Sunday, 21 July 2013

Blogging or Booking?

Many people have asked why I have not been releasing as many blog posts in the last few months.  I used to post about 10 - 15 per month, but have only posted twice now in the last month.  I apologize for that and need to get more diligent.  But there is good cause as I have been very focused on getting my first wine book published.  This has been a far larger effort than my previous book Still Stupid at Sixty which I wrote under the pseudonym, Blake Stevens.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot about the electronic publishing industry.  But that was a tale that I needed to write, not a book that I hope influences a much larger audience.

I have written about 300 pages so far and expect the wine book will end up between 350 - 375 pages.  I am putting a heavy-duty effort into finalizing my research and restructuring the book to make it more readable and accessible.  I am really excited about the book and hope it reaches a wide audience that will enjoy and benefit from it.  My last book was only published in electronic format and limited to Kindle mobi format (which has about 90% of sales for authors electronically).  My wine book will be published both electronically (in a number of different formats) and in printed form and will have a number of photographs.  It will also have video links using QR Codes.  The photography and video components adds a great deal of work to the effort, but is well worth it.

My last book was a personal tale so I did not need to do any research or citation of references.  My wine book will have a substantial bibliography and set of footnotes and endnotes.  This is another dimension of why the wine book requires much more effort than my first book did.

Note taking in Evernote

I had been writing the book in Word, but have now converted the Work In Process (WIP) to Scrivener which is an authoring management system.  I am also using Evernote for collecting research and clipping notes.  Both are brilliant applications which have really increased my productivity.  I review my sources, enter comments into Evernote on my iPad (see picture), then cut and paste into the correct section in Scrivener.  This has really helped me to improve the organization and structure of the book.  It has also provided me a vehicle to do much more electronically instead of working with paper to-do lists and a multitude of different files, notebooks, Post-It tabs, margin writing, etc. Additionally, I am learning HTML and CSS to be able to better understand and control the final output of the books even though I will have a professional designer work with me to accomplish that.

However, all of the book writing and coming up to speed with new applications (great as they are!) on top of working a full-time job has limited my desire and ability to blog, and for that I apologize.  I am flattered that a number of people have been querying my whereabouts and look forward to my posts!  And I want to let you know that I will be blogging much more over the next month again.  I will do limited writing on my wine book, but much reading and research and restructuring of the book before I get into doing a significant rewrite in about four to six weeks time.  This will leave more energy over the next month for blogging.  Plus I will extract a number of the basic concepts from the book and use those to create blog posts and to start to introduce you to the book.

Thank you so much for your support!  I really appreciate it and hope you will become as interested in my wine book as you are my wine blog.  I will release some 'teasers' along the way as each section of the book is further developed.

We had a tremendous time in the Hunter Valley, meeting with some wine makers and cellar door friends, and also meeting some new great chefs around the region.  It was so wonderful to have two solid weeks of vacation to do a major restructuring of the wine book, but my blogging has suffered due to my dedication and focus to the book.  I will try to keep both better balanced while I am finishing off the book.  I promise each of my three blogs will receive more attention.

Thanks again for your support and interest, and keep drinking well!

Steve Shipley
Twitter: @shipleyaust
My other blog (on business, tech, world issues):  Steve Shouts Out!
My Blake Stevens blog: From Blake's Bookshelf 
Still Stupid at Sixty in Amazon Kindle Store

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