Become a Writer Today

How to Use Your Journaling to Write a Book with Tom Kreffer

May 12, 2021 Bryan Collins Season 2
Become a Writer Today
How to Use Your Journaling to Write a Book with Tom Kreffer
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Become a Writer Today
How to Use Your Journaling to Write a Book with Tom Kreffer
May 12, 2021 Season 2
Bryan Collins

Journaling is very popular right now, but could you produce a book from your journal entries?

I'm writing a parenting book at the moment, and journaling is the approach that I'm using. I wrote journal entries about the sorts of things that my kids got up to, then, when I was ready to write the book, I reorganized the entries and turned them into chapters.

Taking this approach works because if you write 300 words in your journal today, chances are tomorrow you'll feel a bit more comfortable about the topic and go past 300 words, and you might write 400 or even 500. If you do that for a week, you'll rack up a couple of thousand words. If you do it for the year, you'll undoubtedly have more than enough for your book or several books.

In this episode, I chat with Tom Kreffer. He's the author of Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon to Be First Time Dad, which he initially wrote as a series of journal entries when his partner was expecting their first child, before turning it into a book.

In this episode we discuss:

  • At what point Tom realized his personal journal could be a book
  • Using humor in the book 
  • The pros and cons of parenting books for dads
  • Lessons that Tom has learned from writing the book
  •  When did Tom find the time to write when working full time
  • Tactics for promoting the book

Resources:

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

Show Notes Transcript

Journaling is very popular right now, but could you produce a book from your journal entries?

I'm writing a parenting book at the moment, and journaling is the approach that I'm using. I wrote journal entries about the sorts of things that my kids got up to, then, when I was ready to write the book, I reorganized the entries and turned them into chapters.

Taking this approach works because if you write 300 words in your journal today, chances are tomorrow you'll feel a bit more comfortable about the topic and go past 300 words, and you might write 400 or even 500. If you do that for a week, you'll rack up a couple of thousand words. If you do it for the year, you'll undoubtedly have more than enough for your book or several books.

In this episode, I chat with Tom Kreffer. He's the author of Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon to Be First Time Dad, which he initially wrote as a series of journal entries when his partner was expecting their first child, before turning it into a book.

In this episode we discuss:

  • At what point Tom realized his personal journal could be a book
  • Using humor in the book 
  • The pros and cons of parenting books for dads
  • Lessons that Tom has learned from writing the book
  •  When did Tom find the time to write when working full time
  • Tactics for promoting the book

Resources:

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

Tom:
We had a few ups and downs and bumps along the pregnancy. There was a time when we thought we'd lost our child. So then you're dealing with complete different format, complete different territory, and more the emotional side of it. And that format allows for that. It's not something I've come across in other types of non-fiction books. You can get away with playing around with different styles of writing and different subjects and things like that. And you've got a much broader tapestry to draw from, and somehow it works. It works in that format, the reader accepts it. And I think that's one of the brilliant ways of writing a book through journaling.

Introduction:
Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast with Bryan Collins. Here, you'll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan:
Could you write a book through journaling? Hi there. My name is Bryan Collins and welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast. Journaling is an approach that I've used to write my current parenting book. Basically I wrote journal entries about different things that the kids got up to each day or each week. I consider these journal entries as first drafts. Then later on, when I was ready to write the book, I took all of the journal entries out of the app I use, which is called Day One, and I put them all into Scrivener, and then I reorganized them, and started turning them into chapters, and then into a second and third draft.

Bryan:
The reason I did this was a couple of months ago, maybe even a year ago, I took a masterclass by David Sedaris. He's an American humorist. If you haven't read his work, he's fantastic. I really recommend checking him out. But in the masterclass, he talks through his writing process. Basically it involves journaling. He sits down at his desk every morning and he writes a couple of thousand words about what he got up to yesterday. And he doesn't use or publish or publish out of these journal entries, but this is how he publishes his essays and his books.

