Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Okay, what's happening with the book?

Since I used the whole month of December to honor my son Paul’s memory I failed to provide an update on the status of my book.

My goal was to complete all revisions by December 4. My publisher asked for it on December 27, but, I wanted to take the month of December off so I pushed hard to reach that goal. And since she would be on a family vacation she asked that I not send it before she got back on December 13 so it would arrive when she returned. I’m glad that she agreed to let me send it early, probably understanding that if I kept it in my possession any longer I might be tempted to make more changes to it.

Fortunately I knew I was finished when I couldn’t think of anymore changes, edits, adds, or things to move-around that it needed. I could sleep at night not thinking about what I was going to do to my book the next day. The five months of living, breathing, and sleeping with my book was really over.
With the manuscript –which I sent electronically – I sent copy for the book’s jacket cover. And by snail mail I sent a DVD with photos for the book and the cover and hard copies of the permissions to use other author’s quotes in my book.

I had spent a lot of time amassing the photos that will be divided into three sections in the book – not distributed chapter by chapter. I also had my photo taken for the book jacket. It turned out to be quite a glamour shot, of course vastly helped by my wonderful makeup artist (my actor daughter-in-law insisted I get the best in the business and I listened) and my photographer (the photog for our The Emerging Goddess book of photos and poems), who did some expert touch-ups.  And my young friend (the Sundance_Kidd) took some very creative stills for the front cover. So the photo part of the book became almost as time consuming as gathering together the book’s text.

I also had all the permissions I needed except one. Some of my readers were right when they suggested that the quotes might need no permission if they were in the realm of fair use. That was indeed the case with the Random House quote. The other two quotes were not and each publisher asked for a small sum of money if wanted to go ahead and use them. I’m happy to pay since I feel the quotes are so important to my book.

However, I’m still awaiting one permission – one that I had no idea I would need. Random House referred my to another company (that shall remain nameless) if my book is to be distributed in the United Kingdom. I immediately queried and within minutes I received a new form to fill out. That was in mid November. When I hadn’t heard after the allotted time of four weeks I queried and received a snippy response that if I query them it will only take longer for them to review my request. Now it’s almost eight weeks later, and still no response. In the meantime, I wait silently.  

That’s the recap of the last month.

At the very end of the month I received a lengthy email from my publisher telling me she had finished reading my book two times. Whew! That’s a huge commitment and one I’m so thankful for. And she says she loves it. She gave me lots of compliments that I truly cherish, and she gave me suggestions for a few changes. Since I agree with her suggestions, once I get her mark-ups – they are coming via U.S. Mail as I write – I won’t have to spend more than a day to electronically make the changes. I couldn’t have gotten a better reward for spending those five months revising my book. It was well worth the effort and time.

I’ll be back with a report on my re-revision progress and next steps.

And, remember, my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, will be released by Lucky Press LLC on Mother's Day 2011.

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