I got the call way back in 2002 from my agent Jacky Sach, telling me that my book idea was accepted! I was on cloud 9! I called all of my friends and relatives and anyone else that I had a phone number for. I was on my way to becoming a *real* published author!!!! Holy smokes!!!!! Then....reality hit. Oh my god! I now had to write the thing! And in only 10 weeks! That's right folks - 10 weeks - that's only 70 days. And in the meantime, I had a business to run, a house to keep up and dogs to train.
Because The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training is a "formula" book, I had to follow very rigid guidelines, most of which freaked me out because I didn't understand a word of the publishers instructions. Jacky was very patient and showed me how to format it and I quickly found my stride. I was on a roll now! Up until 1 - 2 am every night, I wrote, stared at the screen, wrote, played Text Twist, stared at the screen, wrote, played Text Twist, played Text Twist and well, you get the idea. Carried my new laptop around and in every spare millisecond, wrote some more.
So, a scant nine weeks later (count 'em, nine weeks - I was so proud!) and I was ready to hand 100% of the manuscript in. I double and triple checked all of the requirements and was relieved to find that all was "write" with the world.
I was originally told that my book was going to have color photos in it (the first ever Idiot's Guide to do so) and that I was allowed 50 or so photos. So, while I was doing all of that writing, writing, writing, I was also setting up photo shoots, taking at least 20 rolls of film (this was before digital), getting them all developed (20 x 36 = 720 photos!) and then going back to the drawing board because although I am a photographer's daughter, I am a semi-lousy photographer.
A week later I got a call from the publisher. Apparently they gave me the WRONG GUIDELINES. WHAT???????? You're kidding me, right?????
So, I somewhat contained myself and was informed that I had to delete over half of the photos (none of them would be in color) and over 100 pages (yes, PAGES) of text in less than TWO weeks. And the worst part is that not one person at the publisher apologized.
Of course it all ended out fine and the book is one that I am very proud of. It is now in it's second edition and has sold over 100,000 copies. I still have hopes that it will someday end up on the NY Times best seller list (although even my agent doesn't know how that works).
Subsequently I have written a total of five books and now have four DVDs.
The moral? Don't lose your cool, just do it. The thrill of seeing one's name in print outweighs all of the hardships <grin>
Causes Pamela Dennison Supports
Glenhighland Farm (Border collie rescue), NEBCR (New England Border collie rescue)