Monday, March 29, 2010


....I'll vouch for that! What a wonderful journey Peter!


I am the guy from Finland who you met briefly on, I think Oct 17, in Melbourne, at a book fair where I bought your book. This is just to let you know that I have read the book and that it did meet the expectations of being both entertaining and interesting.


I am enjoying the read, making me laugh. Always a good thing. Best wishes and thanks yet again.


Got your book, Life on the Road and absolutely loved it! What an insightful adventure. Great job, Peter!


May I invite you to download sample chapters from my websites and leave your comments here?

Peter Frederick

Friday, March 26, 2010


I am sitting dazed and confused,

My pencil and paper unused.

Trying to dream

No success it does seem,

Today, it’s not my day, I mused

Peter Frederick

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010


An animal sits abandoned,

hungry, traumatised and sad,

with life in tatters and no future,

it thinks of fun and love it had.

It thinks of children growing up,

like brothers, sisters do.

Of laughter, plays and dreams together,

of feasts together, too!

Who cares of its feelings, so hurting,

who gives a damn when so alone?

‘Only an animal’ they say, ‘keep walking!’

So ragged, old, all skin and bone.

With feelings deeper than we have,

it understood, and it gave.

Who cares now that appearance gone?

Now all its hope is a grave.

Peter Frederick

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This article deals in concise form with the next steps an author needs to take to make his book a reality. Dealing with the many phases of pre-print preparations and the many pitfalls waiting along the way, an author needs careful guidance before he can proudly hold his published book in his hands.

When you have your manuscript returned from your editor, in digital or physical form, it will be marked throughout with red corrections and sometimes delivered with an overall report. Now, your real work begins! By sitting down and carefully correcting your manuscript as indicated, you will gain a lot of knowledge about your style of writing and of your weak points. This process enables an author to become a better writer.


Now is the time to take action! If you wish to proceed the ‘conventional’ way and send a copy of the manuscript to a publisher, together with the accompanying papers, e.g. Synopsis, Chapter outline, Character outline, Marketing proposal and your Cover letter. The best method of posting it would be ‘overnight-express’ and we must not forget to include a self-stamped, self-addressed, envelope.

Carefully record in your diary the date of posting to have a check on the waiting time. Most publishers will send you their confirmation of receipt of your manuscript with an approx. turnaround time, normally between three and six months. However, we need to be honest here and recognise the fact that only two or three percent of all submissions are being accepted and work out from this our own chance!


This is the reason why more and more authors self-publish and should this be your taken direction, it is time now to get quotations from printers. These may include the designing of cover, inserting pictures or illustrations, obtaining an ISBN number etc., or merely for the typesetting, print and binding of everything you supply him with. There can be a lot of flexibility, depending on your precise negotiations with your printer.


A commercial artist may assist you with the book cover and the best way would be to provide him with a sketch of what you envisage. However, here again, I have to repeat myself: checking references, previous work, reliability, price etc. is a must!

It is also possible – and perhaps the best way - to design the book cover yourself by using a specific software, designed for this purpose. There is also a need for blurbs, short articles for the inside of the front cover and for the back, messages that are selling the book for you. By browsing in a book store, you will find out what exactly is needed. The pages with the various blurbs will have to be given to the printer, together with the manuscript


And now, the time has come to approach printing companies for a quotation. Yes, again, it is important to check out customer satisfaction by asking for references. price, reliability and communication with previous customers are very important. You need to stipulate exactly what you want to have done and what you are providing them with. For example, they may have their own, in-house, artist who can work from your sketch for a cover. The more books you have printed, the higher the printing costs will be, however, the unit price per book will get lower. This is important when you sell the books through a distributor later on, as the cover price or rrp. will determine your author’s income.

When negotiating quality of paper, cover, binding etc. the printer will lapse into printer’s terminology we authors may not understand. I suggest that a lay person should purchase a paperback book of the appearance and quality you envisage and lend it to him as demo. Good printers will then, before they go into production, supply you with a prototype of your book and, if it is up to your expectations, you give them the authority to commence printing. But before you do so, check the delivery time the printer has quoted you.

By the way, you never give out to anybody your original manuscript but a copy! Whilst a commercial photo-copying shop may charge a sizeable amount of money for printing out an extra set, there may be a friend with a laser printer doing this for next to nothing. (Inkjet and bubblejet printers would not be economical to use for this purpose!

The printer or the artist may ask you for the ISBN number of your future book which either you can provide or the printer does this for you. Carefully check what is included in the total price to avoid surprises.

