Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Status

While this blog relates to (and with some postings, draws from) my book Guy's Guide to Domestic Engineering, I have not written about my getting-published experiences. I was afraid of TMI, too much information, and your eyes would glaze over.

I've been pretty focusd the past three months. As such, I've reread the book ten more times, and the publishing editors have read it four times. As I write this, the book is being proofed in final layout form. I expect those corrections within two days, and then I have one last shot at it.

I'm amazed at how much I still find, and have resigned myself to the reality that it will probably go into print with a few errors - hopefully less than the fingers on one hand.

The schedule should deliver a final product in about two weeks. At that time I will get my free contractual copies and the book will be available for purchase on the publisher's website, I have no idea what its value is, but iUniverse has awarded me Editor's Choice, a merit awarded to only ten percent of their authors.

For those interested I will post purchase instructions on this blog at that time, and send out an email to a preliminary list of friends and family. It will take another 6-8 weeks to go up on websites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or to learn if I'm getting any interest from the retailers.

Meanwhile, I have been hard at work piecing together my marketing plan. I am up to 600 email addresses, and another 100 snail mail addresses. Four videos, each about four minutes long, have been shot, edited and posted on my YouTube page. One more will be shot for an even five.

When the book is minimally available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble I will fire off an email blast announcing its availability and provide the link to the YouTube videos. The link will also be posted on my Facebook page. Hopefully those will be enjoyed enough to be forwarded throughout cyberspace. I will also launch my new website, This blog will then be available only on that site.

Yes, I am self-publishing. I beat my head up against the traditional literary agents' (and publishing houses') doors for nine months. No residual headaches. It is nearly impossible to become a first-time nonfiction writer without a platform. Platform? I am not a celebrity, sports professional, national politician, doctor-of-whatever, talk show host, or Julie* of the movie Julie & Julia. In other words, I don't have at least 100,000 followers who think I walk on water - which, by the way, I don't. That is why I learned to swim. If you are in the ozone layer of fame and/or fortune, you don't even have to write well. Publishers will hire someone to ghost write your book.

Self-publishing is swimming of another kind - upstream. Less than 7 percent of all published books sell more than 1,000 copies. I hope that when the time comes you will help me join that elite group and kick the odds in the ass - even without a platform.

* Maybe I should change my first name to Ernest, write a blog about replicating Emeril's recipes and dream of a movie entitled Ernest & Emeril. Then again, maybe not. Emeril uses too many ingredients with too many steps. My eyes glaze over.

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