Yesterday, at 2:37 pm, I typed five asterisks across the page of Twitterville's Chapter 17: Global Neighbourhoods, indicating the conclusion of the book's final chapter. I called my wife and told her. I then posted it on Twitter, followed a few minutes later by the question: "What do I do now?"
Actually, there's a great deal to do now. In fact, following this post, I will proof, edit and revise the chapter, then send it over to Paula, for the crucial "wife test." Paula reads closely and tells me what makes sense. She also makes sure that people who are not social media obsessed will understand all my references. Then I revise again and send it to my agent Danielle Svetcov who reviews and comments, then sends to my editor at Portfolio, David Muldawer.
This is the process that has been repeated 19 times since early December, for each chapter, plus my introduction, plus Charlene Li's foreword. That is not the end of it. Muldawer will not edit the entire book, some 77,500 words and send back to me for yet another round. There will be countless proofing and editing changes plus questions for me to address. I also have two major inserts: an profile on Chris Brogan for the Personal Brands story, and a report on the first live-tweeted surgery at Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit.
Plus, stories and anecdotes keep changing. For example Howard Rheingold tweeted that Biz Stone had told Rheingold's UC Berkeley class that the company we know as Twitter, was almost called "Jitter." Considering the shakiness of the technology in earlier phases, that's a sidebar I cannot leave out. There's probably 15-20 such inserts, and an equal number of factual updates.
When that's done I have to deal with the dreaded fact checker. Fact checkers are very often very smart people in their fist jobs. It is their job to challenge every fact, to ascertain that there is attribution, to what I say. For Naked Conversations, I tangled with a fact checker when he wanted to know my source for claiming Robert Scoble was Microsoft's most prominent blogger.
After that phase, there's a Galley Phase when I see the words as they will appear in the hard cover. Once again, you look for proofing and facts to change.
Along with all that, there are "blurb requests", when Portfolio and I request influential people take a look at Galley Copies, then say nice things in a paragraph that will be used in the front of the book or on the back cover.
The book is scheduled to be available in the US on Sept. 3. [Update] As I was posting this blog, Amazon.com started taking pre-orders . Yes, it helps the author if you pre-order the book. It helps even more if you post on Amazon, after you read the book, as well.
Along with that, is my own promotional effort. I have been pretty much sequestered for the past several months. I'll now start speaking in public more often, talking with traditional and social media more frequently as well. I am also talking with the Social Media Club where I serve as an advisor. The thought is that they will host sponsored book-signing events in several US Cities between Labor Day and Thanksgiving to help get book sales going. I have talks with a couple of other associates in that direction as well. If you have some ideas that will help promotion, I am now focusing heavily on the Twitterville launch.
I've also been asked a couple of times recently what I plan to do next. The answer is quite simple. I plan to keep writing books and speaking at events for a living. I am already in serious talks with a friend on writing a book called Conversational Healthcare and as I start wrapping up Twitterville's creation phase, my attention will be turning in that direction.