By the author, Jim Doti

If you’ve been wondering where Lisa and I have been since our last entries in July, we’ve been waiting.  And Tom Petty wasn’t kidding when he sang, “Waiting is the Hardest Part.”

With all of the components of the book in Mill City’s hands, we first waited to see the electronic proof of the fully assembled book.  It took several weeks before the proof was available online, and we had our next-to-last opportunity to request changes to the book. 

Now we’re waiting for the printer’s proof.  This will be a physical proof of the actual printed covers (hard and paper) and interior pages.  This proof will be important, especially to Lisa, because it will give her the opportunity to fine-tune the colors in her illustrations.  It was a real learning experience for me when the printer’s proof for A Christmas Adventure arrived and I saw that Lisa was able to request color corrections to even the smallest segment of an image.  For example, I recall her changing the blue color in the winter scarf Jimmy was wearing.  This step helped to assure that the printed illustrations were exactly what Lisa envisioned.  And the raves she received for A Christmas Adventure made clear that it was worth all of the painstaking care she poured into the book.

After the printer’s proof is approved, it will take about a month for the books to be printed and shipped to distributors.  So it now looks like it will be early November when the books are finally in our hands and in stores.  While that’s a bit later than I was hoping for, it will still be in time for holiday sales.

While we wait, Ann and I have been getting a head start on the promotion of Jimmy Finds His Voice.  We created print ads and placed them with local media for publication in October and November.  With a little Googling, we came across an online magazine targeted to parents of children with special needs as well as a magazine published by the California Speech and Hearing Association.  Both provided a good target audience at an affordable cost.

We also designed and ordered a free-standing display banner that I will take with me to book signings.  For this, I went to Vail Dunlap, a marketing and promotional goods company headquartered in Irvine.  They made me a similar display piece for A Christmas Adventure.   Colorful and almost 7-feet tall, it helped draw attention to me in bookstores crowded with eye-catching displays.

Another hand-me-down idea from A Christmas Adventure was to create promotional bookmarks.  In addition to giving Jimmy Finds His Voice bookmarks out at bookstore signings, they will be placed in the “swag” bags given to more than 2,000 runners and walkers who take part in our annual Chapman University Toyota of Orange 5K Run/Walk.

All of this activity is helping to keep us focused on Jimmy Finds His Voice while we anxiously wait to hold it in our hands.

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