The Book Is Almost Here…

Anyone who has had the misfortune of interacting with me recently knows that this has pretty much been me for the past two months or so:

chicken book

My entire life has been revolving around the production of Letters to Josep: An Introduction to Judaism and the process of getting it ready for publication.

It occurred to me that if publishing a book is like giving birth, self-publishing is like having a homebirth; while you have a lot more control over the process and freedom to call the shots, so much of it is still out of your hands. And sometimes knowing that you’re the one in charge can be a little scary, especially when you’ve been told your whole life to leave this job to the professionals. (And there will be critics. Many, many critics.)

So here’s where we’re at:

  • The “proof” (test copy) is on its way to my in-laws’, who will check it over, and, God willing, if everything’s okay–give the green light for releasing the print book! It will first be released on Amazon (in the US and in Europe), but for my Israeli customers, I will make sure it gets on the Book Depository ASAP so you can enjoy their free international shipping. (May I take a moment to whine about how shipping things to Israel is painfully slow and expensive?! If you live anywhere in the continental USA or Europe, you will probably get your hands on a copy long before I will. IT’S NOT FAIR) (Okay, I’m done)
  • The eBook is basically ready, except for the little tiny issues I keep discovering and going back to fix in a panic.
  • The audiobook… well… that’s gonna take a while. 😛 I’m very slowly blundering through this audio production business, and due to the fact that A) I have no idea what I’m doing and B) I decided not to even try to release it together with the other versions, it’s been low on the priority list… but it’ll get there!

Basically, I’m on schedule to release the paperback and eBook by the beginning of April, as planned!


And now that this phase is coming to a close, I want to share some of my favorite moments of producing the book with you.

My Favorite Moments of Producing Letters to Josep: An Introduction to Judaism

1) Discovering, while working with Josep on the foreword, that our versions of the story of how we met are actually two completely different stories. You’ll see what I mean when you read the foreword. (Something to look “foreword” too. 😛 ) (Sorry, I had to.)

2) Designing the interior of the book. I had no idea how much fun that would be, or how exciting, when I printed out those two sample pages and shoved them in a book, giving myself a glimpse of what my book will look like!

3) If you’ve listened to me reading some of my letters on Jewish Geography, you can probably guess that I had quite a bit of fun recording the audiobook. 😉 (Less fun figuring out how to edit and master it. :-/ :-/ But never mind.)

4) Making Josep send me voice messages of himself pronouncing certain words and names for me. (For the audiobook.) Especially when he was in a public place and saying these random things into his phone and I’m imagining bystanders overhearing and looking at him like o.O. As the entire existence of this blog probably testifies, embarrassing him in public is one of my favorite pastimes. 😛

5) That awkward moment when your crazy Israeli friend decides to dedicate her book in memory of both of your maternal grandmothers… and she remembers your own grandmother’s name better than you do. (True story! 😛 ) (Okay, fine, he didn’t forget, he just accidentally gave me his mother’s surnames instead of his grandmother’s, and I’m the one who caught it. Thereby proving once and for all that Iberian naming customs are inordinately confusing.)

6) Doing the “author photo” session with super talented photographer Menucha Machluf, who also happens to be my best friend from high school. (I mention her in my post about my trip to Poland.) We hadn’t seen each other in a long time and I always enjoy every minute I spend with her.

She wanted to get some shots of me looking serious, but it wasn’t going very well, because I could not stop laughing. In attempt to stifle my mirth, most of the time, the best I could manage was a smirk.

Menucha: Think about, I dunno, laundry. Me: Laundry. Laundry is serious. I am very serious. I am an author. A serious author. Who writes about laundry. Menucha: This is gonna be a long day.
Menucha: You look… Jewish in this one. Me: What’s that supposed to mean?! Menucha: …Not that that’s a bad thing! Some of my best friends are Jewish!
“I say, old chap, this bookshelf background does look rather stuffy!”

What’s that? You actually want to see one of the good ones? 😛

Stuffy bookshelf background and reversed Chai necklace charm notwithstanding, this one was the winner.

Some beautiful shots, some very silly shots, and nonstop giggling with an old friend… what more could I ask for? 😉 (Thanks Menucha!!! <3 )

There were quite a few less pleasant moments–dealing with editing woes, for example, or just the generalized stress of sending the book out there and needing to accept that it isn’t going to be perfect and some people aren’t going to like it and some people are even going to hate it.


But the one thing I’ve been looking forward to, the image in my mind that kept me charging ahead despite my fears and misgivings, was the image of sitting down with a print copy of my book, writing a personal dedication to Josep, and shipping it off to him. 🙂 (Turns out, this particular enterprise is going to be a lot more complicated and take a lot longer to execute than I originally thought, because of the aforementioned shipping issues. 🙁 But never mind.) The book is, on surface level, a collection of letters–essays, really–about Judaism; but on a deeper level, it’s a tribute to an important friendship in my life, and the sweet fruit of a bitter struggle with a rather difficult period in both of our lives. I feel so blessed to have the privilege of honoring that friendship with something so tangible.

Oh, and one more thing:

By Waiting for the Word [CC BY 2.0]
By Waiting for the Word [CC BY 2.0]. I added the caption

(Don’t get it? Click here)

A joyful Palm Sunday and blessed Holy Week to all who celebrate!

2 thoughts on “The Book Is Almost Here…

  1. I want 4 copies, because i will send it to 3 people I know and one for my self. Let me know where I can BUY them 🙂

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