Tag Archives: write

Copyright (c) and Pseudonyms: What Every Author Should Know

25 Apr
The cover I didn't choose

The cover I didn’t choose

There can be a number of reasons why an author would want to write under another name. For example, horror master Stephen King also wrote under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, so he could publish more often without saturating the Stephen King brand. More recently, Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling wrote for an adult audience as Robert Galbraith, to escape the Harry Potter hype.

These are examples from fiction. I am a non-fiction writer (well, for the moment, at least) who is writing as “Michael M. McConaughey.” Who I really am must remain an eternal mystery, just like the Bruce Wayne – Batman thing. Besides wanting privacy due to the rather controversial nature of my true story, there is actually a legal requirement that I not be publicly identified in association with my case. Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act s. 45.(8), under “Hearings and Orders,” is quite explicit:

Prohibition: identifying child
(8)  No person shall publish or make public information that has the effect of identifying a child who is a witness at or a participant in a hearing or the subject of a proceeding, or the child’s parent or foster parent or a member of the child’s family. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 45 (8).

I have a little bit of a problem, don’t I? My account manager at FriesenPress.com has informed me that we are now at the stage where she must submit the application for copyright to the U.S. Copyright Office on my behalf. I can’t very well have “Copyright (c) 2014 [INSERT MyRealName]” printed in the book, can I? As it turns out, I can’t use “Copyright (c) 2014 MYPRIVATECORPORATION INC,” either. All someone would have to do is Google the corporation name, and my real name would come up as a director (if I had one), as this is a matter of public record.

However, I can register the copyright of my book under my pseudonym. Here’s what the guidance says:

An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nicknames and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Copyright does not protect pseudonyms or other names.

If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office’s records, give your legal name and your pseudonym on your application for copyright registration. Check “pseudonymous” on the application if the author is identified on copies of the work only under a fictitious name and if the work is not made for hire. Give the pseudonym where indicated.

If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office’s records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application. You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. If an author’s name is given, it will become part of the Office’s online public records, which are accessible by Internet. The information cannot later be removed from the public records. You must identify your citizenship or domicile.

In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.

Works distributed under a pseudonym enjoy a term of copyright protection that is the earlier of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from its creation. However, if the author’s identity is revealed in the registration records of the Copyright Office, including in any other registrations made before that term has expired, the term then becomes the author’s life plus 70 years.

So, in my case, here’s what I have to do:

1 – Get my FriesenPress.com Case Manager to put my pseudonym of Matthew M. McConaughey on the copyright application, and identify it as such.
2 – Leave the space for the real name blank. DO NOT PUT MY REAL NAME ON THE APPLICATION!!!
3 – Recognize the difference in the duration of copyright by doing this (not a big deal, for me).
4 – Make certain that I can prove that it’s my work, in case some clown tries to claim that he or she wrote the book and is “Michael M. McConaughey.”
5 – Consult an attorney.

In my case, 1 and 2 will be taken care of by FriesenPress.com on my behalf, as this is part of the package that was paid for. 3 is really not an issue for me, at the tender age of 48. For 4, I have my correspondence with FriesenPress.com as evidence that I wrote my book. I could also show the manuscript to a lawyer before it is published, as such a lawyer would make for a credible witness. I can also mail myself a copy of the manuscript before it is published, but not open it (i.e., leave it sealed) when it arrives. This allows me to prove that I wrote the manuscript before I published it, as the mail would have a date stamp (hopefully).

For 5 (don’t skip this!), I would look for an honourable and competent attorney with expertise in defamation and copyright law, such as Toronto’s Mr. Gil Zvulony.

Mr. Gil Zvulony, Toronto Attorney (http://zvulony.ca/wp-content/uploads/Gil-Zvulony.jpg)

Mr. Gil Zvulony, Toronto Attorney (http://zvulony.ca/wp-content/uploads/Gil-Zvulony.jpg)


If you’ve done your homework, all it might take is a 15 to 30 minute telephone call with such an attorney to confirm that this applies in your legal jurisdiction (mine is the Holy Feminist Matriarchy of Canada). Being a little older and wiser, my book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood will be Copyright (c) 2014 Michael M. McConaughey.

