Todah rabah to everyone who wrote to me! The overwhelming vote was for Strength to Stand: A Rabbi David Cohen Novel.
Initial bound galleys have been sent to four beta readers with two more going out within the next week (due to their schedules). One the beta readers who graciously volunteered is the J-blogosphere's own Mother in Israel! I'm a teeny tiny bit nervous (read: I'm terrified) about this part of the process because it's the first time the book is "public." It's the first time with this book that I get criticism. But the idea is that critical comments will help me do Edit #2 so the book is even better when it gets to my book editor.
Someone asked me why I call them beta readers. I use the term in the same sort of way that an initial version of computer software is called "beta" and those who use it and check for bugs and problems with the software are "beta testers." Beta readers are looking for bugs and problems with the book.
While they're reading, my job is to: 1) start Book Three in the series; 2) work with the designer on a cover - which you'll all get to see and vote on; 3) round up names for possible pre-publication blurbs, 4) work with marketing on a catchy pitch and summary, and 4) think about ways to let everyone know about the book when it hits the store shelves.
Anyone interested in hosting a blog tour next summer/fall? Okay, it's a bit early for that, but file it away somewhere because I will be asking more earnestly later!
Come to think of it, if you know a prominent author, rabbi, Jewish educator, or someone else with a nationally recognizeable name who you think might be interested in reading an advance copy of Strength to Stand and writing a short endorsement (provided they like it, which, of course, they will - I hope!) - or if you fit any of the above criteria - send me names by email or in the comments. I'll email you to get contact info on where to send the advance copy.
Onward and upward!