"Welcome to the World of Tomorrow" - Party for my book!

I started writing a book about my family a few months after my brother was diagnosed with his brain tumor in late 2006. Last night I held the first public reading for him, our mother and a couple of friends. I spent about eight or ten months writing, with the most intense period covering December and January of this year, and spent the remaining time since then making a few separate editing passes, identifying potential agents, decompressing and then having my girlfriend read and review it. My brother also contributed several chapters, which I was glad he agreed to do, and got better as he kept doing it. He showed some real insight, too.

I believe this thing is ready to share with other people now. I’ll start writing and emailing agents and publishers soon, and I saw last night as the official kickoff. I’d sent little bits of the book to friends, but never this much. I write for a living anyway, but this is the first book I’ve finished and unlike most of the other stuff I’ve written, this was done how I wanted it, not for an employer. It’s been wonderful and I wanted to share that.

Congratulations on finishing. wishing you luck as you move forward.

When I was young and naive I wrote a book with no clue how to write, no clue how to find an agent or publisher.

It was crap, but it got me into the computer field and I now make a good living at it, so it was time well spent.

I’ve definitely got plans for others - hell, it’s starting to look like I need to start writing a continuation of my family’s story, even if I’m not sure how I feel about that. That’s part of what makes this one so encouraging. I know I can make myself buckle down and do it. Over the winter, I had a goal of 3,500 words a week for about two months ,and that became the majority of the book.

Congrats, Marley, for finishing up the book, especially one inspired by your brother’s illness. Care to share a particularly nice part?

You cheapshit, do what the rest of us are going to do – wait until it’s published and buy a copy. :wink:

Seriously – congrats. I’m only sorry your first book had such a painful genesis.

Congratulations, Marley. Almost anyone can start a book, but few people finish them.

Yeah, well, likewise I hope people who start reading this thing can finish it. My girlfriend didn’t burn any of the pages in the manuscript I gave her, so that’s a good start.

I’d like to share some of what I wrote and the appeal to my vanity is very tempting, so I’ll think about how I might want to do that.

Hey, congratulations! I’m glad it’s been a cathartic experience for you. Best of luck! :slight_smile:

Congratulations!! I look forward to reading it. :slight_smile:

Thanks! I’m feeling good about my proposal, although it could probably be a little shorter. Tips from any of the Dope’s published authors would be very welcome, of course.

Congratulations, Marley!

If you’d like to shoot me a copy of the proposal by email, I’ll be happy to critique it. I’m fighting a deadline right now, so don’t expect a response until after November 1, though.

Without even looking at it, I’d say don’t worry about being too long. Make sure the cover letter doesn’t exceed one page, and provide a short, sweet, executive summary at the beginning of the proposal. Beyond that, it’s better to include stuff they don’t read than have them toss it because it didn’t contain enough. At the very least, you should include a full table of contents, a sample chapter, an “about the author” section where you blow your own horn, and a look at similar books on the market today and how yours differs from them.

And don’t worry if the first publisher rejects it. I still get rejected 2 out of 3 times, and I have hundreds of articles and a couple of dozen books out.

Thank you, Super Mod!

Some of my chapter titles stink, so I’m not sure how the table of contents will look, but I’ll fire my proposal your way.

Ok, here’s what I’ll do- post here or PM and I’ll send a chapter or two by email. I think that’s the best way.