Now It Gets Real


I’m almost finished with the first draft of my adult non-fiction project. I expect to be done by the end of May and have it the hands of beta readers by mid-June. That’s a blink of an eye. In a moment, it got real. I’m nervous. No, panicked. No, scared shitless. Yeah, that’s what I am.

I’m flying blind here. There are a myriad amount of things I’ll need to do to publish, promote and market this book. I’ve never done anything like this. In fact, this will be the biggest thing I’ve ever done.

And I’ve raised a son.

It has to be written well and perfectly presented. It has to have been thoroughly and brilliantly promoted and marketed on every social media outlet possible. It has to be published impeccably. And all this must be done by November fifteenth. That’s my launch date. In plenty of time for Christmas sales.

I feel hopelessly unprepared.

However, I will pull up my big girl panties and throw back my shoulders and face it. Whenever I’m faced with what seems like an overwhelming challenge, I break it down. Then all I’ve got are manageable pieces.

Right now all I can do is write this as best as I am able, then take it to my writers groups and get critique, which helps the manuscript. All I can do is work with the illustrator, who, I am sure, finds me frustrating at best. It seems I don’t know what I want until I see what I don’t want. I thank him for his patience in every email.

I will make copies to hand out to almost anyone willing to read and comment. Copies will also go to those who will help with promotion and marketing, to the web builder, and anyone else involved. By the end of July, I should have a finished product, ready to go to the publisher.

When I published my first book, after it had been with an agent and rejected by all the big publishing houses, there were no POD (Print On Demand) companies. Twenty-five years ago, the only options were to hire a vanity press or do it yourself. With my husband’s help, I did it myself. I still have four boxes of books in my garage.

This time I will probably use CreateSpace, a POD company in association with Amazon. I’ve heard good things. But I have no idea how involved the process is, especially when adding illustrations, or how long it takes. I plan to hire someone to figure all that out.

I will also have to hire people to build the website for this book, and to manage the social media. I want to make promotional videos to post online wherever. And those videos will require actors and a camera person. And music.

Whenever I add something to my list, more ideas come up. And the simplest idea becomes complicated the minute it’s thought.

How will I get reviews from credible sources? How do I get followers for all the social media outlets I will join? How do I make my promotional videos go viral? How do I reach my target audience? I haven’t a clue.

This is scary stuff.

I tend to procrastinate. I joke that it’s part of my process. But there’s no time for that with this project. My deadline is November fifteenth and if I miss it, I’ll have to put the book launch off until next year and that is not happening.

Stay tuned.


Fresh Year, Fresh Start


Happy 2015!!


Okay, I know, this year is not so fresh anymore.

I can’t really start the new year until it’s been here a week or so. For some reason I wish I knew, the year has to gestate for awhile before I can jump in. I’m like that with books – I buy them, then they sit on my shelf, or on my Kindle, for months or years before I get around to reading them – and with exercise DVDs or kitchen appliances or cleaning tools or garden projects. I buy all the stuff, but then they sit there, accusing me, until I finally pick them up.

No more. This is the last time. I resolve to read the books, use the new vegetable juicer, exercise to those DVDs. I am absolutely going to hook up that scanner that has sat on my desk for almost a year and learn how to use it.

Anyway, happy new year.

I am restarting my journey toward publication. At this moment I imagine the nine unanswered queries can be assumed to be rejections. I have one query that led to a request for the full manuscript and another asking for chapters. So that’s encouraging. Fingers crossed. It takes forever to hear back.

With all that waiting in mind and with the bit of encouragement, I’m sending out another dozen queries. I’m also running Alex Bullied through my newest critique group, made up of four other children’s writers. In what I thought was a near perfect manuscript, professionally edited, they are making suggestions that will make it stronger.

So, I resolve to be more productive and less procrastinating this year. I will write another book. I will get an agent for Alex Bullied starting by making it even better. I anticipate awesome developments this year, a year of great change.

And if I wait long enough maybe I can get started on it by February nineteenth, the Chinese New Year.