book writing

I'm DONE!!!

As of Friday, January16, 2009, I'm done with the manuscript. The front and back covers have been completed, and it is being sent to the printers this week. Whew! I'm so excited that it is complete and that I'll be able to hold a copy of the finished product in my tattooed little hands soon! After I completed the project of providing the correct page numbers for each of the cross-references in the book, I took it for a spin: I got to read it. Since it was a final draft there was very little to change or correct, so it was the first time that I'd actually READ the book, rather than worked on it, which is quite different. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed reading it, and that I feel very proud of it. I didn't really know what I'd think of it by the time it got published. And there were plenty of times I was sure it never would get done; it was a long and winding journey. Now that it is a finished product, I can definitely say I've never read anything else like it. ; ) I can't wait for some other people to read it and let me know what they think... Soon enough. I'm absolutely certain many piercers won't agree with everything I've written. But it clearly states at the front of the book:
Substantive research studies, statistical analyses, and other definitive resource materials related to modern piercing are in short supply; therefore, the information, practices, and procedures described in this book are largely based on my own extensive, clinical experience. I’ve integrated industry standards where they exist, but there is still precious little that is truly standard, so my opinions are a primary component of many chapters.
I'm off for a vacation to visit with my family and to attend a board meeting for the Association of Professional Piercers.

The Nitty Gritty

My editor, Lisa, sent me back my manuscript one last time (in .pdf format) so I could look it over and put in the correct page numbers for all of the cross-references throughout the book. Much of the information is quite interrelated. To avoid redundancy (it still came in at a higher word count than planned) there are areas where it says, for example: See "Overstimulation, Sensation, and Desensitization,” page 257, for related information." But since the page numbers continued to change until the final version, the manuscript says, See "Overstimulation, Sensation, and Desensitization,” page XX, for related information." My job now is to go through, and insert the correct page number so that all of the cross-references are properly identified. It is a big job! I'd better get back to it...

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!
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