Bryan:
But what I was struck by was when he was writing these essays or journal entries, they were written up like short stories. He had dialogue, he had character descriptions, he had scenes, he had all of the five senses. It was almost as if he was writing something that he was going to turn into a novel. So when I saw that, I immediately thought that maybe I could start using journaling as a way to write first drafts and also to write a little bit every day and work on a book and also do other things.

Bryan:
Taking this approach, that seems to have worked quite well because if you think about it this way, if you write 300 words in your journal today, chances are tomorrow you'll feel a bit more comfortable about the topic and go past 300 words, and you might write 400 or even 500. And if you do that for an entire week, you'll rack up couple of thousand words. If you do it for the year, you'll have certainly more than enough for your book or for several books.

Bryan:
In this episode, I interviewed Tom Kreffer. He's the author of Dear Dory: journal of a Soon to Be First Time Dad. Tom wrote this book initially as a series of journal entries when his partner was expecting their first child. I wanted to catch up with Tom to see how journaling helped him write a book, or a parenting book, full of advice and colorful anecdotes for would be dads.

Bryan:
If you enjoy the show, you can of course supported by becoming a Patreon. And for just a couple of dollars a month, I'll give you discounts on my writing courses and software. Or alternatively, why not leave a short review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Overcast or wherever you are listening? More reviews and more ratings will help more people find the show. Now that said, let's go over to this week's interview with Tom. I asked him to introduce himself and then to explain how his writing process helped him write the parenting book Dear Dory.

Tom:
My name is Tom Kreffer, and I am an accidental author. I was about a third of the way through my first book before I even realized I had a book. What happened was me and my partner were trying to start a family. Had been almost two years without success. We went to doctors, they did some tests and they told us that we probably weren't going to conceive naturally and that my partner needed to go into hospital for a lot of surgery to remove all sorts of pieces that are really important for making babies.

Tom:
And they also put us forward for IVF. So all of that combined together to give me my optimism of becoming a dad, and it wasn't very high. So I think after we were told all that news, within a couple of weeks, she fell pregnant naturally. And that just blew my mind mentally. I really did not expect to be in that position. So my reaction to that was to write a few lines in my journal, which I did. And then I did the same thing the next day, and then the next day. And I kept up with the process. I did it every day for the duration of pregnancy. And that became my first book.

Bryan:
That's fantastic. I journal quite a lot as well. And I've tried to turn journal entries into chapters for the book that I'm working on too. So curious, at what point did you realize that what you had was the makings of a book or of a first draft?

Tom:
I think it was the word count. So I was getting a lot of words on the page. So I think after a few weeks in, I did some rough calculations. I worked out how many words I was getting down. I think it was about 500 a day. How many days we have left for the pregnancy. And then I looked at some book lengths and I thought, "Oooh, maybe I've got a book in me." And I think I worked that out, I want to say about two months into the pregnancy. And then it wasn't till a few months after that. So we were talking midway towards the end of the pregnancy that I thought maybe other people would find this useful. So when I decided it was going to be a book, I still hadn't intended to publish it, hadn't intended for other people to buy it or anything like that. I just saw it as a personal project for me, something to give to my unborn child when they grew up, really. And that was it

Bryan:
Did it take long to turn the journal entries into something that could get ready for a book?

Tom:
Draft two and three were brutal. They were really tough, because I had no writing experience to draw from. So the first draft was quite easy actually, which is normally the other way around with books. I'd just show up each day, write the journal entry. And that was it. I didn't edit as I went, I didn't do anything. I had no writing experience to draw on, as I said, to work as I go. And then at the end of the first draft, then I had to learn how to write. And that's when I consulted books and podcasts and blogs and tried to speak with other writers and communities and just learn what it takes, really. So drafts two and three were brutal. The first draft wasn't too bad.

Bryan:
Did you show your drafts to anybody at any point?

