Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Proof stage is complete!

Well, I just pushed the send button and accepted the Proofreaders corrections, the cover, and sent my corrections. This completes the proof stage. My chance to make corrections has now passed. I think it’s time to celebrate!

The book is going to production! Time for a
glass of chardonnay! This is where it all started!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Reconsidering the cover copy!

After I posted the pictures of the cover the publishers made and the cover that Tom was working on, I received E-mail from some readers of my Blog. It appears they like the cover the publishers made.
Tom made a copy of the cover on photo paper and it looks better than on regular paper. I have gotten past the publishers not notifying me that they couldn’t make the pictures into cartoons. It’s time to move on!
Now, my focus is on advertising. The publishers feel the cover is very important in selling books. Now, what cover will attract people browsing through the humor section to purchase my book? Here are some comments I have received on the publishers book cover. “I don’t like it!” “It’s too busy!” “It’s too dark!” “It’s great!” “I love it!” “It’s perfect!” “You have to use this cover!” Now I don’t know which direction to go, since the publishers can’t make the photos into cartoon pictures for the cover.
I would really appreciate your opinion. Tom posted three book covers. Would you please E-mail me and tell me which cover you think is the best for advertising and attracting people to buy my book? Or do you have any suggestions I could use for the cover?

A. The publisher's cover...........B. Tom's cover............................C. Tom altered publisher's cover

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just chilling!

Well, today I am finishing my fall cleaning, since I can’t move on with my book until I hear from the Editorial Board. I am working on my lists of who to call, E-mail, or send a mailing for advertising my book. Many people tell me E-mail is the best way to go, but I don’t have the E-mail of most of the people. I often heard people say, “My E-mail is piling up; I haven’t read it yet.” As far as mailing, someone said to me, “What will make your mail any different than any other junk mail they get? Also, I have been told that this Blog is a good source of advertising.
Tom is trying on his vest with 42 pockets. He is so excited he found two more pockets he didn’t know he had. He is putting gadgets in and out of the pockets. I think he wants to see which pocket works best for each gadget. (I’m just guessing!) I stopped asking about his gadgets long ago. I just don’t understand the need for them. You will have to read my book to learn more about how Tom’s gadgets evolved. Why he needs so many gadgets is a mystery to me. I devoted a whole chapter to Tom and his gadgets.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Waiting to hear from the Editorial Board.

I received an E-mail from the Editorial Board my Publishing Service Associate forwarded my E-mail about my concerns of my Proofreading. I am waiting to hear from them. Hopefully they will correct the mistakes.
I understand that I have to go over the book and check if there are any mistakes the Proofreader missed. However, he never addressed the punctuation. I left that up to him since I am not too sure where and when to insert commas. I paid the Proofreader by the word so he should have looked at every word.
Tom and I plan to work on the cover this weekend. I have to pick colors and he is still working on the photos to make them look more like cartoons.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The more I looked at the cover of my book; the more anxious I got. They only have one more shot at getting my cover like I envision it. Then, I have to pay extra for anything else they do. And they are NOT understanding what I envision! I sent two photographs and asked them to change them into cartoons and put them on the cover. Well, they took the photos and blurred and darkened them. Then put them on the cover. It does not look good!
I called my contact girl about my concerns and she said what I think is a cartoon and what they think is a cartoon may be different. Apparently! I am afraid to send anything else because I can’t communicate with them so they just do what they think I think.
I thought they would be in touch with me before they worked on the cover. However, they do the cover once. Send it. I accept or reject. Then they do another. If I reject, I pay for another. I would like to E-mail or talk to someone in that department to make sure that what they think and what I think is the same! But, I guess that’s not how the publishing works.
As for the Proofreader, I took a good look at the manuscript in book form and there are still many punctuation mistakes. I paid a Line Editor to go over my manuscript. She addressed my sentence fragments, dangling participles and other grammar mistakes. After she finished, there were still minor typos and punctuation mistakes so I paid for a Proofreader and thought he would correct the commas and typos. But he didn’t address the punctuation at all. I also found other mistakes he should have addressed. So, I called my contact girl again and she said someone should have checked the book after the Proofreader sent it back. She asked me to E-mail some sentence examples and they will check if there is a pattern.
So, I am waiting to hear about the Proofreading. Tom is working on a cover for my book and so far it looks great. We have mixed emotions about doing my cover because I am paying for the primer plus publishing package and experts in the field are suppose to be working WITH ME on my cover. Apparently what they think working WITH ME and what I think working WITH ME is also different. I thought they would communicate WITH ME before making the actual cover. I don’t understand why they couldn’t E-mail me and say, “This is what we are working on for your cover? Is this blurry, dark, ugly cover what you had in mind? What do you think?” Then I would TELL THEM EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT OF THE COVER AND EXPLAIN WHAT A CARTOON LOOKS LIKE!!! Then the experts would know how to design my cover.
Now, I have to reject the cover. Then I guess I have two options: I can send the cover Tom is working on and hope they understand it or I can tell them to design a cover and hope for the best.

