Draft 3 Begins Here

So the long arduous journey through Draft 2 of my novel was finally completed. I then did two things:

  • Took a well deserved break from the book – I wrote some other stuff, played some computer games, did the dishes
  • I ordered a hard copy of the book from Lulu

I had always been intending to get a hard copy printed out at this point so I can start editing on paper. I had been assuming this would be on A4 and then ring-bound which would have given lots of room for making notes, etc but would have been hefty to lug around and since I know spend about 3 hours a day sitting on, or waiting for, buses or trains I was hoping to steal this time and use it for editing. This is where Lulu came in. I’d been aware of Lulu for some time as a tool for self-publishing had assumed getting hard copies made up would be expensive, especially in very low numbers. It wasn’t. One A5 copy of my 450 page novel cost me £7. That’s almost what I would pay a new paperback in the shops and significantly less than getting it printed on A4 would have cost. And of course it’s a really hand size that I could just carry about in my man-bag with me!

Having the novel printed out in actual book format has also had some unexpected rewards. Firstly my morale has totally been lifted – zooming right out on Word is one thing but actually being able to physically hold your work is another. It’s real. It actually exists in the world now. If I die tomorrow then someone can pick this up off my bookshelf next to The Dark Tower and Northern Lights and say “David wrote this, David wrote an entire novel from scratch”. Also the fact that it looks and feels and tastes like a real book means people are suddenly taking me seriously. It’s not just something hidden away in David’s head anymore. Take my wife for example – as supportive as she’s been over this past year and a half as I’ve snuck away to write every evening, I don’t think she’d actually ever understood what it was I really doing. But seeing the novel actually sitting in my hand changed all. “It’s a book!” she said. “Like an actual, proper… book! And it’s massive! I can’t believe you’ve written all of that.” Even though people (myself included) have known for ages the amount time gone into this, and the number of words and pages – it’s still just been some mental construct. Seeing it in the real makes it… well real. Again – another big morale boost. Hell I might even finish this thing.

So what’s next? Draft 3 is next. I’ve got a checklist of what I’m looking for, a bunch of colourful gel pens and mini-highlighters. Now all I need to do is grind through this baby again and feed my changes back into the document. That almost sounds easy. It certainly won’t be but what’ll keep me going is the knowledge that once this draft is complete I’m going to start letting people read it (which is the 2nd thing people have tended to say after “It’s a book” – “Can I read it ?”). And that will be something amazing.


So what does it look like? Well I’ll show you…










Oh and BTW – reveal of the novel title coming up as well…










This is it…






It’s a book!

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 11:14 AM  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ahh! The suspense! That’s a good looking book. I may try lulu for the next time I edit. My binder of printed paper is massive and weighs a ton. Good luck for the next edit 🙂

    • Cheers Tessa – I’ll let you know how I get on with actually editing on it, whether it proves practical or not.

  2. That looks awesome. What a fantastic idea. Will have to try this.


    • Hey Louise! It’s definitely worth doing, to give yourself a sense of personal satisfaction if nothing else. I also believe Lulu regularly offer voucher codes for free P&P so it’s worth checking for those when you order!

  3. Congratulations, David! Almost like giving birth to a child!

    • Cheers! Think it might be offensive to mother’s everywhere to claim this was anything close to childbirth – but yes I do just keep picking it up and taking pictures of it!

  4. I’d never considered this before. Great use of self-publishing! And having the book in your hands… as they say on Visa commercials: Priceless.

    • Cheers Stephen. I have been getting some funny looks on the train mind – people wondering why I’m scribbling in what looks like a retail paperback!

      • Hey, even if it wasn’t your own book; it’s still your book. You could do with it whatever you wanted! Including make notes in the margins… I don’t see what’s so weird about that…

      • Yeah, no me neither. Maybe it was just the fact it was a paperback and not a Kindle!

  5. Congratulations, it looks amazing. I love how you describe the feeling of holding what you wrote in your hands, putting it on the shelf … well done. (What would we do without gel pens and highlighters??)

    • Cheers Cathryn! What would we do without gel pens and highlighters – I can’t say for sure but the spilling of human blood would no doubt be involved at some point.

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