Book Stuff

Book Illustrations

Well, the illustrations for the book are done, and it was quite a journey. My illustrator/artiste extraordinaire is Jennifer Klapecki, and we had the good fortune to be introduced by a mutual friend. She did a sample illustration and the publishers and I were duly impressed and she got the job. There were 23 illustrations and we had just a few short weeks to get them all done. I really have to commend Jennifer on her dedication, because this job totally ate her life during the time we were working together. I'd send her photographs of piercings with written instructions about the angle for the image, jewelry styles and sizes, and other details. Sometimes I sent passages from the book that describe the piercing placements, too. She'd draw up a draft, scan it, and email it to me. I'd sometimes print it and use white out and pencils to show her the necessary edits, and then I'd scan and email the draft back to her. Sometimes I would write out instructions and other times I'd call her on the phone (from Mexico to the US via Skype--thank goodness for Skype!). Some of the illustrations went back and forth literally dozens of times! It was a very intense job for both of us, because the deadline was so tight. Jennifer was amazingly patient with me and so willing to do whatever it took to make the illustrations perfect. I think we made a great team and I'm thrilled with how they turned out.

The Next Stage

I've completed the edits requested by my editor Lisa. They included turning chapter 1 into an introduction, combining the male and female genital piercings chapters into one big (whopping!) chapter, and so on. I combined some sections and changed them around to eliminate redundancy. It is hard to do because so much of the content is interrelated! She added cross references, and so on. We worked on it together, bouncing it back and forth several times over the course of a week. Now the manuscript has been sent to the copy editing department. Lisa said that the manuscript came in longer than expected. I offered to edit out more, but she didn't want me to. In fact, she even added one thing back in that I had edited out. So, while it is longer than they wanted, they seem to find the information important enough to leave in. So that's good! Now my awesome illustrator Jennifer and I are working together on the drawings of piercings that are going in the book. I send her photos of piercings with written instructions. She sends me back a draft. Sometimes we talk on the phone, sometimes I print the draft, and use white out and make suggestions for her. We bounce it back and forth (sometimes there are as many as 10 drafts of a body part!) and once it is done, she shades it in. That's when I can really see what an awesome job she's doing. She is fantastic with the shading. How lucky am I to find an artist to do this who has experience both tattooing and piercing, too! Yay Jennifer!

Edits, Photos, Illustrations

Things are moving right along. This past week has been filled with multiple rounds of passing my manuscript back and forth with my editor. She'd send it back at about 8 pm and want the changes made by the next day! Needless to say I was "burning the midnight oil" to get it all done. But I did it! And it is a feeling of great accomplishment! I'm also working hard with my wonderful illustrator Jennifer! She's fantastic and she is doing all of the drawings from photos of piercings. Collaborating with her is a whole new skill (how do you EXPLAIN where the piercing should go in words?!). I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot, too. I finished up work today by making a list of all of the photos in the book and their captions. I went through to figure out which images are on hand, and which I still need to obtain. There are so many parts to putting this book together! I can't wait to see the finished product. Off to watch the Obama/McCain debate!

Feedback From My Editor

I have to admit that I've felt pretty stressed out while my editor, Lisa, has had been giving the manuscript for The Piercing Bible its first developmental edit. She sent it back tonight with this delightfully positive comment:
Hi Elayne, Wow, I feel like I've spent a lot of time with you this week! That's how well your fabulous voice shines through in this manuscript. It's clear, authoritative, informative, with little bursts of humor to keep the reader interested. Well done!
I'll admit I've got a HUGE grin plastered on my face after reading that!

Author Questionnaire, Done!

So what was this Author Questionnaire thingy anyway? Well, it was from the publicity and marketing department of my publisher Ten Speed Press in order to help them prepare to promote and sell my book. It was a pretty big job. This is what they requested:
Biographical Information Please write up a brief biographical sketch. Explain what qualifies you as an expert on the topic about which you have written. If relevant to the subject of your book, include universities or professional training (dates, degrees); previous and current occupations; professional organizations; honors, prizes, or citations; hobbies or special interests. Other Published Work Please list any of your previously published works.  Provide full title, publisher, and copyright date. Also, please note if any of your books have been serialized, reprinted in paperback, adopted by book clubs, made into a film, or published in another country. Background of Book What led you to write this book? Where did the original idea come from? Do you have any stories about the writing process? Description of Book Please describe your book in your own words—its subject, organization, contents, emphases, and especially its scope or intent.  How is your book unique? Competition Research What other books on the market do you consider to be competition? What attributes of your book are distinct from those of competitors?  Why should potential readers choose your book? Promotion Do you have experience with public speaking? Should opportunities for interviews/events with any of the following arise, would you be available:  Radio? Television? Print? Bookstores? Do you have a favorite local bookstore that might be appropriate for a signing or appearance?

Author Questionnaire

Today I finished up my Author Questionnaire from the Publicity & Marketing departments at my publisher, Ten Speed Press.  It turned into a twelve-page document, but they'll definitely know more about me and be better prepared to sell my book now. They'll be putting up some of my answers to their questions in the author's section of their website. I'll post the link to that once they are posted.

Welcome to my new blog

The manuscript for my long-awaited book, The Piercing Bible, has been completed and turned over to my editor. All whopping 513 pages of it. Whew. This blog will take you through the rest of the book production process along with me, and then I'll be around to answer your questions once the book is available.
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