I have not expired, not yet. Also, I havenít run out of ideas, although I suppose I can be charged with repeating myself.
I get letters and notes wondering. This is when I donít post a column for several days. How can anyone as wordy as me refrain absent some health issue or the intervention of the jackboots of Fatherland Security?
This short column is a partial explanation, a placeholder in a sense. I expect to recharge the presses for more regular pieces shortly. In the meantime, I am slightly preoccupied.
I have a novel, written over maybe a dozen years or more, itís hard to remember specifically when this thing started, and itís time to publish. Since, while I spent about 10,000 hours writing, revising, editing, rewriting this masterpiece, the book publishing industry consolidated so severely ĖĖ and the world changed so much ĖĖ that avenue has turned out to be seriously frustrating. You donít need the whole boring tale but it involves the usual, several literary agents who each raved and then combusted for one reason or another, a publisher who was greatly interested and then fell of the charts, and so forth.
As someone pointedly noted, it might be a good idea for me to publish the damned thing before my reading audience was dead.
And so I am publishing both an electronic version and a print-on-demand version; the accompanying brilliant web site which is being technically put together mainly by one of my grandsons will be up soon, and Iím getting together what remains of my wits to make this process happen.
It turns out that formatting a book for e-publishing is very complicated and apparently crazy-making. It is also different from the formatting required for P.O.D. There are numerous operations which assist one in doing these things but unless youíve got cash, they are limited to carrying your uploaded work to availability only after you set it up so that their computers will handle it. And I ainít got any cash.
Would you believe that every paragraph in my 471-page novel is indented incorrectly? Thatís a lot of paragraphs to fix. Also, no assurance that italicized portions will survive the transformation. Iíve got a shitload of italics.
There are at least a dozen e-publishing businesses and a similar number of P.O.D.s, and I am trying to weigh the costs, the charges, the fees, the book price, and whatís available. There are book sizes to consider, too, since the ordinary paperback for P.O.D. seems not to exist.
Iíve got a very cool cover, though, thanks to the kindness of the Kennedy Library and the nimble thumbs of Travis Rivers.
I spent yesterday and today reading articles and instructional manuals on the web and itís not getting much clearer. On top of which, the e-publisher I like best so far does not place the book on amazon, which is where it ought to be; the P.O.D. will be on amazon. These other guys will put the electronica on Apple and Barnes & Noble, which is nice. But not enough. Iíve been buying books on amazon for years and I want to see my own there, which means both versions I want to click a couple of things and order a copy.
So Iíve been distracted. This will continue until I can finally get the damned thing airborne. Then, of course, I will have to flog it all over the web. I will need to sell about 20,000 copies to be able to quit my self-destructive day job and Iím counting on all of you to not only buy them for yourselves, for everyone you know, and for all of your relatives as Christmas presents, but to write glowing reviews on amazon and everywhere else, as well.
Right now, however, you canít do any of that because I havenít finished my job here. I will be doing that when Iíd otherwise be snapping off a political critique or pummeling you with a long-winded research paper on something such as British Petroleum and its long-time CEO, which Iíve got on the back burner here.
My mind is under construction. Thank you for your patience.