Phone on Fire Newsletter, Issue 4
Saturday, December 09th, 2006 | Author: lisaksimone

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Welcome to Issue 4 of the Lisa’s Book Saga: Author Anguish

My last newsletters were full of hope and excitement, although I believe I mentioned I was riding the newbie excitement wave while knowing full well that the jaded edge was waiting somewhere. No jagged edge yet, but just the continued anxiety and “out-of-the-loop-ness” of preproduction.

But in this issue, checkout the chapter layouts, the first advertising shots from Amazon, and maybe my name in Kanji!

I mentioned Cover Art last time…the design team produced three possible covers and I received them in early December. <formulating thoughts>…they were definitely underwhelming. One was downright awful. I think I used the phrase “acid flashback” in my feedback to Elsevier on that one. All three had phone receivers on the cover, which I wanted, but each were from the 1980s and gave the impression (in my opinion) that the book contained dated technical information. Bad marketing. Tiffany (my editor) nixed putting a cell phone on the cover since they went through that phase already - fine by me again, because a cell phone looks dated 9 months after it launches. I had hoped to include a sneak preview to you, but I probably shouldn’t send internal artwork around while I speak poorly of it!

On the good side, we already worked out the internal design and layout for what the chapters will look like. They took a random unedited chapter and did all the formatting, fonts, shading, page numbers, etc. and PDF’d (PDFed?) it to me. (Wow - another new verb - did you know that some companies take legal action against turning their products into verbs? I thought they’d like it since it mainstreams their product (Xerox’ed, Fedex’ed), but apparently it can make them generic/replaceable. Anyway, I digress…the coffee is really strong this morning.) So I have attached a jpg of one page showing what the final layout will look like.

Speaking of unedited…I *still* have not gotten comments back from the copyedit. I have no fingernails left. Which is why I am writing a newsletter rather than working on “Schedule Item #5: first pages to author.” It has been delayed and delayed, and now they promise I will receive a hard copy the edited book pages on Jan 3rd. It is supposed to be all the chapter pages in final format, copy-edited, with comments/questions from the copy-editor, and I will have a bit more than 2 weeks to review and respond.

After throwing up a flag, I have been told that there are no major issues except some “strong language.” (Yeah, d*ckhead came back to bite me. As well as $sshole, smart$ss, bast@rd and crap.) Sigh. I was asked to tone down the first two for the “potentially squeamish in the audience” but my brain is crying, “If they are that squeamish, then they don’t belong in the embedded systems development community in the first place!” But, of course, I should be more concerned about who is BUYING the book rather than who is an engineer. All that d@mn marking stuff.

More on the Book Title…
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After some unsatisfying options (and some good feedback from you)…I think the final version is

If I Only Changed the Software, Why is the Phone on Fire?
Embedded Debugging Methods Revealed: Technical Mysteries for Engineers

The subtitle is slightly different - it now includes the word “embedded” which was obviously missing, and the subtitle is now two phrases. I was avoiding that, but one good aspect of the proposed book cover graphics was that they used a military-like (remember M*A*S*H?) for the “Embedded Debugging Methods Revealed” phrase. Made it seem like TOP SECRET! GREAT STUFF INSIDE! All-in-all, it is too long, but “searchable.”

And speaking of “Searchable”...
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I enjoy surfing to see where the book pops up. It is all over the world, even on the Japanese Amazon site! I saw on two Japanese sites, and there are Kanji characters after my name, and I hopefully sent the links to my brother to see if that was my name in Japanese!

He said it was something like “writer of paperbacks or books” or something like that. Still cool.

And another…

Of course the downside of surfing is that I can see that its already discounted before it is even published! Sigh. But then have you EVER paid full price at Amazon for anything?

I was also amused that one site shows it will be shipped in 8 days -cool! I can get a copy faster than my publisher can make it! Then I can see what the cover art will be ahead of time!

Have a Happy New Year!
Lisa


About this Newsletter

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This is an occasional newsletter with information about my upcoming book, “If I Only Changed the Software, Why is the Phone on Fire? Embedded Debugging Methods Revealed: Technical Mysteries for Engineers.” Tell me to Take a Hike if you aren’t interested in the Newsletter. No Problem.