Two occurrences: I had to get a new computer and I’ve decided to self-publish a collection of my best gardening articles. I wonder if it took a drastic thing like my old computer going bad and me getting a new one to inspire me to get this book thing done? I think it has, plus the fact that I’m in “a period of stagnation or inactivity,” thanks to the dog days of summer.
Dog days, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere.” And then there’s the origination story involving the Dog Star “Sirius” and “the ancient Greek constellation system.” To find out more, Bing it and choose a link you like.
Books and computers (and by “computers” I mean the Internet and/or Web) are developing a new relationship. And if you’re a writer you’ve probably been aware of this development for some time. It’s the new e-book thing that has also played a role in why I decided to choose self-publishing over traditional publishing methods. From a recent article in The New York Times: “In the first five months of 2009, e-books made up 2.9 percent of trade book sales. In the same period in 2010, sales of e-books, which generally cost less than hardcover books, grew to 8.5 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers.”
I’ve just begun the arduous task of deciding which articles from over 300 or more that I’ll use in my book. It’s a completely subjective decision making process, for the most part. My editor (there’s two actually, me and my wife) has already expressed her dislike of two opening paragraphs I use in the preface. I ramble (whine?) some about the traditional publishing process in those two paragraphs and my wife said no one would want to read about that kind of stuff. She might be right, or not.
It feels good to be doing this, and I’m more of an editor for the book than a writer since the articles have already been written. I’m organizing everything into one document, and I’m not sure how many pages I’ll end up with. The cost of color photos must be taken into account and there will be few of them, if any. I’m thinking about asking my older brother to contribute a few pencil drawings, his artwork is stunning, and isn’t botanical drawings extremely charming and old-worldish feeling? I think his drawings would look perfect in “Gardening Through the Seasons with the Write Gardener.” Do you like the title?