International Standard Book Number 978-0-9852100-0-7
February 24, 2012
All right, ALL RIGHT. You have now matched my six-part series on geothermal HVAC installation with a six-part series on the making of Honey Cowls. UNCLE! I GIVE UP! YOU WIN! I solemnly promise that I won’t do ANY MORE six-part series on anything.
Get ready . . .
My latest craft project:
As you may recall, I started this story about eighteen months ago, and it’s been my constant distraction. I think it’s time to get ON WITH IT and set these poor characters on their way. I’ve decided to publish the book myself.
It’s fascinating to think about what it means to publish a book in this electronic age. We are reading books on iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Nooks, laptops, desktops, and yes, even pieces of paper glued together in a stack.
I have been out of pocket because I’ve been spending time doing things I used to do a long time ago, when I worked in publishing in New York. Paperwork was a specialty of mine, filling out forms.
Back in the era of the Collinses Jackie and Joan, back when Judith Rossner roamed the land and Oliver Sacks was first mistaking his wife for a hat, there were a lot of straightforward, rigidly predictable things that would happen when a manuscript began its journey through the book factory.
First, an indentured servant (me) would go to the Xerox machine (literally a Xerox machine, made by Xerox) and make ten sets of manuscript pages to send around the building. I’d send a memo in a reusable in-house mail envelope, with a twine closure and holes designed to ventilate whatever memo you were sending, to alert Production and Sales and Publicity and Accounting and Contracts that indeed, a new manuscript was ready to go. I’d use my IBM Selectric typewriter to fill out a form, complete with carbon paper, to request an International Standard Book Number. After a week or so, a page would come back to us with a brand-new ISBN. It was the equivalent of a book’s Social Security number, its unique ID to be used by bookstores and libraries.
Fast forward twenty-five years. As you know, things are really, really different. Technologies that we could have only dreamed about then have transformed the way books are created. Publishing is something that can be done from the squalor of my home office, and the thing is, I enjoy this process, soup to nuts. For example, I just acquired an ISBN by clicking through a website. To get this ISBN, I didn’t even have to provide a title. But this bit of bureaucracy made me realize that I really did need to decide what I was going to call this novel. So here you go:
That’s the title, and that’s where most of the story takes place, in a neighborhood in Nashville.
It’ll be a few weeks before it’s ready to go, and please trust me when I say you’ll be the first to hear about that. It will be available in a print edition and ebook.
I hope you will like Bowling Avenue. Some things may be different, in terms of technology, but the goal is still the same: to get a story out there. I hope you’ll want to come live on Bowling Avenue, actually, just move on into the house.
Does it have knitting in it? How could it not?