2023 Book Update: First Draft Complete

Long time, no book update. The last update was back in January of last year. Initially, I was planning on doing monthly book updates on the blog to keep myself accountable, but I found that book updates at that frequency would be repetitive. Just me saying the same things over and over again and what more can I say if I haven’t revealed what the topic of the book is about besides me saying a coy “it’s about classic rock for sure”. Also, life happens and I didn’t want my blog to be populated on the front page with book update after book update. Don’t worry, I didn’t neglect the book. Far from it actually. I juggled occasional blog posts and writing my book, while battling chronic pain last year. I had to take a couple months off to recover from a very much needed hysterectomy and now I’m doing much better (still got back pain though, but that’s manageable). It wasn’t all unhappy though and I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me, I travelled a lot with my travels taking me as far away as Israel and Hawaii and this year I have some more travel plans in the pipeline. Not gonna say too much yet, but they will become travel blog posts, I promise. I really am lucky that I have such a supportive family and husband and they support me fully in my writing and I’ve gotten to go so many places around the world with them and hopefully many more in the future.

But I have good news for you and I’ve made a lot of progress on the book since last year. In May it will be two years since I started working on the book and the word count according to Pages is over 97,000 words, so that’s over 30,000 words written since the last update. As I’ve said before in my 2022 year in review post, the good news is you’re going to get to read it sooner and you’ll have a part 2 to look forward to.

What’s next for the book? Well, all the less exciting things about writing a book. The business side of things. My weakness. This is a whole new world for me and I am basically jumping off a diving board into the deep end of the pool that is publishing and legacy media and I’m scared. Plus there’s gonna be a lot of money that’s going to need to go into making this the best book possible. I don’t want to just sell you a book that’s mid. I want this to be my best writing about classic rock yet and something you’re proud to display on your shelf. No matter how good of a writer you are, everyone needs an editor. You shouldn’t edit your own work because you’re going to have a bias, your eyes get tired of looking at your own work (even if it’s really good), and it’s extremely helpful to have another set of eyes and a different brain looking at your writing and giving you their opinion, but a skilled person’s time costs money. I’m sure I’ve made plenty of silly writing mistakes or developed some weird quirks as a writer because for the most part, I’ve always written independently with no feedback from an editor and no one to bounce ideas off of. Also I write a lot at night (I’m a night owl) and fuelled by caffeine so there’s bound to be a lot of mistakes. It really makes a huge difference when working with others and that’s why writing is team-oriented. Also, can’t forget the importance of grammar and spelling checks. When looking through my blog I’ll still notice typos here and there even though I’m an experienced writer and I did quite well in the spelling bee when I was a kid. Everyone makes mistakes and spellcheck doesn’t catch everything. I also need to ensure consistency with date formats so it looks organised. Not only do I need to shell out money for a good editor, I am also going to need to get someone to typeset the book so it reads nicely. There’s a huge difference between reading an essay someone wrote for school and reading a professionally published novel. Books are just a better experience than a manuscript on Microsoft Word or a blog post. And of course, we can’t forget about the book cover. Sure they say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the book cover is when the first impression is made. Music fans understand the importance of an album cover, especially in the vinyl era with artists like Hipgnosis basically helping shape the classic rock aesthetic or those Art Nouveau inspired psychedelic 60s rock concert posters designed by Wes Wilson, Alton Kelley, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, and Stanley Mouse. I have the whole cover idea imagined in my head. Unfortunately for me, I have the art skills of a preschooler, and that’s being generous. I can’t draw, so I have to hire an artist to make my vision come to life and that’s not cheap. Staying true to my values and moral code, I want to make sure I am compensating the artist fairly for their time and effort. I know what it’s like to feel taken advantage of as a creative and I don’t want to be part of the problem. As well, I’ll have to put together a marketing strategy and make time to do promo stuff for my book down the line. I have no shortage of creative ideas, but they’ll cost money. This endeavour is a risk for sure.

And then there’s the decision… Do I self publish or do I try to pitch my book to a publisher or find a hybrid publisher that offers a lot of services and support to independent authors? Gotta weigh those options and make sure I make the most informed choice. Last thing I want is to end up telling a cautionary tale and end up just like the musicians who got screwed over by bad record deals or shady managers. It’s all nerve-wracking, but it’s important work. Writing a book isn’t just about the content of the book, but about putting together an entire package and marketing it. Hopefully all this work will pay off in the end.

As a fellow writer friend of mine told me, unless you’re a published author or in the process of becoming one, no one really realises how much work goes into writing a book. That’s why for those who work a day job and write on the side, it can take a very long time. I’m lucky that I can focus all my time on writing, but not everyone has that privilege. No wonder historically all the writers have been from the most privileged backgrounds. Who had the time to write when they’re exhausted from doing farm work or toiling in a factory? How can a working class person get connections to the publishing industry when it’s very elitist? If you self-published, then you need to invest a lot of capital in your book, which you may not make a profit. Back in the old days you didn’t have all the self-publishing options you have now. Well, I can say we’re really lucky to live in this day and age for that reason. Thank goodness for the internet and thank goodness for worker’s rights.

In the meantime, you can expect some more blog posts in the near future, so that’s some good news.

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