Thus, I shall remain the most mysterious Michael M. McConaughey, Scourge of the Matriarchy.

[CAVEAT: This post is not to be construed as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only, to prepare you for discussion with a licensed attorney.]

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.


New Milestone: Revised Galley Proofs Are In!

13 Feb
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

For those wonderful and supportive people who’ve been following my quest to self-publish my first book, I am pleased to report yet another milestone. With the generous help of some wonderful fellow bloggers, I was able to do a multiple proof read of the original galley proof and send the marked-up galley .pdf back to FriesenPress.com for revision. The revised galley proof made it into my inbox today.

Unless I want to pony up more money, this is the 2nd and final revision round in my “all-inclusive” package with FriesenPress. (Which implies that it is actually an almost-but-not-quite-all-inclusive package, but I suppose they’ve got a business to think about.)

My goal is to have this revised galley proof reviewed for errors and typos (I’ve already seen two minor ones), and to have it back to FriesenPress.com within one week.

Anyone who would like to help proof read please fire me an email at themirrorbooks@gmail.com. You don’t have to proof the entire book. Even one chapter would be really helpful, and we can spread these around.

Even if you don’t want to proof, if you’re interested in having a read, fire me an email anyways, and I’ll send you the galley proof. Or, if you’re an existing test reader in progress, fire me an email to wake me up, and I’ll send you the latest and best version.

Here is what University of Ottawa Professor of English Janice Fiamengo had to say about the manuscript when she read it back in the fall (2013):

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.

Google image search

Google image search

Janice is a magnificent woman who used to be a devoted feminist for noble reasons, but who later left the movement when she saw through its false scholarship and learned of the rampant harm it was doing to men, children, and society. Janice now courageously writes and speaks against feminism.

I’m saving the rest of all my wonderful test readers’ feedback for a later post. However, if you like any of autobiographies, human interest, scandal, intrigue, gender politics, triumph over adversity, amazing new ideas, or dishing the dirt on “psycho chicks,” odds are you’ll find this book a difficult one to put down. Even more so if you are not a fan of feminism.

For all those people who’ve helped me and supported me in this, what you’ve done in this means more to me than words can say. Thank you. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to suggest that this book may be the most controversial of its generation.

You are part of bringing it to life.

Rage in the Prison of my Circumstance

24 Jan
Lycaon turned  into a wolf (Goltzius 1589)

Lycaon turned into a wolf (Goltzius 1589)

I am restless, to and fro
In the prison of my circumstance
The rage within does start to grow
This burning rage well do I know
I feel it swell into extreme
And rise into my tighten’d throat
It gathers there and burns as steam
Then unleashes a most frightful note
With head thrown back in carnal song
My eerie scream against the night
In a horrid moment so prolong’d
Rabid echo of my fearsome plight
Fields of freedom are within my sight
As I reach beyond my prison’s bars
In a futile hope to grab what’s there
And then I turn my burning glare
To the walls that bare the scars
So gouge’d into by flailing claw
Propell’d by force of rage so raw
Then of prison’s door I am aware
I attack it with a rage renew’d
The door then yields to my stern will
Torn asunder by a violent blow
Yet my torment-scream grows louder still
For my jailer, now, he is construe’d
And blocks the door, this man. I know
My freedom he will not bestow
For I can’t permit myself to go.

Galley Proofs Are In!

20 Jan
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

Well, it’s an exciting day in Navigation Land. I returned from work and found 623 new emails in my inbox, of which 600 were WordPress email alerts. Included amongst the other 23 were the galley proofs from my self-publisher. Bad news: February isn’t an option if I am going to take the time to scrutinize the files. I have already caught three errors in the book galley upon a cursory look, so one can never assume that everything is perfect. For example, look how the book is both (c) my company and me at the same time:

Place your faith in God. Everyone else's work, double check.

Place your faith in God. Everyone else’s work, double check.

