Second Mouse - Inspiration
Welcome to Katzenhaus Books, where we tell - the stories behind the history.
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

A Day for a Double Celebration
Ring of Fire
What has Saturday's Meteor Shower to Do with Henrietta Ainesworth?
Harbingers of Things To Come
Yankee Daughters -- Recipes

Categories

A new contest
Abolition
absurdity
academic myopia
Almost Free
Amazon
ancestors
Announcement
apocalypse
Applications and software
Appomattox
Arnulf of Lisieux
art of speaking
attracting readers
audience
audio books
Author Central
Author Gifts
author's Plea
awards
baseball
basketball
Battle of Port Royal
Battles
biographical
blind artists
blockade
blog chain
Book Club Guides
Book Design
Book Launch
book stores
book trailer
bookstores
Boxed Set
bright ideas
Building a platform
business
Business plan
Busy-ness
butterflies
Career choices
cats
celebrations
cemetery research
Census
challenges
characterization
Characters
Charleston
children
children's books
choosing a publisher
Choosing a Title
Christmas Past
Civil War
commercials
Computer Hacks
Confederates
Conferences
Connections
constitutional amendments
construction
Contract labor
cotton
Countdown Sale
Countdown to Launch
Cover Designs
Cover images
cutting and pasting
Cyber Monday
daily drama
daily events
Dead Mules
depression
diversions
dogs
Do-Overs
DRM
earthquake
e-book pricing
e-books
editing
elevator speech
elmore leonard
Elves and Holidays
Emancipation
England
English class
evidence
Excerpt
exclusivity
Exercise
Expertise
Facebook
fact and fiction
failures
fame and fortune
family affairs
Favorites
Fear of Failure
Fish
flood waters
flowers
food delights
Formatting
Fort Pulaski
free chapter
Free Days
freebies
Friendship
Frogmore
garden
gardens
genealogy
Getting organized
ghost stories
Giveaway
Goals
good business
good news
grammar cops
gratitude
gray horses
gripes
grocery shopping
guest blogs
Gullah
handicaps
Harriet Tubman
Hiatus
Historical background
Historical Fiction
historical puzzlers
historical thinking
history lessons
Holidays
home office
hope and kindness
horse races
horses
hurricanes
identifying your audience
illustrations
imagination
indie authors
Inspiration
inspirations
internet
internet history
intruders
ISBN
Kalamazoo
karma
Kindle
Kindle links
Kindle rankings
Kindle Serials
kings
Klout
Ku Klux Klan
Lack of co-ordination
landmarks
language
Laughs
launch dates
Laura Towne
Layouts
legal matters
lending library
Lessons learned
lessons unlearned
libraries
literary genres
local news
love story
making choices
Marketing
Matchbooks
medicine
medieval-isms
Meet the Characters
Memorial Day
memories
Milestones
military matters
mind-mapping
Misfis
Monthly Musings
name recognition
NaNoWriMo
Nellie Chase
New Blog
New Book
New England
New Research
New Year
newsletters
nonfiction
non-profits
nostalgia
Nurses
oddities
odds and ends
olympics
omens
opening lines
outrage
Papacy
parties
Penn Center
photographs
picture book
Pinterest
Pinterest and copyrights
Pirates
planning ahead
plot
point of view
polite society
politics
portraits
powerful women
Predictions
pre-orders
press release
previews
pricing
Principles
procrastination
productivity
Profiles
Progress Report
Promotions
proofs
pros and cons
publishing
publishing companies
publishing ploys
publishing rights
pure sentimentality
puzzlements
quiz
rain
random thoughts
RBOC
read an ebook
readership
recipes
Reconstruction
Relaxation
research
Resolutions
reviews
road trip
rough draft
Roundhead Reports
royalties
rules
SALE
Sales
scams
schedules
Scoop It
ScoopIt
seasons
Secessionville
second edition
Second Mouse
self-publishing
settings
Shiloh
Short Stories
Silliness
slander
Slavery
small world
Smile of the Day
snow, living in the south
social media
software
software disasters
South Carolina
Speechless!
sports
Spring
story arc
Substitutes
Success
summer
Synopsis
Taking a Break
Taxes
Thank You
the difficulties of blogging
The Gideonites
Theme
Tongue-in-cheek
Traditions
trailer
Travelog
trilogies
trolls
Tweet
Twitter
Upcoming Events
using commas
Vacation
vacation photos
Valentine
video
Visitor
vocabulary
Volunteering
voting
warnings
weather
weather trauma
website
word counts
Word-of-Mouth
Words
Words of Warning
Writer Beware!
Writer's Block
Writing Advice
Writing as Career
writing process

Archives

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010

powered by

"Roundheads and Ramblings"

Second Mouse - Inspiration

Here is one (updated) explanation of why I wrote this book.  Yes, it dates me, but, hey, I admit I'm old. What's important here is the whole idea of change--how rapidly it can occur, and how differently we must respond to new ideas.

