Today I began

…the task of getting my latest manuscript ready for publication.

An Ordinary Tragedy is the third book I’ve written. Yet it continues to surprise me how much non-writing work goes into getting a manuscript into book form.

Today is the day.

I’ve been thinking about it for some time, of course. My mind never stops in its imaginings – what will the cover look like, who is my target audience, how will I promote this one (since it’s my first foray into non-fiction)? I have answers for all of the above – but no assurances that those answers are the right ones. I’ve learned a great deal since the first book – but I’m no expert. And probably never will be. The book industry is in constant flux.

Anyway, today I contacted some photographers who (I hope) will take the photos and memorabilia I have amassed and turn them into a striking cover shot.

This week I will register the book with the Library of Congress. I’ve already assigned the ISBN numbers from my cache. How very technical it all sounds. Not at all creative like the act of writing.

Within the next two weeks, I will have my manuscript in the hands of the great book designer I’ve used for the previous books. For An Ordinary Tragedy, I had my cousin (who is a phenomenal proofreader) go through the manuscript first. I didn’t want the back-and-forth between my beleaguered designer and me this time. The last book was a nightmare of after-typeset corrections – all my own fault. This time, I don’t expect any of that. See, I’m learning.

The bad news in all of this, of course, is that an agent didn’t step up to represent my latest masterpiece. That is, also of course, disappointing (as it could indicate they don’t think there is a market for the work).

Nonetheless, I’m forging ahead because I believe in this book. And I believe anyone who has ever been a parent or wants to become a parent will find this book of interest – something to give pause.

Soon I will find out if I’m right. For today I began.

* An Ordinary Tragedy is the true story of a handsome, talented, athletic, and smart, middle-class young man who became a convicted felon by the age of 18. He also happened to be my younger brother.

About Lori Hart Beninger

Lori Hart Beninger is a native California writer with three critically acclaimed historical novels (Embracing the Elephant, A Veil of Fog and Flames, and A Peculiar Peace) that follow two 19th century young adults as they struggle with survival and acceptance in the pivotal era of the California Gold Rush up to the American Civil War. Please visit for synopses, availability, reviews, and more.
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