Tag Archives: CreateSpace.com

From Rebecca: Editing Four’s a Crowd from proofs

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Joe, my husband Darren, and I are doing the unusual practice of doing heavy edits in the proof copies of Four’s a Crowd. Usually this would be done before the proofreading work, but we got blocked and needed a way to push forward. As regular readers know, Joe wrote a play, Kimberly, which four years ago Darren began adapting into the novel Four’s a Crowd. Darren and Joe would get together every few months and touch base with what Darren was doing with Joe’s characters and plotlines to expand them, and make notes on moving forward.

Darren finished writing the first couple of drafts, then we printed off copies so that the three of us could do edits. We did a couple of rounds of that, in starts and stops, and then sometime in the last year the progress just got stuck. As the three of us worked at different stages, we would think that one of us was doing something with the book, only to find out that the person thought that someone else was doing something, so all three of us would be in waiting patterns. And then nothing moved forward on the project for many months and Darren gave up.

Someone, I think it was me, suggested we just jump to the next step, which was getting proofs, and edit from there. Which we did, and the project is moving rapidly now. We are using the print-on-demand publisher CreateSpace for the novel. Joe had a good experience with them when he published his three books, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, Beyond North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, and Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger. I downloaded the CreateSpace formatted templet, and started plugging in the content. We had to wait a couple of days for the review, but then we were ready to order proof copies.

For Darren, this was the first time he held a bound book with his name on it as author, and he was pleased. The book is thicker than we imagined, and has a heft to it. We are all really proud of it. We will be changing the front cover photo, we still need to put in author photos, and make a few more cosmetic changes, but it is already an impressive achievement.

We got four of copies for editing, one for Darren, one for Joe, one for me, and one for Darren’s mother who agreed to read it and give us feedback. Darren’s mom read the book in two days and loved it. She pointed out a few things to change that helped a lot. I was going to say that Darren finished his editing yesterday, except he is sitting on the sofa right now with a pencil in his teeth and the book in his hands making more changes. Joe plans to do some editing with his copy today, while he also rests from a very busy week. I am on page number 232 out of 300 in my copy, so I don’t have much left.

Except for Joe who is using a sheet of paper, we are making our changes and suggestions right in the book with pencils. I am not sure why, but it is so satisfying to write directly in the book. The novel feels so much different in bound form than in loose sheets of typing paper, and editing in that form feels different too. Darren has already put his mother’s changes in his copy, then when I am done he will put my edits in his book too. In early January, Darren and Joe will have a meeting to go over Joe’s changes and put those in Darren’s copy too.

Then we put the edits in the manuscript computer file, upload the book to CreateSpace again, get another proof (which should read a lot smoother and faster), edit and change and upload again, and when we are ready, we will hit the publish button. And then Darren and Joe’s book will be out in the world ready to buy, hopefully by the end of March 2018. We will keep you posted.

Joe will be back next week with a new blog entry. Until then, as he would write, take care, have a great week, and happy reading


Rebecca and I have been working together for 7 years tomorrow

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe it has been seven years already since Rebecca agreed to be my typist and editor. That job quickly morphed into personal assistant, but that is okay. The main job is writing. After almost seven years together, we have put out over 600 blog entries, three books, and part of a book (written by Rebecca’s husband Darren) based on a play I wrote before we started working together. Oh, and by the way, that book is coming soon.

Yes, we’re very excited about Four’s a Crowd. Although we still have one or two edits to go, I’ve read the project and it is awesome. You’ll love it. Very soon Rebecca is going to begin putting it into the CreateSpace formatted templet, cutting and pasting each chapter in place, and we need to write a book description, before uploading the file to the publisher. Then it will be time to order proofs and we are going to do our final edit right on the pages. Proofs are never for sale, so what the heck, let’s mark them up.

When the book comes out, I’m going to go to Webster’s bookstore across the street and ask the owner, a personal friend of mine, if she would take several copies on consignment and push them. The worst thing she could say is no. I already have a few people from Facebook who I will go out on a limb and say will be guaranteed buyers. I have one phrase for you folks: Spread the word … please.

