It may not be obvious to you, when buying a new edition of a book, just how much effort goes into the process. New material that has emerged via research and clinical work needs to be refined and melded with existing text, which itself needs to be trimmed of superfluous material, while each citation has to be evaluated to see if subsequent research has updated or invalidated it – calling for its’ replacement or deletion.
All illustrations also need to be closely looked at to see if they need changing, ditching, replacing….. all within the tight constraints of the number of extra words allowed, and the number of illustrations budgeted for.
It’s therefore far easier to write a book from scratch than to effectively prepare an existing one for a new edition.
Well, a new (2nd) edition has just been published of Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques (Volume 1, Upper Body), which I coauthored with Judith Delany…… and we (Judith and I) believe its a gem, a really beautiful and clinically useful book.
It is of course for others to say what they make of the expanded text, the new material, the revised totality of the book, that took eighteen months of close interaction between Judi in Florida, myself in Corfu, and the publishers in Scotland (before it was printed in China and distributed from who knows where)
Whenever a new book, or a new edition emerges Elsevier (the publishers) arrange for flowers and champaign to be sent to the exhausted and grateful authors.
This time the fact that publication coincided with Valentines day, as well as with my absence from Greece, helped me formulate what Baldrick (Blackadder series on BBC) would call a ‘cunning plan’ to get flowers delivered in Corfu without too much effort on my part.
I would ask for the wine and flowers to be delivered to Alkmini on the 14th, relieving me of the difficulty of arranging delivery from London via a local Corfu florist……but, I had reckoned without my key contact at Elsevier being away from the office just when I needed her!
So, on the 13th, plan B was initiated.
I called a sleepy Sasha in Athens (it was after all before noon and she’d been up most of the night studying and writing).
I explained my predicament, and we went through various possibilities as to how to get the red roses (of course) to her Mother, the next day…… and in the end I left it to her to arrange. In due course I was reassured that a relative, Maria, in Corfu would organise the flower delivery. Disconcertingly, later that day, when speaking to Alkmini, she mentioned that she had just received a large bunch of flowers from the self same Maria. ……
What was I to do?
Had the plan gone wrong?
Had Maria misunderstood and simply sent Alkmini flowers – not roses – on the wrong day, with no card saying they were from her absent husband?
‘What sort of flowers’ did she send you?’, I clumsily asked ……’Why do you want to know?’…etc.
It was futile, I had to explain the whole story…..so the surprise was gone…… and we would not know until the 14th whether the roses would turn up.
But of course, they did!
Meanwhile what passes for normal life in Neo Faliro went on for Sasha.
Her computer played up (yet again); there were electricity problems (again); she had to bring her beloved plant population indoors from the balcony, in anticipation of the big-freeze forecast for Athens; emergency supplies (canned food, bottled water) had to be bought in, in case pipes froze, or the anticipated earthquake eventuated resulting in the dire consequences tabloids and tv were predicting (there had been 2 major ones in the previous 24 hours, fortunately under the sea and with no damage in the city) .…. and all the while the problems and pressures of her studies, work and assorted projects needed to be managed.
So, Valentines’ day came and went, the flowers were delivered, and somewhere down the line, when I’m back in Corfu, wine (I don’t like champaign) and flowers will be sent, and the birth of the 2nd edition of this mammoth text will be celebrated.
It really is a lovely book….. if I say so myself, without undue modesty