Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide News – Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hey everybody, welcome to 2011! For all of you that have been following the progress on my book project, here’s a little update:

We have now achieved an interior design! After a couple months of hard work and a steep learning curve, Kelly has mastered the basics of Adobe inDesign, a powerful document designing program. A few months ago I posted a Craigslist ad to find and enlist the help of an Adobe inDesign expert and, after responding to several inquiries, hired a very well-qualified Nashville based designer to help us learn this program. A few phone tutoring sessions and e-mails later, and Kelly, already a great Web designer with a deep knowledge of computer graphics, understood the program well enough to teach me the basics. Together, we arrived at a design that we feel is right for this book.

Here are a couple of sample pages (click on the image to view full screen):

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to finally see my endless stream of Word documents begin to look like a book. At last, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

I’ve compiled some great photos for this book. After year and a half of writing and conducting interviews, the book is quite massive, currently weighing in at 120,000 words, or somewhere between 350 and 400 pages. To help the book stay visually stimulating with this much text, I felt it was important to include as many pertinent photos as possible, not only to help break up the text, but also to give any readers who are considering moving to Nashville a greater sense and feel of this place. After about five or six photo taking “field trips” into Nashville Metro, I’ve compiled about 1000 pictures from which I am choosing the best 100 or so for the book. I’ve also gone through my hard drive and picked out the best shots I’ve accumulated from my decade of working in the Nashville music industry, and have received a few great contributions from my interview subjects as well.

The EJ Bernas interview is now edited and approved. This interview with the senior director of UMG Southwest region, the last and longest interview I conducted, takes an in-depth look at some of the thought process that goes into signing new acts, and reveals much about what goes into developing an artist in this post-Napster era. After making a few adjustments, EJ has now approved this document, and the interview is now officially a part of the manuscript.

Copy editing is now underway. After reviewing the same material over such a long period of time, I don’t know if I could spot anymore mistakes, but I know there are more to be found. For instance, did I place all those commas correctly? Comma’s are a bitch, and, I, sometimes, get confused, as to how many to use,,,;) So we’ve enlisted some outside help for a fresh perspective.

We have chosen Amazons Create Space for POD (print on demand) services. A traditional printer would require at least 1000 books for a minimum run, and that would be a lot of cash out of pocket. The good news is that now, in the day of self-publishing, POD services like Create Space and Lulu have helped greatly in this regard. I am, however, planning a first print run of 500, so I will still have to come up with a good chunk of change. (Donations anyone?)

We now have a target release date – March 14! If everything goes according to plan, the book will be available for purchase on Monday, March 14, in both paperback and e-book formats through this website and at It will also be for sale at several music stores, bookstores, and tourist shops around middle Tennessee. There is still a ton of work to be done to make this happen over the next two months – completing the interior, making the necessary copyedit changes, creating the e-book, setting up a P.O. Box and phone line, designing the back cover and spine, assessing and purchasing shipping containers, annoying Kelly with my endless onslaught of computer related questions, stressing, pacing needlessly around the house, and a lot of freaking out in general.

Thanks for reading, and keep checking back for more news about the release of “The Nashville Musician Survival Guide”. I assure you, it will well be worth the wait!

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