Here’s how it descends into madness. I have a new book coming out, A Musical Education: Stories in the Key of All Right; it’s my second book and the first published by Black Sunshine Media. Aside from writing, editing, and all the creatively technical crap that goes along with producing the guts of a manuscript—which is 99% complete—there’s a whole nother laundry list of stuff that needs to be done; the majority of which are tedious tasks that make you regret having written a book in the first place. Some of you may have gone through the sausage-making process of querying agents and publishers, so I’m winking at you right now. Fortunately, and I say this with fingers crossed, by publishing under the Black Sunshine umbrella, several of those chores are no longer necessary. One of the benefits of being self-employed is not having to bother with a resume.
However, a completely different set of tasks come with being a publisher. This isn’t really about all that nonsense—it’s supposed to be a promo for the new book. In fact, that’s what I was working on when the wheels came off. But first, there is the subject of the book, which I’m hoping from the title you should be able to infer that it’s about experience and the splendor of music in life. More than half of the 10 stories that comprise A Musical Education have been previously published, either here on BSM or on my previous weblog, and each story is accompanied and augmented by relevant photos. Or at least, that’s what I was able to get away with on the website. Publishing a book is a different ball of wax.
My original thought was that while the inclusion of these photos was not essential, it would substantially improve the overall reader experience. For instance, the book’s opening story, “Fourteen Thousand Screaming Japanese Girls Can’t Be Wrong” is an extended meditation on my adolescent fascination with Kiss lunchboxes and Cheap Trick’s At Budokan. It seemed obvious to me that the narrative would benefit from, at the very least, a thumbnail of the album cover. Meanwhile, as long as we’re at it, why not throw in a few more photos, like one of the Kiss lunchbox? Since every story involves music in some way, we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 potential images.