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.

Gadget Addiction: Do We Need a Cure?

I recently ditched my iPhone 3G.

I know – many of you are thinking, “Are you insane?” Well, the obvious answer aside (yes), I think I’m actually quite sane, perhaps getting saner by the minute.

Then again, I’ve also found myself recently trolling the interwebs looking at slightly used MacBook Pros and various size Apple Cinema displays and Sony Blu-Ray players on deep discount and tiny digital cameras that attach to a watch-like-band and laser pointers that also double as thermometers and iPads and Samsung Galaxies and just about darn near anything that runs on lithium powered batteries and has an LCD screen as an integral design feature.

In short, I’m on the verge of becoming a gadget addict. Thank God I don’t make a lot of money, as financial insufficiency is the only thing standing between me and the purchase of two or three hundred shiny new toys.

But I’m beginning to wonder just how much value these nifty doodads are adding to my life. The iPhone didn’t exactly revolutionize my telecommunications, unless you count the distinct ability to hang up or mute people with my cheek. I’ve also not seen much in the way of radical improvement for my writing skills since I upgraded to the latest Microsoft Office version. In fact, none of the fancy writing softwares I’ve ever downloaded or purchased did a dang thing to make me better or get me published, despite the smooth-talking marketing copy in the ads.

And I’ve noticed lately that we’re all a little too attached to our gadgets and gizmos. To the point of shifting cultural values. I know you can make a chicken-egg argument here, but I sincerely believe that technology has driven the shift away from personal interaction: I mean, why deal with people face to face when you can just email or text them?

Why physically bully a kid at school when you can just flame him on Facebook?

Why actually go out on a date with someone who might reject you when you can hide behind your avatar and flirt for hours on end and then find a nice piece of porn somewhere?

Why do anything that involves the fragility of human relations when we can all just hide behind our gadgets and live in a virtual utopia?

Look, I’m no idiot. I text my wife non-stop on my slick little Samsung Intensity 2 with the slideout keyboard. I watch Criminal Minds on my Sony LCD TV and post snappy little blogs from any one of my 3 MacBook computers. I’m not suggesting we go all paleolithic on tech and revert back to grunting and clubbing each other with sticks as our primary means of communicating.

But I am asking the bigger question: do we need to be saved from our increasingly inward journey into all things tech?

Do we need a gadget Messiah to save us from ourselves?

I don’t know the answer, but I’m beginning to worry that the answer is yes…