Readying for Release


Recently, I finished preparing the over-fifty first-person tales of life through a century for “100 Years in the Life of An American Girl.” There are five or six stories in each decade/chapter and each one of those chapters opens with a short cultural history of the decade, offering a colorful backdrop for the world of the girls’ lives. And the pub date IS coming. I’ve been climbing that self-publisher’s learning curve and I’m finally starting to cruise.

When you sign a contract with a publishing house, you’re usually looking at two years before your pub date. You typically have twelve months to deliver the finished manuscript and when you do, you wait another ten to twelve months while the book goes through production (including copy edit, author review, proofing, cover and interior design, titling and other marketing decisions). Self-publishing is the New World, a preferred route with many benefits for an author. And in that New World, it’s up to me to choose a quality editorial and design “staff,” buy the ISBNs for the print and ebook, register with the Library of Congress, and make decisions about the best avenues for exposure.

I am thrilled with my proofreader, a savvy New Yorker who knows the Chicago Manual like the back of her hand, and she’s quick. She loves the book and is thrilled to be working on it. We’re a good team. The cover designer I’ve selected is excellent, too, with clever, interesting designs on hundreds of print and ebooks. And to top it off, his company does interior design — a perfect package!

My next task is to prep some materials for the cover designer. After managing over 80,000 words, looking at images to describe them is like a cool drink on a hot day. In the next month I expect to have a stunning book cover for the print and ebook.

You can sign up here to pre-order the book, and stay posted as the pub date nears. You won’t be added to any mailing lists, but you will be invited to the Bay Area launch party, which promises to be great fun, with readings by some of the girls featured in the book — their stories of life, from the 1920s to the 2000s.

I am so excited to share the book with you soon.


About Suzanne

Suzanne Sherman is a veteran publishing professional, with thirty-five years in the field and a specialization in memoir and other nonfiction. Her clients have published with Wiley & Sons, Chronicle Books, Ten Speed Press, and a number of smaller publishers. She has also helped many authors successfully self-publish. Some of Suzanne’s memoir students and coaching clients prefer to write for personal pleasure or to create books for family, and they call her an invaluable guide.


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