Friday, July 31, 2015

Project Update II

Now July has just about come to a close. The sand piles up in the lower chamber of the hourglass, quicker than I would have expected. But, paradoxically, that I expected. Is it really July 31st already? Have I been working at this project now for nearly 90 days? Do I really have a day less than seven weeks before my self-imposed deadline arrives?

Yes, yes, and yes.

July was busy, but it was productive. Just not productive in the areas I planned. Mainly the month was spent preparing my first manuscript for self-publication. What I originally imagined would take a week or ten days wound up taking nearly five weeks. In 31 days I devoted something like 48 hours to fine-tuning it.

I wrote the first draft in 2005, then edited it (to what I thought was perfection) in 2010. I realized this version would not do if I wanted to offer a superior product to a paying audience. So I went line by line and rewrote it. Took out embarrassing stuff. Corrected typos. Made all the names match. Buttressed the logical framework. Got rid of those pesky passive verbs and substituted colorful action ones. Formatted it. Spellchecked it. Printed it all out to do a final eyeball of it in August.

The bottom-line: Like all authors and their first novels, I will never be 100% happy with it. I could probably re-edit it again and replace five to ten percent of the verbiage. But it is as best as I can do it, right now, all things considered. I am happy with it. I am proud of it. I think others will enjoy it, and come back for more.

I did spend a couple hours this month on a few other self-publishing related activities. Three hours working at the beginning of July on my business plan. An hour getting together a special article I plan on giving away free for those who subscribe to the email list on my yet-to-be-created author website. An hour researching the website end of it, my main focus of August’s work. All told, I put in 54 hours towards self-publishing in July. Not bad considering I am still applying to 9-5 jobs, have a daily honey-do list, and watch two children. And by watch children, I mean: feed, entertain, exercise, discipline, and referee an almost-seven and almost-eleven year old, fourteen hours a day.

Speaking of exercise, I walked a little over 20 miles this month (mostly during the hottest parts of the day) and lifted 42 sets of iron (two different groups of six exercises performed three times a week). While I do feel it is keeping depression and negativity at bay, it is also taking a toll … physical exhaustion. Tomorrow we are heading down to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to visit my in-laws for a week, and I don’t believe I will do any exercising down there, except for, perhaps, swimming. So a week off for recovery should do wonders.
Still reading very motivational stuff of a very secretive nature. Perhaps a post on all down the road a bit, for those interested. So busy that I only put away two fiction books (Red Storm Rising, Deathworld 2), plus a thousand-line play from antiquity, Prometheus Bound, by Aeschylus, at Nietzsche’s behest. Still nose deep in a quartet of nonfiction works, each of which touches this self-publishing project – more specifically, me, my mental outlook, and future material.
Throw in Fourth of July fireworks, a day trip to the lake, my cousin’s wedding last week, and it’s been quite a hectic month. Even more so for the Missus, who in the capacity of her new position has been working 16-hour days for the last two weeks. We’re becoming strangers to each other, so, again, next week’s vacation is just in time. We did manage to watch two quality flicks together (the suspenseful American Sniper and the suspension-of-disbelief-required Imitation Game).
My main tasks for August:
(1) Figure out how exactly to offer my book. The format (Kindle, Nook, iBook, POD), what’s involved with any upfront money and time, what needs to be provided, what needs to be processed (copyright registration, ISBN registration). Need to design a cover. Need to create a catchier, more exciting title (the book’s working title was never upgraded).
(2) Need to create my Author Website. Lots of research needed. I know a fair amount already, but I am a little gun shy here, when it comes to $ commitment. The website itself is about 50 percent completed in terms of my vision and pages I’ve actually written.
So that should keep me busy. If I spent 54 hours on the business in July, I’m thinking each of the above should take at least that much.
Wish me luck!
And check back! I intend to read Olaf Stapledon’s groundbreaking Star Maker over vacation, so will have a review of that, as well as the obligatory What I Did on My Summer Vacation essay, and hopefully it will be extremely weird and enlightening as only a vacation with the Hopper can be …

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