Tom:
Not until we went for editing.

Bryan:
Yeah. So what did you do to get it ready for an editor? Could you talk through how you got from draft two to draft three to finding an editor?

Tom:
I took about four or five passes myself. Then I ... through a bit of nepotism, there was a friend of a friend of a friend of a family. He's not a copy editor, but he's a retired linguistics professor. Really knows his stuff. So he took a pass and helped shed out all of the rookie errors that I've made, as invariably you do. And then I, again, through a bit of networking, I was introduced to another editor via a publisher and he came on board. And from there, it started to look more book like.

Bryan:
I was reading through the book before the interview. One thing that struck me is all of the color and humor and personal anecdotes. Did you have a lot of that in the original entries? Or did you add that polish when you were working on the subsequent drafts?

Tom:
That's quite interesting. We can get into a bit more of the process side of it. So that was always in there. Humor, I just see life through a humorous lens, if you will. I had no idea if the humor would work. It's very subjective humor. So I just tended to be myself, let my voice come through. Then it wasn't until I tested it with test readers that I knew it would land. But that's one of the great things about the journal format.

Tom:
So the rules I had was you write something every day and it has to be linked to pregnancy. That was essentially the rule for the first book. Didn't matter what I would write. And it didn't matter if I take a trip down memory lane, examine scenes from my childhood and then try and carve out any lessons that I could teach my children when they're older. Or my partner, she might have had one of her hormonal pregnant episodes, hurled a ton of abuse at road users. And I could just write about that, and that could be quite funny.

Tom:
That's a brilliant way about the format. I don't think you can get away with this in other types of books. So for one day, for instance, one of the best scenes in the book, one that people always quote to me, is about trying to get hold of two bedside tables that were being delivered. And the delivery driver couldn't get to us because it was Carnival and one of the roads was blocked. That's it. Now that doesn't sound very exciting as a pitch. But when you add that my partner was pregnant and you add that lens and you put a bit humor in, then it becomes quite a funny scene. I wrote that almost as an action scene, reading a fiction book. And then the next day we had a few ups and downs and bumps along the pregnancy.

Tom:
There was a time when we thought we'd lost our child. So then you're dealing with complete different format, complete different territory and more the emotional side of it. And that format allows for that. It's not something I've come across in other types of non-fiction books. You can get away with playing around with different styles of writing and different subjects and things like that. You've got a much broader tapestry to draw from. And somehow it works. It works in that format that reader accepts it. And I think that's one of the brilliant ways of writing a book through journaling

Bryan:
You said in the introduction that you read a lot of parenting books when your partner was pregnant. And some of them, you got things from, and some of them you didn't. What do you feel these types of books do right and wrong for would-be dads?

Tom:
I think a lot of pregnancy books, they're after the fact. They're retrospective, they're written by dads who have had kids and they've studied pregnancy. And then they go back and reflect in very much more practical side of you, "This is what to expect first trimester, second trimester. This is how you install a car seat. This is where you should go to buy baby equipment," which is great. It helps you get your head around the whole thing at the start.

Tom:
But I think it's missing ... if you think of your own experiences when becoming a father, there's so much more than just learning how to install a car seat. And I think sometimes that's difficult to convey. It's difficult to convey the empathy of what pregnancy is and what becoming a parent is through those type of retrospective commentary on pregnancy. And I think that's missing. Again, that's why I think journaling to write books works well because you add that layer in, if you will.

Bryan:
I agree with that, Tom. And like a lot of the parenting books that I read, I find that the writer aimed at moms, which is understandable. But if there's anything in it for dads, it tends to be about the practical side of it like you described. But it doesn't really cover the emotional arc of becoming a dad.

Tom:
It doesn't. What I thought going into pregnancy, was I thought it was just something for the mum to experience. And I just got that wrong. That's absolutely not true. It's such a journey for dads as well. And there's not a lot of literature out there that addresses that in the right way.

