My First Book Is Now Available For iPad and iPhone

The new cover for my book, Blue Like the Sky. Now available for your iPad and iPhone.

So I’ve written before about my first book, Blue Like the Sky, and how I published it through a company called Blurb. Like any good self-published and control freak author, I have gone back and done a little work on the book, adding some new content, changing the cover art, rearranging pictures–making it available as an ebook on your iPad or iPhone.

Yes, you read that correctly. Blue Like the Sky is now available as an iBook for $4.99.

I know not everyone has an iPad, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of folks have an iPhone. Regardless of which device you use, you can download my book to your iBooks and read me wherever you go!

And, no, that link won’t take you to the iTunes Bookstore. It’ll be at least two weeks before the book appears there. But it’s coming.

I’m a little fuzzy on this whole selling books thing, mainly because in just writing a couple of the sentences in this blog I’ve felt extremely narcissistic and self-aggrandizing. My ambition has always been to write and sell books, and hopefully be good enough to sell lots of books, but there’s just something in the self-promotion that feels creepy. Vaguely wrong. Immoral, even.

I know that all authors have to sell themselves if they want to make it, and nobody will buy what they don’t know is available, I suppose. But I guess for me, I don’t want to promote my stuff too much for the fear that people will resent the promotion and take it out on the book. And I’m really proud of Blue Like the Sky. It’s not groundbreaking in any literary sense, but it’s an honest walk through a man’s death with that man’s family. There may be people who need this book, and I don’t want to turn them off.

So here’s where I find myself. I’ll keep the link to my bookstore active, and I’ll let you know when the book is available in the iTunes Bookstore, but beyond that, I’m not going to mention this much, if any, again. If you like the work, you like the work. I would achieve greater satisfaction as an author in knowing that whatever books I sell come from people thinking enough of the work to recommend it to someone else, and so on. And if you enjoy enough to recommend it to a friend, hopefully you’ll enjoy it enough to write a rec on the website. But I’m not going to push.

I’m happy just knowing that my family has been blessed by the book, and knowing that 10 or 12 of you have been too. Everything else beyond that is gravy.

Thanks for reading–you are an encouragement to me. All the best to you.

I’ve Published My First Book!

The cover to my first book, "Blue Like the Sky". It ain't fancy or nothing, but it's mine.

If you’ve read the blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that one of my goals is to be a published writer. I’ve had success getting into magazines (both print and online), but I’ve never been able to get an agent or a publisher interested in any of the books I’ve submitted.

While I still long for the day that I can sign my name to a publishing contract, my days of waiting for my first book to be published are over.

I’m happy to announce that my first book, Blue Like the Sky, a collection of my blog posts about my grandfather, is now available through Blurb.

Sure, it’s self-publishing, but that doesn’t diminish my satisfaction in the slightest. The books are cheaper than what you would have to pay if they’d been traditionally published (with the exception of the full-color hardback with dust jacket – holy crap, they think a LOT of those puppies. I recommend the black and white version), but that doesn’t matter because profit isn’t my concern. I mean, it’s nice, but I didn’t publish this for the money.

I did this A) because it is my way of coping with my grandfather’s nearing death; B) because I think there are some people who would want to read it as a way of helping them cope with their own grief; and C) just to finally accomplish one of my long-standing dreams.

I share it with you because so many of you have encouraged me with your readership, which has given me confidence in my writing. I don’t want you to spend your money – you can read almost all of the same material right here on this blog – but I wanted you to be able to see the rewards of our partnership. I write, you read, and (hopefully) we all win.

With Blue Like the Sky, I feel like I’ve done something that would make my grandfather proud.

I hope you’ll be proud too.

Thanks for reading, for encouraging, and for believing in me. It means the world.

Again With the Digital Revolution…

Had lunch today with a friend of mine, Cameron, and we talked about writing. Specifically, we talked about some of my more recent blog posts and my need to get over myself. It was a great chat, and I appreciated the chance to talk shop with a fellow writer.

Cameron’s inviation to lunch came on the same day another good friend of mine, Ashton, called to talk about my recent blog posts. We spent almost fifty minutes on the phone talking about the inherent aspects of writing: the passion that drives one to write, the satisfaction of writing a story you love, the pitfalls of putting your work out for consumption, and the frustrations that come from misplacing your motivations for the craft.

I am blessed to have such good friends. Even if they don’t come bearing six-figure publishing deals. Oh well, they’re witty.

Today, however, I received an email from DigitalBookWorld, and buried inside the standard e-letter was  a little nugget about Barnes & Noble’s newest venture, PubIt. I clicked the link and learned that good old B&N was entering into the self-publishing foray with what seems to be a fairly straight-forward platform that converts your manuscript and art into .epub format and lists your work in the B&N eBookstore. I immediately signed up for more information on the project.

And if you are a writer, you should too.

Look, people are gobbling up books via Kindle, Nook, and the new iBooks platform through Apple’s App Store. Traditional publishing is still a highly selective field, with conditions becoming even more difficult for first-time or unknown authors. Even the bigger names have to do a lot of the leg work nowadays for publicity and marketing, with companies less willing to spend huge amounts on promotion (unless you’re Stephen King or Mary Higgins Clark).

So, I’m down with the digital publishing, and look forward to what B&N will bring to the table. And while I’m on the subject, let me announce that my Big Project is nearing completion and will soon be available for FREE through ye 0lde blogge. This corresponds with a shift here on the blog, as you’ve probably noticed in the title and tenor of the last few days. Instead of the unrealistic pressure of producing daily short fiction (my well of imagination is not that deep) I will focus more on matters related to writing/publishing/creativity, with occasional dips into the fiction well. Instead, my original stories and essays will be contained within The Southern Muse digital magazine, with the goal of making it a quarterly-ish literary-esque mag.

What do you think? Am I wrong to espouse the digital publishing route over traditional publication? Am I stupid for wanting to launch my own “vanity” magazine? Do you think the blog has gone steadily downhill and wish for my death?

Also – if you are handy with the pictures, and want to inquire about designing the cover for my Big Project, use the contact form below to shoot me an email with a sample of your work.

Let me hear from you…