A Big Disappointment . . .

I guess you could call the following a warning – to any publishing virgins out there, be very careful how you go about having your work published . . .


When the postman knocked on my door this morning, and handed me a large envelope, I was fairly sure it contained the copies of the poetry anthology that my poem had been published in, so it was with great excitement that I opened it – to discover that’s exactly what it held!


In a matter of moments, I’d looked through the index to find which page it was on, and then hurried to look at my pride and joy.


It was with horror, that I saw what was supposed to be my poem, and I sat there open-mouthed with shock at what I was reading. I could have cried, and couldn’t believe that this had been done. I was on the phone within minutes to the publisher, to see what had happened.

Now, to explain all of this, I need to go back to when my final proof copy was sent to me. I had read, then, with horror, the hash that had been made of my poem, and had immediately tried to correct things before sending it back but, with very little space to do so, I found it impossible, as there were just too many things wrong for me to do it in the small space provided.
And so I decided that the only thing I could do, was to re-write the whole thing – the proof copy, and my poem, which I then did so.

I sent it all off assuming, in my printing innocence, that the proof reader would check this final proof against the one they had sent me.


And now, to my despair I saw that they, in fact, hadn’t!


After speaking to a nice young lad at the main office, I was given the choice to send the copies back but, as I told him, it didn’t stop the hundreds of copies already out there – and with my name attached!


I had resigned myself to returning the copies, powerless to change it all, and to the embarrassment of having this . . . thing with my name attached to it – and then, an hour or so later, I had a phone call from the managing director of the firm, who informed me that it was all my fault, as I hadn’t sent a letter with the corrected copy telling of my changes – something that hadn’t even occured to me was needed.

I acknowledged that I hadn’t done this, as I had assumed that both the original copy they had sent me, and the final proof, would be checked against each other and, on saying this, was swiftly disabused of the idea, and told in no uncertain terms that they didn’t do this, and it was all my fault, especially as I had sent a copy of the final proof, and not the original proof they had sent me which, as I told him, would have been impossisble after trying to fit every change in, and making an unreadable mess of it in the trying.

And so the conversation ended with an abrupt, ‘Do you want to send the books back or not?’, to which I replied a resounding ‘Yes!’ and then had the phone slammed down on me!


I sit here, totally baffled as to how a publishing firm doesn’t even check it’s final proofs against the originals. I acknowledge that my ignorance in how things are done contributed to this farce, but I’m also bl**dy angry at the way in which they dealt with both the issue, and with myself in my upset.


I will definitely not be using this firm again, and will be very wary as to how things are dealt with, if I ever have the chance of anything of mine being published again – not that I see it happening, especially with that abomination out there with my name on it!

I figured that I might as well show everyone the two different versions of my poem (which is a Villanelle, by the way). The one I had been proud to call my own, and the version it turned into – I leave it to you, the reader, to decide which one is best . . .

My Final Proof:

On The Trapeze

I fly up here, above the roaring crowd,
my thoughts so hard upon my high-strung deeds –
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

I never thought that I would be allowed
to do the one thing I would always need,
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.

I paused aloft and then, with grace, I bowed
to crowds who came, and let me take the lead –
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

At first it was so high that I felt cowed,
as though I were a lost and floating reed –
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.

I loved it so much, that I nearly howled,
and those who tried to stop me had to cede.
Soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

So now I spend my life as I had vowed –
above the people, who I have to heed,
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd –
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.


And their version:


On The Trapeze
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd,
my thoughts so high on my high-strung deeds –
My heart never lifts with my utter glee.
I never thought that I could be allowed,
to do something that I would always need –
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.
I soar above, and then with grace I bow
To crowds who watch, as I take the lead –
My heart lifts with utter glee.
At first it was so high, that I felt cowed,
as though I were a lost, floating reed –
I fly up here above the roaring crowd.
I love it so much, and I am so proud
Of soaring on my high-flying steeds,
My heart lifts with utter glee.
And now I spend my life as I had vowed –
above the people who I must heed,
I fly up here above the roaring crowd –
my heart lifts with my utter glee.


.

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Filed under Changes, Choices, Disasters, Final Proofs, Poetry

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