My Mom, Her Book, and Me! (The Book Development Process)
My business, Moksha Media, has a subsidiary component called Omniversal Publishing. It had been quite a while since I worked with a client to publish a book...that is until, last year. My mom certainly did not forget that I was in the business, and when she announced to me at the end of 2014 that she was writing a book, she naturally called on me to help out! I was excited and overjoyed. But I also knew that we were in for a BIG JOB! Both she and I welcomed the challenge, and over the last year, we learned so much from one another as we diligently worked to develop her book.
THE RESULT..."Metaphors of Faith, Words of a Praying Woman" is now available for purchase! You may purchase the book directly from her website, patsybazile.com. And we are excited about doing some great book promotion work in 2016! Thank you in advance for your support!
Anyhow, although this blog post is about my embarkation on a book editing, typesetting, cover illustration, and publishing adventure with my mom, it also explains the whole book production process. So if you are interested in writing your own book, read up!
The first thing we had to get under our belts was what the book would be about. So early last year, my mom firmly established the fact that she wanted her book to be inspirational. She also wanted it to capture Christian life lessons that anyone could learn from. For the content development portion of the project, which I think is the MOST IMPORTANT part of any book production project, my mom was in full control. She prayed, meditated, and searched her soul for the initial set of words that would serve as the raw material for her book.
Writing a book can be a difficult process. But in the beginning, if you are honest about the scope of the task that lies before you, then the easier it will be to complete it. My mom and I both agreed that the process would be “organic.” As her publisher, I respected and admired her creative process as she prayed, meditated, and patiently allowed her creative writing skills to burst directly from the pit of her soul. The content dvelopment process is different for everyone, but it should be as authentic as possible.
As time went on, my mother sent her short stories to me. We discussed them, and we both ensured that her main points shined through every story. We also went through several revisions until we settled on final versions of the content in preparation for typesetting.
Book Title Development
We all know that titles of works of art are ALWAYS important. For us, we wanted to make sure that the title of the book captured exactly what the book was about. However, it was also very important to me that people know how close to my mother’s heart this book is. The title had to be precise and personal. It also had to be welcoming. Because the book makes heavy use of symbolic and allegorical language, “Metaphors of Faith” was perfect! But my mother’s faith is strong, so the book title had to convey this point immediately as well. "Words of a Praying Woman" was a natural sub-title. No matter how artistic, clever, unique, unorthodox a book may be, I suggest that the book title remains accurate and catchy.
ISBN, Bar Code, and Library of Congress Number
For any book that will be sold in major distribution channels such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, brick-and-mortor stores, etc., an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) will be needed. ISBN designators are used by readers and buyers to find books. They are also essential for sales to bookstores, online retailers, and listings in databases and directories throughout national and global markets. The ISBN should be accompanied by a bar code. Obviously, the bar code will allow scanning of the book by retailers. A Library of Congress number is not required for books, but I always suggest that authors get one for every book that they produce. It is used as an index number for cataloging books in the Library of Congress database that libraries may use to generate card catalog entries for their holdings. The database is available to most libraries online. For my mom's book, "Metaphors of Faith, Words of a Praying Woman," we got all three, the ISBN, bar code, and Library of Congress number.
Book Cover Development
The task of book cover development can be owned by either the author or the publisher. But I am biased with the opinion that this task should be owned by the publisher. Some literary artists prefer to drive this task with their own vision. However, graphic designers or book publishers tend to derive design concepts that appeal to the general public for maximum consumer impact. In our case, my mom allowed me to have total creative control to design her book cover based on the content that we finalized. Thus, I developed a design that aligns with a particular story in her book, “What Would the Lion Do?” It’s a must-read chapter in the book that will resonate with anyone. Additionally, I made heavy use of blue hues on the cover to bring about feelings of tranquility, relaxation, sincerity, and peace to onlookers. For any cover design, I suggest that authors always think of the consumer first. Think of what will attract potential readers to your book. Make your personal interest an afterthought.
Once the book cover design was complete, I started the process of typesetting the finalized content for production. Nowadays, typesetting is made easy by a lot of online publishing houses. But I have found that creative control is often limited by many of them. Their easy set-up options leave end users stuck with particular fonts, page sizes, and graphical embellishments. I use Adobe InDesign, which allows me to creatively influence every aspect of what the content will look like in the book. I can then send my production file, with embedded details, to my book printing vendor of choice which is Lightning Source.
So as discussed above, the major aspects of producing a book includes the following:
- Content Development
- Book Title Development
- Acquisition of ISBN, Bar Code, and Library of Congress Number
- Book Cover Development
But the final step is book printing. There are thousands of book printing companies out there, but Lightning Source allows me to control both the book production and book distribution processes for getting my published books into the hands of buyers. I could go on on about the nitty gritty details of what it takes to develop a book, but I only wanted to scratch the surface with this post. I hope this post helps other aspiring author’s out there. Working with my mom has been awesome! And all of the work that we have done has been amazing. As you can see we have been very busy, but it was all worth it. “Metaphors of Faith, Words of a Praying Woman” is a wonderful work of literary art that my mother has offered to the world! Thank God I was here to help make her dream a reality via Omniversal Publishing House. We welcome your support. And please visit my mom’s website at PATSYBAZILE.COM. There you will find details about the book, and feel free to read excerpts!
Until next time!
DBrought to you by:
Daymond E. Lavine