This week my publisher sent me a review copy of my book. My job is to review and approve it. Once I do that it is off to the printers! I am so close to having this dream become a reality. It has involved a lot of work and time to get to this point. There has been ups and downs with this particular MS but it has been worth it. I am hoping, and feel free to cross your fingers for me, I find nothing out of whack that will delay the process. But I did have to go in the oh my gosh don’t screw this up mode. It is only natural, I feel, to have a little bit of anxiety.
I had a few goals when I started this project a few years ago.
-To get a book traditional published
-Hold in my hands a copy of a book I wrote
-For me to see it on a shelf in a bookstore
Each step of the way will be surreal as it occurs. I am still in lala land when I sit down and truly think about how far this book and I have come from the very first draft. It is not just my book it is my baby. One that has seen a lot of changes and has weathered them all. There has been a lot of obstacles that have tried to deter me. That’s what happens when we want something badly. It is not sweet if it was easy. So I am reading the book while trying to contain my giddiness knowing that in a few short weeks two of my goals will be accomplished.
The work doesn’t stop there. It be nice if it did so I could start on my next project. What comes next is letting the world know about Jasper and his adventures with his friend Charlie. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as I had writing it.
Even though my book got picked up by a traditional publisher, it doesn’t mean I don’t have to spread the word and do some marketing of my own. This is tough for I am by all accounts a shy person.
Times are tough for books. They are competing with ebooks, tablets and people giving away their books for free for reviews. So a year before I started actively submitting “Jasper, Amazon Parrot:A Rainforest Adventure” I hit the social media scene.
You can find me here:
I am on a few others but these are the big ones. I started to network, meeting various people in various stages of their book. Along the way I met some awesome friends. I came across people who helped me in so many different ways. Ami who worked on my query letter that got my book into a few editor’s hands. I met my editor, Nancy, who is just amazing with her talents. I have met writers who have helped me with questions and problems when it came to social media. This is a market every author, whether self published or traditional, needs to tap into. It is pure gold for the taking, you just have to reach for it. And by the way, it is how I met my publisher.
It is time-consuming when you first start. This was the main reason a year prior to submitting I became pro active with my book and the means to promote it. It has been a few years since then and now my social media format just need checking on now and then.
Being shy won’t cut it in this market. You have to take a deep breath and step forward. Your book needs you to be there for it. It can’t do it alone. And why should it? It has been with you for so long why abandon it now?
This is Jasper. He is staring at the oven. The very appliance I had just placed a casserole in to cook for dinner. When I took this picture he had been waiting for 15 minutes already with 30 more to go.
This is a common occurrence in my house when anyone cooks. The bird will climb up to as high as he can and just wait for whatever is being prepared for the family ah well in his mind him. Once I leave the kitchen he will yell at me loudly as if to say,”Wait where are you going? You need to be back in the kitchen cooking so I can eat. You know it is all about me me me.” That is what it sounds like as he yells and tries to motivate me to go back to the stove.
If that is not bad enough when I set the table he will slide down his cage, cross his bird stand and climb onto the nearest chair and pace back and forth as he waits. Really bird? I mean really? It just makes me think of the people who have told me in my life that my bird is stupid. He is anything but.
He knows the word no and when to use it. His latest accomplishment has been to learn the phrase, “I know.” So now when I talk to him he will sit on his rail and go, “ I know.” as if he is a dear friend listening to me complain as he sympathizes with me.
He is really an amazing bird and has taught all of us here so much about animal behavior and their personalities. These fascinating creatures are more than just a pet. They infuse themselves into our lives especially one that can talk back to you. Though my favorite line he has every learned has been,” Mom where where where?” which is his way of asking where am I in the house if he does not see me. Does he mimic us…absolutely. But with that mimicking he is learning to interact with us on a different level as he learns when to use certain phrases at the right time.
I know a lot of people don’t get it as over the years I have heard people make fun of me being owned by a flock of birds. My response has always been, “Well you have probably never been owned by one of these splendid animals or taken the time to know them.” They love me as much as any dog or cat I have ever owned in my life. I have tried to imagine how it was before I was adopted by my first birds, Maxie and Twopiece, in 1998 but that is a blur to me. Twopiece is still with me and is my little buddy who sits by my desk on many a day.
I am owned by eight birds and know it. This is not something I would change for the world.