Writing was easy compared to publishing
With a rough draft of 61 chapters, I sent the 412 pages to Officeworks for printing. Stuart Coupe had told me he prints his drafts - many of them - for editing. It did make it easier - seeing the chapters in sequence I went to work with highlight pens and sticky notes. I did this five times, then sent a PDF of the whole edited book to six friends.
They gave me valuable edits, feedback and comments. I dropped a chapter called 'Groupies' because it wasn't written by me - it was a feature I'd commissioned for my magazine fifteen years ago. The voice wasn't mine, I was told, despite it being a salacious read. I refined references to my three former wives - God bless them all. (We actually DO get along, just fine).
Then I contemplated pathways to publish. Some advice was that as it stands the book would be 'legal-ed' and watered down. And that self publishing is more lucrative for smaller projects like this one with limited mass appeal. I always knew this was a book for people who know me and my limited fan base from the magazine (CX). And I wanted to donate the proceeds to CrewCare, a charity I really care about.
I was advised to get an audio book narrator, since this is a growing publishing channel and my friend Dale Kennedy introduced me to Graeme Hague. Graeme is an excellent narrator, about my age, and Australian so the chapters are authentic. He took a lot of trouble with pronunciations of names. He also did a complete edit of the book, chapter by chapter, with endless fixups and small changes that I usually completely agreed with. These were important so that he could read the words naturally.
After all of that, he helped me convert the word files into the ePub versions required by Amazon Kindle and Apple Books. I then made a PDF of the final version, (now at 340 pages) and sent it off to a book printer in China. Another version went to Amazon as they were prepared to do a small print run and sell the book as a paperback in the USA.
The longest part of this was the audiobook, which I published on Authors Republic. They in turn distributed it to Apple, Audible and 38 other audio book channels who all took (are taking as I write this) up to 60 working days to approve it. Apparently some hack last year infected or inserted a whole lot of books into their sites with inappropriate stuff. So some poor suffering human editor has had to listen to my entire book!
Hopefully the audio books will be online by December 2020.