Saturday, September 25, 2010

Amazing Stories

I'm not sure I've talked much about the stories I have collected for this book.

The book is almost entirely a collection of true stories of unplanned pregnancy. There is very little commentary from me--just introductions of the chapters and some of the stories. There is so much power in the stories, there isn't much more that I could add.

As I reviewed the entire manuscript, I was reminded again just how special every story is. I absolutely love every story in this book! I can't read a single one without being moved. I hope every story will move every reader as much as they move me.

Many of the stories are from women, of course, but I also have a whole chapter of stories from men. There are stories of how an unplanned pregnancy affected whole families. There are stories about adoption. And we hear from women who chose abortion as well as women who considered abortion then chose to give birth. There are stories of heartbreak and triumph and I believe every story will reach readers with hope and help and healing--whether the reader is in an unplanned pregnancy right now and are facing decisions or had an unplanned pregnancy in their near or distant past.

Every story in the book is amazing in it's own unique way. I'm incredibly grateful to every person who lived these stories and were willing to share them with all of us.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Next...

Now that I have all the paperwork I need to publish the book, what's next? I still have some work to do on the manuscript. While I was waiting for the Publishing Agreements to come in, I went over the entire manuscript. Because I lost a few stories and added some, I had to make some changes to chapter introductions and story introductions. I got that done on Wednesday.

On Thursday, while waiting for that final PA to come in, I went over the bios at the back of the book. I still need a few of those, so I e-mailed the writers. Some have already responded. Hopefully I'll hear from the rest soon.

Then I have two more things to do:

1.) Next I need to check the statistics I've gathered that I want to include in the book. The reports I printed off are a couple years old, due to several delays with this book. So I need to see if there are new statistics out and if so, make those updates.

2.) Finally, I want to include resources at the end of each chapter. I've gathered a bunch of those, but I need to divide them among the chapters and insert them into the manuscript.

I don't believe the rest of this work will take long, but I'm not sure I'll get it done next week. I have a short work week, plus I have a few deadlines before the end of the month that will need my attention. Nevertheless, we're getting excitingly close to finishing this book!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's a milestone! We're There!

The last time I posted, on Wednesday the 15th, I needed four Publishing Agreements. One was from a writer who had already contributed a story and she sent me another one after she signed her PA for the first. I liked the story and wanted to use it, but hadn't heard from her. I gave her a call on Thursday and she faxed it to me. One down.

I took Friday off, but then worked Saturday morning on the final story that needed finalized. The writer and I talked several times and we finally got her story down on paper. It took several rewrites, but I really like it now. She approved it. She promised to send the PA this week and she faxed it to me yesterday. Two down!

I also needed written permission from a subject in a story I already had a PA for. They said they would mail the permission last Wednesday, but I still hadn't received it by Monday so I called. They had a few questions, but once we addressed those they faxed it to me. Three down!!

On Monday I also called the fourth and final writer that I needed a Publishing Agreement from. Sure glad I called. Turns out she had e-mailed me her story with some changes she wanted, but I never received it. It's lost in cyberspace. She tried again and I got it this time. Meanwhile she put the PA in the mail to me last Saturday. So while I waited for her PA to arrive, I made the requested changes.

I took Tuesday off to attend a funeral. (The second Tuesday in a row I took off for a funeral.)

Yesterday, Wednesday, I waited for the mail, but when it came, the PA still was not there. So today I called her again. She was gracious and printed out the PA again, signed it, and faxed it to me. That's it! Number four!!

(I joked with this final writer that her PA would probably appear in my mailbox today. Nope. She mailed it Saturday. It's Thursday. It's still not here. So glad she faxed it.)

It's a milestone! It's official! I now have all the legal paperwork I need to do this book! Hooray!
What's next? I'll tell you next post. For now... Whoo-hoo! Time to celebrate.

Total Contributors: 40

Publishing Agreements received from: 40

Still need Publishing Agreements from: 0!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Check off another one

Whoo-hoo! It's a big deal when I get to move a writer's legal paperwork out of the "need this" notebook and into the "DONE!" notebook. I just did that with one more contributor. I already had one Publishing Agreement from her, but needed an additional one for a new story we added to the book.

That means I'm now only waiting for:
-- one Publishing Agreement from one contributor who said she would send it (hear my fingers drumming on my desk?). I will call her today.
-- the Permissions Form from an organization that goes with the Publishing Agreement I already received from the writer/contributor. Someone at that office is supposed to be checking on that today.
-- the final story-polishing edits from a writer. I'm scheduled to have a phone meeting with this writer this evening, so I'm hoping to get the final changes tonight.
-- And an additional Publishing Agreement from an already-contributor for another story that was added. I e-mailed her last week. Haven't heard from her. I should try calling her today.