I’m extremely excited about this project, and Darren, who had lost all hope when things were moving slowly, has renewed enthusiasm as well. I’m not going to set an exact release date, but let’s just put it in the ballpark of January or February of 2018. I think we can do it. Updates as they happen.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to those families affected by the California wild fires, and by Hurricane Nate. I don’t know how long those fires will burn, but from what I saw on TV, they have already ruined several wine vineyards. Expect the price of wine from California to skyrocket. Also, an R.I.P and condolences to Tom Petty, a great singer, and his grieving family and friends.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

It is a lazy day Wednesday

Greetings, readers. Have you ever had one of those days, when you feel completely unmotivated to do anything? Well, today is one of those days for me. It is a gorgeous day outside, not a cloud in the sky. We had our meeting with the accountant, and once we got up to the office, the engine went into neutral.

Rebecca and I started talking about politics, for our primary is this coming Tuesday. Who will I vote for? Gee that is a toss up. Quite frankly I don’t think any candidate is a great choice, but probably Hillary Clinton is the most qualified. With Mr. Trump also winning New York, that edges him closer to however many delegates he needs for the GOP nomination. If he gets elected, and has four miserable years, I just know that the rest of the world will say that we got trumped. Or if he does something right, they will say the president is playing his trump card. Can you see all the one-liners, folks?

Every day before writing the blog entry, Rebecca and I go over our blog statistics. Numbers have been good recently, such as visits to the About page and to the Home Page/Archives. We have been excited to also have some views on the page of My Books for Sale. Allow me to take this opportunity right here to tell you, my readers, that on my CreateSpace.com page, I have lowered the price on my three books. It will probably be a permanent drop. As far as I can see, the prices on the Amazon site have not dropped for they control those prices; I am not sure if I have any say on how much they charge for my books. They are available from certain book outlets, but I’m not sure how much it would cost to request it from your local book store.

Lastly, there is a brand new building going up near my apartment complex which is starting to take shape now, but the construction is causing major headaches for mid-day to rush hour traffic. When finished, one of the stores it will have that I can’t wait to check out is a new Target, the second for the State College area. There are a few movies I wish to look for and if I can get them for a good price, I’ll snatch them up. One of the films that is on my to-get list is the 1963 version of Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor. If I can get it for under $30, it is mine.

For a blog entry that wasn’t thought out too much, I hope this turned out well. Until Friday, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of the best things I’ve ever done

Greetings, readers. Here is a top ten list of highlights from my life, plus one honorable mention. They are eleven things or events which I’ve done, that every time I look back on them they bring a smile to my face. Only #1 and #2 are in definitive order. So I hope you enjoy.

#10. Taking a cross-country trip from Pennsylvania to California with my Aunt Marilyn. [Circa the late 70s or early 80s.]

#9. My transatlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth 2. [1973. Mom, Dad, Grandma, and I sat at the captain’s table. I have a photo of Dad and me in white hats, on board the ship, most likely on the way to dinner.]

#8. While married to Georgia Barnhart, we took a cross-country trip, via the southern states, to visit my mother-in-law in California, and the subsequent trip to Disneyland.

#7. As a child, learning to play Christmas Carols on my organ. [Ordinarily I’m not good with instruments, but the chords were one finger touch for my weak left hand, so I was able to learn some songs to play for my parents.]

#6. Becoming the Godfather to David and Geri’s older daughter Ashley. I also treasure becoming part of my best friend’s wife’s family as their uncle figure. [Extremely rewarding.]

#5. Meeting and remaining good friends over many years with David Trost, Rebecca Taylor, Georgia Barnhart & Jim Sneeringer.

#4. Wrote my three books and had them published through CreateSpace.com. [I am also proud of my play which got a staged reading at a nearby playhouse, and is currently being turned into a novel by Darren. I also wrote a screenplay for a Charlie’s Angels TV movie back in the day.]

#3. Started my blog in December 2011.

#2. My various trips to Europe with my parents. [Especially Rome, Italy and Amsterdam, Holland.]

#1. Going to Bear Spring Camps in central Maine.

Honorable Mention: Giving several performances of my lip-sync air-guitar show in my apartment building, including a tribute concert to a late friend, Erin Beish.

