Gwen's mom told me this morning. Please tell anyone who might care, who may not be in here or see this. Here's the link in Amazon: Words, My Path to the World.
When I went to the Amazon page the title showed as "by Grace Swanson" (Gwen's mom), not "by Gwen Swanson." It shows the same way at Barnes & Noble, and at Authorhouse, the self-publishing place itself. I emailed Grace about it. I think it'll be a surprise to her too. I think Authorhouse messed up. It sure wasn't the way Grace wrote the title page in the draft. It was supposed to say "by Gwen Swanson; compiled and edited by Grace Swanson." (My own ghostly presence will be revealed by a thank-you she put in the introduction.) Ah, well. It's Gwen's book, anyhow.
I dunno about self-publishing outfits. It seems to me they'll take the check to publish your book, but, because they get their most-likely money from you, they may be a bit lazy about what they put out there. I'm grumping a little, you can probably tell, and I'm not sure what's excessive. The book will look a bit different from how I left it, as I expected. Grace didn't want to delay submitting the book any more to think about selecting fonts for it, and in her instructions that she sent along with it she told Authorhouse that their editors could change the fonts as they saw fit, so they eliminated the original variety in fonts I had left in, which is fine (that was one option I had been thinking over, and, what the hell, they used Garamond for the main text, why not)...
... but they used a large-sized Lucida Calligraphy font for all the poem titles, above the poems. (I will succumb to temptation and show what this font looks like...)
Which I thought was, well, it's not a particularly pretty script font (so why use it? or why use a script font at all, if it's not really pretty?), and I found it kind of a lazy choice, weirdly so, a cookie-cutter choice, and, the font being the "tone of voice" in printed writing, also an intrusive choice: is that font supposed to go with each and every poem? Regardless of tone or style or theme? (What, because it's poetry? Could you see titling Bukowski's poems like this?) (It seemed to me any non-script font would be likely to have this problem less!) It looked to me... "bad hymnal." Which was not the book I'd been reading and editing. So, when Grace sent me the PDF galleys she was reviewing, I looked at it and thought about it and I got to the point of first emailing her and then actually phoning her back and doing this full-blown cri de coeur begging, most unlike me: could she get Authorhouse to change that font, to maybe just have all the poem titles in the same font that the poems are printed in, only set off above them and bolded and/or italicized? (Which is certainly frequently done, and a frequent recommendation in style guides.) Grace listened -- but today told me she later decided to just leave it as is; she didn't have a problem with the font. I don't blame her; she's not a font person, and it is her baby. I do sort of blame Authorhouse. I still find it strange. (... I had better stop myself from amplifying my feelings on this point; I'm not trying to turn anyone here off buying the book! -smiles- I may still be too close to the project. In fact, I know I am.)
But, yes. They gave Grace a slot on the electronic submission form to give them some text that they could use on the store websites, a short blurb to introduce the book there. Grace didn't run the text by me before submitting it (it didn't occur to her or to me). And Authorhouse just used it, and I'm looking at it in Amazon, and it's... yeah, it's in very unedited form, isn't it. Authorhouse didn't edit it. They didn't have to. But I don't think a publishing house that was depending on selling the books would have left it like that. Nor would it have occurred to them to. But a self-publishing house takes your money to print your book, and lets you do what you want, per the contract... and it seems to me (I won't breathe a word of this thought to Grace) that there can be a touch of secret contempt among self-publishing people for their eager amateur clients, because someone, a real English-major human being, had to take that blurb that Grace submitted, with its plain little errors, and copy and paste it into the Amazon site, and not touch it at all, and leave it like that.
Fortunately the book is good, and Gwen is in it.
Here's the girl. Buy the book, if you knew her, or if you'd like to meet her. I understand there will also be an e-book edition for less money, if you want to wait. I don't see it yet.
The girl tried, and all her struggles left tracks.