I’m very glad you’re here! The publication of this book has been an interesting journey and I’d like to tell you a little bit about it. It is being published only because another writer took the trouble to write about his experience. Without that author’s words, I would not be writing this right now. My hope is that this post might do the same for someone else. I enjoy the challenge of crafting a story and telling it. The marketing of it? Not so much. This story was written more than a year before it was published. I finished it in May of 2016. I really did want people to read it. I wanted to know if they liked it because I had worked very hard to make it a fun read. But, the self-promotion required to get it noticed, and the slim chances of success were not appealing at all. I had done what I set out to do. I was happy with the result. I decided I would have to be satisfied with that. So, I set the finished (well, not quite, more on that later) manuscript aside and moved on to other things.
Then a couple of months ago, I purchased and read a book named Split Second by Douglas E. Richards. In his appendix, he described a situation much like mine. He had an interest in writing, had produced a book, and then had become discouraged with the publishing industry. Then, he had read a book that also had a note at the end saying it was published as an ebook on Amazon, it had gone viral, and was later picked up by Simon and Schuster. Well, Douglas also had a manuscript sitting there gathering dust. Why not put it up and see if anyone would read it? He did so and it was very successful. Needless to say, I thought “Why not?” also.
Douglas E. Richards wrote those words in 2011. Now, in 2017, it is even easier. The ebook market has continued to expand. So-called “Indie” (independent) publishing is gaining respectability. An author can now publish in both digital and print media through the on-demand publishers such as CreatSpace, the publisher of my book. Authors can cut out the middlemen and take their work directly to the reader. When I learned that, I was thrilled! The readers now decide which books become successful, not some publishing executive in a board room. That’s how it should be. So, I took the steps necessary to bring this to the readers and we are now on the verge of release.
You notice I say “we”. That is because it is now the work of a team of people, not just me. Some very gifted editors have offered astonishingly valuable help in polishing the manuscript. This is where the “more on this later” comment I mentioned earlier comes in. I thought the thing was finished. It was not. They showed me how to make it a better, smoother read and in general polished it to a high shine. Their commentary was also very encouraging. When you write something like this, you are very close to it. It is very hard to step back and see it from the perspective of a reader or an industry professional like these editors. I knew that. It’s true in architecture as well. You need a “second pair of eyes” as we say in my profession. So, even though I thought the book was good, I didn’t trust my own judgment. I knew not to. I needed an honest appraisal from industry professionals. Here are some of the comments they wrote:
“If his readers are anything like this editor, they will be shocked, surprised, touched, and amused—constantly engaged—at all the intended times.”
“The author is particularly good at bringing to life scenes involving complicated movements, such as fighting in the street or adjusting the catamaran to sea conditions.”
“The narrator may be omniscient but he likes to surprise us, and he does so most effectively and consistently. Tone is conversational and engaging.“
Those comments gave me the encouragement to move forward and bring it to the readers. Their insightful improvements made it much more than I had been able to do on my own. As I said, this book is the work product of a team. The next team member I’d like to mention is Bobbie Crawford. Remember when I said I don’t like marketing and promotional work? Bobbie is a publicist. She loves it! I lack the ability to do what she does. She fills that gap. If you are here because you heard about the book somewhere or followed a link, you and I both probably have Bobbie to thank. She has also made valuable editorial comments, though I had to drag them out of her because she is unfailingly nice and supportive. Finally, I want to mention Emma Rider. Emma is the gifted illustrator who produced the cover art. She took the manuscript and produced a picture of it that would encourage readers to check it out. I was very impressed and amazed by this talented lady. If you are contemplating a book project of your own, I cannot recommend them more highly. Bobbie Crawford can be reached via her website HERE. Likewise, Emma Rider can be reached HERE. On these sites, you will find a vast amount of information about these talented ladies and the services they offer. You will also see that my praise is well-founded.
When the book is released, if you read it, please consider rating it on Amazon and posting a comment there or here. If you liked it, I would love to know what you liked. If you didn’t I would like to know that as well. Both will help me improve. Thank you and happy reading!
John M. Ward