First copy of my new book arrives

9th February 2024 | Books | 2 comments

The first ‘author copy’ of my new book arrived yesterday (see photo). After dealing with the virtual version for nearly three years, it is a huge relief to see it actually in print.

When my first book came out in 2004, I felt this relief acutely. It had taken a long time to find a publisher, partly because the book wasn’t written with publication in mind. It started off as a kind of private diary written on my old manual typewriter. When I eventually decided it would be nice to get it published, I found that publishers were not falling over themselves to publish books on classical music. I was advised that it needed shortening, tightening, re-shaping and so on. Then there was the whole long process of getting the book sent out to ‘readers’ for their opinion and criticism (I hadn’t known about that process before). After receiving their comments, I had to make more changes. It’s surprisingly hard to keep going back to the drawing-board on something you wrote years before.

It began to feel as if the book would never leave the realm of discussion. And all the time I kept wondering if something would happen to prevent it from ever being printed.

Finally it did get printed. I vividly remember looking at it and realising that it was now out of my hands – nothing I did or didn’t do could stop it from reaching the shops and, hopefully, readers. That was a great feeling. I stood on my doorstep in south London with the book in my hands and realised that it would now have a life of its own.

With each successive book the feeling has become a little more familiar, but I have never become blasé about the moment when the book exists as a physical object and starts to make its way onto bookshop shelves in a process which has its own momentum and doesn’t depend on me any more. I can now look forward to people reading about some of history’s wonderful female pianists.


  1. Piotr

    Congratulations! I look forward to reading it.

    Interesting what you say about not getting blase, even when it takes so long to appear in print. I am an academic writer, and I must admit that by the time a book (or even journal article) comes out, I’m deeply immersed in other topics and don’t get very excited…it’s like I’ve moved on. I once asked James MacMillan, the composer, if he still got excited when a CD of his music was released, and he did! I envy you both that feeling of excitement…

  2. Ruth

    Looking forward to reading it


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