06. December 2008 · Comments Off on Orbiting Speed In the Writers Life Waltz · Categories: Domestic, General, Literary Good Stuff, Veteran's Affairs, Working In A Salt Mine...

Light posting this week, for which I apologize lavishly once again – but this is the last week that I have to prepare for the launch of the heralded “Adelsverein Trilogy” – about which I have banged on about here for much of the last two years. Anyone who came to this blog looking for insights into late 20th century military culture must have been disappointed beyond belief by my excessive interest and scribblings about 19th century Texas history. Sorry about that, but people move on. I wrote a book based on entries in this blog, then another, and then I decided I liked writing novels so much that I took on a trilogy about the German settlements in 19th century Texas, the last volume of which achieved 500 print pages and was so thick that when I unwrapped my final print proof, I could only look at it and think in disbelief ‘I wrote all of that?!’ (for which my current editor would ding me for double usage; either a question mark or an exclamation point. Including both are superfluous.)

So, I took my publishers’ advice, and finished polishing and editing all three, to be available this month… next week, as a matter of fact. The first two books have been on, and then off, and then on again, as regards the behemoth internet book retailing All three were just set up this day on Booklocker (here, here and here) – although it is one of those funny turns of the modern publishing game that I actually have two publishers. The ISBN, the editing and the marketing is through Strider Nolan, and it says ‘Strider Nolan’ on the books, but the cover design, interior formatting, and the actual mechanics of supplying copies will be handled by Booklocker. All clear? Yeah, I know — it’s an odd situation, but then the current way of getting books published and out there seems to be melting down and reforming. It’s pretty well acknowledged now that unless you are one of the mega-biggie authors, you’re pretty well got to market your book yourself, scrounge the reviews, set up the signings, generate the postcards, flyers, book-markers yourself. Having the aegis of Strider Nolan on the Adelsverein Trilogy might have made it a little easier to get reviews in publications which otherwise might have shied off from the Booklocker Brand. Like the local newspaper – the San Antonio Express News, so I was informed loftily a couple of years ago – does not review publish-on-demand books. The implication that all such were low-quality, unprofessional offerings of limited appeal. Eh… we’ll see. Lately it seems that the best independently published books are getting better and better, just as the traditional publishers are going moribund, and their books more formulaic. Insisting on sticking to the same-old same-old strikes me as someone insisting absolutely on first-class tickets for the Titanic… even as the ship slowly sinks.

On Friday I began mailing all those copies of autographed copies of the trilogy to all of those who had pre-ordered over the last couple of months. After hitting the post office, I had a box, full of five copies of each volume to take to the Twig Bookstore in Alamo Heights; extras to have on consignment, in case the copies they had ordered for the launch signing on Thursday didn’t arrive. The management was glad to see them – everyone is getting pretty excited over the Trilogy, what with the local tie-in and all. There were some customers in the Twig, and they got excited, too. One of said customers immediately bought an autographed set as a Christmas present, saying that she hoped she had time to read all three before she had to wrap them up and give them to the person they were inscribed for. Not bad – the signing isn’t for another six days, and already the copies are flying out the door. I have another signing the following week at Berkman’s in Fredericksburg, still another at a large Borders bookstore here in San Antonio over the weekend before Christmas, a small bookstore in Fredericksburg which specializes in Texiana wants to stock them, the Pioneer Museum is also planning an event the first weekend after New Years… and I sent a copy of the first book to the manager of the Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels – they might be interested in another event in January. No bites from the manager of the museum at the Goliad, though. Pity – the whole saga starts just there, and I drew a lot of information for that first chapter out of their website.

Unfortunately, I won’t see any royalty income from these various events, and from Booklocker until next month… and I have a couple of bills coming due. None of the places that Blondie applied for are hiring temporary help for this Christmas season, and my hours at the corporate call center have been cut as well. Not as many people making holiday reservations, apparently. If anyone else would like to order autographed copies, or make a donation through paypal, I would be ever so grateful. The next few weeks are going to be horribly busy, terrifically gratifying to me as a writer, and enormously promising … but a little tight on actual disposable income, otherwise.

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