Looking back, this has been an amazing year. During the first week of December 2010, I sent off the edited manuscript of Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges with all the fact checking changes made to Bob Serra the publisher of Pacific Publishing. Fifteen minutes later, I was in the car on my way to California to be with my family in California during the holidays.
The prior week, I had given him a file with a folder for each chapter with photocopies of all the photos I had collected and where they should go, where he could find them (email, a CD, or the actual print), and an appropriate caption and credit for each photo. There was another file with photos. Bob had already edited the manuscript and now had everything to start laying it out as a book.
And that’s just what he did throughout most of January and February. He designed the book, and I became his editor as he completed each chapter. The pace was frantic because we needed to get it to the printer by the end of February in order for it to be ready for sale by April 1. Many evenings and weekends, Bob continued working on it at home, which meant that he actually took much longer getting Crossings ready than he thought he would. He also added 25 more photos throughout the book––any place he felt needed another photo. As the former editor of the local newspaper, he had about 2,000 photos that he had taken over the years of the Siuslaw River Bridge to choose among. Yet, he was still out there every day the weather cooperated both morning and evening for weeks, trying for the perfect shot for the cover. (I think he succeeded.)
The three of us—Dick Smith, Bob Serra, and I––held numerous meetings during this time trying to decide on the book title and cover photo and who to have print it and how many to print. We worried through each decision, kept up the frantic pace, and made the deadline; the designed book was sent to the printer at the end of February.
In March, after we had all checked the first proofs of the book, I drove to California to see family and friends. Five hundred copies of the book––our first edition––actually arrived early on March 23 while I was gone, but Bob sent copies. What a thrill to see it in print!
The remainder of the year was learning firsthand the truth behind this anonymous quote, “When a book is written, you’re only half through. Now you have to sell it.” So Dick and I spent the rest of the year giving it our best shot. I gave numerous PowerPoint presentations; called coastal and Eugene bookstores, gift shops, and museums about the book; drove up and down the coast and over to Eugene delivering books; and attended book fairs. Dick covered Florence and got it in Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society in Portland and in a few places in Cottage Grove where he grew up. Dick and I even became part of a committee that put on the Florence Festival of Books on October 1. And each Friday, I post this blog to chronicle the adventures with the book.
After two months we had sold out our first edition, so we made a couple of changes on two pages and ordered 1,000 for our second edition. We’ve sold about 1200 copies of Crossings so far—just the two of us. And with only about 300 left, we’re discussing the printing of a third edition.
One of our goals in getting the book out by April 1 was to be able to participate in the 75th birthday celebrations of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence, the Umpqua River Bridge in Reedsport, and the McCullough Memorial Bridge over Coos Bay in North Bend as well as the 20th birthday celebration of the “new” Alsea Bay Bridge in Waldport. Crossings and Dick and I played a big part in the Siuslaw River Bridge celebration, and Crossings and I participated in each of the other celebrations. Because of the book alerting folks to the fact that the Umpqua River Bridge in Reedsport had never had a bridge dedication, Reedsport finally held a really big dedication ceremony along with a birthday party for the bridge. That double celebration was especially meaningful to me.
It was definitely a year to remember, and now 2012 is upon us.
Best wishes for the New Year.
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $3.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; and in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society.
Judy’s PowerPoint presentation with book sales/signing:
February 19, Sunday, 3 p.m.––Port Orford Library, Port Orford (1421 Oregon Street [Hwy 101])
Judy guest on TV show:
March 13, Tuesday, 2:30––The Author’s Forum, a talk show with host Dr. Veronica Esagui, chiropractic physician, author, and public speaker, on Portland area public access television (channel TBA)