In the spirit of this major milestone—this is my first book, and hence my first galley proofs—, I have two questions to pose to everyone, and I would be grateful for your thoughts:

1. I have the cover designs for the hard cover and paperback / soft cover books. Nearly identical. How far in advance of the book release should I unveil the cover? Closer to the release date can build drama. Sooner might make for more effective marketing, in that it gets your cover “out there” in the social media sooner.

2. In today’s social media age, should I have this information about myself on the back cover? Should there be my Gravatar along with “www.navigator1965.wordpress.com”? I suppose this would mean that I have to get a twitter account and maybe a Facebook page for The Mirror.

Since I now have to bear down and get the proof reading / scrutinizing done, I’m afraid that I will be less active at everyone’s blog for a while, for which I ask your understanding.

For those who have read the manuscript, you know just how “interesting” 2014 will be for me once the book comes out. This is one genie that’s going to be awfully tough to put back into its bottle once I let it out.

No quarter. None asked, none granted. }:-)>

compass rose

Book Proposal – Part Nine “Sample Chapter”

19 Jan
A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

Here we are at the final part of my book proposal, the sample chapter. Let’s review where this fits into the proposal:

– Overview

– Sales Objective

– Marketing / Promotion / Platform

– Competing or Reference Books

– About the Author

– List of Book’s Chapters

– Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

Sample Chapter

In the Overview, I hopefully have hooked the publisher in the first few lines of my proposal, and I gave him or her the big picture snapshot of what my book was about. Based on a great comment from blogger suzjones to an earlier post in this series, I now know that I should have had a social media “platform” in place by this point, as the first thing the publisher will do is Google my name or perhaps the title of my manuscript/book. I had no social media presence in 2010, other than a rarely used Facebook page.

In the next three sections, I tried to show that I understood that publishing is a business, and what the business aspects of my book were that would make the publisher want to choose it. Then came a brief summary of who I was as a person and an author. People like people.

The final three parts of the proposal demonstrated that I had actually thought about writing the book, and had planned an appropriate structure against which to write. In the last of these, I included a sample chapter. I’ve read that this should not be the Introduction or the first chapter. Probably shouldn’t be the final chapter either, but this is a guess on my part. If the publisher gets this far in your proposal, you obviously done well. Now it’s time to give the ultimate proof, which is that you can actually write well, and that the book will be interesting.

As there have been significant changes in the publishing industry in the last few years, there may be less importance to this part than in previous times. Not that it isn’t important, however. But for a first time author these days, odds are that you’ve already written your first book, built a social media platform (i.e., following), and have already demonstrated that you can write. If the publisher Googled you and hit your blog, hopefully they see that you’ve already had good feedback on your work, parts of your work, or your writing in some regard.

I’m not going to include the sample chapter here, as it is too long for a blog post. Anyone interested in reading what this proposal ultimately evolved into, please feel free to email me at themirrorbooks@gmail.com. No cost, no strings.

For everyone who followed along with this series of posts on the book proposal, thanks for your interest, support, and kind comments. Who knows? From this humble, first time attempt at a book proposal, a successful book may ultimately arise. I’ll know better as this year progresses, as the book should be out next month. The first galley proofs are due to me early next week, which is an exciting milestone.

I never seen an actual galley proof before, let alone having been responsible for the creation of one.

I’ll conclude by making a master list (hyperlinked) of the posts in the series. Cheers, everyone.

* * * * *

Part Zero – The Book Proposal

Part One – The Book Proposal

Part Two – Overview

Part Three – Sales Objective

Part Four – Marketing / Promotion / Platform

Part Five – Competing or Reference Books

Part Six – About the Author

Part Seven – List of Book’s Chapters

Part Eight – Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

Part Nine – Sample Chapter

Book One of my magnum opus

Book One of my magnum opus

Book Proposal – Part Eight “Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries”

13 Jan
A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

Here is where we are in the rough “industry standard” format that I adopted to write the proposal for ONE:

– Overview

– Sales Objective

– Marketing / Promotion / Platform

– Competing or Reference Books

– About the Author

– List of Book’s Chapters

Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

– Sample Chapter

By this point, I’ve given the the big picture sales pitch (Overview), showed a prospective publisher that I understand that publishing is a business (Sales Objective, Marketing, Competing/Reference Books), told them a bit about me (About the Author), and what my book’s structure is (List of Book’s Chapters).

