In a matter of days my mother will be publishing her very first book entitled On the Road to Victory: Our Struggle as Immigrants in America. I am proud to have partnered with her as the coauthor and I am proud to have been able to watch while her dreams come true. I have heard time and time again by many established authors that writing a book is the easiest part. I found that comment absurd and quite laughable thinking of all the long nights my mother has spent working on this book. The book is unique in that it incorporates multiple stories and contributions from my mother, the author, my grandmother the contributing author, and myself as the coauthor. Having to blend our writing styles into a seamless document was quite challenging and required some creativity but it was well worth the additional effort. My mom called on my brother and several family members to recall events and timelines for the book and we tediously researched historical events and places referenced throughout the book. For this to be considered the easy part was beyond questionable, at first I wouldn’t hear of it. How could the writing of a book be considered easy? What part of the process would be more daunting then creating the content? Well, I was about to find out. We all were about to find out.
The actual writing of the book started in 2012 and it was completed in 2013. Yes, in 2013! We completed the writing of my book from start to finish in one full year, amazing right? The collaboration, research, interviewing, writing, and our portion of the editing took one full year to complete. Well to my surprise the naysayers were right, it WAS the easiest part. My mother is a perfectionist and to release a book to the standards in which we all felt was acceptable, the amount of work required was astronomical. Like all things, the first time around is always the most difficult as we anticipate our second book, which I plan to release in 2018, to be less painful but I expect the writing and publishing portion to be just as daunting.
I would say that the most time consuming portion was the copyediting and grammatical editing. That was another beast in itself. I will share in another blog post the importance of the editing process as it deserves its own spotlight. Keep in mind I had an amazing editor and still it was a lengthy process. While pursuing my doctorate (I know crazy right?), one of my classmates was an established author with several contacts in the publishing industry. She recommended her editor Laura to us and we were in heaven! She is amazing to work with, fast, and is up on all the latest and greatest when it comes to editing. We worked for 18 months with Laura, who brutally tore up our work piece by piece and we love her for it. Things that were common knowledge to us she highlighted for clarification and things that were too descriptive she made us simplify. It was much more than a comma here or colon there. The content was meticulously edited to perfection and still we were not done. After what felt like dozens of rounds of revisions and edits it was finally over. It was time for the fun part, or so we thought.
A great cover design and layout was necessary for the book. After narrowing down and choosing a title the cover design needed to capture the story of the book in an eye-catching professional manner. Every detail and decision of the book needed to be thoroughly scrutinized from the font style, page number locations, copyright page layout, and so much more. The book needed an international standard book number (ISBN) number, to be registered with the library of congress, and the appropriate genre and audience identified.
Once all of those decisions were finalized a cold read was necessary for content flow and readability. Based on feedback from your reader(s) corrections should be made to the final content prior to publishing. Once the writing, editing, design, and cold read are complete then the focus switches to marketing and distribution. We had to decide on the dimensions of the book, the color of the pages (white, off white, cream), the type of paper, and so many other decisions that we never even considered. You also need to decide how your book will be released. Are you only interested in an eBook? If so, what platform are you interested? There are platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, iBooks through Apple’s online bookstore, Nook Press through Barnes and Nobles, and so many others! If you are interested in printing then there are several other options to consider besides paperback and hardback. We decided to release an eBook, paperback, hardback, and translate the book in my family’s native language of Spanish. This decision required a translator and Spanish edition to ensure proper translation and editing. The point is that there are so many decisions and things to consider. Don’t be discouraged just be prepared. Patience is the best advice I can give you as you embark on this journey of sharing your story.
Finally, I would say that a social media presence is necessary when becoming an author. You will need to be up to date on your social media site, websites, and contact information for readers who want to learn more about the book, the authors, and the story. It is a great way to connect to your readers and broaden your audience when the time comes. To learn more about On the Road to Victory: Our Struggle as Immigrants in America please visit www.ontheroadtovictory.org.
To stay current with projects, upcoming book tours, and special events please visit coauthor Dr. Tasha Thomas’ website at www.tashathomas.org and follow her on Instagram at @dr.tashita_tica. To stay current with projects, upcoming book tours, and special events please visit author Dulcelina Moore’s website at www.dulcelinas.com and follow her on twitter at @dulcelinamoore and follow her on Instagram at @dulcelinamoore.
I am excited about the next phase of our journey which includes the feedback from the readers on our final product. I am excited to share my family’s story with the world and will use the energy of the upcoming book to help collaborate on the release of our 2nd book.