Sharjah International Book Fair 29th Edition

My photo
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
ExpoCenter 7th - 17th November, 2012. Hours | Saturday - Thursday: 10a.m. - 10p.m.; Friday: 4p.m - 10p.m.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Fake Plastic Souks: Olives - The Book Goes To Print

It's an odd feeling, there's a strange finality sending my novel Olives to the printers. I've sent dozens of magazines, yearbooks and other projects to print over the years, but nothing quite equals sending something so personal off to print. And a book's somehow different to a magazine - a 'literal' in a magazine is an annoyance, but usually something that you live with because it's transitory. I once printed a yearbook with the immortal words 'Midddle East Buyer's Guide' across two pages in 24 point print and it was two years before anyone noticed. I put this down at the time to the SEP field (first proposed by Douglas Adams, the SEP field renders objects invisible by the sheer scale of the incongruity they represent, therefore making them 'Somebody Else's Problem. In Adams' case, a spaceship that looked like an Italian bistro).

But it's different with a book. A book is graven, as it were, in stone. This particular book, Olives, has been edited to death. It's had structural edits, line edits, readers' edits, a professional edit and then I finally got my author's proof from Amazon's Createspace and, to my horror, managed to dot said proof with little red line corrections. Quite a lot of them. Sloppy writing, slapdash phrases, clunky bits. And a few honest to goodness literals in there, too. How did theyget through?

But that's it, now. If you buy a copy and find a literal, I don't want to know. I'm done changing it. This is the finished product. This is my statement.

The Middle East edition of Olives launches at TwingeDXB - the first Dubai Urban Festival on the 10th December. It'll be in UAE bookshops from then onwards and I'm working to get it into Lebanese and Jordanian bookshops as soon as I possibly can after that.

If you can't wait, or if you're based outside the Middle East, you can get a print copy of Olives at, linked for your clicking pleasure right here.

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