So what will be in those chapters I am planning to write?

As per my previous posts in this series, this proposal, my first, was never really considered by the one traditional publisher to whom it was given. The book it described turned out to be significantly different in some regards from the book it eventually evolved into. Yet had it not been for this proposal, I never would have made it to the point where I now find myself: within a couple of months of book release.

For those who have read the manuscript, it may be a bit interesting to see what my original thoughts were as to what I intended to write. Note that I included epitaphs, which are those quotes you sometimes see at the start of chapters. I use epitaphs in the current book, although not necessarily the same ones. I’ve found them apropos given the nature of the book.

With apology for this slightly long post, here is what I envisioned two years before things really started clicking and I began the first draft in earnest:

* * * * *

Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

Author’s Forward

Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it.
Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held.
Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books.
Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin.
Believe nothing just because someone else believes it.
Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.

– Buddha [paraphrased]

1. Was Someone Trying to Tell Me Something?

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it. – Andre Gide

This introductory chapter lays the foundation for reader’s the journey of discovery. It introduces the tale of Narcissus in a unique manner, by juxtaposing it against the concept (Hamlet’s Mill) that ancient myth encodes factual knowledge of fundamental importance. Was someone trying to tell us something so important that they embedded it into the very fabric of human culture?

2. Glancing in the Rear View Mirror

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream. – Kahlil Gibran

The foundation to the author’s journey of discovery: spiritual, introspective, a life destined to ponder the question why? An earnest retrospective on those aspects of the author’s life – e.g. beatings at the hands of bullies – which left him vulnerable to a narcissist.

3. Living a Myth Isn’t Living the Dream

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung

The author’s life married to a narcissist. Having to walk on eggshells and teaching the kids to do the same, thus laying the foundation for events to follow, the insidious poisoning of relationships, the disturbing relationship between mother and daughter that he didn’t recognize until too late, the not-quite-right things about the wife’s sisters and mother, all which never made sense until the author could put a name to it: narcissism.

4. A Maelstrom Is a Poor Place for Swimming Lessons

Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. – Demosthenes

How events began to spiral down, too slowly for the author to understand until it was too late. The true beginning of the narcissistic destruction of the author’s relationship with his daughter, the escalation of what might have been Munchausen By Proxy, and the two year progression of his wife’s addiction that destroyed the marriage. Dealing with a rabid campaign to destroy his relationships with their children, and a serious concern that Munchausen By Proxy was about to get deadly.

5. Thanks for Planning my Funeral – How Rude of Me Not to Die

If you wish to strengthen a lie, mix a little truth in with it. – Zohar

As things spiraled out of control, the author made the huge mistake of contacting the XXXX Children’s Aid Society, who not only refused to investigate his claims, but actually assisted his wife in alienating the children. When they couldn’t bully him from his home, they insidiously fabricated a non-existent child protection “concern” that contradicted their own mandatory regulations. They effortlessly succeeded in having a judge, without trial, order him out of his own home and issue a de facto no contact order against him, giving his wife unrestricted license to abuse the kids. What they didn’t realize was that what they were doing had a special name: abduction, as defined in the Criminal Code. They also badly underestimated the author’s love for his children and his resolve to protect them from abuse.

6. Sigmund Freud Sipping Coffee at a Paris Café

The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?” – Sigmund Freud

There is a second type of narcissism, which is only documented in academic literature as ‘covert” narcissism. What experts haven’t realized is that it is a feminine form of narcissism, and that the two narcissisms can be intuitively equated to the corruption of male and female socialization behaviours as per Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus. The chapter title is an allusion to the French emphasis on gender in thought and language, especially their employment of the gender-based definite articles le and la. This chapter will explain the sad affliction of narcissism in a way that men and women everywhere can relate to, and in a way that has never been done before.

