I am VERY sorry to be so out of touch, but there are times in life when events overtake everyday life. For everyone out there who has a complicated family, all I have to say is: HANG IN THERE.
For those of you with simple, straightforward families, all I have to say is: HOW DID YOU DO IT? And I THINK YOU ARE FAKING IT.
A quick thank you to everyone who is wondering where BOWLING AVENUE is, and when will it be available. The answer is: SOON. I’ve set the type, which was fun. Ligatures! Leading! Garamond! I cooked up MOBI and ePub files, which are the standard ebook formats. Those files mean that the book will be available for Kindle and Nook (and other platforms), and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com as a print edition.
Let me tell you, formatting ebooks is not like knitting in any way.
I will post ordering links the red-hot minute they’re live. There’s no need to preorder it, because unlike traditional publishing, there is no inventory, no print run to estimate. Every book will be printed after somebody orders it. How great is that? *
What Is Taking So Long?
I blame Bryce McCloud, totally. Bryce is creating the cover for the book. He, unlike me, is very busy. He runs a letterpress shop here in Nashville, Isle of Printing. Please take a look at his work. (His wedding invitations are great. He did my in-laws David and Abby’s years ago. Here’s a case study of their invitation.)
You can buy Isle of Printing art over on Etsy. I have several of his pieces hanging around the house, and they always make me smile.
About two seconds after I decided to publish my book myself, I decided to see if I could persuade Bryce to do the cover. I went to meet with him, ostensibly to talk about the cover, but mostly it was so I could poke around his studio.
President Carter presides over the place.
I complimented Bryce on his awesome geothermal ductwork, and he gently pointed out that this is a laser-cutting machine that allows him to create intricate wood plates to use on his letterpress.
I don’t think he sleeps much, given that he seems to produce a torrent of work.
Artisanal packaging for Nashville’s artisanal chocolate maker Olive and Sinclair. Business cards for Third Man Records. Invitations for Jack White parties. Projects that end up all over the country.
He just did the cover for a Nashville Scene story about him and the local letterpress scene. Here’s a slideshow that shows how he made the cover.
On the press was his menu design for The Catbird Seat’s James Beard Foundation dinner. (The Catbird Seat is Nashville’s hottest meal these days.)
This is one of those laser-cut plates he was talking about:
High tech meets low tech.
I honestly don’t know exactly what Bryce will be creating for the cover. I’m weirdly unconcerned about the schedule, because the fact is, this kind of slow publishing means that there really isn’t a schedule. What I do know is that the cover will be worth the wait and likely better than the book inside. I get emails from him with questions like “How do you feel about faces versus silhouettes?” and I think: well, this is fun.
Friday the 13th Special Offer
I keep thinking about payola. Payola is the illegal act whereby a record company pays a radio station to play a certain record.
At this point, I am thinking about freeola, the legal act whereby I give out promotional copies of my novel with no strings attached whatsoever. My hope, of course, is that readers who like it then say something nice about it somewhere, anywhere. And if they don’t, well. That’s The Way It Goes.
So: I would like to email a PDF copy of BOWLING AVENUE to the first 50 commenters who would be willing to take a look. No obligation except to acknowledge in anything you write that you got a free copy from me, and also please mention how attractive and friendly I am.
Thank you for reading and for hanging out here. I’m grateful for everybody who takes the time to come see what’s going on here.
* I keep thinking about printed books versus ebooks. I love them both. But the traditional model of publishing is a mess. There is a colossal waste of time, money, and energy when a book is shipped to a bookstore, not sold, then returned to the publisher’s warehouse where it is then destroyed. Estimates are that 30-40% of all books are returned. I’m using print-on-demand publishing for my book, which means that a book is printed only after someone has placed an order for it. Just seems clean and efficient.
If you’d like to read about returns, and the appalling reality of pulping books, here’s a peek behind the curtain. And here.