Thursday, September 15, 2011

Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Morning of Our Book Launch

It's officially here. Today's the day of our book launch party. As is customary, I woke early again to scribble a few more notes to myself. "Don't forget Kindle. Bring more folding chairs. Extension cord. Bag of ice."

A friend called last night to say he couldn't find much information about my book on this blog and I realized that in my effort to not devote all my blog space to promoting my book launch I have been underplaying it. Forgive me if you haven't heard. Facebook "friends" are aware. A link to our Facebook page is at the end of this column.

For what it's worth, if you're just finding out about it the launch party tonight is from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Goin' Postal, on the 800 block of Tower Avenue in Superior, WI. I chose the venue because of an art connection with owner/photographer Andrew Perfetti who has graciously allowed my paintings to be displayed in his space the past ten months. For one night only every painting and drawing will be available at negotiated prices in an effort to raise funds for further promotion of The Red Scorpion.

I've been reading that it is important to tell people you are having food so that more will come. So, there will be pizza from Thirsty Pagan. We're cutting it into half in squares so that everyone can have more than one piece.

My partner in this venture is TJ Lind, a high school student from Proctor with whom I have formed a publishing company called N&L Publishing. When we first laid out our plans two months ago we'd decided to go strictly with ePublishing on Nook and Kindle. We planned at the time to give a dollar bill to everyone who had downloaded a copy of the book and came to the party. Well, that plan has changed because for some crazy reason we decided to print a small quantity of non-virtual books, old-fashioned as that sounds. We're still sticking to our original plan, however, and will be giving away dollar bills to everyone who buys a book tonight. Something to remember us by.

Selling a book on Amazon.com is interesting because they are constantly displaying your rank in terms of sales. This would be discouraging if they only showed the overall rank versus all other books, which they do show. (eg. The Red Scorpion is at this moment #37,906 in the Kindle Store.) But they also give you an additional rank that seems more encouraging, based on your market niche. Currently I am #1 in this niche:
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > World Literature > Mythology > Children's Books > Other > Books By You

A special feature of tonight's book launch will be the market research we're conducting. We have two versions of the book cover and have not yet settled the matter as regards which to go with if we print more books. The version we're currently leaning toward does not translate well into black and white, which is the only way to view it on a Kindle. The color Nook looks sharp, for sure, but how many people do you know right now with a color Nook.

As for the book itself, my target was to write a book that would be a fun read for teenage boys. I asked myself what kind of book would I like to read and I did my best to write that book. I personally like a story that moves you along. I like clearly defined characters. I dislike tedium, which is often what I find in 1,000 page volumes in which the author tells you the history of wood in order to set up the kind of door that was built to conceal the secret in this closet. Michener began his book Hawaii with thirty pages describing waves. That may be for you but not for me. At least, not until I find myself abandoned on an island somewhere and that's the only book that washed ashore with me.

So, if you can make it, we'll see you tonight. We only printed a limited run for this occasion, but it seems like we may have to get into more serious discussions about a second batch. I'll keep you posted.

The best way to stay in the loop is to follow us on Facebook. Click "Like" and you're in the game. See you tonight.

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