If you're wondering what the title is all about, let me put you out of your misery. It's an International Standard Book Number(ISBN); but not just any ISBN, it's the very first one ever allocated to me. Cause for celebration I should think.
I had thought that, as with most other bureaucratic processes, it would take great effort over a prolonged period to come by one of these little numbers, but it literally took 10 minutes work and 3 hours wait. Now don't we wish all government procedures were as snappy as that.
I simply logged onto the net, no having to look for parking or stand in dreadfully long cues, Googled ISBN and clicked on one of the first links. I read a bit about it and found out that I needed to approach the ISBN center in the country I was to publish the book in. They generously supplied a link to the South African center, so another click and I was back home in South Africa.
I sent a mail to a Ms. Magret Kibido, of the National Library of South Africa(NLSA), who deals with ISB Numbers, asking her what I needed to do to get my hands on a number. That was just before lunch. By the time I had returned, she had replied, asking me for a contact address, which I duly submitted. A mere 2 hours later I had my number and a directive to fill in a one pager form as well as furnish the NLSA with one copy of the published book. You got it Magret!
And with less than a week to go for the final touches to be added, I'm becoming all the more excited to have my book in my hands with its little ISBN printed somewhere on the back cover.