Well, there you have it. As most of my steady readers will note, Bear Spring Camps is #1. No big shock there folks. Until next week, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

New book is officially for sale!

Greetings, readers. My third book, published through CreateSpace.com, Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger is for sale. We worked very hard on this book and it was a pleasure for Rebecca and I to go through and find the best entries from my first year. While the creation process was different for this book than my previous two, in that we were simply compiling and then editing pieces I wrote over the course of a year for the blog. I did write new material for a select number of articles to add information needed for a new reader to understand the context or to update.

Both Rebecca and I are proud of this new book. It’s 146 pages filled with fun and interesting blog posts from late December 2011 to December 2012. Also, as a side note, this is my first book with pictures in it. One from my book signing and three of how I decorated my place for Christmas time. It will take about a week for the book to be on the Amazon site, so for now it is only available in my eStore. The url is: https://www.createspace.com/3678800 and the price is $8.99 plus shipping.

After we ordered the first proof, we noticed some problems with about seven of the entries. The print looked very faded, as if CreateSpace had toner issues when they printed it. We emailed their customer service department, and they sent a free copy of the proof. We saw that the second copy had the same problems as the first, so the problem was on our end. We arranged for CreateSpace to call us, and they gave us some suggestions, but they didn’t really solve the problem. I was facing a deadline to get books before my trip to Maine, so I approved the proof and put the book on sale last Friday, but at a lower price until we could solve the problem. Then yesterday, Rebecca changed from where she cut and pasted the entries in question, and it seemed to solve the problem. I resubmitted the interior file to CreateSpace, they approved it today, and we looked at the (free) digital proof together. We noticed that it solved the problem for some of the entries, but not for all. Three or four entries still appear fainter on the page than all the others. That is better than last week, so I approved the proof again, and the book is for sale, still at the lower price.

As I wrote in earlier posts, the blog entry that gets the most views is Remembering my father, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, from March 23, 2012. As of today, the total number of views for it is 291. Absolutely, that entry is in the book.

Until next time, have a great day, take care and happy reading.

New book proof # 1 news

Greetings, readers. Let us tell you about Greetings, Readers. As many of my regular readers know, the new book about the first year of my blogging experience is due to come out quite soon. CreateSpace.com, where I get my books published, requires one proof, either physical or digital. Today in the mail, almost on cue while Rebecca and I were discussing it, come physical proof #1. Well…

Rebecca and I found a few mistakes with it, mostly spacing issues and oddly enough toning difficulties of which I have alerted CreateSpace. While I expected to order at least one extra proof before clicking the “ok for sale” tab, the low toner issue was a concern to me. I’m hoping that they give me a satisfactory answer to this question. Something that CreateSpace wanted me to look at were my four photographs – the first of my three books that has pictures in it – because of low resolution or pixel problems would make them grainy. While not as sharp as a bell, they are satisfactory to both of us. When the book is ready for purchase, we shall let you know. I just wanted you all to have a quick update.

Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger is thicker than my other two books at 149 pages. It is so thick in fact, that we were actually able to get the title on the spine this time. Keekee has the cover photo and is the same shot that you see above this blog at this time.

With my annual Maine retreat coming up here in half a month, Rebecca again will be handling the new blog entries from approximately August 1st through the 12th. That’s all my big news. Very exciting day here.

I will have a new entry for you here on Friday, more than likely a top ten list. So until then, enjoy the weather if you aren’t being rained on, take care and happy reading.

Update on future writing plans

Greetings, readers. On July 13th, 2013, I will be 48 years old. In my 47+ years of life I have, writing wise, accomplished two small books, one play and my blog. Not bad material, but I’m a tad disappointed at my volume and quality of my work. I have a tough act to follow. My dad, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans wrote 30 books dealing with philosophy and religion. I guess I am comparing myself to that kind of production and I just don’t stack up.

I am about to make a slight career change. I’ve always loved writing, but not prose writing. After this next book comes out, hopefully by August, I’ll be turning my attention back to play writing. That’s where I think my true talent lies. My first play, Kimberly, was a cute little play. Now I want to knock people’s socks off with a powerhouse. That will take dynamic characters, a great plot and excellent writing. Have I got it in me? Do I have the right stuff? I think so . . . with a lot of work.

