Oh, don't hurt 'em, Hammer! We're just one week away now from the release of CCLaP's newest original book, a dark post-apocalyptic fairytale and the full-length debut of local surrealist author Lauryn Allison Lewis, solo/down; and as usual, we are looking for volunteers from the website's readership who might be willing to proofread a pre-publication edition this week, a sort of literary "beta test" done mostly just as a fun nerdy endeavor, to help the center put out as professional of publications as we can. As I've talked about here many times before, although it's easy in our online age for a basement press like CCLaP's to compete on a global scale with mainstream publishers in terms of product quality and distribution, it's a fact that a big press can employ an entire small army of people to look over manuscripts and help catch the hundreds and hundreds of tiny errors found within; this is one of the few areas where CCLaP has an undeniable disadvantage to a place like Random House, which is why we rely so heavily on book-loving nerds just like you to help us crowdsource such a project into a professional level of completion. Our proofreaders catch an average of 50 final errors for every title we put out (and including a whopping 125 of them in one case), mistakes that both the author and myself missed despite going over the manuscript a good four or five times ourselves; that hopefully provides a memorable visual as to just how important this last step of the publishing process is.
Anyway, here's the "dust jacket" description of the book below, to give you a little better of an idea whether you in particular might be interested in taking a look at it...
It is perhaps the day after tomorrow, or maybe the day before yesterday. Two lone scientists work in isolation at a deserted vaccine laboratory, in what may or may not be an apocalyptic America beyond their locked compound, attempting unspeakable experiments in combining plant and insect DNA to produce crops that can defend themselves against attackers. One gets pregnant with twins. A minor lab accident mixes this DNA with her embryos, producing hideous monsters locked in an age-old battle. And that's when the mysterious Solo shows up and decides to make things really interesting. The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography is proud to present solo/down by Lauryn Allison Lewis, a dark and surreal body-horror tale in the spirit of David Cronenberg or J.G. Ballard, her full-length literary debut after the self-published and cultishly popular The Beauties in 2011. CAUTION: Not for the weak of either stomach or spirit.
(And of course, also don't forget, since Lauryn had a series of high-profile appearances in Ohio last month, for the first time we've been offering pre-order sales of the paper edition; so technically you can go and buy a copy right now, if you're interested in having it ship out literally on its release day of April 23rd and be at your place two to four days later [seven to ten for international orders].)
Remember, you do not have to be any kind of expert at language or grammar to be of enormous help, in that when it comes to simple things like double punctuation or misspellings, it's the total number of eyeballs that's much more important than the formal education level of any individual; but that said, I especially welcome all you stylebook aficionados who wouldn't mind really wading in there and doing some super-fine-point proofing, and letting us know whether all our 'who's and 'whom's and the like are correct. Simply drop me a line with your interest to cclapcenter [at] gmail.com, and either later that day or the next morning I will send along a PDF, EPUB and MOBI/Kindle version of the manuscript for you to take a look at. (All proofing reports need to be back to us by Sunday, April 22nd, to be of help for our release the next day.) The novella is only 20,000 words, about a third of the size of a small novel, so should take most people no more than a single afternoon to read from start to finish. Both Lauryn and myself thank you immensely for whatever help you might be able to provide!