Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What a Difference it Makes!

This past week I received the Text Block for my forthcoming book, Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery. This wonderful gift came as an email attachment from Billie Johnson, the superb publisher of Oak Tree Press, which will be publishing Hooperman this coming November.

I immediately set all my other work aside and devoted two full work days to proofreading the Text Block. For those unfamiliar with the process, a Text Block is what we old-fashioned publishers used to call “galleys,” or “page proofs.” They used to come printed on paper. Since I’m not eagle-eyed when I read a book on a screen, I printed out the text and did my proof-reading on paper. And what a pleasure that was!

For one thing, seeing the book designed and (after a few corrections of errors—my errors) ready for print gave me the thrill of knowing this novel, which took so long in the writing and editing and polishing processes, is really going to be born! This must be like how an expecting mother must feel when she sees a heart-beating ultrasound image of the baby she has on board.

The second thrill I got from reading the proofs of Hooperman was finding out that I really like this book! It’s good! (Please forgive me, but proud is the mood I’m in.) The chapters start with hooks and end with cliff-hangers. The characters are humorous and loveable, except for the few who are detestable. Hooperman is funny, but it’s also packed with important issues and ideas. This pride I feel from seeing its pages beautifully designed reinforces the fondness I had for the novel in manuscript. I cannot wait to see the book when it’s printed and bound.

But of course I must wait. Meanwhile, though, I’m going to crank up the promotion process. Billie assures me I’ll be receiving advance reader copies of Hooperman; I’ve ordered twenty. When I get them, I’ll ship them off to a well-picked list of reviewers in the mystery media.

Billie also tells me that the book’s cover design is in the works, and when I receive it I’ll be sending it out with press releases and blog posts to all the personal and important contacts on my list. So get ready to hear more about Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery.

Meanwhile, here’s the illustration that will adorn the front cover. This painting, “The Librarian,” by AndrĂ© Martins de Barros, looks a lot like the main character of Hooperman, who also looks a lot like I looked during the summer of 1972, when the story takes place.


marja said...

Holding your published book in your hands for the first time is somewhat like holding your new baby. I'm so happy for you, and I can't wait to read this one. I have a feeling I'm going to really enjoy it. Your excitement is catching. :)
Marja McGraw

James Callan said...

Congrats, John. Glad to see this project moving into the final stages. I'll clear off a space on my TBR list for Hooperman.

Patricia Gligor said...

John, I can't wait to read "Hooperman." A bookstore mystery. That's a double hook for me since I love bookstores and you know how I love mysteries.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I too am anxious to read this one! Woo hoo!

Eileen Obser said...

How wonderful, John. I feel your excitement! My memoir, Only You, is scheduled for January publication. That means I should be holding my own book -- or text block -- in my hands sometime soon. I love the name Hooperman and love bookstores, too. This will be a must read, for sure!

Theresa Varela said...

Congrats, John. It's all so exciting. I love that you say that your book is good! No apologies for that. I have felt the same about mine and share that out loud. After writing, revising,and revising again, it's a thrill to still love your book.

Holli said...

Love the pic for the front cover. Sounds (and looks) like a great read.