Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

When A Manuscript Turns Into A Book ~ Very Strange . . .

I published Notes from An Alien on May 2nd and the copies I ordered arrived today

Having lived with the book in note form, then outline form, then various forms of manuscript hadn’t prepared me for how strange it would feel to hold the published book in my hands

I’d held books I’ve published in my hands before and it was always a good feeling. This time, though, the book seemed like it was someone else’s. Of course, I had a “co-author” on this book, Sena Quaren (also, a character in the book...); but, that wasn’t why the book didn’t feel like “mine”. It all goes back to how the book was written

When I wrote the poems that became a book, I’d experienced the feeling many authors describe of “wondering who actually wrote the words”.

With Notes from An Alien that feeling was magnified. “Something” wrote this book and even if that something resides in my mind, I’m unfamiliar enough with it to have felt not only that the book “wrote itself” but also that the book made demands on me, countered most of the creative intuitions I had during the writing, made me do things I didn’t particularly relish–yet, I had to agree that the book’s own logic was better than mine, had more integrity

Now that the book exists in physical form, I’m learning about the wild and woolly realm of book distribution. More on that in the next post

So, as I explained before, even though the book is for sale, I’m still giving it away for free.
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19 responses to “When A Manuscript Turns Into A Book ~ Very Strange . . .

  1. Karla Telega May 13, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I just got my copy yesterday. I don’t do as well reading on screen, but seeing it as a book after reading about it in your blog felt strange and amazing–much more “real” than a manuscript. Same words, different feeling.


  2. Simone Benedict May 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I relate to the “who wrote this?” feeling. I first experienced it when I was 12 and wrote a story based on a dream I’d had. I wonder if there is a term for the “who wrote this?” feeling?


    • Alexander M Zoltai May 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Well, Simone, I’ve never heard a specific term for it. It is, though, well-covered as a general phenomenon in Jung’s writing on the Collective Unconscious in terms of the Conscious mind’s relative lack of ability to “own” ideas that surface from the Unconscious…


  3. Simone Benedict May 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    How did you go about getting the design for your cover? (I apologize if this is a question that will be answered in your future post.)


    • Alexander M Zoltai May 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Actually, Simone, I hadn’t thought of sharing that but here’s what I did:

      I searched the online catalog of Hubble telescope images till I found one with a multitude of stars plus a large swath of glowing plasma (since plasma is one of the “characters” in the book). It also had to have appropriate places to put the words.

      Then, I used a free image program called IrfanView to make the image conform to the proper dimensions and resolution recommended by FastPencil.

      Then, I put the words on the image–very easy but it took a number of tries to assure the words were clear and stayed inside the cover dimensions

      And, even though the image was indicated as free-to-use, I adhered to the Hubble team’s request to give them credit in the book :-)


  4. tsonoda148 May 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I want a copy of your book! But in a real book, not on the computer. I’ll hop over and check it out. It may take me eons to get it read, but that’s only because I’m working on my Masters and have to read massive amounts every day. I get tired of reading. (OH no, she didn’t just say that?!). But I do want your book. I’m a fan of your comments over on Karla’s site, and certainly like your blog. Every writer’s dream…..publishing a novel. Wow. Congrats!


  5. cmmarcum May 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Just bought my copy. :) Happy Reading!


  6. cmmarcum May 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Say, now I have 2 of your books on my kindle. That’s pretty good, considering there are only 12 total so far, and you’re in good company.


  7. Pingback: Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #8 — The Book Designer

  8. Pingback: Author Interview ~ L. E. Crane (aka Eve Macbeth) « Notes from An Alien

  9. Pingback: Wrote a book? Well, you’re not done yet!

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