Monday, January 28, 2013


Steam escapes from my humidifier. Magic? Well, not really. Care went into achieving this phenomenon. First, someone a while ago figured out how to construct a product a certain way to make steam occur, turning dry air moist.

That wasn't all. A company had to gather each part either by making them or through purchase. Then, it all had to be put together. The humidifier is ready. Still, if no one knows of this particular brand, how can its benefits be enjoyed?

Using advertising methods, be they word of mouth, written, e-mail or snail mail, someone from the company has to inform buyers this particular humidifier is available at a particular price. Someone at Walgreen's has to make the decision to buy that brand and how many.

Walgreen's then keeps an amount of humidifiers in the stores, keeps circulars in its stores and also sends out copies of the circulars in the Sunday papers.

I see the ad in the paper. I buy the humidifier, take it home, put water in it, place it on the table, and turned it on. Steam comes out. This particular day the sun from the window shines on it, highlighting the steam even more.

Not exactly magic.Actually, lots of work from many people before this product got down to me, the consumer, to enjoy its benefits.

Books aren't magic either, although their inspiration might seem to be. Authors need to not only get an idea, but also master grammar, use common sense, research the genre, settings and/or plot points, plus spend however many hours it takes to put that book together. That could take months, or years, but very rarely only a day or two.

After a book is written, whether indie or traditional, it still needs to go to an editor to catch what the author missed. That editor offers suggestions for improvement, which the author agrees to or not. Changes are  done to make the book stronger.

At some point, preferably early on, a designer puts together a cover provided by an artist or stock source. Sometimes authors do this themselves, but whoever does it must take care to achieve a professional look.

Once the book is done, whether indie or traditional, it needs to be formatted for e-book and/or print. If e-book, it will usually be put up at Amazon and/or Smashwords. If print, some popular places to use are Createspace through Amazon and/or Lightning Source.

The book  is then available for purchase, but no one knows about it. If an author and/or publicist is on the ball, word has already leaked out about the upcoming release.

When the book is actually ready, more publicity results through websites, blogs, publicity releases, and popular social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Goodreads. If print copies are on hand, an author might arrange a book launch party or book signings at brick and mortar stores.

Then, wonder of wonders, light shines down. A reader sees the book. Magic?  Not really.

Find Morgan Mandel's current Thriller,
Forever Young: Blessing or Curse on
Amazon at

Like romantic comedy? Try Morgan's latest, Her Handyman,

Find all of Morgan's books at

Connect at Twitter: @MorganMandel


Maggie Toussaint said...

Blogger ate my comment the first time around. Great post. Books may seem like magic to a reader, but they take a lot of time, inspiration, and old-fashioned elbow grease!


Radine Trees Nehring said...

Magic? Ah, a new word for hard work! But I admit sometimes where the words I write come from seems like magic to me.

Morgan Mandel said...

Radine has a point. On some occasions something clicks and it does seem like magic when inspiration strikes.Too bad, most of the time, it's all hard work!

Morgan Mandel

Lynn Cahoon said...

The work makes the magic. Sometimes, I know something is wrong, just not what. Then I play with the issue.

Nice blog.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great post. I'm sure readers think the whole process is easy. Ha! Blood, sweat and tears is more like it.

Cora said...

Inspiration is the magic that makes all the work worth it.

Charmaine Clancy said...

After the zillionth edit, my book's not feeling very magical at all. Although, the humidifier does seem like magic :)