..........Expert,s Cover. ..................Cover Tom is working on.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cover and Proofreading are complete.

My publisher sent the cover and the Proofreader’s corrections to accept or reject. The corrections of the Proofreader are okay however, I’m not quite satisfied with the front cover. It’s not what I envisioned for the cover. It’s too dark and busy. I have a friend and classmate who is an artist; I think I will give her a call and explain to her what I envision for the cover. Hopefully she can capture my thoughts.
Well Tom read my Blog. As he was reading it, I noticed him smiling and he looked over at me and just shook his head. Gosh, “that was easy” I should have taken over half of his room.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Post Product Editorial Service.

I checked the status of my book again on my publishers’ web site and it is in Post Product Editorial Service. I think this means it is being Proofread.
I didn’t Blog for a few days because I was a little busy. Tom went out of town so this was my chance to do what my friends and I call “The Ten Minute Rule!” The Rule is after he leaves you wait Ten Minutes just in case he forgot something and comes back. Then after Ten Minutes you start your projects. This Rule prevents all the hassle and comments from them whenever we want to make a home improvement. I explain this Rule more in my book.
This time I converted half of the spare room into an office for me so I can package all my books for mailing when the orders come rolling in. Then I took over a third of his computer room for my book information, my TWO briefcases, my computer, my plant, and other important stuff. He has been home for a day and hasn’t noticed the spare room rearranged with the added tables and shelves. I am sitting in my third of the computer room typing my Blog and he is sitting at his desk. He looked over at me and made a comment, “You are spending a lot of time in here lately.” If history repeats itself it will take a few days for him to notice my stuff and realize my invasion. Unless of course he reads my Blog; I suspect sometimes he just posts my Blog and doesn’t always read it. Well I will know in a few minutes if he reads my Blog.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A way to advertise my book or not.

I am still waiting to hear from my publishers! Yesterday a lady called and offered me a space on a placemat. Popular restaurants in the area will use the placemats. She said it is a circulation of around 80,000 I’m not sure this is a way to advertise my book. I usually just glance at the advertising on placemats. The cost is around $600 for a year. I told her I needed time to think about this offer so she will call back on Friday.
My publisher will send me a marketing success workbook and marketing toolkit which includes a set of templates for creating my own press release, sell sheet, event sign, post card, business card, poster and Web site banner ad. I guess this covers everything. I suppose I will wait until I receive these marketing items before I try other ways of advertising.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Promoting my book, business cards again.

While I’m waiting to hear from my publisher, Tom printed out some more business cards. I decided to try this approach to sell my book one more time. We went to the local tavern and ran into a few friends. They asked, “How is your book coming along?” So this was my cue to pass out the business cards. Someone approached me that overheard our conversation and was very interested in my book so I talked to her for about twenty minutes and gave her a business card.
Yesterday I ran into a friend and gave her a card and said, “Check out my Blog.” She said, “What’s a Blog?” I still haven’t figure out how this Blog will sell books. Then I ran into a classmate at the grocery store and she was on her way to a party so she took some cards to pass out. However, she said, “I don’t do the computer or E- mail just call me when your book is published.” So she won’t be checking out my web page or Blog. Maybe the web site and blog isn’t the way to promote my book. However, Tom thinks this is the way to go. I think there are many people who don’t use the computer or E-mail out there.Tom won’t give out a card unless it comes up in a conversation so he hasn’t given out any cards yet. In his circle of friends who is going to say, “Hey is anyone’s wife publishing a book?”

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Current Status.

I just checked the progress of my book on my publisher’s web site and the:
Current Status: In Production.
It’s been 9 days since my book went into production. All I can do now is wait!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pictures don't lie.

I’ve been busy checking over my manuscript again. After the Proofreader corrects mistakes, I am allowed 50 changes. After that I have to pay for the changes. They consider every push of the keys a change. Hopefully, the Proofreader does a good job because I don’t want to waste my 50 changes on typos. So far all the services of publishing my book have done a great job.
I put pictures in the center of the book to help you visualize some of the stories. I was looking over the pictures and for the first time I took a good look at the first and last picture. The first picture is Tom and I standing in front of his 1956 Chevy when we were 19 years old and the last picture is Tom and I standing in front of our 2006 Cadillac a couple months ago. We tried to do the same pose in front of the car but it was impossible. Did you notice how narrow the cars are today compared to cars in 1956?
I put the two pictures side by side and now I realize why classmates that I haven’t seen for awhile didn’t recognize me. I always felt a little perturbed when I had to introduce myself to someone that I hung around with eight hours a day for twelve years.

