Every once in a while – OK, more often than you’d think – being an extrovert pays dividends. That was the case in early December 2007, when I was introduced through a third party to Tracy Ertl, owner of TitleTown Publishing, while waiting through a fog delay at the Green Bay airport.

I told Tracy about the book project I was finishing up with Jerry Parins, and it turned out she knew Jerry. Tracy told me she would be interested in reading through my manuscript, and so began a whirlwind tour through the world of publishing.

Tracy’s one of those people who never met a challenge she didn’t like. I honestly think she doesn’t know the meaning of the word “can’t.” I quickly wrapped up the first draft of the manuscript at the end of December, and then it was on to the revision and editing stages.

My friend, Lynda Drews, helped massively with suggestions on tightening up the storyline. Her red pen spewed changes all over the manuscript – which was a blow to the ego, but helped the book immensely.

(Make sure to check out Lynda’s blog regarding her debut effort, also through TitleTown Publishing, called “Run at Destruction.” It’s a true-crime story that happened to occur during the same time period as the Margaret Anderson murder I cover in “Torture at the Back Forty.”)

Tracy has a relationship with a major East Coast distributor for independent publishers, Midpoint Trade Books, and she immediately began promoting the merits of “Bodyguard to the Packers.” It was my first glimpse into the time required for book promotions before the manuscript is even finished, much less printed.

I learned quickly that when you think you’re done with a book, you’re not. And then later, when you think you’re really done with a book, you’re not. And even after it’s printed and on the shelves, the promotion work never ceases. It’s a fun, frustrating, fantastic adventure.

Posted by Mike on April 22, 2009 at 10:03 PM under