Total Contributors: 40

Publishing Agreements received from: 37

Still need Publishing Agreements from: 3 + 1 for new story

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting Closer All the Time!

I've added three stories to the book. All of these are by writers who have already contributed to the book, so the contributors number doesn't change, but the Publication Agreements Needed number has increased.

I received one Publication Agreement last week, but now I need another one from the same author for a second story we've written and added to the book.
I received two Publication Agreements over the weekend. One for one of the three stories I added.

For the other PA recieved, I can't check it off my "needed" list yet because it's dependent on someone who is named in the story returning a Permission Form and I haven't got that yet.

I have one more story to polish with the author. We tried to get together this weekend but she had a family emergency, so we didn't get it done. Hopefully I'll be able to get with her soon.

I'm working hard to get the remaining PAs and the last story. Meanwhile, I'm revising the manuscript to make the necessary changes for stories that have been lost or added.

We're getting there, but still have a ways to go.

Total Contributors: 40

Publishing Agreements received from: 37
Still need Publishing Agreements from: 3 + 2 for new stories

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Latest Update

Looking for an update? I don't have much to report. I'm still working to get the four outstanding Publishing Agreements, plus I've added one. Over the weekend a writer who has already contributed to the book sent me another story to help fill in for one story that I lost. (Bless her!) Since she is already counted as a contributor, I didn't add one to the "total contributors" number below. However since I need her PA for this story, I've added one to the "still need PA" category. That one should be in the mail to me this week.

Of the other four PAs still outstanding:
  1.  I contacted one writer and learned her computer had gone down. She had no way to print the Publishing Agreement or even retrieve my contact information to let me know what had happened. Glad I followed up with her! I put a hard copy in the mail to her last Tuesday. With the Labor Day holiday mail delay, I hope her PA will arrive this week.
  2. I got a verbal okay from one organization last week to tell their story, so that written form should arrive this week as well. I contacted the writer of this story only yesterday letting her know they've okayed her story and requesting her PA. Got an e-mail last evening saying she would send it.
  3. I received an additional story from another writer whose is already a contributor. We're still working together to polish this latest story. I'm hoping to talk with her by phone today to iron out the details. I called this morning, but she was busy. I'm currently waiting for a return call. When we get the details polished on her second story, she'll send one PA for both of her stories.
  4. I worked on the final story I've been writing yesterday. (Yes, I worked the holiday. Writers often end up working evenings, weekends, and holidays to get projects done. If you're a writer, you know what I'm saying!) I finished the changes and the polishing I wanted to do and e-mailed it to her to review yesterday afternoon. I heard from her last night that she received it and will go over it today. I'm guessing we'll still need to go back and forth once or twice to polish details, but I'm confident we'll get her story to the point where she's pleased with how it's written and then she will send the PA.
I put in a request for two more stories. I'm not sure if I'll get them or not. We'll see. Whether I do or not, I will trust that I've received the stories the Lord wants in the book (which has been my prayer all along), and I will close the opportunity to submit. Can I possibly do that by the end of this week? I hope so.

What's next? Because I've had to delete stories that were withdrawn and have added a couple stories, I have some holes to fill in in the manuscript, introductions to chapters that need updated, and transitions and introductions to stories that need changed. So the next thing I'll do (starting today, as I wait for the writer to return my call) is to start at the beginning of the manuscript and go through it, smoothing out all introductions and transitions, and inserting the new stories into their proper places. When I'm finished with that I'll also need to correct and update the Table of Contents.

After that, because the manuscript was on hold for two years while my agent shopped it to traditional publishers, I want to re-check my sources where I got my statistics that are scattered throughout the book and see if there are updated stats. If there are, then I'll need to update all of those. Either way, I have lots of statistics that I haven't yet inserted into the manuscript so I'll have to do that.

Finally, at the end of each chapter I have a section of Resources. I have a ton of resources, but haven't yet distributed some of them among the chapters or inserted that info into the manuscript, so I'll need to do all that.

I believe I still have a few writers who haven't sent me a bio for the back of the book--and I know they want one--so I'll need to follow up with them.

Those are the steps I foresee before sending it to the professional editor I've hired. Do you think I can get all that done in the next few weeks? That's my goal.

Total Contributors: 40

Publishing Agreements received from: 36

Still need Publishing Agreements from: 4 + 1