Writing – The Publishing Fiasco.

In search of Captain Beefheart cover

Even when I finally got published it turned into a fiasco.

I had been producing these multiskill, multitask practical assessment projects at school. They were my attempt to solve the GCSE Biology assessment mess that the government had created by rushing in the GCSE. They had created an impossible task. You could not do the practical assessment. The exam board did not know how it could be done.

I sat down and produced practicals that solved the problem. They were multiskill, multitask and multiability.

We had an inspection. The inspector was eulogising about my practical sheets. She saw what they did and was amazed. She told me I had to publish them. They were the answer to the problem. She had contacts at Oxford University Press. She insisted I sent them off.

I did.

They wanted to publish. I went down and we sorted out thirty to come out in a book. They were complex and detailed. I spent ages on them. They were honed and crafted. The publishers wanted to be certain. They sent them out to schools for feedback. The feedback was great. They then set about honing them some more.

Time passed.

Other people produced materials. Other publishers rushed out books. The market disappeared.

I received an apologetic phone call. They had been too slow. The market was now flooded. They were pulling it. He was so sorry.

However if I wanted to produce a book on Practicals they would publish it.

I was not happy. In a highly disgruntled state I sat down one weekend and literally scribbled out a series of Practicals that I had devised in long-hand with rough sketches. I put it in an envelop and posted it off. I was paying lip service. I had no expectations.

Never have I spent less time on doing any project. It took me one weekend. It was the roughest, ropiest project I have ever done.

Needless to say they published it. It went into three languages and sold quite well.

What does that tell you?