7. When an English Monk Serves Duck for Geometry Class

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. – Galileo Galilei

There is a saying that if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it’s a duck. The author had the realization that what he encountered in terms of child protection workers, lawyers, judges and even senior elected officials contributing to the child abuse, either by commission or omission, shared the same attributes as the feminine form of narcissism. This implies the rather staggering possibility that people can collectively display “personality” dysfunctions, which poses the fundamental question of whether or not societies are a form of collective human organism. This chapter gently exposes the gender feminist portrayal of woman as a perpetual victim for what it truly is: the narcissistic corruption of truth in support of pathological emotional needs.

8. What Mrs. Crocodile Thinks Every Good Mother Should Know

The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds. – Will Durant

Women, including many learned professionals, complain that they have and are being betrayed by feminism. This chapter builds a logical, intuitive and common sense foundation of how and why this happened, and how men and women can approach one another with respect for both the gender and the individual. It’s emphasis on the feminine gender will particularly resonate with female readers. It will be written with sensitivity and gentleness.

9. What’s Good for the Gander is Good for the Goose, so Long as Mine Doesn’t Get Cooked

The dogma of woman’s complete historical subjection to men must be rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human mind. – Mary Ritter Beard (1876-1958).

Based upon the previous two chapters – that contemporary gender feminism is in fact a narcissistic phenomenon (and not about equality) and how to recognize what is actually true from what gender feminism pathologically needs to be true -, this chapter identifies how gender feminism has harmed women, men, children, and society. It will expose with a simple eloquence of thought that is intuitive to even the more humble of readers.

10. ONE

Our lack of compassion stems from our inability to see deeply into the nature of things. – Lama Surya Das

What the author learned throughout his journey of discovery and how it has forever changed how he perceives himself and how he understands the world. It will be written as the final portion of his life’s spiritual journey of understanding and wisdom, and with the hope that both genders can learn to live in a state of harmony based upon mutual respect and appreciation, and in particular be freed of ideology and stereotype. In the death of Narcissus, something beautiful will bloom.

11. Epilogue

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you. — Unknown

A traveler’s things must be put away after every journey. This chapter, in so doing, will complete the journey of understanding for both author and reader.

* * * * *

Since ONE eventually evolved to become The Mirror, Book One and the future sequel Book Two, there are concepts here that are yet to be covered, and which await Book Two.

Book Proposal – Part Seven “List of Book’s Chapters”

12 Jan
A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

We now get to the part of the book proposal where we start to do some hard planning as to the book’s actual structure. This is where the basic blueprint starts to outline the framework against which we will write.

Bear in mind that I: a) had never written a book before; and b) had never written a proposal before.

My internet research suggested that publishers generally want a book no longer than 300 pages / 60,000 words from an unknown, first time author. Perhaps this only applies to fiction; I don’t know. Regardless, I imposed this artificial constraint upon myself for this part of my proposal. As it turned out, it was completely unrealistic for what I was trying to accomplish, but I didn’t have the experience with longer written works to appreciate this.

What I will is show what I originally wrote in this part of my proposal for the stillborn book concept of ONE, which included the word counts that added up to slightly less than the 60,000 word constraint. Afterwards, I’ll show what I actually came up with for the current book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood. Note that I tried to make the chapter titles as interesting as possible, and that they betray a sense of humour:

* * * * *

List of Book’s Chapters

1. Was Someone Trying to Tell Me Something? (4,000 words)

2. Glancing in the Rear View Mirror (3,000 words)

3. Living a Myth Isn’t Living the Dream (5,000 words)

4. A Maelstrom Is a Poor Place for Swimming Lessons (10,000 words)

5. Thanks for Planning my Funeral – How Rude of Me Not to Die (10,000 words)

6. Sigmund Freud Sipping Coffee at a Paris Café (6,000 words)

7. When an English Monk Serves Duck for Geometry Class (6,000 words)

8. What Mrs. Crocodile Thinks Every Good Mother Should Know (6,000 words)

9. What’s Good for the Gander is Good for the Goose, so Long as Mine Doesn’t Get Cooked (6,000 words)

* * * * *

Book One of my magnum opus

Book One of my magnum opus

[The Mirror, Book One]


BOOK ONE: Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood (94,000 words)


PART I: Narcissus’ Sister
1. Genesis
2. Life
3. Decline & Fall
4. Mirror

PART II: Courts of InJustice
5. Maelstrom
6. Something Wicked This Way Comes
7. Something Wicked This Place Stays
8. Vive la Revolution!

