Tag Archives: print on demand

Hello Hooray

(Alice Cooper reference in the title, missing punctuation and all.)

It’s been…… a while.

It’s been a wild year for me. A lot going on, a lot of changes, but it’s all been good.

cover_option5Still, I am nothing if not conscientious. I made a promise on New Year’s Day that I would be releasing a single-volume edition of The Newtonberg Stories in time for the 5th/25th anniversary. I missed the official release by ten days (the print version of Welcome to Newtonberg was released 10/11/2012), but I had the proofs in my hand before then so I’ll count it as a victory.

The Newtonberg Stories (pretty original title, eh?) is a one-volume collection that contains the complete texts of Welcome to Newtonberg, All That Remains, and Back to Newtonberg. All three books have been completely revised and corrected. It also contains a new bonus short story, “Rick Murchison Goes Home Again.”

Each of the individual volumes have also been updated, and the bonus short story is now included with Back to Newtonberg. The eBook updates are forthcoming and I should announce them sometime this week.

As always, the print versions are available from CreateSpace, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and will be making its way to other outlets throughout the forthcoming weeks. The price for each of the individual volumes remains $9.99. The Newtonberg Stories omnibus edition is only $14.99.

I want to thank everyone for their support over the past five years. Please be assured that collecting these books into one volume does not mean that I’m ending the series. There are many other stories to be told. Some will be set in Newtonberg. Others may be set elsewhere, such as Schaefer (see the new short story for more on that). Some will be set in modern day, and others may tell stories of Newtonberg residents who left us long ago. One thing is certain, though — they will all have this little East Texas town and its residents at the heart of the story.

Until next time…

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Newtonberg Stories, Notes from the Author, Welcome to Newtonberg

My Little Town

(Paul Simon reference!)

Lots of important news!

First of all: November 1, 2014, is the launch date for Back to Newtonberg.

On that date, it will be available as an eBook from SmashWords and Amazon. Over the next few weeks, it will make its way into the Kobo store, iTunes, and other online retailers. It is already available for preorder from Amazon & SmashWords.

Both the regular and large print books will be available from Amazon and CreateSpace immediately, and from Barnes & Noble and other retailers after that. Your local bookstore should be able to order it for you if you don’t want to order it online.

Secondly: the large print versions of ALL of the Newtonberg books will now be available from Barnes & Noble and other retailers. Up until now, they were only available from Amazon and CreateSpace.

And last of all: eBook prices have changed at SmashWords. Back to Newtonberg will still be $2.99. The cost for All That Remains has been reduced to $1.99.

And Welcome to Newtonberg is now FREE.

That’s right — FREE.

No discount codes. No coupons. No nothin’.

Gratis.

F-R-E-E.

Now for the caveat: THIS IS ONLY AT SMASHWORDS. Due to their restrictions, Amazon will not allow me to set the eBook price at their site any lower than $2.99. So if you buy any of the eBooks there, the price is still $2.99. I can’t do anything about this unless I give them exclusive distribution of the title, and I won’t do that.

So there we have it, folks. Just because I’ve been slow in updating the blog doesn’t mean I’ve been bone-idle. I’ve been busy. Working to bring the new book to you a month ahead of schedule. And in the immortal words of Bryan Adams: “Everything I do, I do it for you.”

(I’m not sure if I apologize for that bad song reference or not.)

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Welcome to Newtonberg

It’s Me…

It’s been a long time since I wrote, but it’s been a very productive time.

I finished the final edits and layouts of Back to Newtonberg and submitted them to CreateSpace. I am happy with the digital proofs for both the regular and large print editions, so I ordered print versions last weekend and I’m expecting them either tomorrow or Friday.

Also, CreateSpace has changed for the better — it is now FREE to put your book into expanded distribution (it used to cost $25). So now ALL print editions of my books — both regular and large print — will be available from all major retailers.

I have the eBook version mostly ready — I just have to go back and add italics, underlines and boldface.  When that’s done, it will be ready to submit to SmashWords.

