‘Offbeat Ballet’ by John Bennett

Covid has had many effects on different people with common things being putting on weight, over-eating and apathy. I experienced all these but towards the end (although at the time it was not apparent that this might be the end) decided that I really must collect together all the rough notes, newspaper cuttings et cetera I had collected and finally get the book written.

This would not be my first publication, but previous efforts had been directed to medical topics. The most frustrating and almost the most time-consuming had always been finding a publisher. 

Consequently, bearing in mind that the last effort had been very poorly marketed with sales not even covering the advance I had been paid, I decided to put a value on time wasted submitting covering letters and specimen chapters and bear the cost of production myself.

I have not been disappointed. The book, a collection of interesting things about ballet, dance and the arts in general has been edited, printed, distributed and marketed in a manner far superior to my previous experiences. 

The manuscript I finally submitted had been pieced together from a collection of many pieces of writing done on different computers and in different formats. This was all finally put together into one PDF and returned to me with the copy editor’s s comments. It is remarkable how what one considers to be clean copy can be shown to have such a variety of spelling and grammatical errors. In this regard, predictive text was often not helpful and neither was Spell Check, particularly where words or names of foreign origin are concerned.

Finally publication date came, and within a few days it had been taken up by Amazon, initially at a higher price than that charged by the publisher, with postage added as an extra.

It seemed wrong to deny friends and colleagues news of a work of which I was (probably unjustifiably) proud so e mails were sent off, sometimes eliciting responses and praise from the unlikeliest quarters. Somebody I might otherwise never have contacted came up to me at a conference with those ever so pleasing words:

                     Really enjoying your book – would you mind signing it?


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