Intermission – Act I

BOOK TWO: Harbinger of a Dark Age


Intermission – Act II

9. Slavery

PART III: Matriarchy
10. (Swastika in the) Mirror
11. Prime Time
12. La Cage aux Folles
13. Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged
14. The 2nd Library of Alexandria
15. CAIO Feminazis

Post Script

* * * * *

As we say in the military, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. There has been a substantial evolution from the plan for ONE to the resultant The Mirror. Going the self-published route liberated me from the artificial 60,000 word constraint, and now one book will be two.

I started research for what would ultimately become The Mirror back in the summer of 2008, and under dire family circumstances. Roughly two years later, I wrote this proposal for the concept book ONE. Roughly another three and a half years, and I am on the verge of publishing The Mirror.

I suppose this rather makes me a Terminator when it comes to feminism. They messed with the wrong Dad’s kids.


Always ride with two hands unless it's to use your shotgun

Always ride with two hands unless it’s to use your shotgun

Book Proposal – Part Five “Competing or Reference Books”

5 Jan
A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

In trying to write a proposal for a traditional publisher, I gave this section it’s fair consideration too. It is a reference for the publisher to see a) that you understand that publishing is a business; and b) what part of the market that you are targeting.

I used amazon.com and wikipedia.org as my primary research resources. As for the books, I had read the non-fiction bestsellers or books of interest that would serve as either competition or references. In terms of references, I took this to mean both the type of book, the market segment that I would be writing to, and the sales potential.

Remember: I was (and am!) hunting big game in terms of non-fiction best sellers. Here’s what I wrote:

* * * * *

Competing or Reference Books

The author suggests the following three examples as competing books. He believes the success of these books is an indicator of sales potential for ONE as much as it is an indicator of adversarial potential; i.e. readers who bought these books would be interested in ONE:

OUTLIERS: The Story of Success. (Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown & Company ). # 8 on Amazon.com non-fiction best sellers’ list (518 days) as of 23 February 2010.

THE TIPPING POINT (Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown & Company ) # 26 on Amazon.com non-fiction best sellers’ list (1,291 days) as of 23 February 2010.

SUPERFREAKONOMICS: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, William Morrow). # 34 on Amazon.com non-fiction best sellers’ list (133 days) as of 23 February 2010. The previous FREAKONOMICS book sold over 4 million copies.

ONE will exploit the same reader base that these three books appealed to, and will rival them in terms of intriguing ideas presented in an easy-to-read, engaging style. ONE will also provide answers raised by the following type of books, but not in an academic or an ideological fashion:

WHO STOLE FEMINISM? How Women Have Betrayed Women (Christina Hoff-Sommers, Simon & Schuster) From Amazon.ca review by Rocco R.: “The American people are tired of disingenuous, narrow special interests, lies, and deceptions—which is precisely the reason why Christina Hoff-Sommer’s book is so enormously popular.”

SPREADING MISANDRY: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (Paul Nathanson and Katherine K Young, McGill-Queen’s University Press). At Amazon.ca: “What makes Spreading Misandry a useful book is that it puts a small spoke in the works of the large and noisy machinery of moral indignation that feminism has succeeded in constructing in academe and the media over the last 20 years.” The Sunday Independent

* * * * *

Okay, nobody laugh. I am now about to leave for my first ever hot yoga class.

“Apology, Madam. I thought the instructor said ‘downward dirty dog.’ Won’t happen again, I assure you. Besides, my eyes were closed. Is it hot in here, or is it just me?”

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.