Once I sign off on the print editions and get the SmashWords version approved (and the corresponding KDP version for Kindle), I’ll be restructuring the pricing on the previous books. I won’t reveal my plans now, but I will be making the announcement soon.

All in all, it’s been a long trip to get Back to Newtonberg ready for you, but I’ve enjoyed it.

I hope you do, too.

Next time, I promise not to take so long to post.

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Filed under Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author

The Best of You

…Or, “Self-publishing, Mariachi-style”

I’ve been (re-)reading Robert Rodriguez’s books Rebel Without a Crew and RoadRacers: the Making of a Degenerate Hot Rod Flick. This must be my third or fourth time through Rebel and my second through RoadRacers, and it finally struck me: self-publishing is actually doing what Robert Rodriguez did, but with the printed format instead of films.

Let me explain: Robert Rodriguez made his first movie, El Mariachi, for $7,000. He was the entire crew. He conceived it, wrote it, shot it, edited it, and managed to get one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood to sell it to Columbia Pictures — even though that was not his original plan.

Well, the concept, writing, shooting and editing were, but he never planned on the movie being released theatrically. His original plan was to shoot three movies directly for the Mexican home video market, make all his mistakes there, and then show up in Hollywood ready to take on a “real” movie.

Self-publishing is doing the same thing. We are conceiving, writing, editing, formatting, and submitting our works to be published; either in eBook or print form, or possibly both. We ARE the crew. We’re learning as we go, and we’re saving a ton of money. And then, maybe… MAYBE… an agent or publisher will notice us and give us our big break.

Or not. Either way, the stories get out there for people to read, right?

In his books, Rodriguez talks about shooting “Mariachi-style.” This means taking inventory of your assets and working from there. When he wrote El Mariachi, he knew he had access to certain places for filming, specific guns, which type of camera. He knew his limitations and worked within them. Anything else would have cost more money.

With self-publishing, you do the same thing. If you have access to a computer with Microsoft Word, that’s great. You don’t have to pay extra. If not, use one of the free programs that are compatible with Word.

Need help formatting? Decide on your book’s size before you start, then download the free template for it from CreateSpace or Lulu or wherever you choose to publish.

If you’re designing your own cover, this means either utilizing your own artistic talent or that of someone you know who will work with you at a substantial discount — or better yet, free. In my case, it means going out with my sister and nephew to take pictures, then deciding which one fits my idea for the book cover.

One of the things I’ve talked about on this blog is free software, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. My first two books were written using Microsoft Office. For my third, I’ve swapped over to Atlantis, which is portable and free so I can use it on any Windows-based computer with a USB port that I have access to. I will still do my final layout in Word — but that will also be free, because I already have it. If my computer isn’t working, I can do it at the public library.

The photo editing software I use is free (and a lot of it is also portable). Between FotoSketcher, PhotoScape, and GIMP, I’ve got it covered. I use doPDF to create the final cover art and book file for CreateSpace.

The one place I fall down in Mariachi-style publishing is in self-publicity. While Robert Rodriguez is a master of putting himself out there, I’m still not at that point. I know that if I want to be more successful I’ll have to get over it. Or get over myself. Whichever it takes.

All I know is that I’m having fun. And if writing isn’t fun, you’re not doing it for the right reasons.

(Oh, by the way — that’s a Foo Fighters reference in the title.)

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Filed under Notes from the Author, Publicity

And The Winner Is….

…not me.

I wish I could congratulate the top five winners by name, but Shelf Unbound is being all coy and secretive, so all I will say is: “Congratulations, top five winners, whoever you are.”

No matter how you phrase it, anything you say after “I didn’t win” inevitably comes off as snarky and sarcastic, but it’s not, really. I truly am happy for the winners, and I hope the recognition encourages them in their writing.

Likewise, I am encouraged by your support to consider entering the book in other contests, because while it may not have been Shelf Unbound‘s particular cup of tea this year, I still think it’s a pretty good story.

As I said last time, my plan is to start writing the new book this month. I will keep you posted on the progress.

(And for the record, the title of this blog entry is from Gerard Darmon’s album On S’Aime.)

 

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Filed under All That Remains, Notes from the Author, Publicity