If the printer does the typesetting for you, he will give you at the conclusion of his contract, a cd, containing the book’s artwork and typesetting. You need to keep this at a safe place for eventual future re-prints, excerpts etc.

It may be practical to let a fully-fledged printer handle everything provided he passed your scrutiny with flying colours!


Now a few words about the coveted ISBN number. The book printer may obtain this for you but carefully check on your itemised invoice that you have been invoiced at the correct price for this, alternatively, you may purchase it directly from the company Thorpe and Bowker which controls the sales of these bar codes worldwide. Their internet website makes it possible for anybody to purchase it online and obtain a so-called ‘original’. When completing the necessary forms online, you need to nominate yourself as publisher because that’s what you really are! You are only outsourcing the various production steps, all in your name.

With a printer who is prepared to hand you a prototype of your book for your final inspection, you cannot really go wrong. Just make sure you cooperate with him or his representative as closely as possible to avoid misunderstandings as they are costly.

Modern printing places do not take long to print and soon you will be the proud author with a stock of books – your own creation!

We have dealt with the various production steps that have to be taken on the long path to the finished book and learnt to look out for pitfalls and other traps. Beside gaining knowledge of the industry it is mainly the careful checking out of the many business entities we are engaging verifying their soundness that will make us in the end a successful author and book publisher!

Peter Frederick

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


With Irish eyes glassy from beer

and the pub so noisy with cheer,

a reel is now played

and blarney relayed -

I wish I was Irish, my dear!

Peter Frederick

Friday, March 12, 2010


There is an affliction gaining notoriety which affects hard working people and it has therapists often baffled and unable to read the signals a patient is relaying. The end result is a terrible state of inertness, requiring intensive medical treatment with a very slow recovery. Therefore, a person heading for such a mental catastrophe needs to be able to read and interpret early signals in order to recognise them and prevent the end result. This report will deal with the symptoms and stages leading up to total inertness.

Researchers discovered that people in the service industry and those with low self-esteem are at greatest risk, however, it may strike anyone who takes his job too seriously and, perhaps, adds idealism to it.

‘Burnout-syndrome’ is aptly named by those experts who specialize in the treatment of this mental state, but the wider spectrum of therapists tend to become very quiet when hearing about it and merely refer to it as ‘depression’, which is far too general a term for this specific form of state of mind!

Let’s take the case of a commercial traveller, whose very early signals were not recognized by the experts he consulted. For him, there was a constant workload to cope with and the feeling that he had to succeed! However, the more work he did, the more was to be done and the less others did, leaving him with even more to cope with.

And he simply could not stop, because as long as there was work to be done, he felt it had to be done and, he reasoned, he had to do it as there was nobody else around. There was not time for rest as work kept piling up! He wondered how other people know when they have worked enough? Who is telling them?

Of course, to maximise his working hours, all non- selling activities had to be done outside selling time, which was in effect, after the end of the day and into the night. Bureaucratic paperwork, newsletters, making product samples, organising business events, etc. were taking up his normal sleeping time.

And, whilst racing from appointment to appointment during the day, his car phone never stopped ringing, with clients and customers requesting instant service: ‘Could you, would you, can you, have you, will you…..’ And they all had to be answered in a calm, empathetic way. Solutions to problems had to be found, reassurances given and business problems solved immediately.

Many times local problems seemed to surface most when he was on country trips, far away, adding to his distress. Why? Because any customer dissatisfaction reflected on his sales figures and also competition was always a looming thread.

And nobody wanted to know about his situation. Not the boss, nor the office, not co-workers and, of course not the family. In fact, they all were becoming increasingly more demanding and critical.

Forced to keep his problems to himself and putting up an appearance of success and normalcy, he had to cope with an increasing workload.

Whilst seeing weekly his therapist, who kept belittling his feelings and heavily defended all relayed adversity. This psychiatrist also did not believe in prescribing medications - no matter what – no help was forthcoming from anybody, increasing his dominant feeling of loneliness and sinking!

Whilst driving from customer to customer, he could not stop an uncontrolled weeping, but before visiting a business contact, he always pulled himself together and put on a mask of normalcy. Since there was nothing wrong with his product knowledge, manners and sales skill, people he came in contact with, noticed nothing.

Another phenomenon started to raise its ugly head: It happened twice that, whilst driving through the suburbs and turning into another street, he did not know who he was ……This lasted only a few seconds, but it was panic- evoking indeed.