Bryan:
Yeah, no, I would agree with that. So the book has an unusual title. Would you be able to explain how you came about picking the title for your book?

Tom:
Yeah. So the book's called Dear Dory. Dear Dory is a play on Dear diary, linking it back to the journal method. I didn't come up with that. My mates wife came up with that. I'm useless for titles. Dory is what we called unborn child. That was the pre-birth name. Dory based on the film Finding Nemo, there was a character in there called Dory who has this catch phrase just keep swimming, which we used a lot for the pregnancy. Just as I said, gave a bit of a view on the medical issues we had. It took us a while for my partner to get pregnant. I mean, hit a few bumps along the way. So we used that saying just keep swimming to help us get through today towards pregnancy. And that just became a great metaphor for life. It just fit in well with the pregnancy. And so that became the title.

Bryan:
If you were to write another book, are there any lessons that you could apply from this book or anything that you would do differently?

Tom:
Not differently. None of my writing career so far has been strategic. It's all been pretty biased and by fluke. But there was some practice that I developed whilst writing, which I would do again and would encourage anyone else writing. So write every day. That's probably the biggest one. You have to write every day. One of the benefits of journaling, is it forces you to almost write from a subconscious level, a bit like free writing. When you free write, you're not even thinking about what you're writing. You're just getting words down on the page and you're seeing what happens.

Tom:
Journaling can be a little bit like free writing, but you can direct it to a subject, if you will. And that's what I would do with the pregnancy. So do it, write. That way, you're potentially going to unearth topics and feelings and ways of thinking about things that you wouldn't do consciously. But to get the most out of that, you should write every day. I think that's a good practice for any writer. But that's something I have maintained since then. What you can do is you might not always have access to your laptop, but as long as you've got some sort of note taking app. I used a thing called Braintoss, which is pretty good if I'm out and about. You can take a picture, record an audio memo or write a note and it automatically emails that. So I have that set up to email.

Bryan:
What's that one called? I haven't heard of this app.

Tom:
It's called Braintoss.

Bryan:
Braintoss. Okay.

Tom:
It's good. I have it set up to send anything to my Evernote account. Then I use Evernote for note taking. So the point is, people have all their preferences on note taking, but the point is with that is to have some sort of method of taking a note at any time. My memory is terrible. If I have an idea and I don't write it down, it's probably gone. So that's something that stays with me throughout my writing process.

Tom:
And then the other thing with journaled to write, again, it's something that I've done with my second book and what I'm doing with my third book. All linked to parenthood as the first one did, or is about pregnancy. The second one, Dear Arlo, which will come out this year. That's about newborn to one years old, and then moving onto the toddler years.

Tom:
So as long as what you're writing about somehow links to your subject, you find yourself in between the term of your plotter or panter with writers, you find yourself in between that. It's a unique way to write, because you're not plotting because you don't know what happens. For me, I don't know what's going to happen in my parenthood adventures that day. But you never know. You never know what you're going to get. But at the same time, the fact that you've committed to write about a particular subject. So in my case for my first book, it was pregnancy. Well then naturally, that's almost like a perfect story structure anyway. You can even map it to the script writing the hero story,

Bryan:
The trimesters for the three arcs.

Tom:
Exactly. Yeah. Three trimesters. You've got your exciting incident is your partner getting pregnant. Climax is the labor, which is the most dramatic thing. So it's perfect. It's a perfect story structure. So if anyone was using journaling as a method, if you were able to pick a subject that had some sort of natural arc, then you get away with being a panter and a plotter because the natural work will tie you in plot-wise. And then you just, as I said, you show up every day, write about that subject. However that manifests itself within you. You might have a bit of work to do come drafts two and three, as I say, when you get to the end and you see what you've got, but it's a unique way of writing a story.

Bryan:
Have you written fiction stories in the past or have you always written nonfiction?

