan had finished allthe pictures and I showed the proof of the book to the ex Chairman of my bee club, The Chalfont Beekeeping Society, and he was really impressed, this is way before it went to print, but added.. "This is lovely Meriet, the illustrations are beautiful, but you do realise that honeybees have four wings." I cannot tell you the rush that went from the tip of my head, through my brain and swirled its way to the top of my toes. I wanted to cry, throw the book across the room and punch him for noticing such a disastrous mistake! I know, violence is never the answer, I was grateful really but in that moment I must confess gratitude was not high on my mental processing of the information he had just shared with me. Information I knew full well, of course honeybees have four wings, but I had not spotted the mistake that was to be on every single page of an educational book about honeybees during the course of the endless months of editing the images into the book! Good grief.. how could I have missed something so major.
I came home and called Tegan immediately. She was as horrified as I was that she hadn't picked up on this. Between us we had missed something so obvious. But all was well, she amended each and every image and I then reloaded them in to the book draft and off to print it went. Meanwhile my nephew, Leo, was designing the front cover, he is brilliant with choosing the right fonts for things and, unbeknownst to me, or should I say, un-noticed by me, I had sent him the old image of the bees without the amended wings. How did I not spot this, after everything... how could I have missed it again? They do say sometimes things just stare you in the face and you don't notice them, well this sure did.
And so this morning I have written to the printer to see if they have started the re-run and asked, if they have not, if they could use the correct cover image. If they have I will have to put it down to experience and when the next run is done make sure they have the right cover. And... you never know, if it becomes a best seller and outsells JK Rowling the first 500 copies could become quite valuable with the wrong front cover on them!
No point in stressing over it. Whatever happens it is a conversation piece. It is a story to be told on my tour. It is something to see if the children notice and tell them that we all make mistakes!
Ahhh.. a good end to the story. While typing this blog, the printer has just got back to me and has said I have time to alter the front cover! Well woop-woop to that. It's still a good story to take on tour!
Below are some images of the glitch in the print on the page numbers. Floating page number 64. The damaged book covers, the wrong cover (a bit like The Wrong Trousers) and the correct cover. Oh, and for good measure Jim Carey with his delivery trapped in the lift!