I have, for fun, written little one-act plays since I was an early teenager. I, of course, was never going to show my work to anyone at that time because they were extremely unpolished. I just knew I loved writing and wanted to get better at it. Rebecca has numerous folders chock full of ideas for that next big writing project. One of them, I’m sure, could be developed into a play. And even if not, I have an idea which I’ve been working on, on and off, for about eight years. I’ve got the notes in a tablet somewhere in my apartment.

Does this mean I will never write another book? No. CreateSpace.com, along with Rebecca’s expertise and talents, has made book publishing almost effortless and fairly inexpensive. When I go back to playwriting, however, I will eventually have to hook up with an agent or someone of the like. As far as I know, CreateSpace.com does not publish plays.

Now to wrap up and on a slightly different topic, the frigid weather has finally broken here in Central PA. We might actually get above freezing today. Tomorrow morning we will have those two words that I always hate; wintry mix. Looks like I won’t be going out for my morning coffee. With no outside appointments scheduled, I might take this evening to do some computer work, watch a few movies, and then sleep in tomorrow morning. Until quite soon, take care, enjoy your day, and happy reading.

Renewed enthusiasm and ‘oatmeal brain’

Greetings, readers. As the title of today’s entry implies, I’ve two topics on my mind. First, I’ll fill you in on some good news about my writing career. And secondly, I will share with you one of the pitfalls of my medication regimen.

Starting off with writing, I had been a bit depressed since the new book came out. Work had wound down, sales were lackluster, and no new ideas were taking shape for the new year (after Bear Spring Camps; mid-August to next August). Then suddenly last week I got an idea to re-vamp my children’s book series. It was like a light switch had turned on. Things suddenly began to fall into place. We now have at least 15 good ideas for children’s books. I hope to be able to develop ten or more of them into actual books and publish them on CreateSpace.com. I’ve talked to writing assistant, Rebecca, and she agrees that we will work on one or two of them at a time, bring them to completion, and then release them for sale. So thumbs up to that point.

Now for oatmeal brain. Let me explain. Because of my cerebral palsy, I am forced to take medication. Most of my drugs are downers to help a mild seizure disorder. Folks, not fifteen minutes ago I went to look up something on the internet and by the time the search box came up I had completely forgotten what I was going to search for. I asked my doctor about this issue the last time I saw him, and he said that symptom can absolutely happen. I just have to keep telling myself that this is normal for me once in a while and do the best I can with my disability. I suppose not getting too upset is the key. My mother, who granted didn’t have the health problem that I do, did crossword puzzles and her brain remained sharp as a tack until the day she died. Perhaps I should take up that hobby … or at least word searches.

For next week, I shall try to post at least one new entry and I will give the go ahead for Rebecca to post a new one as well. Have a great weekend. Take care and happy reading.

Absolute 5-star, gold banner day

Greetings, readers. : )  I am pleased as punch to announce not only that my new book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, is out but that my first box of stock arrived at my door. Writing assistant, Rebecca, and I now have thirty books to distribute to friends and retailers. This, my second book, was completed in nine months. I am extremely proud of this. Even though the book’s length is not that of War and Peace.

After this blog post today, Rebecca and I will go over to our two local retailers. After that, we will be visiting a few friends who showed interest in the book.

I am also happy to announce that on CreateSpace I had my first sale of the new book yesterday. It is off and running!

Over the weekend, I thought long and hard about what I call the summer project … even though summer is half gone already. I’m going to begin to write a series of children’s books and during the weekend I flushed out the outline for the first book, tentatively titled Pilot Dan. Book number two in that series is slated to be called Doctor Dana.

Tomorrow look forward to another top ten list blog post. I’ll think of a goodie. Until then, have a good day and happy reading.

Tales from North Bay & Beyond published today!

Greetings, readers. Please indulge me a big self-promotion post.

Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories is available for sale at my CreateSpace.com e-store as of today. My writing assistant and I reviewed a digital proof one last time and then approved the proof. And the book was instantly available. The wonder of self-publishing  : )

For those who are interested in my first camp book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories is available in the e-store link for that title, or Amazon.com, or Kindle.

Until next week, have a great weekend and take care.