Tom:
I used to write a lot of screenplays in my 20s. So I've got some fiction writing experience writing films. None of them fortunately have made it into any films, which is a good thing having read some of my screenplays from my 20s. So I haven't wrote fiction yet. I want to write fiction. I've got two series that I would like to write. I take a lot of notes on them. It's just deciding when I'm going to write them. I'm a new writer. Dear Dory came out a few months ago. I still have a day job. So I'm fitting in writing books and my day job at the moment while transitioning careers and family. I've got a young boy now. Essentially trying to find the time when to write. But yeah, fiction certainly on the horizon.

Bryan:
So you mentioned your next book is called Dear Arlo. Arlo is your son, is that right?

Tom:
Yeah. Yeah. It's been tough, because we didn't find out what we were having with Dear Dory. So you don't find out till the end. But now that came out a few months ago and Dear Arlo is going to come up soon. So I can't really get away with not spoiling that.

Bryan:
Are you going to have a book for every year?

Tom:
I will, while there's something to say. If the format runs dry or it's not as interesting, or I don't get the same response, then I'll call it a day. But what I found in the limited experience I've had with parenting, is that there's always something to say. There's something always to say every day. They're constantly giving you great content to write about. Today for instance, my boy he's just started nursery. And so he had his first settling in day and he did not respond well to being left. So every day there's something new to learn and to observe and to comment on and to reflect on. So it's great.

Bryan:
Just to go back to your journaling process again, because I'm really curious about how you do it. Did you write up an entry in the morning or were you writing up an entry in the evening? Did you write up entries about what you thought about what happened or did you write it up as a scene or an element in the story?

Tom:
So with the Dear Dory, I was still working. So what I'd often do is I would often take my laptop on my lunch break and I would write an hour for lunch, and then I'd always write in the evening on my laptop. Then I'd take various notes throughout the day. Since then though, my process has evolved a little bit, partly because of experience, partly because I'm now working from home because of COVID and all those restrictions. So I always write in the morning now. I try and get up at 6:00 and write from 6:00 till 9:00 AM.

Bryan:
That's a good session.

Tom:
Yeah. I normally have a 20 minute break when my little one wakes up.

Bryan:
That's good. You got two and a half hours.

Tom:
That's a bit brutal because I try and get in the zone, no distractions on social media. So it's deep work. So by the time I have to start my regular job at 9:00, I feel pretty spent. But it's the only way to do it. In terms of scenes, again, it varies. It depends. You just never know what's going to show up. I could be writing about things that actually happened, or I could be writing more metaphorically about things, past events that reveal themselves again in the future. It really does vary. And the good thing about it is the journal format allows for that.

Tom:
What will happen is at the end of the year, so I'll go through the editing process of Dear Arlo. The first draft had 125,000 words. That's been whittled down to 90. So I've thrown a lot out and I'm trying to throw a bit more out. So writing books that way, you have quite a bit of a brutal rewrite process to go through afterwards. But I think if you write ... 300 words a day isn't a lot to write. But if you do that every day, you've got just shy of I think 110,000 word manuscript. So again, I keep going back to this, but it's all about just showing up each day and writing something. And then at the end of it, you've pretty much got your manuscript once you weed everything out.

Bryan:
Yeah. One lesson I learned years ago was rather than trying to write for six hours on Saturday or Sunday, if everyone's gone to bed, if you do what you just described, which is 300 words a day, that's a couple of thousand words a week. Because chances are going to go over 300 words because once you get into the zone, you get a bit more comfortable with getting past that word counts. That works quite well. So what about the journaling tools that you use? Have you used Day One? Are you using Word, or how do you do it? How do you organize all your entries as well?

Tom:
So I use Word. Again, I'm brand new to the game. I haven't had a chance to play around with any of the other tools. I just use basic headers in Word, organize them on the find function. That's it. That's literally, that's all I use at the moment. What do you use?