Who would have thought we would change from this to this in just 45 years!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Just one more thing

I bought my own briefcase to make sure it would hold all the things I needed. I guess I do have one more thing to say about my miniature briefcase gift from Tom. I found a use for it. I decided to put my business cards in it.
This week I plan to do fall cleaning and decorate for Halloween. Also, outside I need to finish cleaning the garage, deck, and yard for the winter weather because once my book is published I am giving my promotion 110% of my time and energy. I’m not sure what that will entail yet. I have already hounded, threatened, and bribed my relatives and friends to buy my book. However, when I approach acquaintances and strangers my sales pitch will have to be a little more tactful, I am sure!

My two briefcases!

Friday, October 5, 2007

My book is currently in production.

I E-mailed my publisher about the minor mistakes I found in my manuscript when I read it over the other day. She informed me that the designers are creating both the interior and the cover files for my book. Once the proofs have been created they will send them to the Proofreader which can take 2-3 weeks. Once that service is complete they will send me the Proofreader’s proof form and offer up to 50 corrections on my own proof form.I told Tom I needed a briefcase for just my book information since its getting close to being completed. I want to put the important papers that I have to address in one spot and be able to carry it around wherever I go. Well, I was sitting in the living room and Tom came in and said, “Here this is for you.” He gave me a briefcase. Check out the pictures at the end of this blog and see the briefcase my husband gave me. I have nothing more to say about the briefcase. It is just another story in my life of being married to a cartoon character. After you read my book, you will understand why I find this gift from Tom not in the least bit unusual. The gifts from Tom just keep coming!

My briefcase, a gift from Tom.

Filling my briefcase with papers from my publisher.
Going to the coffee shop with my briefcase.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Why this book took two years plus in the making.

It has been exactly two years and one month since I seriously started writing this book. I chose the title “Help! I Married a Cartoon Character” and decided on the form of my name Liz Lally as my author name. Over the last two years I changed the title three times. I have gone through a whirlwind of emotions while writing this book. I would write a story and that story would trigger memories and I would go off on a tangent. Then I would write another story and it would send me off writing in another direction on another tangent. I finally had enough material for three books. I kept changing the title to accommodate the tangents that I went down. Finally I needed to regroup so I went over the book with Lora and Maureen and they helped me get back on track. So I came full circle and am back with my title “Help! I Married a Cartoon Character” and Liz Lally as my author name.
I arranged the material that I wrote over the past two years into three categories:
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This book is The Good!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Polished Cover Copy

My publishers sent my polished cover copy back yesterday to approve. I didn’t check my E-mail until after I posted my Blog. Wow, they took my information and nailed exactly what I wanted to say by adding a few adjectives, adverbs, and verbs and some other suggestions. I immediately approved their suggestions. I think the next step is the illustrations for the front cover.
Here is a sentence from my book cover: These are the sometimes perplexing, usually hilarious, always endearing antics of a true American character---and the wife who loves him anyway.I went to the coffee shop with Tom and decided to go over my manuscript one more time for mistakes. I ran into a friend and since Tom had a couple cards, I passed out my second card with my book information.

Betty Bloging

Bloging at the coffee shop.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cover Copy Progress

Today I’m wondering if the publishers are working on my cover or if it is on someone’s desk. My publisher E-mailed a couple weeks ago and said that they merged with a couple other publishers. I wonder if that is a good idea or not. Is it better to be a small publishing company or a large one? I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Since I am new to this business, I don’t have a clue.
I found a couple mistakes in my manuscript yesterday. I wonder if the proof reader will find them.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Promoting on hold.

I changed my mind about making a flyer and decided to forget the promoting until I get the book published. I bought the premier plus publishing package and an advertising kit is included so I’ll wait until I get that and go from there. But I don’t understand how writing a Blog will sell my book when the only people who know about it is who I tell and I could just say, “Do you want to buy my book.” Anyway, my publisher’s newsletter said they do so I will keep on blogging.
I spent most of today reading my manuscript and checking for more grammar mistakes while waiting patiently for my cover to be completed. I read 55,673 words. I know exactly how many words because my publisher charges me by the word to edit my manuscript.