Book Status Update

13 Dec
(c) 2013 The Author, All Rights Reserved. Non-profit re-blogging of entire post permitted.

(c) 2013 The Author, All Rights Reserved. Non-profit re-blogging of entire post permitted.

I had an unexpected email from my account manager today. It’s her job to babysit we temperamental creative author types. (Great gal if she puts up with the likes of me.) I’m not really that temperamental; I just don’t want to spoil the stereotype for the rest of the writers.

Here’s what it said:

Hi Michael,

The assessment is done and we’re just about ready to move forward to the layout, yay! I just need to talk to you really quickly about the images that were in the text. The designer removed them and added the image tags where they’re supposed to go, I just need you to send them to me as jpegs. Once I have that we’ll start the layout process.

Happy Friday the 13th!

And in a follow-up email, she just added:

As of today, your manuscript is in our layout queue. You will receive the first proof of your book in four to six weeks.

For those bloggers who aspire to write and publish a book, here’s the rough big-picture view of what I’ve experienced:

1. Research. A couple of years’ worth, in my spare time.

2. After a few false starts regarding the title and primary theme (the title had to be symbolic of the primary theme, in my mind), I finally nailed it. Only I didn’t really, as I later went with Plan B as a result of test reader feedback. But it was good enough to start writing.

3. I wrote a book proposal. Essential if you’re looking to bag a traditional publisher, also very important to discipline your thinking before writing the first draft if you’re not. I think I will do a future series of posts as to what I actually came up with for a book proposal, as I am certain this will be of interest to many people.

4. Since I couldn’t find an agent anywhere near Ottawa Canada, and could not get a publisher interested, I started looking at self-publishing. I should point out that a national newspaper columnist pitched my proposal to a principal at a major Canadian publisher, to no avail.

5. While this was happening, I was writing the first draft of the manuscript.

6. I decided to go with They weren’t the cheapest, but they offered good value and a fair bit of professional services. Plus they were print on demand, do I didn’t have to buy the books ahead of time, have boxes of them in the basement, and have to stuff envelopes and do my own sales, etc. I do have to do my own marketing, but FriesenPress will track my sales for me and issue me a quarterly check, assuming it sells.

7. As I’ve previously indicated, I had at least a dozen very helpful test readers. Each round of feedback gave me things to consider and ways to refine the manuscript. I took a military attitude and had no ego investment – it was all about “mission success.” Thus, people finding typos, grammar errors, catching weak or awkward sentences, etc. was not an offensive thing, but a good thing. The more they found, the better.

8. As part of my FriensenPress package, I had an editorial assessment. The big thing here was the recommendation that I have a defamation lawyer review the manuscript. This was good advice, although I did not enjoy the ensuing $3,500 lawyer bill!

9. The lawyer recommended that I not use people’s real names, as Canada apparently has weak protection for freedom of speech/expression. This upset me at first, as I wanted certain malefactors to be held accountable for their actions. However, in retrospect, this strengthened the manuscript, as it permitted me to be “creative” in coming up with appropriate pseudonyms for these people. Readers will better appreciate the essential nature of these people, and have a number of chuckles along the way.

10. As part of my FriesenPackage, I had a round of professional copy editing. While helpful, I found at least three of the test readers to have been even more helpful in terms of proof reading and constructive criticisms. Note to wordpressers: many of you, especially as a collective, are incredibly capable in this regard. You are to be treasured in this.

11. I’ve been reading up on how to self-market books, just to get the basics. Might be tough for me a little bit, as I don’t really like facebook, and I don’t have a twitter account. I will have three hours of expert marketing coaching from as part of my “all-inclusive” package (which didn’t include the lawyer).

11. I recently submitted the edited and approved manuscript to my account manager. Always will be that lingering self-doubt as to whether or not the last typo was caught. At some point, though, make the call and forge ahead!

12. And now today and the call for the jpegs files. There are only three of them. The one shown above is the most complicated of the three, and it is rather simple. It takes the result of published, peer-reviewed research on there being two forms of narcissism and re-interprets this to mean that there is a core basis to narcissism, but that aspects of it manifest differently in men (overt) and women (covert).

The Mirror, Book One: Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood continues to progress towards a February 2014 launch. This is an auspicious Friday the 13th day, as I am certain it will ultimately prove very unlucky to “certain” individuals, with me not being one of them. };-))>

Think about setting aside a little of the New Year’s bubbly, and saving it for a blogging book launch party!

