Tag Archives: authors

Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. Arrives in Bookstores Sept. 1

Someone told me that holding your book in your hands for the first time is a bit like becoming a mother. The work of more than a year, nurturing, massaging, editing, sleepless nights of writing on deadline and then finally it arrives. Writing a book is, in many respects, like having a baby. My baby has a pretty blue cover and is adorned with a marvelous portrait of Hugh Laurie! What could be better?

Yesterday I received my advance copy of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. It’s a big book–430 pages! Part of the reason it’s so big is that is contains a six-season episode guide. Every single episode in six seasons of House is summarized with callouts for episode highlights including:

  • Zebra of the Week
  • Epiphany Moment
  • House is a Jerk Moment
  • A Fine Bromance (Wilson moment)
  • Shipper Alerts
  • Musical Notes
  • Housian Ethics
  • Patients Know Best
  • Metaphorically Thinking
  • Iconic Moment in House History
  • and many, many more.

There are chapters long and short. The longe

st is “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know”–it is the chapter on Dr. Gregory House, M.D. Anyone out there know where that quote comes from? (Hint: it’s not from House, M.D.)

There are chapters on the music of House, Ethics, a chapter on “God Religion and Hypocrisy.” There’s an interview with a clinical psychologist in which he diagnoses our troubled doctor in the aftermath of season five and the start of season two. There’s an interview with a Holmes loving House fan. There are closer looks at several episodes to highlight series themes and story arcs. There are chapters on every character–and so much more.

So take a look at the preview nicely provided on Amazon.com. The book comes out September 1 and should be in most major bookstores. It’s on Amazon.com in every country, it’s a Barnes and Noble’s site and Borders as well.

Writing a Book: Journaling the Journey

So I’ve sent the galleys for Chasing Zebras back to the publisher, my red scrawls all over it (not too badly bled upon, methinks). One more round or so and my

book–my first book–will be ready to come out of the oven, all crisp and hot.

It’s a big book, all printed out and everything. Four hundred pages give or take now that it’s been typset. Having written and edited it on my trusty laptop (macbook pro), I’d never seen it printed out. Massive. Weighty. Real–finally.

Reading it this way, typset and pretty–printed out–is a different experience than reading it on my screen. It almost seems not like my writing. I can read objectively and clearly with the distance of a reader–not a writer. I actually sort of like it. Oops. I shouldn’t say that. I should say: “I love it; it’s the best book ever by anyone who’s ever attempted t

he written word! Buy it. Now. Amazon.com. Go!”

Seriously, though. It’s quite an experience, this publishing thing. Tomorrow I have to have my picture taken (which I dread beyond belief–yes, I am that unphotogenic!). Then comes the question of promotion. When do I stop sounding like an enthusiastic writer, excited for her

first book– and start sounding like some infomercial guy hawking the next big thing? Where’s the line? I worry about that all the time.

My next big question is “what next?” I hope there is a “next.” I want there to be, but now that I don’t “h

ave to” look at my manuscript for the 150th time, I have a piece of my life back that I hadn’t had for more than a year! Now I have time to think (and I suppose clean the house) and ponder the inevitable “what’s next” question.

I have a novel rattling around in my head (and on the computer). And another non-fiction tickling at my subconscious. But I have to focus enough to actually begin–again. Good thing I’m on vacation from my day job this week!

Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. goes on sale everywhere 9/1. It’s available for preorder on Amazon.com now. Visit me at barbarabarnett.comfor more information!

From Blogger to Author: An Interview with yours truly.

It’s my first interview about the book and my journey in the blogosphere, headlined on the front page of Blogcritics Magazine! You can find the article here.

Random thought for a Monday evening:

The web designers are putting the finishing touches on my website and I can’t wait to see the final-final design.

Book Expo America starts tomorrow in NYC; I wish I had to time to go and check it out! But my time is beter spent putting the finishing touches on the season six chapter of Chasing Zebras: the Unofficial Guide to House M.D.

Are you a writer? A reader? Neither? That’s OK, because Brenda’s Auction has something for everyone!

