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Five Things I Learned About My Book After It Was Published




Five Things I Learned About My Book After It Was Published

By Debra Brenegan

#1.  The font is too small!  Holy cow, where is my microscope?  This is something I didn’t even think to ask about.  When I got my galleys, with the very small print, I assumed the print would be bigger in the final edition.  Now, why did I assume that?  I have no idea.  J

#2.  The four blurbs I procured look fantastic on the back cover.  I was told that three blurbs would probably be enough, and that I could get a fourth one if I wanted to – boy, oh, boy I am so glad I got the fourth one.  It makes the back cover so perfectly full of accolades.  Yay.

#3.  On the other hand, there is too much white space on the inside book jacket where my bio is.  If I would have known exactly how much space the publisher allocated to my bio, I would have written a lot more.  I gave them my pared-down bio instead of my fleshed-out one.  Live and learn.

#4.  I adore my book cover.  This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me.  The designers at SUNY did a great job conceptualizing Shame the Devil and we all loved what they did from moment one.

#5.  Although I am eternally grateful to my husband for taking the photo of me that is on the book jacket by my bio, I now wish I would have gotten some professional photos taken, too.  Not that the photo I have isn’t good – it is . . . and I love it – but it would have been nice to have one photo for the book jacket and then, perhaps, a couple of other photos for all of the rest of the publicity.  I’m using the same photo for everything and I am getting a little tired of it.

Debra Brenegan grew up in the Milwaukee area and graduated with a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked as a journalist and taught at Milwaukee Area Technical College before beginning her graduate work. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also taught. She teaches English and Women’s Studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. For her fiction, she has received a Ragdale residency and was a recent finalist for the John Gardner Memorial Fiction Prize, The Cincinnati Review’s Schiff Prose Prize, and the Crab Creek Review Fiction Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Calyx, Tampa Review, Natural Bridge, The Laurel Review, RE:AL, The Southern Women’s Review, The Cimarron Review, Milwaukee Magazine, Phoebe, and other publications. Debra Brenegan’s novel, Shame the Devil, is a historical account of nineteenth-century American writer Fanny Fern (SUNY Press, Excelsior Editions). She is currently working on another novel, set in Missouri, and on a short story collection. During the school year, Debra lives in a 130-year-old house in Fulton with her husband, Steve, and their elderly cat. They spend summers and school breaks in their native Milwaukee. When not teaching, writing, spending time with family or driving back and forth to Wisconsin, Debra enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and traveling. You can visit her website at or visit her at Twitter at or Facebook at!/debra.brenegan;!/



1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the heads up! I am currently writing two novels and I will keep this information on hand to ask the publishers once (and if) I am published.

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