In August 2016 I was approached by a local journalist with an enquiry as to whether I typed up manuscripts. It's a strange fact that copy typing is one of those jobs that doesn't come along very often, despite it being the key thing that most people think a VA only does.
Typing up a hand-written book?
Yes, I was most definitely interested; but just how big was the task and for who?
I was introduced to the author. A local, retired gentleman, a fitness industry pioneer with a long business background in my home town; who had already written a few books. I 'Googled' him like I do before meeting all my prospective clients. This looked like a very interesting assignment indeed. We arranged to meet for a chat in a local coffee shop. At this stage Ken had written a couple of chapters of his latest book on the theme of keeping fit into old age. Ken handwrites his manuscripts and his wife had been the typist for previous books, but it was now time to get some younger hands to handle the task.
So off we set to produce the latest book. Ken continued to write and drip fed his work chapter by chapter over the following 8 months. It was more than just copy typing: I punctuated, I spell checked the names of the numerous people and places that he introduced and of the memories he relayed, I advised. But moreso it wasn't just typing; it was an interesting read. He assigned a proof-reader to check and edit, we needed a skilled professional to get it ready for publication; but it was me who assembled the final submission along with photos of many characters who feature in the book.
Over 80,000 words across 325 pages. It went off for self publication at the end of May 2017.
The book: "We're Going to Live Forever: The Secrets to Eternal Youth" is released on Tuesday 5th September, with a book launch event scheduled at Bolton Central Library. To say that I'm looking forward to this is an understatement. I'm exceptionally proud to have helped. I can't wait to see the printed copy, which even has my name in the acknowledgments, and to meet the people who's stories I've read as I've typed. All fit, healthy people enjoying their golden years. Maybe Ken and his friends have discovered the Secret.
Watch this space. Maybe Ken has another book up his sleeve. He's definitely not slowing down.
"Writing a book is a slog! It takes time, exhausting effort and also demands an enormous amount of concentration. It is also immensely important that you have someone who looks for the other perspectives. Julia Page fulfilled all of these; she typed, proofed and helped steer my book to its 325 page conclusion. It was not an easy thing to do considering she did not know my subject. Just like writing the book Julia demonstrated a skill of her own. Julia is not just an administrator, she understands the fundamentals of support and I would have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone who needs more than administration."
Fitness Industry Pioneer, Writer, Businessman. 82 Years Old