Paperback Writer welcomes Maggie Rose Crane, author of the self-help book, Amazing Grays: A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 (FTA Press, April ’08), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in January on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Maggie Rose Crane has written an informative and engaging book for boomers who are unwilling to become feeble old women with boobs in their laps, dreams on the shelf, and “Memory Lane” their only destination. This book is for maturing women who are staking their claim as part of a dynamic and growing movement of ‘Amazing Grays’, women who want to challenge stereotypes about aging and create a fresh start for the second half of life – but aren’t quite sure how to pull it off.
When an epiphany in the hair salon convinced Maggie to try life without hair dye, she found herself face to face with the fears and questions that unsettle many maturing women living in a culture obsessed with youth and manufactured beauty…
Who am I now that I’m no longer young and fertile? Will I still be desirable as I age? Will I be invisible? Is this the beginning of the end? Is it too late to make a difference? And how on earth do I stop coloring my hair if I want to?
Balanced somewhere between a memoir and a how-to, Maggie uses her personal journey as a springboard to shatter stereotypes about aging. She shares her most poignant insights and experiences on what it means to be a woman “of a certain age,” and offers suggestions on how to mindfully chart a graceful course through the physical changes, emotional challenges and mental gauntlet of aging. With honesty, humor and plenty of research, Maggie lights the way for women who want to live with vibrancy and joy – regardless of their hair color!
Welcome to Paperback Writer.
Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?
Maggie: Sure. After kicking, screaming and sweating my way through menopause and the big 5-0, (and eventually coming to peace with it all) it occurred to me that I might be able to lend the baby boomer women coming up behind me a helping hand. Being a leading-edge baby boomer I’d didn’t have a lot of modern role models or new information to draw upon. Needing answers, I read every book and article I could get my sweaty hands on, walked the walk, confronted my fears about aging, learned to laugh about it all and confirmed that what’s inside us is so much more beauty-full than the package that carries us. Sharing all that just seemed like the right thing to do. My intention is to give women a roadmap so that they might age with more grace (and humor) than I did.
Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?
Maggie: It was kind of a soft light bulb moment. Writing a book was never on my list of “things to do”. The idea presented itself to me while I was on a 3-month silent spiritual retreat. (And yes – it’s rarely silent inside ones head) My focus was on practicing mindfulness and allowing life to unfold. One day, while sitting quietly in a meadow, it occurred to me that I could put all my hard won lessons, insights and experiences about my journey through midlife into a book to help women who were just beginning their own journey. Of course, my inner voices immediately proclaimed that that was a ridiculous idea – but then, I’ve learned not to believe those inner voices!
How did you come up with the title?
Maggie: I wrestled with this for a long time. In fact, this is a great lesson for all writers. My book was already at the printers titled: Going Gray Gracefully: A Fresh Perspective when another book was released called Going Gray. I panicked, got upset and eventually decided that the titles and focus of the two books were too similar to be published with almost the same title. Regrettably, I called the book back from the printers.
I hired a marketing specialist to help me. He pointed out that my book was much more dynamic than my original title suggested and didn’t suit it at all. He went so far as to suggest it was good that that other book had been published so I had the opportunity to change my title!
Together we hammered out the subtitle, “Making the Next 50 the BEST 50” but were stuck on coming up with the main title. One day, sitting at my desk – it just came to me…AMAZING GRAYS! It said everything I intended. I also added the addendum (Regardless of your hair color!) as I didn’t want women to think it was a book only for gray-haired women. Gray was a metaphor for aging, as well as hair color. I rewrote some of my content to reflect the new focus and, in retrospect, am SO pleased that other book was published when it was. If not, I may have been stuck with that misleading title. So, don’t be dismayed when things don’t go as planned. It could turn out even better!
How did you find an agent and publisher?
Maggie: I don’t have an agent and I made a conscious decision to self-publish. We had published my husband’s book, which has done quite well, so I knew what to expect. I wanted control over my content, cover, marketing and profits and knew self-publishing was the way to go. I did not take short cuts. I hired a professional editor; proofreader; cover designer and book layout designer. I had it professionally printed. As a result, I am very pleased with the quality and presentation of the book.
Who reads your work in progress?
Maggie: My editor. I also had a wonderful and willing group of boomer aged women who gave me feedback on my first draft. They helped me hone and clarify my message and I am forever grateful.
Who made a difference in the book’s quality?
Maggie: Again, it was the group effort, my editor and my willingness to listen to feedback.
How long did it take you to complete the first draft?
Maggie: I wrote very part time the first couple of years, taking time to enjoy becoming a grandparent for the first time. I think it was about 2 years before I finally had a draft ready for review.
How long did it take from start to publication?
Maggie: Again, because I wrote very part time it took my almost 3 ½ years from inception to book in hand. Time well spent.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Maggie: While it’s valuable to get feedback from others, pay attention to your own intuition. Remember, it’s your name on the cover. Hire a good editor, have your manuscript proofed and plan your publicity campaign well in advance. Believe in yourself – you are the messenger of the gift you have been given.
Thank you, Maggie, for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of you tour.
Thanks for having me! I’d love to make a special offer to your readers. Anyone who purchases Amazing Grays from www.maggiecrane.com during the month of January will receive an autographed copy, FREE shipping and a FREE bookmark with a quote affirming the powerful and amazing woman we’ve become.
AMAZING GRAYS VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09 officially began on January 5 and end on January 30. You can visit Maggie’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in January to find out more about this talented lady!