Bryan:
I used Word first, because I'm on a Mac, I was using Pages for a long time, which is the Apple equivalent of Word. So just have a password protected file on Evernote for doing what you described to photos. But I actually switched to Day One about two and a half years ago. So it's a purpose built app for journaling and I think it's fantastic. You can tag up your entries and you can add photos. It's just really good for organizing entries. Because when you said there was 120,000 words, my first thought was that it would take a while to organize all of those entries and pull stuff out. So Day One is quite good for that. And it'll even present you with on this day show you older entries, which is good if you want to go back and pull the story out that you've forgotten about. It's amazing when you've written that much, how much you forget.

Tom:
Yeah, absolutely. Yes. A lot of my second draft rewrites ... I forget a lot of what's going on. Which again, that's one of the nice things about the process.

Bryan:
Yeah. I also, because I'm going through this at the moment, but when you told other people that you had written a book about pregnancy, how did they react?

Tom:
They were interested. They were interested to see what it would be like. The best reaction I got was people would say something like, "Oh, it's not actually terrible," which I took as a compliment. A lot of my friends said that. Well, I guess they thought that they felt inclined to be supportive, read it, and do what you should do as a mate. And I think a lot of them were generally surprised that it was good. That was great for me. I took that as great feedback, the fact that they were surprised. So yeah, the responses has been pretty good.

Bryan:
What type of feedback did your editor give you? I think you mentioned working with a linguistics professor there earlier as well. Was there anything specific that they said that helped?

Tom:
So part of my process, which is something I'm going to maintain, is I use two editors. The linguistics professor, he basically will go in and correct and remove all of the rookie mistakes, all of the silly typos that you make. I think that's great. And then the second editor, the main copy editor, he's freed up from having to use a lot of head space from having to do ... I call it the labor work with all the basic typos. And then what he'll do is he almost, even though he's just copy editing, he does quite a lot of content suggestions. He will challenge me and say, "You need to expand here. This doesn't work." A lot of structural feedback, which I find immensely helpful. So I'll go through all of his suggestions, toss out the ones that don't work, but there's not many that go out, and just work through his report.

Tom:
And then after that, I'll go through as many rounds of test reading as possible. I try and get feedback. It's a very, very critical process. I try and get as much feedback as possible. I don't necessarily have to listen to or agree to it, but I try and get in as much as possible because I've never ... I get tons of useful stuff from, I don't know about your process, but I'm always amazed at how much I've missed opportunities and things like that. So I try and get as many sets of eyes to give me feedback as possible. And then once I've got all that in, it'll go through a final copy edit before it's ready for publishing.

Bryan:
So is that a third person who's doing that final copy edit?

Tom:
No. It will be the main copyeditor. So linguistics professor for the one, and then, yeah, the main copy editor.

Bryan:
So just to go to your beta reader process, what I found with that is it's really helpful to get early readers, but it can be hard to figure out, firstly, what to ask them to look for. And secondly, how to decide what comments to accept to reject, because it's your manuscript. So was there anything specific that you said to earlier beta readers that you wanted them to look out for?

Tom:
Yeah. What I did is ... I did ask a lot of them. They were really good. I created a horrible Excel spreadsheet that had every single chapter. Bear in mind, mine's a journal so it has a lot of chapters. My chapters are basically days. And then there's a ranking system where they could say they either loved, liked, neutral, didn't like, hated. So that was quite an easy mix-

Bryan:
That's quite methodical.

Tom:
What I would do is if there was any patterns, like if 10 people had said this particular chapter is rubbish, then that gives me a strong indication that I might want to consider cutting it. Obviously, I'll give my own thoughts into it. That's a data-driven approach to taking comments on board. And then I'd also have feedback comments boxes next to all of those. And they'd just put in suggestions like, "This joke didn't work," or "I think we've heard this similar point done a couple of chapters ago," so maybe I've missed stuff like that. So it might just help me delete some sections and thin it out a bit. And then sometimes they'd just say, "I've got an idea. I think you should write it like this." And maybe it's a good idea or maybe it's not. Ultimately it's my decision. So I try and go with my gut.

