Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Progress on Documenting America

My non-fiction book Documenting America continues to inch its way toward publication via Kindle, Smashwords, and hopefully in print via CreateSpace. Last week I did almost nothing with it. I was consumed with meeting date-certain demands of the IRS, and the Arkansas DFA. What time I spent on writing went mainly to the small group study on John Wesley that is my next project. I know, that was probably not the best use of time. DA is a few hours of work away from being ready to upload, whereas the Wesley study is hours of work and months of time away.

But I can’t fully explain why I go off on whichever project seems to command my attention. I wanted to make some progress on Wesley, something beyond just gathering materials. The planning was essentially done, so I mainly had to pick a place to start and start. I did that with Wesley’s views on slavery. This was actually going to be part of a chapter on political and health writings by Wesley, but after reading Thoughts Upon Slavery and some other items, I decided this needed to be a chapter of its own. So I redid the outline/table of contents, and set to work on Wesley on Slavery. I managed to identify the basic excerpt I’ll use, and write a few hundred words of text. I did this in manuscript, with typing to being soon.

So what of Documenting America? Early last week I left it at the proof-reading stage, about 1/3 done. Over the weekend I finished the proof-reading, did a little editing, and typed all that. In the course of this I found a few things in the quotes in most chapters that I want to verify against the original document. Today in my before-work private time I began doing that. I’m through exactly half the chapters, and so should finish that today. These changes are minor, so I should be able to make them tonight, print it tonight or tomorrow, and begin the second review. I’ll ask my wife to read it and see what she thinks, as I value her opinion. It would be nice if my three or four beta readers would get back with me.

Beta readers are a problem. I’m not one to push people. I put out a call for beta readers, and several people said, “Yes, I’d like to read that, and will give you my opinion.” However, so far none of them have come back with comments. I’m just not going to e-mail them another time and push. That’s not in my nature. So I’ll wait a little, then forge ahead. Right now it looks as if I’ll be ready to upload to Kindle next weekend, assuming I can come up with a cover.

So this is kind of exciting. It will be my first book-length eSP work, and later in book form.

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