In 1981, I had finished typing my master’s thesis. I had used an electric typewriter, but had still struggled with the need to produce three letter-perfect carbon copies. Do you remember what a pain that was? No strikeovers allowed, and erasures needed to be invisible. All footnotes went at the bottom of the page, not the end, and, believe me, a thesis in medieval history has a lot of footnotes. We had an elaborate system of typing a list of all footnotes first, so that we could tell how many lines each one would take. Then, armed with the knowledge of how many lines were available within the margins of a page, we stopped every time a footnote number appeared in the text. We counted the separating line, the space before the note, and the number of lines in the note itself—then subtracted that number from the number of lines available for text. Type another footnote number on the same page? Stop and recalculate. When a fellow student told me about a new-fangled invention called a word processor that would allow text changes and copy making without erasers and carbon paper, it sounded like another impossible dream.

In 1985, I was ready to start working on my doctoral dissertation. My supportive and understanding husband bought me a brand new IBM desk computer. It had a memory of only 256K, used 5-inch floppy disks, and sported a black screen with glowing green letters, but it was beautiful. Out went the electric typewriter, in came the computer, and I never looked back. But within the university, and particularly in the English department, I heard discussions about the damage computers were going to do to research. “How will we know what an author really wrote,” scholars were asking, “if we can’t see the handwritten manuscripts and the changes the author made?”

 In 1991, I was a full-fledged assistant professor of medieval history at a small liberal arts college. I was excited that year to be helping to sponsor a traveling exhibit of 10th and 11th century manuscripts from the Monastery of St. Gall. A friend and I were co-lecturing in a class on monasticism to go along with the exhibit. A student brought me a cartoon showing several monks standing around a copy machine, with a caption reading, “It’s a miracle.” The cartoon was an obvious takeoff on the current ad campaign being run by the Xerox company, but I kept it taped to the door of my office until the tape cracked and the edges of the paper curled up and started to flake away. Life seemed to be getting simpler all the time, and fewer and fewer of us were questioning what was being lost in the process. I certainly wasn’t.

Then it was the year 2000—the turn of a century—and people were worried about the consequences of changing from the 19s to the 20s. What would happen to all those printed checkbooks, invoices, order forms, and account statements with a blank space for the date that looked like this: _____________, 19___? There was near panic over the possibility that on January 1, 2000, computers would crash and lose all their records because they had not been programmed to handle the dates of the 21st century. We adapted, of course, but a bit of nostalgia began to creep in. One contest asked, “What was the most important invention of the past 1000 years?” The run away winner? Gutenberg’s printing press, which made books available to ordinary people.

But by  2012, we were witnessing the decline of bookstores, publishers, and paper-based publications of all sorts. Bookstore chains like Borders were closing, newspapers were folding (not meant as a pun!), magazines were shrinking, and electronic editions of books were outselling printed versions by a wide margin. Earlier that  year, I attended a writers' conference, where authors were asking if it was worth it any longer to publish bound versions of our books. I confess, I didn’t know. I had a carton of unsold trade paper books sitting in my closet, while checks from Kindle kept rolling in every month.

I couldn’t claim to have a crystal ball to tell me what the future held for writers. I didn’t even know what it held for me as a writer. But for whatever the voice of experience is worth, this small book offered some suggestions on finding one's way through the thickets of the publishing world. I was only a small mouse among the hordes of new authors, but I had found a little piece of cheese, called an Amazon bestseller ranking, and II wanted to share some of the methods I used to get there. The chapters were, for the most part, culled from the blog posts I had left along the way.  I was  happy to scatter the crumbs of my experience and leave a trail that might help other writers find their path through the traps that lay ahead.




By the way, you won't find a food recipe among this week's blog posts. Mice don't cook. But  you will find  several "recipes" for producing your own best-selling book.





And be susre to pick up your free copy of the Kindle version of this book at: 

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Mouse-Gets-Cheese-ebook/dp/B0076B1TE2