I got my application in to the Jewish Book Council in time for them to consider it (and me) for their Meet the Author event at the end of May. At that time, those who are invited to participate (at our own cost, but it's worth it) will make a 2-minute presentation to the coordinators of the Jewish Book Fairs from around the country, and selected reviewers, and be available to answer questions. About a month or two after that, invitations start going out to the authors that individual cities' book fairs invite to their events, which take place from late October to early December. With the hope and expectation that I will be invited to present, I now need to put together a bang-up presentation for May, and while I'm confident that I can put together the content, I'll probably need to look for some coaching help. Have emails out to a couple of recommended publicists, and await their responses.
Meanwhile, while I felt I was on schedule to get everything ready to print in April so I can get 100 copies of the galleys to the Jewish Book Council (again, I'm acting optimistically on the assumption that I'll be included) when two people I trust told me that it was essential that I find an editor to read the manuscript before I submitted it. Hadn't budgeted for that time-wise or cost-wise, and though I questioned whether it was absolutely necessary, I realized that it would be foolish to have spent all this time on the book and mess up because of typos or grammatical errors.
So I went back to Elance, a site at which one can post jobs to be bid upon by people in artistic fields (and was where I found my incredibly talented graphic artist), and feel that I found another gem, who is almost finished reading the ms. Meanwhile, I'm STILL writing the first chapter, the most critical of all, and my artist feels comfortable with the time I estimated I could get the manuscript to him for layout.
What's also in the works is that Elie Wiesel has agreed to provide a blurb after he gets the galleys. When I have that, I have a few people in mind from whom to solicit quotes, too, but having one from Elie Wiesel will give me the credibility that I need in order to approach the other authors.
At the same time, I have continued getting feedback on the covers, both online here (voting still open) and individually. In particular, I've gone to a couple of independent bookstores and solicited the advice of the booksellers. I felt as if I were imposing upon them by asking, but actually they said they appreciate it when a local author asks their advice. The first bookstore, at which I got the opinions of 3 booksellers, narrowed down the 4 covers to two, and I took those to another independent bookseller whom even the first recommended for his excellent eye. He picked one, definitively, absolutely, but there are still things I need to evaluate, hence the revisions I posted today. If you already voted, and feel differently now, based upon the changes, I'll welcome your vote again, with a note about what made you change your mind. And, of course, people who haven't yet registered their opinion are invited to contribute it, now.
Once I get through the writing, editing and proofreading and my graphic artist moves on to the book layout, I should be hearing back from the city with permission to registered my Publisher name. Them some other wildness starts, buying ISBNs, bar codes, Library of Congress numbers, other library codes, etc. (that what all those numbers are on the back covers of books. I also need to decide on a price, and draft the front matter -- including where published, name of cover designer, copyright and republishing info - - all that stuff that one often skips in the beginning of the book, plus notes of where portions of the book have already appeared, and Acknowledgments, which occupied my dreams last night. All this is waaaay more than I ever wanted to know about the publishing business...