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Old 10-11-2010, 07:43 PM   #21
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And of course, the two part title is key: one short (like three or four word sentence) and then the second line (smaller text) with more detail on what the book is about.
I do like the idea of a compass and some fairly generic military themes.
Statistically, are you expecting more men or women to purchase? That might have some bearing on it. As a non-military person, I was thinking that I'd respond to a beach scene or cartoon best.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:30 AM   #22
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These are all great ideas! I have to admit that I'm a sucker for a good beach theme too.

I'm going to post these images to the blog as well.

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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Statistically, are you expecting more men or women to purchase? That might have some bearing on it. As a non-military person, I was thinking that I'd respond to a beach scene or cartoon best.
The military still has more men than women on active duty, but of course the Reserves* and the families tend to even out those numbers. I don't know that I can predict sales by gender... whether the women will buy it to confirm what they've already figured out, or whether the men will buy it to figure out what they should already know.

We're more than ready to have a cover-design discussion with the publisher. (Just as soon as I hear back from that editor. No news is good news, right?) I'll have to sort out formats, photo/image rights, and graphics design issues with them. I think the back cover will be all descriptions & endorsements with a background that won't get in the way of the print.

[A few years ago spouse came home from her first drill weekend to proclaim "Mother#$%^er, now I know where all the Navy's women went to!"]
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:10 AM   #23
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I think women buy more books than men but I don't know if that holds true for financial topics. Might have some bearing on the cover design. I like the concept of Transition for the cover, however that might translate graphically.

Nords, I just got Jacob's new book in the mail, BTW, and it is very textbook thus far. A bit tougher read than ESR Bob's if you aren't already a devotee of the FIRE concept. Nice, though.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:20 AM   #24
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Just curious Nords, have you picked a book cover yet?
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:27 AM   #25
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Just curious Nords, have you picked a book cover yet?
Thanks for asking, but this is moving a lot slower than I'm used to.

I sent the manuscript in nearly three months ago for editing, and I've had the draft of the pocket guide sitting in the hopper for over a month waiting for the editor's attention. These days I'm sitting on my hands trying not to jostle the editor's elbows with pesky questions, but I'm about out of patience.

I'm hoping that the manuscript structure & content doesn't see much change. I'm hoping that the title doesn't change either. Once I've been reassured on those two questions then I'll send in the pocket guide, and then I'll be able to start nudging along the process of choosing the cover.

I think I have the blogging part figured out. Facebook & Twitter need minor tweaks that I have yet to resolve. I'll keep building on all of that, but it's probably too early to start chasing media interviews and the rest of my marketing plan until the publisher has a set of galleys and a release date.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:43 PM   #26
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After three months of (what for me is) extraordinary patience, I e-mailed the text of the pocket guide to the publisher and inquired on the status of the manuscript.

Impact Publications says that the editing is nearly done and the typesetting is about to begin. (I'm just happy that the pocket guide wasn't immediately shot back to be rewritten along with a gazillion manuscript changes. Woo-hoo!) Of course when the galleys are ready for proof it'll be interesting to see if either product resembles anything we wrote. I think I pretty much gave up control of the content when I signed the contract.

I've sent along the pictures & ideas in this thread (and the social group thread) to see what works for the publisher's guidelines. Personally I'm leaning toward the beach scenes (especially the bootprints morphing into footprints) and the beach chair. I'm trying to be inclusive of all services, ranks, & genders (or at least non-specific) so some of the ideas get pretty crowded on execution. A good cover would work on both the 6"x9" paperback and the 4"x5" pocket guide. But now it's at the mercy of the publisher's style requirements and graphics artists.

Impact is putting together a new catalog featuring the book and the pocket guide. They're still working on "mid-2011" with the military-exchange distributor so hopefully the schedule will firm up in another month or two.

I'm going to contact a few of you for jacket blurbs. These will come from the rank & file, not the usual military celebrity VIPs. (I can only imagine a flag officer's reaction to such a request.) We'll figure out how those fit on the cover or the inside pages.

I've asked the publisher to give me 50 galley copies for proofreading. I'll distribute those among the social group members, as well as a few of you who came aboard later in the process but who represent the type of customers we're chasing. The idea is for your eagle eyes to catch the factual & attribution errors before I embarrass myself in first-edition print. I'm not sure how best to distribute the copies, but I'm hoping that Impact will give me a number of "free book" codes that I can pass along to you for ordering off their website. (I certainly don't want to do a bunch of media mailings out of a box in my garage.) I may not get enough copies for the whole group, so if you decide to take a copy then please commit to giving it a good hard scrub for the sake of those who don't get one.

