The book is due to the publisher in the early morning of August 3 – 19 days from now. I’m pleased to say, though, that I am making excellent progress, and expect to be able to turn in the manuscript and marketing materials on time. (Which is a good thing, considering that one major section of the book is about project planning and meeting deadlines.) In fact, yesterday I declared the manuscript complete! and will now turn my attention to translating the manuscript from a conventional Word document to a custom-formatted document to meet the publisher’s submission requirements. I expect this to be a fairly lengthy process which will take up most of the remaining time.
“Complete,” of course, is a relative term. I’m still missing one or two artists’ bios, photos, etc., a few captions are missing information, and so on – but the book is 99.5% done, and my contract editor assures me that the few outstanding items can be sneaked in after the deadline.
So what’s left? Quite a bit, as it turns out. The biggest item is converting the manuscript into Schiffer’s format, which involves inserting a lot of tags into the text, removing the photos and replacing them with image insertion information, putting the captions in a separate file, etc. (Lots of etc.) I expect that process to take me at least half of the allotted time. The remaining half will be spent working on marketing materials: the author bio, the book blurb, figuring out possible sales outlets, defining the target market, etc. More non-writing tasks that are nonetheless essential to getting the book published.
Of course, this is all coming to a head at the same time as my digital painting class, where one major assignment is due Tuesday the 21st and the final class project is due Thursday the 30th, just a few days before the book is due. Fortunately, with some self-discipline and good time management, I think I can squeeze both of them in. Of course, if push comes to shove, the book comes first, but I’m really enjoying the class and would like to make a strong finish.
I wish you all could read the manuscript! It’s come out remarkably well, infinitely stronger than the book blog I wrote nearly two years ago. It fuses my two decades of experience in project management with insights from 22 well-known artisans in a broad range of media. I’m very proud of it, and feedback from my beta readers has been very positive. I hope the editors at Schiffer will help me make it even stronger.
Sadly, I just gave my latest printed copy of the manuscript to a beta reader, or I’d include a photo of it. It is now 218 pages, with 50,000 words and about 140 photos, and makes an impressive stack of paper. It’s looking almost like a real book now.
But I need to be careful not to get too proud of it. Otherwise I might wind up like Tigress, who may become a snob if we aren’t careful. She is every bit as friendly, playful, and pettable as always, but she also really enjoys looking down on people.