Saturday, February 3, 2007

I Should Really Stick To Writing

Cindy Daniel (Guest Blogger)

Funny, the title of my new book is It's Not About You but this blog is all about me...

I took a break from writing mysteries, to co-write a non-fiction book with my daughter. The last few months of my life have been consumed with trying to get our breast cancer story out. However, because agents didn’t think my topic was worthy, I decided to self-publish.

Before I go on, I must explain my previous comment. I did the usual query and synopsis. For a couple years. The agent responses I got were “there’s not a big enough market,” or “it wasn’t compelling enough.” Well, I thought that since one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer the market was large enough for another book. Additionally...since my left breast was removed... I felt my story was compelling. But as we know, agents have the final say.

Anyway, if I wanted this story out, I would have to become a publisher. And because my daughter and I feel so strongly that our story is a message that must get out, I am now Batelier Publishing.

I have to tell you, though, it’s been quite a different road than just writing. First, I had to come up with a catchy publishing name. Next, I needed to find an editor I could trust. Then, who could do the cover art? Lucky for me that our writing community is so helpful and so experienced, because once I decided on the name my friends stepped up and gave me resources and advice to get me moving in the right direction.

I immediately decided on a printer; one who worked with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Amazon. Once I had their guidelines, I had to learn the new art transforming a document into a proper PDF file. I’d used PDF with my day job, but never had to deal with the intricacies of odd and even headers, getting your page numbers to start numbering when chapter one begins, and what do when you see an error in your final PDF product. Did I mention the cost of the software???

Thank goodness I was led to a terrific cover artist (Erica Well). She took care of all the formatting specifications for my printer; all I had to do was upload the file. I dodged a huge bullet there.

I got everything online to the printer and it only took one phone call from them, a quick revision on my part, and then the proof was ready. It was a joy to behold. The cover was beautiful. It captured the feeling, the love between a mother and daughter, perfectly. So I promptly ordered a supply so I’d have some for my upcoming library talk.

Reality check!

Out of the one hundred I ordered, ninety had covers that were unacceptable. The right side was short and part of the title was cut off. Then I found out that even though I’d done a wonderful job at getting the word out – the book was listed on Amazon as unavailable...

So am I thinking about the mystery manuscript I need to finish writing and have in good enough shape for my agent interview at the Hardboiled Heroes and Cozy Cats; MWA-Southwest’s writing workshop/conference in June; about writing the third book of my Death Warmed Over series; or about learning how to create a blog for my breast cancer website


I’m waiting on a return email from my printer about the mistakes. I’m glued to the laptop watching for an email from Amazon addressing how we get the books into their system faster. And I’m trying to get the energy to go upstairs to my desktop and put my out of print mysteries into PDF format so Batelier Publishing can release them and they’ll once again be available.

Where did my dream go wrong?

It didn’t.

You create your dreams. You go for what is important to you and then make it happen. I’m creating the path I want to take. I’m giving life to my dreams with each step I take.

And right now – the path is leading upstairs to my home office.

Cindy Daniel

P.S. For those of you who are dying to get a copy of my new book – PLEASE go online to Amazon and click the button that says “let me know when the book becomes available.”


kd said...

Beautiful Cover. Maybe Oprah will see it and fall in love.


Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Cindy, It sounds like publishing is one of those ventures, like opening a restaurant, that lots more people fantasize about than actually do the work. To anyone who might not know, Cindy Daniel is a legit and very funny mystery writer. Liz