P.S. WordPress is screwing up the italics in this post. I give up trying to correct it.

37 Responses to “Book Status Update”

  1. genderneutrallanguage December 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    When you do get it published make sure you post a link where I can buy a copy.

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm #


      I really appreciate your interest in the book. I will most certainly make a post with this information upon its release. The FriesenPress package includes all e-book formats as well as physical books, with listings at major online book sellers – amazon, barnes & noble, iBooks, Chapters/Indigo in Canada,, etc.

      I’ll have to do my own work to get it into bricks and mortar stores, including Costco.

      • genderneutrallanguage December 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

        I personally love the kindle books.

        • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 7:25 am #

          My package should include all major e-book formats, including kindle. I was actually thinking of doing a post that debates e-book pricing. And maybe has a poll. 8’m thinking that $3.99 is the sweet spot for e-book pricing.


        • genderneutrallanguage December 14, 2013 at 11:14 am #

          I really don’t know enough to really give good input.

          What is “Your Cut” from a hard copy sale? What risks do you take? How much of e-book sales price do you get? What are your costs there? How much volume do you hope to do, how much do you expect to do?

        • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 11:55 am #

          I haven’t discussed pricing with freisenpress yet. From their website, authors can get “up to 55%” royalties for (physical, I assume) books sold on their website. I imagine that the royalties for physical books sold through amazon and other online retailers would be much less. May be a couple of bucks per book.

          E-books can be up to 70% royalties, I believe. I read elsewhere that this is the Amazon author royalty for e-books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. What I want to do is maximize sales as opposed to maximizing profits. I’m thinking that $3.99 is a price that doesn’t make the book appear as if it is cheap and has to be given away, but seems as if it is fair if not excellent value for a well-written and engaging book.

          I’ll post more as I learn more. Was just curious as to your thoughts as a kindle fan.

        • genderneutrallanguage December 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

          LOL I’m business and economics. I look at everything with a profit motive and consider things like trying to insure normal profits when weighing the value proposition of a purchase.

          I would suggest 4.99 with your pricing concerns/motivations. That is just under the 5.00 for most peoples idol bying threshold with out pricing so low it looks cheap.

        • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 11:58 am #

          Risks? In to the book for an upfront cost of $10K – $12K, depending upon how much I can afford to spend in terms of marketing. With the self-published scheme, one tends to pay upfront and have higher royalties. Have to do your own marketing, too.

          Sales goals? #1 non-fiction best seller in the English speaking world, thereby changing the course of human history. (Or at least make my $10K – $12K back.)

        • genderneutrallanguage December 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

          With this information we can look at break even points. This is total sales, not monthly sales. Totals sales for how ever long you keep it listed (assuming no listing fees)

          You need to sell:
          3,500 @ 4.99
          5,750 @ 2.99
          35,294 @ .99

          This is if your just selling the e-books, the hard copy sales will be notable. If your sales goal is not profits, but more sales, pricing at 99 cents will get you a much larger sales number, but much lower revenue and your work may not be taken as seriously. You need 1/10th the sales volume to break even priced at 4.99.

          This is a very simplistic overview. It would take a great deal of time I don’t have to work up an actual marketing plan for you.

        • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm #


          Much appreciated, my good Sir. I was thinking along these lines but hadn’t gotten to the numbers yet. $4.99 was likely my 2nd choice as a gut feel before looking at actual numbers, so it’s now my default starting e-price in discussions with FriesenPress. I’m assuming they’ll tell me something similar.

          Business/economics? You might find my latest job application post of interest.

  2. lensgirl53dale December 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Hats off to you for enduring the process. Writing the book is the easy part. I found out early in my book publishing experience that I am not a sales person. I felt awkward and undeserving at book signings, especially when scheduled to appear with well-known authors whose line of buyers went out the door and round the block. I shudder as I remember. I was glad to have enlisted several English major editor types to proofread my material. It was well worth it.

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm #


      Me too on the sales stuff. Thankfully I have to remain anonymous, so no book signing events for me! Completely agree with the English editor types, although talented proof readers can be found in other domains. I’m very lucky to have had a university English professor read my manuscript. Talk about a confidence booster.

  3. snoogiefisk December 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Congrats! How exciting!

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Thank you. Yes, it is exciting, especially as it is my first book. Won’t be my last – the feminist ninjas won’t know that I’ll be hiding out with Edward Snowden.

