Tag Archives: release

Michael M. McConaughey’s New Author Website

16 Jun
Blog, then book, and now author's website. Take that, J.K.Rowling! En garde!

Blog, then book, and now author’s website. Take that, J.K.Rowling! En garde!

Well, didn’t my “all-inclusive” package with FriesenPress.com include them setting me up with my very own author’s website. I’ll have to get Mom to Google it a thousand times or so, as this is about the limit of my knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). I don’t dare reblog my own post about it, as I may get caught in an infinite loop SEO event horizon and freeze time.

Plus, that would be gauche.

To help guide the FriesenPress.com marketing expert in setting up a website that I would like, they had a questionnaire for me to fill out. Due to the workload involved in leaving the RCAF and starting a new job / 2nd career–or 3rd, if you count the one time that the brass pole broke under my not-inconsiderable weight–, I’d lost track of the questionnaire and had to hurry to get it done.

Regarding author websites that appealed to me and why, what I included:

1. Mary Yerkes (Classic look, simple, book will look great with simple B&W theme.)

2. Dan Brown (Scroll down to the very bottom – powerful symbolism, which I love. The Mirror uses this in its cover art very effectively, as narcissistic mirroring is a core theme. Somehow, distorted mirroring live the cover design has to be incorporated.)

3. Website attributes I am looking for: Simple, uncluttered, powerful, symbolism, easy-to-find information.

The FriesenPress.com marketing expert thought that MichaelMcConaughey.com would be better than MichaelMMcConaughey.com (i.e., no middle initial “M.”)

I also had to chose five words from a group of descriptive adjectives that characterized the book and my “author image.” (I could add to the list, if required.) I chose: dark (somewhat); personable; mysterious; controversial; and revelatory.

I had him use my WordPress avatar instead of an author photo, so that I didn’t run afoul of a non-identification legal issue.

What do you think about author websites in general and mine in particular?

 

 

 

 

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The Book Fairy Waved Her Magic Wand: “The Mirror” For Sale At Barnes & Noble!

10 May
Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

 

The last that I had heard (middle of this week), my book information was being uploaded to distribution channels, and I should expect to see it hit the major online sellers in a few weeks, probably by the end of June.

Imagine my surprise to find that The Mirror is now for sale at Barnes & Noble as an e-book. ***UPDATE: Changed to all formats as I was typing!*** It’s really happening, perhaps a bit faster than I had expected. I’m still working with my FriesenPress.com marketing guru to get things like my marketing plan and formal press release done. I don’t even have an “official” launch date or event planned yet.

May I ask a favour from those who’ve already read the manuscript or galley proof? It would be helpful if you’d leave comments and rank the book at both places where it is now for sale:

 

Barnes & Noble

FriesenPress

 

Honest opinions and rankings, of course. My feelings won’t be hurt in the slightest if I don’t see 5-stars across the board; far from it. I suppose I’ll have to get that goodreads.com author’s account established, so that scores / feedback can be done there, too.

As per a previous post, I’ve copied people’s review comments and pasted them below. If it’s been a while, these comments can be cut-and-pasted (by their authors!) to the Barnes & Noble and FriesenPress pages for The Mirror. Or, new comments can be written if desired, obviously.

It appears as if I’ve passed that point of no return; I’ve crossed a Rubicon, and the die is cast. (I’m sure I was the first to utter these words, honest.)

For those interested in blogging about this or having an author interview, let’s wait until my marketing guru fleshes out the marketing plan before doing anything formal. It’s certainly fine to discuss the book, but we should probably wait until the book is available at all the major retailers, first.

P.S. I still haven’t gotten my WordPress email alerts sorted out. If I’ve been absent from your recent posts, my apology.

 

* * * * *

 

Test Reader Feedback [NOTE: Significant majority are women]

“I spent the past weekend with your book. It is excellent: your patient and blow-by-blow recounting of the hell you endured makes for a very gripping reading experience.” Professor of English Janice Fiamengo, Ontario, Canada

Absolutely love Book One. You captured my interest, my support and my heart.” S.F., U.S.A.

