The Chapbook

I took a call with my publisher, editor and production design team recently regarding the upcoming marketing and next steps for the book. Most of it went over my head as a new author.  I had never heard of chapbook, book plates, cover and flap copy, ARC (advanced reader copies), galleys, periodical reviews and blitzes before, so the purpose of the call was to get me familiar with those concepts and begin discussing dates and to-do’s.  Well, I have heard of ARC’s actually because I had to draft a list of 25 well-deserving people that would receive such a copy.  That list along with accompanying physical addresses and emails reads like a whos-who of daytime and reality tv mixed with the best jiu jitsu practitioners in the world. Bom dia.

I’ll try to address each of these in upcoming blog posts because they are inherently interesting to the authoring and publishing process and something I find value in sharing with my readers. I hope you’ll agree.

By definition a chapbook is a pocket-sized notebook and are used today to preview a to-be-released book to a select number of recipients.  If books were movies, then chapbooks would be the coming attractions.  So my editor has sent me the following email to capture our plan of attack on the chapbook for Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence.

Marketing Next Steps:

1)      Chapbook – I will be working with Sandy and Nick in production to design a  chapbook using the chapter on Jiu Jitsu and the lawyer’s mind. The chapbook will be distributed to all attendees of the publishing panel discussion at Annual on Saturday, August 10th. My goal is to get the chapter as closely copyedited as possible to send over to Nick by tomorrow. The chapbook files (text and cover) need to be ready to ship to the printer on or before Friday July 12th. As per Sonali’s suggestion, I have asked Sandy to provide an e-pub file version of the chapbook to be made available on Amazon as a free download.

At this point we have gone back and forth on two chapters (4 & 5) that are best suited for the chapbook.  I like 4, he likes 5.  4 deals with the Lawyer’s mind vs the Jiu Jitsu Mind and Chapter 5 is about the emotional benefits of Jiu Jitsu.

Verdict: Chapter 4 wins. Not because I’m the author but because we both agreed as a stand alone piece of material, it just reads better. Chapter 5 is also one of my favorite chapters, but as a stand alone it doesn’t start very powerfully.

This is an exciting and important part of the publishing process and one that I thought engaging those close to me would like to be kept abreast of.

Jiu-Jitsu chap book

 

Oh, and I just received a copy of the foreword from one of the most respected Jiu Jitsu professors, practitioners and people in the world. I am beyond words which is a first for me.  If there’s truth to the notion that testimonials and forewords help sell books, then Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence has a chance to be ground breaking in its category.  I will share more when the timing is right.

 

Ever Dream of Being a Travel Writer?

So crazy how the universe aligns, yes?

One year ago I had just returned from a whirlwind trip around the world, taking me to 9 countries in 21 days.  Upon return I was all set to step back into my normal day to day life (work, jiu jitsu, beach time with Elton, Crossfit and little excursions here and there around southern California and Lake Tahoe).  But as the Amazing Race began airing and the millions of viewers started identifying with various people on the cast, I got a call (actually an email) from a reputable book publisher in Chicago.  That dialogue led to my first book deal and fast forward nearly 9 months from those initial conversations and Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence is in its second round of edits with a release date of October 7, 2013.

Good enough for me.  Until yesterday happened.

In the span of 24 hours, I have tweeted that I was looking forward to an upcoming trip (traveling internationally for the better part of a month to Italy and Spain) been contacted by an acclaimed online digital magazine and now finalized structure and economic terms on a four-part article series that will capture various parts of my approaching journey.

Today, I get to add ‘travel writer’ to my resume.  And so the answer to the question in my title is ‘hell yes I want to be a travel writer’.

We have decided that the structure of the writings will be a minimum of (4) separate, 1000 word essays (including pictures), first person accounts, of the following events:

1) Running of the Bulls (Pamplona, Spain); July 10th, 11th, 12th.

2) Train travel through Europe (this will entail me training across the continent and noting the characters, scenery, and life of a train traveler along the way).

3) Hiking Cinque Terra (the five villages in the Italian Riviera starting from Levanto (outside the northernmost village to Portovenara outside the southern most village) – a total of 40miles along steep and precarious cliffside terrain.

4) Life as a local in Marina di Pisa (I will be living day to day life in this Italian coastal village ..)

Sec 3.5  Additional Articles. Based on the success and response to the four articles (“the articles”), both writer and editor shall have the right to determine additional subject matter and terms for new articles.  So far discussions have included racing a supercar in Nurburgring, Germany, chasing the sun (sunrise to sundown) in the Greek Islands and canyon and cliff top adventuring in Interlakken, Switzerland.

 

I’m not sure that I ever envisioned I would be a professional writer, or a writer any sort at any point in my life.  But here I am, many years removed from college (where I wrote my last reviewed paper and for a grade that I’m sure neither had a A or B circled in red at the top upon return) embarking on the second most exciting writing opportunity I could imagine.

This newest opportunity (travel writing) absolutely would not have happened had I not had Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence in pre-production, to rely on as part of my CV/resume.  Also, having previously blogged about travel (http://ryandanz.com/dhaka-bangladesh/http://ryandanz.com/surabaya-indonesia/) showed similar writing styles to what this magazine and its editor in chief was envisioning.

All in all, this non-stop journey that I seem to have been on since that fateful day in my life when I went from a 9-5 employee with a wife and not much else in the way of happiness, excitement or adventure to published non-fiction author, entrepreneur, gallivanting explorer and a host of other titles feels like the movie of someone else’s life. But I’ll gladly take it.

Please follow me right here on this blog as this next chapter unfolds and I promise to keep you laughing, enlightened, and in tune with the latest adventures and writings in the coming month(s).

 

Finally, a new friend passed this along to me which I would like to share with you. It captures me and the last couple of most wonderful years in my new life.

“Why tell your grandkids you worked 9-5, five days a week for 40 years and quietly sat in traffic jams while people went to war, suffered disease and shot their own classmates? Tell them you refused to live in fear. Tell them you crossed the Amazon, saw the Lost Cities of Gold and met your soul mate in Casablanca. Travel to the ends of the earth. Go now and live adventures that will make your grandkids proud.”

Thank you and good traveling.