WATKINS GLEN, New York - The manuscriptand soon-to-be book The Fracking War went to the publisher today after the final/final/final/final/final rewriting and editing.
Did I mention that this was the final rewriting and editing?
This last draft, which was pored over one last time, was living proof that humans are, well, human. Even after so many readings and sets of eyes, there were still a few little niggling items that needing attention. They are now fixed. No doubt though when the actual page proofs are delivered for us to read in a week or two we will spot an errant comma, apostrophe or - gasp - a word spelled incorrectly.
That's why we get yet another shot before actual printing.
The upload now means the company will get cracking on the design of the cover - a critical piece. We have some ideas. They have graphic artists. There's a NY artist who we have been trying to find for weeks who has done some fabulous work for the anti-fracking movement. A cover will come out of all of it.
In the meantime, we launched the Kickstarter.com campaign (The Fracking War - Kickstarter) for the book yesterday, grabbing 11 backers and a lot of buzz from people. The lack of a cover design has been an obstacle for some parts of that marketing effort. For example, while we have t-shirts from The Fracking War as a reward for contributing to the campaign, we can't display exactly what they look like yet.
WATKINS GLEN, New York - The final draft of the manuscript of The Fracking War should be available via Kindle - and other electronic readers like iPads - in early November.
Pardon me, but Woo-hoo!
This afternoon Adm. Fox negotiated a deal with a publishing house to handle all the details that will result in an electronic book going up in November with printed paper copies available six to eight to 10 weeks after that.
Why did we do it that way?
It turns out that the majority of 21st Century book readers are using Kindles, iPads, Nooks (and some other readers with which I am not familiar) instead of buying printed books. That phenomenon is changing the publishing world quite quickly. But the publisher we chose - after two weeks of reading and research - has a proven track record working with print and electronic publishing.
So The Fracking War will be coming to an electronic distributor - like Amazon.com - before Thanksgiving.
There are a number of steps still in the process. The manuscript has to go to our proofreader for a pass through. Then there is the uploading of files to the publisher. And the all-important cover art work has to be chosen and set in place.
WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - The Beta readers have spoken. 'The Fracking War' manuscript (with a few tuneups and plot revamps) is ready to go to print.
After about four more days of final copy editing, the manuscript should go to a professional proofreader for an excruciatingly close read. Then with the help of a graphic artist for page and cover designs - and locating a reliable printing company - the 95,000 (or so) words will go from a draft to, well, a book.
In the course of the last month, Adm. Fox and I explored the various publishing options. We attended a writer-publishers' conference panel in Halifax, Canada comparing traditional book publishing with the brave new world that is called self-publishing. (Actually, it's not that new, and you don't have to be brave.)
While I would love for a carload of traditional publishers to sweep into my driveway waving fat checks demanding the right to publish The Fracking War, I am way too impatient. Plus, I'm not sure they have the right address.
So some form of self-publishing and/or printing is in the offing. And very soon.
The Halifax panel at the Word of The Street conference (WOTS LINK) was very interesting - and convincing. A Canadian writer named Leo McKay stole the show (Leo McKay's website). Had it been a prizefight, he would knocked out the two traditional Canadian book publishers within minutes of the opening bell.
His message was simple: Most authors can get their book published without going the traditional route. The real trick is getting the word out about the book's availability so people pick it up and read it.
Watch for The Fracking War Book & Road Tour later this fall.
Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.