Only his local GP kept insisting that he should walk around the block, a suggestion he did not really appreciate as the very thought of stopping his valuable work and simply walk in a brainless fashion horrified him. Everything that means not working was considered anathema as it did not result in something and therefore he found it endangering his very existence as a salesman.

Even that little sleep he did get was constantly interrupted by thoughts of work to be done, causing him constantly to wake-up.

One day, his condition reached a state where he simply could not move at all. Getting up one morning, he slumped in a chair and simply stayed inert. The world around him became visible in red as if surrounded by high flames. His brain stopped to function, as thoughts are made by electricity racing through the brain cells and with all his energy spent, like an empty battery, there was simply nothing.

This can only be described as a unique state of euphoria, with no thoughts, and only being aware of breathing. This is a state Indian fakirs may achieve after many years of mental training. Breathing in and out is all that he was aware of – a wonderful state of bliss!

Of course, people did not leave him be, they tried to hassle him, to prod and push. The thought of any movement is out of the question but ‘they’ tried to force him to react and in doing so were incredibly cruel.

What he really desired was something like solitary confinement. Just being locked up and left alone for, say, six months, how could that be a punishment – that’s all he wanted!

But when before therapists, and relating how he felt he always encountered incredible aloofness, indifference and, yes, arrogance! He always had the feeling that they only wanted him to keep working and not to be a burden to anybody.

Years have now past and this victim of burnout has recovered somewhat with the help of medications but he will never be the same!

Currently, he drifts from therapist to therapist, and in doing so, has become extremely cynical, suspicious and very aware of what is going on around him.

Whilst private doctors and therapists seem to consider him a cash-cow and are in no hurry to help, in the area of public health he is considered a burden to the community that keeps costing…….

His mood swings are enormous, sometimes alarmingly low, and that’s when organisations he contacts in his need react with panic and implore him to keep searching for the right therapist.

We have illustrated now one case of burnout syndrome and if we identify the signals at their early stage, it will be possible, with correct medical treatment and change of life-style, to avoid this terrible breakdown!

Peter Frederick

Saturday, March 6, 2010


My wife cannot cook – it is terrible,

a crime to humanity, veritable.

Smoking burnt crust

I eat with disgust,

And find this life hardly bearable.

Peter Frederick

Monday, March 1, 2010


Obviously, all your good work has come to fruition and you are finally holding your completed manuscript in your hands! Of course, you have been re-reading everything many times over and, to your dismay, have always found misspellings and sentences that need improvement. It is amazing how difficult it is to detect one’s own shortcomings. You virtually need to have a split personality and go over your writing with the eye of a different persona.

As the next step, you are looking for an editor. There are many freelance editors advertising their services in writers circles and it is a good method to start looking at the ones advertising at you state’s Writers’ Centre.

There is a paramount need to ask for an editor’s references, for previous authors to contact, or for writing projects they have completed, their university training and for their fee. Like with a resume’ for a job applications everything needs to be investigated and followed-up to avoid financial and literary consequences.

Some editors prefer to have the manuscript sent to them printed out, some insist on an electronic transfer of the manuscript. Some insist on contacting you and to discuss every word they find while others are happy if you tell them that you accept their improvements in advance. By approaching several editors, you also get an idea of the standard fee. The rule here is that the height of the fee is no guarantee for quality and neither is paying a bit more for extra good work or payment in advance!

Once such editor, I contacted, is also the editor of a science fiction magazine and his correspondence was peppered with words like ‘new world order’ ‘astro this’ and ‘space that’! And her quoted fee, too, was astronomical! Some editors do very little work for their money, claiming that they were not ‘ghost writers’, another editor insisted on being paid in advance and then did not touch my manuscript for two months. Upon cancellation of the contract, she wanted a cancellation fee. One editor seemed to be perfect in every way, but she was booked-out for almost a year with other assignments for a large publisher. One editor quoted turn-around time two weeks which was obviously far too short for a voluminous manuscript, another editor sent my manuscript back only half-way through because he’s lost his interest. There are myriad things that can happen and it is very important that a first-time author checks and re-checks these editors before contracting one.

After the manuscript has been returned, physically or electronically, the author then needs to go over his writings once more and change the corrections into clear print.

Once this tedious work of probing for the right editor has been completed, it will not only result in getting a person whom you will enjoy working with and the waiting period for the edited manuscript will be a pleasant period instead of one filled with anxious nail-biting.

Peter Frederick