Movement: Seeking Perfect Lines

special galley review edition

The initial manuscript for a book I'm calling Movement: Seeking Perfect Lines is now complete. Through the services of two digital, on-demand printing houses I'm making a special review edition of the manuscript available at a few cents over my cost. This special pricing is intended to attract some assistance in finalising the manuscript.

What I'm seeking are people who'd like to help me edit, refine and otherwise perfect the text. You needn't be an editor, or even much of a reader. What you should be is the kind of person interested in reading the kind of book I'm writing, an anthology of the best travel stories posted in the Nomadic Spirit Travelogue.

The 2+for1 Review Deal

It's pretty simple. Purchase this review edition, write your corrections, observations, suggestions into it and send me the marked-up copy by July 15, 2004. In return I'll:

  1. Take your observations to heart, finalise the manuscript and send you an autographed copy of the published first edition, in which your contribution will be gratefully acknowledged.
  2. I'll return your review copy, also autographed, and with my own comments in response to yours, if you like.
  3. As a final incentive, I'll throw in an 11X16" giclee print of your choice selected from any appearing in my personal photography gallery, and I'll sign that too.

I'd like to get as many as 20 reviewers. Just to be safe, use the contact form to let me know you intend to participate before you buy the review edition. I don't expect these things to leap off the shelf, but as anyone who reads my travelogue probably understands, I've learned to expect the unexpected. First-come, first-served.

Reviewing Movement

Here are some guidelines for your review. I certainly don't expect reviewers to comprehensively fulfill this suggestion list. However, the suggestions marked with an asterisk, "*", are mandatory. The current book is longer than optimal and I've got to cut down the number of stories. I've got my own ideas, but experience tells me they don't always reflect my readers' tastes.

  • Read it once through without marking anything. (The first time, read it for you.).
  • When you're finished, write down your impressions, Any impressions.
  • Take a break. Let it sit for a day or two.
  • Now, wade back into it and mark away.
  •   *Please write legibly.
  • Red pen is preferred, but don't inconvenience yourself.
  • Correct my spelling and grammar, of course.
  • Language, syntax, semantics as well.
  • Comments on style welcome.
  •   * Rate each story on a scale of 1-10. 10 is best. Use your own criteria. "It felt like a 3" is a good criteria.
  • If you have a more "formal" criteria, let me know what it is.
  • Identify any stories which need more work or editing.
  •   * Identify up to 5 stories that absolutely must appear in the first edition. (mandatory!)
  •   * Identify at least 5 stories that should not appear in the first edition. (mandatory!)
  • Have I left out an Nomadic Spirit travelogue story that should be in?
  • Mark confusing, boring, awful, passages, and tell me why they are if you can.(Single-word descriptives are fine--essays are not expected, but are welcome nevertheless.)
  • Mark compelling, wonderful, groovy passages, and try to explain why, as above.
  • Comment on overall presentation and structure. Suggestions:
    • Do you like the chapter design?
    • Are the brief introductions to the stories too brief?
    • Should there be an index?
    • How about the cover design and text? (back and front)
    • Anything else you think of.
  • Anything else that comes to mind. Tell me a story if you like.
  • If you're anywhere near as verbose as I am (<-- verbosity sample ;), feel free to attach additional pages, post-its, whatever.

While you're thinking of what to say and how to say it, be honest with yourself and with me. Try to be constructive, but don't sugar-coat your criticism. I can take it; you should see some of the feedback my site receives, not to forget rejections from publishers and agents!

About this Galley ReviewEdition

This review edition was designed with being marked-up in mind. It's printed in 8.5X11" format. The "Wire-O" ring binding, aside from being the cheapest available, allows the pages to lie flat which is best for writing on. I've left 1" margins all around for marginalia.I'd have liked to print it single sided, but at up to 6¢ a sheet, that's cost prohibitive. I considered distributing an electronic version, but those just don't read the way a book does.

Your purchase options are and Lulu Press, both reputable online digital, on-demand publishing companies whose books are of similar quality. The books are cheaper on Lulu Press, but shipping to most regions is cheaper on Cafe Press. Net cost for Americans using the US Postal Service appears to be about $5 cheaper on Lulu Press. While for Canadians, it's about $2 cheaper via Your Mileage May Vary.

Looking Ahead to the First Edition

The first edition printing, when it's ready, will be "perfect-bound" -- a regular paperback, in a 6X10" format.

Images depicting both "Wire-O" and "Perfect" bindings appear at the bottom of the the context bar at right.