Tag Archives: The Mirror

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.

The manuscript

2 Dec

I submitted my approved manuscript to friesenpress.com this morning.

Not having been through the book publishing experience before, I thought I might make a post of it. In my humble three months of blogging, I seem to have fallen in with a rather delightful constellation of bloggers who, in many cases, aspire to be writers for various reasons.

I hesitate to break the news to them, but if they blog, they already are writers. Still, they might find my journey of interest.

My book adventure, if I can call it that, began in the summer of 2008. After four years of research and thinking, and with a couple of false starts, I finally began writing in earnest in August 2012. The first draft took five months. What was originally intended to be a 60,000 word effort – an artificial constraint – grew to 90,000 words at the half way point.

So one book became two. Two is to follow; One was enough for the present.

The first draft was the easy part, although it took most of my vacation time, evenings, and weekends. I was a bit driven, but in a noble way. What was harder was the refining. A series of wonderful test readers provided invaluable feedback. (Note to aspiring writers – your fellow bloggers are your best friends. Take care of them, and they will repay you a thousand fold.) Not proof readers per se, but insightful individuals who could provide meaningful high level critiques of the work. Every iteration improved the manuscript and increased my confidence that what would result would be something extraordinary.

Yet what parent doesn’t love their child?

With the help of these wonderful and supportive individuals, who are in fact deserving of praise for their contributions, the manuscript reached the point where I can breath a sigh of relief: it is beyond my ability to improve upon it, however imperfect it may still be.

Thus, is was with a clean conscience and no remorse that I submitted the manuscript to my self publishing house first thing this morning.

The forecast book release is February 2014. For those who have read the various iterations of the manuscript, you’ll understand me when I say that I suspect that my life will, to some extent, irrevocably change when the book is released.

To those who would write a more substantial work, I can state from experience that perseverance, grit, and a ton of hard work are the key ingredients.

Regardless, ofttimes in life it is the journey as much as the destination that proves to be what is truly important. For those who share this journey with me, however small this recompense may be, thank you.

The maelstrom approaches. Its name? The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood.