Now that my whole dissertation has been through 20 drafts, each revised from feedback on the previous, I am ready to submit it for examination. I submitted it to the electronic thesis submission system at the University of Manchester, and received my confirmation number and a pdf of the whole file plus a standard cover sheet all in 30 seconds or so. This was very fast. My supervisor was standing by should any problems occur, but none did. My examiners have been chosen and they will be notified shortly of my submission.
I next sent it to a press who would run two copies for the examiners and send them to my college for distribution. After going through their whole process three times before I could pay, I found out that they would not bind anything as big as my document (438 pages). I contacted them to see what was wrong, but they could only handle smaller theses. I had already paid, so I had to apply for a reimbursment. I contacted another press, who happened to be a little cheaper, and they assured me that they could handle the length. I made it through the three tries before payment (something is not quite right with the online ordering service), paid for the service, and got my confirmation.
Three days later, the package still had not arrived where it needed to go, so I had to contact the press and provide more detail on the address, so that it could arrive the next day. It did arrive and was subsequently sent out to my examiners. I recieved word a few weeks later that I would defend my dissertation on March 18, so I began to make travel and lodging arrangements.