Since my book, “50 Shades of Grades, My Journey Through Wacademia” has come out I’ve repeatedly received the same two questions from readers. The first is, “How do you remember all those names and dates?”
The answer is that I just have one of those weird minds that remembers that kind of stuff. I remember lots of stuff from times past that other people do not. For example, in a conversation recently about Britain and the Royal family somebody asked, “I wonder if the Brits have a word for heaven.”
I responded, “In the musical “Cats,” the song “Jelical Cats” refers to the “Heaveside layer (or lair) which I believe is a reference to heaven.” I had not seen the musical “Cats” for decades but that item simply popped into my mind when the question was asked.
I also remember words to songs and jokes that I’ve heard or told 50 or 60 years ago. Ditto the names of most of my classmates and people I’ve known over the years. That is just how my mind works. I speak to that in my book – that things I hear are retained.
The other question many readers have asked me is, “How did you get published? I am working on a book and have no clue how to set it up or where to start looking for somebody to print it.”
The printing and publishing industry has changed dramatically in the past decade or so. Self publishing, once referred to as “Vanity Publishing” has grown by leaps and bounds. I recently read an article by a New York Times best selling author who explained why she had left her traditional publishing house in favor of self-publishing. She had more control and was able to manage her own marketing in a manner that was more efficient than the traditional publishing house that had published her other best sellers. Self-publishing is now the cutting edge of the publishing world and many of the old traditional publishing houses are slow to recognize or accept that fact. I draw the analogy of online university classes. A decade ago traditional colleges and universities looked down their noses at such an audacious teaching format. Most said they would never consider teaching online classes. Today online classes are legion. Nearly every college and university from Harvard and Stanford to Gogebic Community College in Ironwood Michigan is heavily invested in online courses.
In my own case, as is the case of many new authors, and even some who are looking to make the jump from traditional to self-publishing, I had no clue where to begin. I had several friends, including a professor with hundreds of publications to his credit who self-published his memoirs. He told me that despite his publication history, self-publishing was a new and different experience. I researched the internet for publishers but the effort made me dazed and confused. Then serendipity stepped in. I was introduced to Deb Dorchak and Wendi Kelly, two novelists who had learned how to navigate the troubled waters of self -publishing. After learning the ropes they established a consulting firm to help others through the process. Blue Sun Studio (bluesunstudio-inc.com) can take an author with a manuscript from coaching, to web site setup, to author services such as cover design, and suggestions to make the book more attractive to readers. I found them to be instantly responsive and right on the mark. So if you have a manuscript ready or nearly ready for publication, I can tell you what worked for me, and that was working with Blue Sun Studio.