I've already loaded up the blog posts for this week, so I'll put more of this up on the blog next week (see my profile for the link). The latest post attracted a comment from Bill Birnbaum, whose "Adventure Retirement" blog includes a year in South America and a comment that he applied to join the Peace Corps at age 64. One of our other prolific E-R.org member bloggers has also commented on Bill's posts...
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:54 PM   #27
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Well, that was fast. Either Impact Publications' graphic artist has been reading this thread, or they'd already been looking at some ideas and used our nominations to narrow the field.

The covers for the book and pocket guide have been chosen. As soon as Impact gives me the OK, I'll post the images here and on the blog/Facebook pages. In the meantime, I can say that they both most closely resemble Purron's beach-chair image in post #20... but even nicer.

Better yet there are no geezer surfers, sailboat captains, Corona beer bottles, or winding country roads.

Best of all I think they leap out from the bookshelf. Whether people like them or hate them, they will evoke a reaction!
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:16 AM   #28
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Nords, here is a somewhat-on-topic article that you might find interesting:

I Wrote It, Must I Also Hustle It? - NYTimes.com
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:08 AM   #29
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How exciting! I look forward to seeing the book covers.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:56 AM   #30
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I'm going to contact a few of you for jacket blurbs. These will come from the rank & file, not the usual military celebrity VIPs. (I can only imagine a flag officer's reaction to such a request.) We'll figure out how those fit on the cover or the inside pages.
Count me (us) in if you are short of helpers.

No military service for me. Mr Boston is a disabled vet and heavily involved in the American Legion community.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:10 PM   #31
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Nords, here is a somewhat-on-topic article that you might find interesting:
So, not only did Dick Cavett answer his own question but he got an entire deadline column out of it, eh? Well, I'm pretty sure he's not writing for the paychecks & royalties either.

If I was a starving author the first would have happened long before the second. I'd hate to do this under pressure, let alone for a living. Like TromboneAl says about jazz, writing is a career you have to save up for.

Quote:
A favorite publishing technique for ruining years of hard work is to fumble getting the book into stores until after its limited “shelf life” has expired and it’s all too late...
The biggest reason for going with Impact Publications is their distribution channel into military exchanges... Navy Exchanges, AAFES, MCX, even the Coast Guard... and worldwide. When I was a self-publishing wannabe I quickly learned that the only way to get into the exchanges was to go with a publisher who was already doing that.

Well, another way would be to sell 50,000 copies of the book. It's probably a more successful strategy to go with the publisher first...
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:37 AM   #32
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Thanks, everyone, for your nominations and patience on the covers for "The Military Guide" and the pocket guide. I've attached them below. I've also summarized the process (and the other nominations) over at the blog.

The book is being typeset as I post this, and the pocket guide is next. Both are tentatively scheduled to roll their galleys off the presses in February/March for proofreading. Impact Publications has also posted my author's biography on their website. Let me know if you see something that needs to be added or changed. Their webmaster's been very helpful.

Impact is releasing a new catalog in the next week or two that will include both the book and the pocket guide.

Whether you love the covers or hate them, feel free to spread the word about them!

Thanks again to all the blog visitors-- last Sunday had 112 hits, an all-time high on top of the busiest week so far...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Military Guide cover.jpg (62.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Military guide pocket guide cover.jpg (35.1 KB, 7 views)
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #33
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Very nice Nords. The first one makes me think of Al and Lena Both suggest a pleasant and financially independent lifestyle.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:17 AM   #34
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Looking forward to getting my hands on a command's worth of pocket guides for financial management training!!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:44 AM   #35
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Very nice.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #36
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Well done!
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:06 PM   #37
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Good job, Nords!

Will you offer autographed copies? I'd like to get a couple, one for my nephew on active duty, and a retired officer friend who's struggling a bit in the current economy.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #38
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Nice! I hope it is a big seller!
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:23 PM   #39
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Good job, Nords!
Will you offer autographed copies? I'd like to get a couple, one for my nephew on active duty, and a retired officer friend who's struggling a bit in the current economy.
Thanks, and I'd be happy to!

My signature isn't worth anything. The Navy has thousands of examples of it on checklists, logbooks, legal investigations, and other administrivia over a 20-year period...
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:08 PM   #40
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Nords, was just perusing your blog and website. Beautifully done. Funny, that sewage story.

By the way thanks for the honorable mention, re: bootprints. The idea actually came from my days in the Aleutians. There, one day beachcombing on the Bering sea side, by Port Moeller, found a set of fresh and very big bear paw prints. Could still make out the claw marks as if they were in plaster mold.

Then I walked alongside those bear tracks, doubled back and took a picture. Unfortunately I could not find the pic, it is buried with hundreds of others. I'm getting slowly set up to scan them and slides as well. If and when found will post.


As an aside, in the eastern Aleutians, when giving directions never say bear to the right etc. since upon hearing the bear word everyone whips out their 44 magnums, and can hear them getting cocked nearly in unison.
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