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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Learning as we go

My friend, the artist Janice Movson, is having a show and sale of her work this week and next. Check out her Facebook page for more of her exquisite sculptures. She also makes wonderful bowls, plates and clay utensils. It's fascinating to see her living room being transformed into a breathtaking art space. She's building the display shelves herself and figuring it all out as she goes.

I've been swamped with meeting my own creative imperatives. It's always nice to have work. I also came back from California last weekend with a sense of urgency to get Dr. Simmons' manuscript edited, published and bound. Her health has slipped quite a bit since the summer, which I suppose can happen when you're high up in your nineties, but I want to make sure she can enjoy the culmination of her lifelong dream to write her story. The manuscript is now being copyedited and I have hired a wonderful designer to do the dust jacket for the hardcover. I have written the jacket copy and now need to wade through the good doctor's photographs to choose 20 that represent her life to be included in the book. I do wish we had time to shop the work to a mainstream publisher, who could write more scintillating cover copy, edit the work more deeply, the whole nine, but there is no time anymore to think like that. Dr. Simmons needs to hold her book in her hands, and I'm the one she asked to help her do it.

I'm dithering about which self-publishing outfit to use, as they all have both good and scathing reviews online. There is not a single self-publishing company I have come across that gets the gold star every time. I'm contemplating going with Bookbaby, as they have a very short turnaround time and a reputation for a handsome, professional looking product. And their intake person was excellent on the phone. I've seen reviews online that say their print books work out better than their e-books, which might be okay for me, as the doctor wants a printed book and couldn't care less about an e-book. Some reviewers also complained about their back end reporting of sales, so I need to investigate that more. They also only do the interior design and printing; I have to find my own editorial services but I do know lots of editors. Bookbaby will do covers, but I'm going with the tried and true designer who did the cover of my very first book project. He won a design award for that cover. Can't wait to see what he comes up with this time. 

Anyone out there have any experience with Bookbaby? Or perhaps you might have another self-publishing company to suggest?


16 comments:

  1. No suggestions. Just...wow! Big congratulations on seeing this amazing project through to its birth.

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  2. No suggestions but curious and excited!

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  3. You are doing such excellent work for this lady. I am proud for both of you and cannot wait to see the book!

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    1. e, i hope the work passes muster but truly, i do think this is work we were "meant" to do. xo

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  4. This sounds wonderful, albeit breathlessness-inducing! My two friends, Carrie Link and Karen Gerstenberger both published gorgeous books of their own. I will contact them and ask how they did it, although it was some years ago when that sort of thing was just starting.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I'd be so grateful for any insight they can offer, and I'd also love to know which company they worked with.

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  5. I will be excited to hold that book too.
    This self-publishing world seems like such a thicket. Wishing you the best of luck.Whichever one you chose, seems like going with your own designer and editor is a very good idea.

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    1. Denise, I agree with you on that last point! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything goes!

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  6. How exciting!

    Have you looked into She Writes Press? I don't know anything about them other than that their newsletter and it has interesting things in it. I'm not sure what exactly they do and don't do, but they seem impressive.

    Good luck and keep us updated :)

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    1. ellen, thanks for the idea; i'll look into She Writes. I had never heard of it. xo

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    2. ellen, just looked up She Writes Press, and you're right, they look impressive! I'm going to give them a call to learn more.

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  7. good to hear you're so busy! i don't have any recs for self-publishing, unfortunately but good luck!

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  8. This all sounds very complex, and even more so with the urgency of age upon the process. Good luck, as much as you need ...

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  9. Those sculptures. I am without words. I had to Google the artist so I could look at each sculpture in more detail. One of my dreams is to one day have a studio of my own and create with clay.

    I am very excited about the book your wrote. For the story of this mysterious woman but also because you wrote it! Will it be available in e book format?

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