What I have learned writing a book

What I have learned writing a bookI know this blog was to be about my learning journey as I recorded my travels to new discoveries. But the blog has taken a backseat to all the learning that I’ve been doing. I promise I will get back to it. Since I started this blog, I have graduated from the University of Wyoming, taken on a new job, traveled across the country and moved into a new home, started a new business, and started writing a book. A lot of learning has happened along the way. Let me take a moment to catch you up on one learning project—the writing of my book, The Power of Reading.

Writing a book

At this moment, I have finished writing a book. Let me tell you it is a great feeling. Upon completion of the book, Bernadette and I sat down and did a first draft edit. It is now moved on to a professional editor for some adjustments.

When I first started writing this book, I began using Google Docs as my writing platform. Very rapidly, I noticed that Google Docs wasn’t going to suit my needs as I was doing the initial draft. I needed a tool to help me get my thoughts out. Scrivener was this tool. Scrivener is a powerful tool for organizing thoughts. With it, I was able to move sections around and put in my citations. But with such a complex program, there was lots to learn. I did not get all the lessons right the first time.

To be truthful, my writing was actually a combination of using Google Docs and Scrivener. I use Google Docs’ voice typing feature to capture my initial thoughts, just as I am “talking” this blog post. Once I captured my thought, I would cut and paste it into Scrivener.

One of the lessons I was late to learn was that commercially published books prefer to use Chicago Manual of Style versus APA formatting. When I finished drafting the book, I had to go back and converted all my APA citations to Chicago. I began this process in Scrivener. But because I did not understand how to do it well, I abandon the process and exported my manuscript to a Microsoft Word document to add the citations. My citation process was a combination of using Microsoft Word along with the Zotero add-on. Zotero contained all my references. I could insert them as end notes using Chicago style. They would automatically format correctly.

Book is off to the editor

At this moment, the book is in the hands of an editor. The chapters are now in Microsoft Word format; this is the format that we will use for editing. These chapters are in a Dropbox folder so we could share them. Right now, it’s a matter of getting used to how each other works so we can get the greatest benefit of this process.

The next step is to get the book published

When it comes time to publish the book, I have a couple options. There is a local book publisher that has expressed an interest in the book. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement to get the book published. If that does not work, I have a backup publisher in mind. I would like to try one of these two options before I go self-publishing. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories of individuals trying to get their books published with a publisher and getting nowhere. I don’t want to go through the toil so I am interested in having a book published even if it means self-publishing.

If everything goes well I hope to see my book, The Power of Reading, published in the beginning of 2018. I’m excited that I’m at this point. Please stay tuned I would love to have you check it out.

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