“In the beginning I felt as though I was reading “This Boys Life: A Memoir” written by Tobias Wolff, in addition to reading Follett or Le Carré filled with conflict and intrigue. I was on the edge of my futon. I will admit, this is my second reading. I want to buy it when published, you just have to autograph it so the book can sit in my book case along with my hard copy of my favorite authors. Definitely an awesome and honest story. It is terribly hard to believe the circumstances and that there are women out there like that “Mommy Dearest” comes to mind. Thank you for letting me read your story.” J.M., Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

I really, really enjoyed it! It was so real and personal that it actually made me cry at times. Most of the time it was empathy, sometimes sympathy… I truly enjoyed reading this. I feel as if you were talking to me over coffee at times and the read was in person. Although I’ve never met you, I feel like I understand and respect you as if I did. Thank you so much!” J.C., Ontario, Canada

“I have just finished the book….to be quite honest, it’s left me speechless. I have been through a range of emotions, realizations, and was especially challenged by the last few pages regarding the rejection of ‘feminism’ as defined by Michael. What a story…It made me think about my own upbringing and how the qualities of narcissism show up differently within the masculine and feminine paradigms (as Michael suggests). Feminist or not, this book is a page-turner.” J.K., U.S.A.

“The Mirror is eloquent and it’s human. You told your story with passion, with confidence and with conviction. You’ve done brilliantly at keeping it coherent and you’ve paced it out as well as any good work of fiction I’ve ever read. Your writing style is that of a true storyteller, and it was only on very rare occasions as I read that I didn’t feel you were sitting beside me, telling of the joys and the trials, the triumphs and the frustrations. I felt your losses and your significant wins, few and far between as they may have been. You should be very proud of your work… it is awesome.” L.G.H., Ontario, Canada

The Mirror is every parent’s worst nightmare—your children stolen from your life by a vindictive ex and a corrupt, incompetent and unjust system. Sit up and take notice, because this compelling and heartbreaking story will continue to happen to others until an outraged public demands social change.” K.H., Ontario, Canada

“I honestly struggled to keep this short, because I cannot speak highly enough of the book, and how and why it was written–and what reading it instilled in me. It was an intriguing, honest and at times humorous telling of the devastating injustice inflicted on one man. I was drawn intellectually and emotionally into the story of a father whose three children were alienated from him WITH the help of the judicial systems in place in Canada. I felt present with him through each encounter, unable to stop reading. Seeing and feeling not only his pain – but the indisputable truth he conveys with evidence to back up his words – caused me to rethink various aspects of my views on society as a whole. A must read for everyone who wishes for a fairer and better world.” B.B., U.K.

“I sat down intending to read the first twenty or so pages and was became so engrossed in the details that mirrored much of my own experience – I read it right to the end in one sitting. The Mirror reveals exposes a broken system that has punished many for no good reason.” B.C., Ontario, Canada

I am so grateful you wrote this book, on so many levels. You just nailed it all so perfectly. My mother was quite a narcissist. She took me from my father when I was 3, allegedly to protect me. I never could quite figure out, protect me from what? Thanks to your book, I think I get it now. Thank you so much for letting me read your book. It was powerful. I’m quite impressed.” G.G., Seattle WA, U.S.A.

“With respect to the book, if I may say so, it has been very well structured and your dry humor runs throughout. As you had mentioned at the end, it sure is an ordeal to go through it again to put it down, but you have done a very good job of it to have it neatly segregated… I was wondering, ‘how is he going to handle the aftermath of this tornado once it gets published and recognized?’ Feminists all over are going to be so over him. And I got the answer at the last chapter. ‘Damn them,’ you say. I say the same.” K.G., India

“Just finished your book! Your passion for the dire need of the courts to return to the unfeminized Rule of Law is palpable and well-defined.Your personal experience will resonate with millions of men, and not just betrayed fathers, but any man who has been unfairly subjected to any influential female “authority” figure’s misguided decision-making process, whether she be part the judiciary, business community, government, academia, military, organized religion or politics. They will suddenly realize that it was not just bad luck that produced their negative outcomes, but a full-blown concerted conspiracy to denigrate them for being men.” K.Q.D., U.S.A.

I found your book to be extremely interesting and very well written. You’ve also done your research, so it’s very well quoted, which I think is a plus for a book like yours. It is essential to read the experience of a man, so your book needs to be out there, needs to be read. Maybe it will help to make a difference and to help the system change.” V.B., Ontario, Canada

Never have I seen the pain and horror resulting from the gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated against fathers (and men in general) in today’s society so clearly portrayed. ‘The Mirror’ is a rare, inside look at just how impotent the modern-day father is rendered by the current justice systems of North America. It exposes the insidious underbelly of feminism in a raw, unapologetic account of one man’s struggle to save his children, and his refusal to give up, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition.” – A. T., VA, U.S.A.

