My guest today is Brad Smith, husband of mystery and screen writer Nancy Raven Smith, and an author himself. Although he swears it was an accident. Please enjoy this charming post.
Book was an Accident
by Brad Smith
daughters and I were writing a memoir, a light-hearted love story about early
years of my marriage with a wife, two youngsters, 26 horses, 12 cats, 10 dogs, and
a cow, plus 2 suburban teenagers. I read that to get an agent and attract a
traditional publisher, we would need a large online platform to help market the
five years ago I found myself in a social media class thinking through an
assignment to start a blog. Now I come from an engineering background and like
the idea of passing along some of the things I’ve learned to others, but where
could I find content that would be useful to a reader. Being a jewelry teacher
in the Santa Monica adult-ed school, I opted to document many of the little
pieces of advice I give my students. These are solutions to common problems you
run into when fabricating jewelry and tips that help to increase productivity
or show how to avoid accidents. I called it the BenchTips blog.
to post short tips to the blog twice a week, and it turned out to be quite
popular. BenchTips was hosted as a Facebook page and was adding followers at
about 120 per month. I was amazed at the reach that social media could provide.
Part of me kept polishing our farm life manuscript, doing research for the book
proposal, and learning how we could find an agent while the other part of me
was reading about the exciting world of ebooks and self publishing.
followers on the blog approached a couple thousand, I started thinking about
publishing the bench tips as an ebook - first because there was an eager
audience, second because there were few competing books, and third because it
would teach me a lot about publishing in the rapidly changing book market. I read
all I could on how to create an ebook and discovered there were print on demand
companies like CreateSpace that would let me put out a paperback as well. So
why not do both?
blog material into a book format took about two months, mostly for learning how
to use Word functions like styles, page breaks, page numbering, and generation
of TOC and Indexes. I also had to re-shoot a lot of the photographs, resize them,
and adjust their resolution - there were 82 in the Bench Tips book. I shot my
own cover, went over the proofs, made final changes, and OKed the paperback for
release to Amazon. It was September 2012, and the realization hit me - I was actually
an international author, published on Barnes & Noble and eleven Amazon
country websites. I had learned a lot about publishing, but it was not with the
book I had started to write.
Here's a bit about the book:
know the saying—opposites attract. But the real question is how long can such a
relationship endure? That’s what troubles animal-phobic, robotics engineer Brad
about his recent marriage to animal-lover Nancy.
According to the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test, their union is doomed. There’s
only one problem: they took the test after the wedding.
he’s chasing a steer named Pork Chop through the woods with a lasso, locked in
a tack room by the family pony, or trying unsuccessfully to manage their barn
using his robotics experience, the odds are stacked against him.
enjoy the warm, unique, and hilarious stories of Brad’s early marriage and the
bumpy road from his robotics lab to rural Virginia.
Bio for Brad Smith:
early professional career with the U.S. Navy and the Department of Commerce in
Washington, D.C. focused on manufacturing technology and computer-aided design.
The resulting technologies developed by Smith are now widely used in the
aircraft and automotive industries worldwide. He helped write numerous industry
and government publications, and has presented speeches all over the world. As
an adult school teacher, he has self published two how-to-books to support his
his work environment was highly technical, his home life was not. With his
family, he built and managed Whimsey Hill Farm. Smith partnered with his wife
in a horse show business which included annual sporting events with over 1000
equine competitors. The couple was frequently featured in equestrian-related
magazines, newspapers, and local publications. Smith says that the contrast
between the farm and technology gave him the best of both worlds.