I am deeply into the process of getting my new book, I’m Not Done Yet…And Neither Are You! ready for publication. There’s about as much to research on this as there was on organ transplantation seven years ago. And it’s equally overwhelming. I was successful with the transplant process, now I can only hope to survive this as well.
My experiences during the two years of illness and recovery surrounding my 2006 liver transplant were so full of miracles and lessons that as soon as I had my energy back, I felt compelled to share the story in a public way. I assembled and transcribed the diaries, journals, notebooks, drawings, and other source material I had saved, not ever realizing then what I might do with all these artifacts later. Then I dove into six years (on and off) writing and rewriting, alone and with the help of mentors such as Sebastian Matthews at the Great Smokies Writing Program, Peggy Millin at Clarity Works, and Diane Rhoades‘ program using Guided Autobiography. Writing and rewriting until I got the manuscript to a point where I liked the content and the quality of the voice behind the story.
Finally done (or so I thought) and excited to put the book into the world where it may help and inspire other people, I took Cynn Chadwick’s class, If You’re Going to Do It Yourself, Do It Right: Navigating the Road to Digital and Print On Demand Self-Publishing. I came away with the basics of online publishing, and a little more. Through Cynn, I connected with Julie Abbott, Submissions Editor of The Great Smokies Review, who became my editor as well. The notes I received after her Julie’s first concept edit set me into a substantial amount of rewriting – one more time. Whew!
While Julie has been completing the copy edit of that final revision, I’ve been climbing the learning curve with online self-publishing tools–how to reformat a Word doc for various e-readers, how to format for print on demand, how to prep images, how to create an author’s website (this one!), book marketing and distribution. Whew again!
The process is certainly challenging (I love that.) Time consuming (I’d rather be painting the glorious autumn changes.) Daunting (Will I possibly break even financially?) And frustrating–So much to fit in and still be a domestic goddess, responsive mom to adult children, good friend and neighbor, and partner with my brother in providing care for our elderly mother. Good thing I pack that powerful mantra I mentioned in my last post, courage, optimism, patience, and Grace.
To be continued…