For the last few months, I've been working on a non-fiction project called What Am I Doing Here? I've kept it under my hat, since I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull it off. It's self-published, under my own imprint called Lavender House Publishing. (More about that later.)
What Am I Doing Here? is a collection of blog posts from this site, plus a few extra bits, including a glossary. It focuses primarily on my experience here as an expat, an American slightly bewildered by Britain. There are chapters on the assimilation process (rocky), driving (smooth), language (still incomprehensible at times) and, of course, my dog.
In fact, I've dedicated the book to Bailey, my Golden girl and I'm donating the proceeds to the cancer charity Animal Cancer Foundation. Cancer in canines is similar if not identical to the same cancers in humans, so research in one species adds to our knowledge of cancer in other species.
What Am I Doing Here? will be available in both print and digital. If you buy the print edition at Amazon.com, you can get a digital copy for only $.99 through Amazon's MatchBook program. They don't offer that at Amazon.co.uk yet. But the digital edition has some really colorful photos (as long as you have a color-enabled device), which aren't available in the print edition.
I got the idea to compile my blog posts well over a year ago, and around that time I designed the cover, using a stock photo from iStockphoto.com. The rest of the book I edited, copyedited, and proofread myself, which I would never recommend to anyone. I used a Word template for the print edition, and made modifications to that as needed. The ebook editions were made using Jutoh, a program I highly recommend.
In order to avoid the dreaded "Sold by Amazon Digital Services" in the product listing, I decided to create my own publishing imprint. I'd intended all along to call it Canterbury House, since that's the name of my house (isn't it charming how houses in Britain have names?). But when I searched the internet, I discovered there was already a Canterbury House Publishing.
So I scrambled for an alternative. While pondering several possibilities, I looked outside my office window at the row of lavender I planted, right in front of my house. Thus was Lavender House Publishing born.
One day I may publish more non-fiction through Lavender House. I doubt I'll ever publish my fiction there, as I value the editing I received from my publisher far too much to want to go it alone.
Here's how to find WAIDH?: