Friday, November 30, 2012

Why not...Self-Publish Your Book?

My book with pen name

by Jean Purcell

One of the first questions I get from new authors is "Should I self-publish or look for an established publishing house?" 
     I have done both, so my answer is "Why not think about both and see which sounds right for you?" 
     Then I try to add some of the pitfalls, either way. Whether you choose to self-publish or to sell your manuscript to an established publisher, you will learn along the way what is involved. There will probably be hopes, bumps, hard work, and sacrifices along the way, either way.

My first book was Not All Roads Lead Home (NARlH), my memoir, written under a pen name. My relationship with Highland Books, Ltd., UK --the publisher--was very positive. Highland still sells first edition copies throughout the UK.  
    Highland did not have US distribution rights when I wanted the book to be available in my home country. Eventually I started a publishing company, Opine Publishing. The second edition extended the flavor of the relationships, memory, religious influences, and changes--themes of the first edition. 
    Not All Roads Lead Home-Second edition adds key experiences of amazing years when my husband and I traveled to changing parts of the world (30 countries for me) from our temporary home in Geneva, Switzerland, until 1998. 

I love advising first-book authors that contact me. It was something I never expected to do. Helping them is one way I can give back. I enjoy getting to know them and their stories.   
    My hope for you is that whatever path you choose for getting your book published, that your dreams for your book will deepen as you work. Your book might give much-needed positive enjoyment for people in different places in life.
     All the best to you, and why not?

Related articles in hopes that you will not talk yourself out of doing the work of your dreams. 
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Detecting Reasons for Short Getaway

Diagram of where to put smoke alarms. The top ...
Diagram of where to put smoke alarms. The top caption reads "PLACE ONE SMOKE ALARM ON EVERY FLOOR AND SLEEPING ROOM". The top diagram is labeled "MULTI-STORY" with an attic, basement, two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. The bottom diagram is labeled "SINGLE LEVEL" and has similar rooms. Suggestions for smoke alarms are diagramed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On the morning after Thanksgiving Day: The old mini van's ignition gets stuck and my beloved husband needs to get the van, which already has laptop, books, and notebooks stored and packed inside. 

He comes back into the house and look at the owner's manual, which has no info about unlocking a stuck ignition. I go to laptop and find three related articles via Google. Fastest advice to try? Tap the ignition firmly with something that fits the size of the ignition. 

My hero takes a small hammer from the garage, I climb into the van and tap the ignition, because I love hands-on jobs. That does the trick after a few attempts. He can now get away without unpacking the van.  

That night, I'm watching TV late and remember that the dog still needs to go out, when the home security system begins to alarm, "Will Robinson, Danger!" The warning sounds intensify. My daughter, who was watching TV with me, locks the door to the room where we'd been immersed in the TV detective drama, and I call 911 before ADT can call us. I've already turned off the alarm. Or my daughter did that. It is so exciting and unnerving, this alarm drama, that I cannot remember. 

Two policemen arrive at the front door in about 20 minutes. They report answering the dispatch call and having already covered the perimeter of the house, testing every door. They'd like to do a walk-through. They disappear, returning inside where I'm waiting. They found one inside-entry door, to and from the garage, that seems to have been barely ajar yet closed enough to fool the security system, before... 

"Well, dust or anything can blow upward, reach a sensor, and set off the alarm," one says. 

I knew there were 35-40 mph winds that night. His partner mentions noticing a wrench on a window ledge, outside, earlier. 

"Do you know what that's about?" 

I tell them there was a spigot problem on Thanksgiving Day and my husband used the wrench. 

"That's a nice wrench!" the senior policeman says. He leaves for a moment and then he hands a wrench over to me. 

"That's a nice wrench," he repeats. "You don't want to lose that!"

After they leave, daughter and I leash up the dog for a a short walk. On the turnaround, we hear the familiar, troublesome creaking of a neighbor's tall pine tree. Our tree cutter man has already told me that those kinds of pine trees have shallow roots.

"But if that one falls," he said, "It will likely fall across your front yard, not your house." 

Remember those words is reassuring, but we cut short the dog walking--she's done enough of her duty. We'll be inside if this might be the night that tree falls. 

I remember car keys and an important member card being lost for a frustrating day or two recently. Then, a smoke alarm device had worked overtime pn Thanksgiving Day when our wood fire smoke kept setting it off. A guest had unplugged the whole thing to stop it, since we have two other smoke devices working elsewhere. 

Then the van's ignition problem. Altogether, I'm glad my husband is taking these three getaway days to work on his book: too many fix-it distractions at home! 

This morning he called to tell me that he finished the first, full rough draft. Oh, but he's detected a recurring problem with the water heater at our getaway place: No hot water without repeatedly resetting the gauge...or whatever. He's waiting for an water heater expert to come, and meanwhile, will try to get his mind on rewrites for first chapter. He hopes.  
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