You weren’t kidding when you said some people couldn’t put it down. I was up until 2:00 am last night reading, and then I started again after the kids went to school this morning. I found myself drawn in by your story, but also by all of the research you included. I am astounded by everything that has happened to you and your children; injustice doesn’t even begin to describe it. If this was 30 years ago, I could see it happening. But in this day and age? I find your story simply appalling. I hope, one day, your children will be able to see through their mother. No child deserves to be without a loving father, and no loving father deserves to be without his children. Looking forward to Book Two.” CA, BC, Canada

“I have just finished reading your book! After 43 years in an unhappy marriage, I feel so lifted up to know that I am not alone. One must always see the problems of others to realize that we do have things to be grateful for. All the best to you, with kudos for your wonderful book.” I.L., Ottawa ON, Canada

 

 

Coming Soon!: The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood

6 May
With apology to Robert Frost, The Cover Not Taken

With apology to Robert Frost, The Cover Not Taken

 

I have been blessed, in the eight months since starting blogging, to have made some absolutely wonderful friends from around the globe. The support I’ve received, especially for my forthcoming book, has been heartwarming. At times, I suspect that some of the book’s wonderful volunteer test readers are even more excited about it than I am.

I’ve received a little good news about the book from my FriesenPress.com account manager, and I thought I would pass it along. Be warned, though. There is a bit of a spoiler alert for those who want to wait to see the actual cover. The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood now has its place reserved at the FriesenPress online bookstore.

The book—hard cover, paperback, and various e-book formats—should be available for sale at the FP online bookstore by the end of the month. We hope to have the books stocked with the major online sellers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, iBooks/iTunes store) around the end of June. Since my package with FP includes book cancellation insurance, there is a chance that I can actually get the book into real bricks-and-mortar stores, too. This is part of the marketing challenge that I must rise to.

My next task is to develop a formal marketing plan. Thankfully, my package with FriesenPress.com includes working with a marketing expert to develop this plan, reviewing / editing of my book’s press release, 3 hours of marketing coaching (which includes 1 year of an individual .com website, managed with something called weebly), etc.

I have to place an order soon for the amount of books that I want for marketing purposes. I wish I could afford to buy all the test readers a thank you hard cover copy, but right now I have to marshall my copies for reviewers and other direct marketing activities (ebooks are a different matter). Maybe if sales do really well, we can revisit this, or perhaps do complimentary copies of The Mirror, Book Two – Harbinger of a Dark Age, when it comes out. What I can do now, however, is make a bulk order for Book One and pass along my author’s discount.

We can do the private book signing thing with this, but under a ladies and gentlemen’s agreement of confidentiality, if it’s my real name. Michael M. McConaughey or navigator1965?—no problem. The hard cover would be about $20, and the paperback would be about $10, plus shipping.

Let me know if anyone is interested: themirrorbooks@gmail.com. If things are a little tight at the moment, let me know, too, as I might end up with a spare book, when everything is said and done.

I know who my friends are. Thanks for all the support.

Started the manuscript 1st draft in August 2012. I'd been thinking about the project and structure for at least two years before that.

Started the manuscript 1st draft in August 2012. I’d been thinking about the project and structure for at least two years before that.

P.S. For those you’ve seen the actual cover, which do you prefer? The one I didn’t choose (above) or the one I did?

 

 

Book Update: Corrected Galley Proof Received!

27 Mar
Almost looks professional! Good work, FriesenPress.com

Almost looks professional! Good work, FriesenPress.com

The corrected galley proof .pdf for The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood is back in my hands after having been emailed to me moments ago by my FriesenPress.com account manager. My decision to bring in a elance.com proofreader late in the game has delayed things, and, while I do not regret his involvement, in retrospect I should have done this much earlier in the process.

Amazing what one learns by self-publishing your first book.

My proof reader was a stickler for especially punctuation, so there were a fairly high number of tiny changes–curse those commas!–in this last and final revision round. What I have to do now is to compare the marked up version that I sent back to FP with this corrected version that I’ve just received from them, to verify that all the corrections have been properly implemented.

After this gets confirmed, we’re off to the races for a May-June release.

For those who’ve been waiting for this corrected version of the galley proof to have a coveted pre-release read of this riveting tale of scandal and intrigue, please fire me a reminder email at themirrorbooks@gmail.com or gently give me a prod here, just to ensure that I haven’t missed anyone.

I’m happy for followers to have a no-strings, IN CONFIDENCE, pre-release read. If you’re not already on the list, you have but to ask.

Cheers, everyone.

Nav

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 friesenpress.com 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 FriesenPress.com. 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 FriesenPress.com 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.