Bryan:
Tom, was this all in a survey like Google Forms or is it some other way that you gather the feedback?

Tom:
Just sent out an Excel document.

Bryan:
Okay. And how did you decide who to send it to, or how did you find people to send it to?

Tom:
So for Dear Dory, One of the things I wanted to find out is if I could market the book to women. I wasn't sure if I just offend pregnant women, because it was from a bloke's point of view. A lot of it is spent poking fun at my partner and her behavior. So I had no idea if it would offend people. So what I did is I asked parents to find their friends who didn't know me, other parents, and collect email addresses and get their permission. And so I had a list of readers who I'd never met, so using other friends of friends. So that was really useful because then I was able to determine ... I could, in fact, actually the moms were enjoying what they read, so I was able to market to them.

Tom:
So that was useful for Dear Dory. And then for Dear Arlo, I don't have a massive audience because I'm still new, but I can at least reach out to them and get support that way. So I'll just mail it out to my mailing list. Use social media. And then I just compile a list. I think what I'll do this time is just set up a Facebook group so I can communicate with them.

Bryan:
That's the way to do it. What stage is Dear Arlo at?

Tom:
It's in pretty good space. It's had the first main editorial report, which I'm working through at the moment. And then it will move into test reading, but I'm happy. It's looking good.

Bryan:
Did you find it faster to write than your first book?

Tom:
The Rewrites were a lot faster. The first draft's always the same, because it's always one entry a day. So the first draft will take a year, but rewrites two and three were a lot quicker than Dear Dory. I was dreading it going into it. But luckily I'm still ... I'm still new to this, but I've obviously learnt a couple of things.

Bryan:
Did you whittle down 120,000 words to 90,000 and then give that to your editor or did you go further?

Tom:
No, I got rid of most of that myself. Some of it, not everything you write is gold. Some of it is an easy, you just press the delete key. And then what I do is the chapters that I'm not too sure whether they should be in there or not, I just put a little CD in brackets next to the title, which just means consider deleting for me. And then I'll use test reader and editor feedback. So I think I highlighted, say, 10 chapters that went over to the copy editor. I haven't looked at them all yet, but I saw a note that he just said, "I've agreed with deleting half of them." And then I'll get test readers feedback as well. And that will probably help inform what remains and what gets cut.

Bryan:
Are there any tactics that are working quite well for promoting your first book at the moment?

Tom:
Yeah. One particularly strong tactic, which again is not strategic at all. When my partner was giving birth, I mentally made the decision that I would make it available to midwives for free, which I have done. And it wasn't until after that I realized that's a fantastic marketing ploy because midwives deal with my demographic every day for a living. But it just didn't occur to me that I should do that from a marketing standpoint. I was just emotional from becoming a father. I just thought it'd be a nice thing to do. But now I'm right. So I spend a lot of time trying to build relationships with midwives, asking them if I can give them a free copy. And then I get word of mouth. It's a slow process, but it's a great process because you build the relationships. It's more organic. It's great.

Bryan:
Yeah. I think I read somewhere that for parenting books, it's normally the mom who would buy the book for their partner. Other than the other way around. So I could see how that could work. Tom, it's very nice to talk to you today. Where can people find your book or can they read some of your work?

Tom:
So Dear Dory is out. You can find that in all the usual store fronts or formats, audio, [inaudible 00:28:50] e-book. You can come see me on my website, TomKreffer.com. I'm on all the socials, Instagram, Tom_Kreffer. Tom Kreffer anyway. My surname is quite unusual. Spelled K-R-E-F-F-E-R. And yeah, come say hi.

Bryan:
That was great, Tom. Thank you.

Tom:
Thank you.

Bryan:
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