Begun by New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak, this yearly event raises a lot of money for diabetes research. I am excited to report that this year’s auction includes an autographed copy of my forthcoming book on House, M.D. Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. along with a one-hour chat about our favorite show. Interested? The bids are already coming in, so stop on by and place your bid now…  The auction continues until May 31.  Please pass the word. There are lots of items up for auction and all for a great cause!

The birth of a book: end of week one

So Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. has been on Amazon.com pre-order for a week now. Like many authors (or so I’ve learned), I’ve become addicted to watching that little ole Amazon sales rank. Interestingly, or perhaps not, there are a lot of people obsessed with trying to figure out how it works. What does that all-important rank mean in the grand scheme of pre-sales?

My book doesn’t hit the shelves until September, so it’s a marathon. And we’re just at the start. After a quick start (as I posted last week, my sales rank hit 13,000 last weekend, only to drop like a lead balloon the next day into six-figure territory. Most of the week, however, my ranking has wandered between 20,000 and 60,000, and it would seem that’s a fairly respectable number (from what I’ve read), all things considered.

Mid week, the book went up on Barnes and Noble’s website as well. Like the Amazon listing, there’s no image of the cover; no description. So any sales on either front is strictly word of mouth effect. So, how to generate word of mouth?

I’ve begun to create “a presence” as an author. So, I did what every red-blooded author does and created a Facebook fan page. I paid for a little advertisement to let people know about it. I ran the ad for two and half days and it cost me about $170. In two days, I gained 459 fans. I’m not big on Facebook; I’m more of a twitterer. But I can post longer bites on Facebook–and the links and posts don’t fade into the ether within 10 minutes.

I also created an website for the book. I’m still trying to get the hang of it, and today, at the suggestion of my literary agent, I posted some excerpts from the book’s preface (although I haven’t yet received the manuscript back from the copyeditor). My publisher has asked me to gather a list of House fan sites that might be interested in reviewing the book or doing a “giveaway” once the book hits the stores this September.

I have also begun trying to figure out what else I need to do to make the book a success: Business cards? Bookmarks with the cover art on it?

Well, gotta get back sales rank gazing (oy. It’s 94,000 and dropping)

My first book: Journaling the Journey


It’s a weird feeling seeing my book up there on Amazon.com, where I’ve bought hundreds of books written by others. Knowing that my book, Chasing Zebras: THE Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. (ECW Press, September 2010) would be on pre-order sometime during March, I’ve indulged my vanity by checking the site daily. And Friday was the day.

Of course I tweeted the news (from the rooftops); I launched an “author” website, although there’s not much to tell–yet. And feeling rather self-conscious about the whole thing.

The book is six months from hitting the shelves of the local Barnes and Noble; there’s not even an image yet on the Amazon.com site (although I assure you the book has a cover–and a very nice one, which you can see at BarbaraBarnett.com, my “author” site). There’s no description of the book either (it’s an introspective and hopefully intelligent companion guide to the series), yet the first day I hit #48,000 on the Amazon.com sales rank. “See Bestsellers,” the product description provocatively beckoned.

Besteller?! On the first day? Cool. Of course, ever the skeptic, I tried figuring out just how #48,000 actually translated to “bestseller.” It meant, I supposed, that at least someone bought a copy. Maybe more than one. By mid-day Saturday, Chasing Zebras had reached 13,000. And more than that, it was #11 in Guides and Review about Television shows. A menu appeared below the product listing that showed what other products people purchased who also purchased Chasing Zebras. (Obviously mostly books, DVDs and other things to do with House, M.D. and/or its star Hugh Laurie. OK, so now I was pretty sure more than one person bought the book. Very cool indeed.

By Sunday (yes, I’m obsessing), the book has settled to 170,000 (Note to self: learn to toughen that easily bruised writer’s ego.) and #65 on the Bestsellers in TV guidebooks and reviews. Well, at least its still on the best seller lists, for what it’s worth. My agent says that it’s encouraging and a good sign that my book is on the charts at all right out of the gate (especially with no image, no description, no keywords in the product description).

So, who knows what this week will hold. And on into the spring, summer and the book’s official launch. In the meantime, check out the book, if you’d like and follow my blogposts here about my virgin journey in publishing.