  4. waitingforprincecharming December 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Thank you to the advice for other writers… I eagerly await your book coming out (and my signed copy) πŸ˜‰ Maybe I myself will put pen to paper enough someday, but for what who knows?

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      WFPC, Thank you! I’m certain there’s a signature in there for you. Whose signature remains to be determined. πŸ˜‰

      • waitingforprincecharming December 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

        I’ve decided an alternative that would most likely suit both involved parties, if I may suggest?
        I request (if possible) a personalized inscription to myself (my real self), and perhaps could be autographed with initials?
        It being for my own personal use, and no one need know who those initials stand for, except yours truly.
        Just a thought πŸ™‚

        • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm #


          I think we can make this happen. πŸ˜‰

          P.S. My cousin is mentioned in my latest post.

        • waitingforprincecharming December 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

          I know, I’ve commented on the post πŸ™‚

  5. yakinamac December 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Congratulations on being one step nearer to publication! And you should get yourself a twitter account, you know – it really isn’t as painful as you might think, and very useful for contacting people in the publishing industry, or just hearing what they have to say. I joined up 5 months ago, and am now a real convert.

    PS I expect pictorial evidence of you donning the celebratory lemon tutu when the book comes out!

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      I’ll be banned from wordpress, lulu lemon stores, hot yoga classes, and elementary schools as a precaution if I make the spandex post.

      Thank you! I suppose I’ll have to learn about twitter. You’re right, of course.

  6. idiotwriter December 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Yes – I would be MOST interested in your proposal πŸ˜‰
    …sorry – reading that last sentence just made me lose complete track of my thoughts that I had when reading this. Got me in a giggle ~ which I truly needed right now.

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      I shall have to make the proposal a blogging priority, then.

      I trust it was a villainous giggle. };-).> (gads, I’ve grown a mole on me chin)

      • idiotwriter December 14, 2013 at 5:21 am #

        Oh – it was – mixed with lethargy and irony πŸ˜€

        • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 7:28 am #

          How ironic that you were lethargic. };-)>

        • idiotwriter December 14, 2013 at 7:58 am #

          :!–>—< = a little irony man. AND Saturday is a day for ironing. Oh we DO have such fun Chief πŸ˜€

  7. KG December 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Ooh Early Christmas? I like that line about Friday the 13th πŸ˜‰
    All the very best Navigator ( I like your pseudonym too )
    I don’t read much non-fiction but I would definitely buy yours. If I ever try to do my Ph.D on a topic other than computer science, I will use yours as one of the references. I should have told you this some time ago, well better late than never.

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm #


      Thank you so much. Yes, I couldn’t resist the 13th comment. πŸ˜‰

      I am honoured that my work could be of benefit to a non-CS doctoral thesis. More than happy to help with this.

  8. LindaGHill December 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Hey, that’s fantastic news! I’m so happy for you.

    This is wonderful information, and I look forward to your posts about your proposal. And you couldn’t find an agent in Ottawa? That doesn’t bode well for me then, does it? Or maybe it’s different for non-fiction…

    Thank you so much for this post. All very valuable. And bubbly too!

    *makes plans to kidnap you ’til the 31st*

  9. Dotta Raphels December 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    I always knew you had a baby sitter πŸ™‚

    So much work in publishing even if you self publish. I can’t wait for this one Mr, and I don’t think anyone or anything could possibly keep you from book two πŸ™‚

    • navigator1965 December 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

      Thanks, Dotta. Yes, it’s quite a bit if work. One has to be dedicated and persistent.

      You’re right. Nothing will keep me from Book Two.

      Cheers. Bedtime for sleepy here.

  10. suzjones December 14, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Congratulations and well done! It is such hard work. Keep going and success will be yours. πŸ˜›

    • navigator1965 December 14, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement, SJ. Much appreciated.

  11. Howisbradley December 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    How exciting! I’ve been considering doing the same and you may have just motivated me to finally get my ass in gear.

    I look forward to reading about your continued progress.

    • navigator1965 December 15, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      Hi Bradley. So nice to see you here, and glad my progress can be a bit of an inspiration for you. I probably won’t have any news for four to six weeks until the layout is done and I get the proofs. I’ll probably work on the book proposal posts between now and then.

      Cheers, and feel the love.

  12. idiotwriter December 31, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Just had a refresh here before moving to next post πŸ™‚ –


  1. Book Proposal – Part Zero | The Mirror - December 30, 2013

    […] mentioned in my recent post on my book’s status, I now begin a series of posts on writing a book proposal. I thought it best to start with a […]

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