Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for I'm writing a book

I started writing my book about subbing for real lately.  I pretty much have it mapped out and know what content I want in it, and now I have to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, organize, smooth it out, make better transitions, cut out the offensive parts etc. etc. etc.  It's going pretty well now that I've made it easier to access.  I originally had it on an Open Office document, just one huge file.  It was too overwhelming.  I moved it to Google Docs and separated the files into tentative chapters.  Now I don't have to worry about losing it if my computer crashes, and I can work on it anywhere I have internet access, and my handy dandy, professional copy editor (my aunt) who-is-free-because-we're-relatives can get access to it through Google.  (Have I mentioned before how much I love Google?)  It was great last week when I was working in a math class and the kids were taking tests all day.

The writing is fun and not too hard.  I don't think I will have any trouble finishing it.  I might have trouble knowing when to stop revising. What I have NO CLUE about is marketing and distribution.  My aunt's friend Karen wrote a book recently and published it through CreateSpace.  I started a CreateSpace account but I haven't quite figured it out and it's kind of frustrating and overwhelming.

I also looked at other self-publishing sites.  One of which is AuthorHouse.  I answered a few questions on their site and a few days later a man named Buddy called me to chat about what kind of book it is.  He thought it was a biography and he was saying, "Is this just for family or...?" and I finally figured out that he thought I was just writing a biography about my average, ho hum life and who the heck is going to buy that?  But then I made him realize that it wasn't a book about me, but a book about what it has been like to be a substitute teacher, and then he was like, "Whew!  That's more like it!  Yeah, that's a great idea!"  - Much more marketable!  Every potential author wants to tap into the huge substitute teacher demographic.  I told Buddy that I know nothing about marketing and distribution and he said that I should get a blog, (check) and utilize social media, (check).  I told him I had a blog already and sent him the link.  He said he likes it.  I also sent him my introduction and he said he "laughed out loud," and I've chosen to assume that's because he thinks it's funny, not because I'm ridiculous.  He said the rest of the marketing and distribution will come after the book is done and published.

I also looked on Amazon for other substitute teacher memoirs and there are two or three and they don't have very good reviews.  I looked at the comments they got and I'm trying to address the problems the readers had with those books and not make the same mistakes with my book.  One woman said she was looking for more practical tips on classroom management, which made me rethink the part in my book where I advise potential future subs to come into a room full of kindergarteners and greet them by saying, "Good morning you little sons of bitches!"  Or that you can totally eliminate all potential behavior problems in any grade by simply carrying  loaded guns around with you at all times on an old-west type gun belt, and shooting the ceiling if the kids don't listen.  Yosemite Sam teaching. (I'd use blanks, duh!)  But maybe people don't think guns in school are funny? (yet).  Like I said, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!

12 comments:

  1. Please, please publish your book. I'd pre-order it.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'll keep you posted.

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  2. Self-publishing is not easy. The hardest thing will be to market it. I've chosen to go through a publisher--the first one who offered me a contract. Time is running out. The story would have been obselete if I'd waited.

    http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.com

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    1. I've been looking for a publisher. I hope I can get one.

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  3. I have three in various stages. I really need to finish one. SOON! I NEED MORE TIME!!!!!!

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    1. What are they about? Do you have a publisher? Have published any before?

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  4. Can't wait to read your book!!

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  5. I've sold 23 of my books so far. I, too, have to work on marketing.. I have a few ideas, but I have to finish the book I'm currently working on before I can do much in that area.

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  6. Soooo, just to clarify, it's a BAD thing for me to greet my students with "Shalom, hookers!" ? Crap. . .I'm screwed.

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  7. I'm SOOOO happy you're doing this. Don't worry about the marketing part yet - just get the words down. There are SO many self-publishing options. I used LuLu.com for my books, but if I don't find an agent for my memoir (there's not a ho-hum moment in that thing - my family is fucking nuts) - then I'll probably go with Amazon. Check out Amazon - you might eve be able to score an agent/editor book deal.

    Excellent idea! Yay for you!

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