Publication Decision: A Realization

Publishing a book requires taking thousands of tiny steps, bare-footed and blind-folded, over a rough blacktop road littered with tacks.

— Me, Today (expletives deleted)

Quote me on that.

Inching toward a go-no go decision on self-publishing the memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam war.

Now I wonder, of course, if the title is right: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos.

tacks

Fits for me, but I’ve already read it (dozens of times). Perhaps it doesn’t say enough to the potential reader. And does anyone know that Laos was part of the larger “Viet-Nam war”?

So maybe it should be: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and Viet-Nam.

That’s really long. I could shorten it to HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and & Viet-Nam.

Shorter still would be HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and & Viet-Nam.

That wouldn’t be totally accurate since it’s not an expose or pure history. And I liked the Hotel Constellation link, since I practically lived there. But maybe that’s too touristy.

Maybe call it “Secret War”? Nope, literally hundreds of Secret War titles on Amazon.

“Hidden War”? Far fewer Amazon titles, but still this is not just history.

Thoughts?

Ah, well.

Also working on metadata, keywords, BISAC book categories , ISBNs (Got ’em but have to register), Library of Congress registration and copyright. Also need a cover designer, interior designer, converter, distributor …

Someone once said of publishing a book that it’s like walking on tacks. What a wise man.

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Where Have I Been?

Damned if I can remember.

Shoved a full-flown memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam War — “HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos” — to the family and a few very close (tolerant) friends.

Finished a supernatural adventure novel called “The Mark of the Spider” and sent it out to beta readers last spring. Still awaiting feedback, so that’s not promising.

Rewriting a straight sci-fi called “PSNGR” — formerly “The Passenger”? — seemingly forever. Instead of tackling chapter 28 today, I’m doing this.

I first wrote PSNGR as a long short story; then as a graphic novel when I had a comic book publisher willing to take a look at it. Now trying to finish it as a potential indie publishing project.

Bailed on my writer’s group for personal reasons having nothing to do with the calibre of their kind feedback.

Journeys, which is what this writing process was intended to be, can be tortuous. Witness The Odyssey. Which is not to say my journey has been nearly as exciting, or even interesting.

And the point is …

But I digress from my intent today, which is to point out links to two stories that struck my fancy.

Ten Books that Were Written on a Bet — From the terse Dr. Seuss to the loquacious James Fennimore Cooper and C.S. Lewis, I’ll be dipping into this list in future.

Publishers Are Now Shedding Best-Selling Authors — So … what’s the point?

Bottom line

keepcalm

AWP 2017: Kudos

That annual convention of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (#AWP) at the Washington, DC, Convention Center two weeks ago wasn’t all bad.

I talked to some smart, exciting people as well as many drudges. Here are my favorites.

Kudos to:

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  • Bix Skahill, author of Dope Tits and other titles and founder and proprietor of Thicke and Vaney Press: Publishers of Fair to Middling Works  in St. Paul, MN. I could have talked to Bix all day.
  • Soho Press passed out double-fold bookmarks that listed all of their crime authors and titles. Very cool.
  • Paper Monument distributed a wonderfully ironic postcard promoting its book, “Social medium: artists writing, 2000-2005”. You can see it at right.
  • Indiana Review printed a 2 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ preview (about the dimensions of a small cell phone) of its coming issue. The literary magazine fit four excerpts and one complete poem within its 16-pages. Cool idea, even if it’s still print.
  • Robert Kerroberts-rulesbeck, Michal Lemberger, Sujata Shekar and Zach Powers presented an informed and informative panel on “Emerging from the Slush: How to Get Your Short Story Published.” They understood the low-tech nature of the convention and passed out their key points on a book mark. It will hold my place in every print book I read from now on. Bravo!

More to come from AWP 2017:

  • Books I Could Not Resist – I didn’t intend to buy; I don’t need more books; but some thing are too good to pass up.
  • Hitchcock: What to Tell the Reader – What?