My second book has been written and put together for about a year. It had a target date of April 28th (our 25th anniversary) of last year. It didn’t make the proposed publication date. My illustrator is Doctor Mahesh Ambawattha from Sri Lanka. He was doing his internship and didn’t get the last of my artwork together until much later in the year.
Since Mahesh was too busy, I wrote Your New Pup Journal: The First 100 Days. It is a journal with illustrations and witty information. A review said: “I loved it- the facts, the humor, and the illustrations that are a part of the book and the places to keep your own thoughts and important events in the life of a new puppy. Everything from records of vet visits to stories about the new family member, to photos, could find a place in this cleverly written book. It is a great journal for recording information about a new puppy and for gaining insights about puppies, from a seasoned veterinarian.”
That is me! The seasoned veterinarian. Since that book was published on the 25th anniversary and the artwork still wasn’t ready, I started another project. Meanwhile, Mahesh sent photos of his hospital ward where a single desk sat viewing several beds. I think I was supposed to feel sorry for him. I didn’t.
This next project was a coloring book. I worked with a company that provided the drawings, and then I put positive quotes together with the drawings. Although the drawings were done within a month, the project took a lot longer than I thought it would. Coloring pages had animals or words and quotes to also color. The organization was time-consuming. At the same time, I had finally gotten the last of the illustrations, and I was trying to put together the second book. I designed the cover and put all the art in place. So, in October, when it was time to order the coloring books to sell in the hospital, I ordered a proof of the second book. I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I thought having a copy in hand to proof would be easier.
Since I had done all the work earlier, I thought there would be minor changes, and we would be ready for press before Thanksgiving. I was wrong. There were several typos, editing errors, the type font was tiny, and some of the artwork disappeared upon printing. I worked on it a quite a bit, but then the holidays and college application help took up my time. The draft was put aside and then was on the floor of my office.
Marketing the adult coloring book also took up a lot of my time. Although it has sold more copies than my first two books, it never reached the top 100 books to be a ‘bestseller.’ This meant that every copy sold required a lot of work on my part. I did get some great reviews including this one by “Crazy Cat Lady.” “I love everything about this book! I enjoy coloring and love animals, but I was surprised at how uplifting and beautifully insightful the quotes were. I flipped through just to read the quotes. I can see myself reaching for this book any time I need a little cheering up. It’s wonderful that proceeds from the book benefit animals in need. Win-win!” Crazy Cat Lady is a vet on a facebook group that I am on, but I do not know her.
At the first of the year, our writing meetings started back. I am now president of the KYOWA writers group. Since one of my self-assigned tasks is to encourage others to get books to print. (They might say pester instead of encouraging.) I decided to make My Life’s Not Just Puppies and Kittens a higher priority. In November, I had gotten the formatting at least partially fixed. Matt read through a printout and made a few corrections and comments. I only have to get those into the computer. While it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, between the end of the year, employee taxes, W-2’s, college interview visits, AAHA inspection preparation and my day job, I have yet to find those hours.
Then Cathie Shaffer scheduled me to do a book signing in Ironton before Valentine’s Day. If that wasn’t enough, she then scheduled me to go on the radio to promote our books and the Dogwood Writers Conference. Suddenly, it seems like I need to get the second book out. So look for ‘sNot Pup 2 in February. And my truck to be at Guardian Animal late and on weekends.