Friday, January 22, 2010

Settling in

Both The Duke of Morrison Street and Malady Manor seem to have made it to Amazon. Both book have the "look inside" feature active. The Kindle version of The Duke of Morrison Street is connected to the paperback version, but the connection between the two version of Malady Manor is not yet functional.

My angst associated with hitting the publish button, self-publishing, the egoism of making my work available to others has subsided. It seems I do a lot of things. Writing and publishing these books is one of them. The people I know who have read the book generally liked them and that is flattering. No one is confusing me with the next Hemingway, and that is comforting. By keeping expectations low, I end up flattered and comforted.

For a while I was interested in my own response to this project. I have moved. I now like seeing other people's responses. I am learned that many members of my social group are either non-readers or Puritan readers.

The non-readers read --as a survival technique and as a tool to making a living--but don't do it for pleasure. These people give me a blank stare when they see one of my books. They congratulate me and seemed genuinely pleased that I have written a book, but I can tell they are never going to read it. It is not a rejection of my efforts or my writing skill. They simply do not read books. Seeing this reaction in several people has made me think back in our relationship and realize that we have never discussed a books. There is a reason for that.

I also hang around with some Puritan readers: people who don't read books unless the book will make him or her a better person. I have several of these in my social circle. They read with purpose. Some eschew fiction altogether. Others admit the utility of fiction in making you a better person, but limit their fiction choices to books written by Dostoevsky, Melville or Joyce Carol Oates. Detective novels with drunken protagonists need not apply.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Malady Manor released

I hit the publish button on Malady Manor today. It is for sale on CreateSpace and will appear on Amazon soon. I am calmer about this release. I used up all my angst over publishing, self-publishing, and why do people do this kind of thing on The Duke of Morrison Street.

Another reason for being calmer is that I wrote the book ten years ago. The current version cleans up the text and puts it in the same production scheme as The Duke of Morrison

I came home and submitted the Kindle version. After The Duke of Morrison Street, getting the Kindle version was a piece of cake. I cut the text from Word to Notepad to remove formatting. I uploaded the .txt file from Notepad to Google Docs, then cut (not downloaded) the .html from Google docs and pasted it back into Notepad. I added the page breaks and the text-start to the html and it was ready. I then zipped the html with the jpg of the front cover and sent it to Amazon. Two minutes later I had a preview and it looked good. There are lots of guides out there on how to format for Kindle, but using this method of letting Notepad cut out the Word formatting and then letting Google create the html makes it easy. Of course, I have only text--no charts or pictues--so the difficulties are minimal.

While I was there I noticed that The Duke of Morrison Street has started to sell in the Kindle Edition.

Friends are reading The Duke of Morrison Street and coming back to me with comments. It is sort of fun for me because in the final analysis The Duke of Morrison Street is not a serious book. It is a whodunnit. Malady Manor, although having more outright humor than  The Duke of Morrison Street, is the more serious of the two. People feel the biographical element and want to know how much of the book is true. I have a hard time answering that. The emotions are true; the events are fictional. But that answer is unsatisfying because it applies to most fiction.

I have a friend who is dismissive of fiction--both my reading it and my writing it. He reads to improve himself. I read fiction for the same reason I go to movies and concerts: for the fun of it. When I write I write to make the experience fun for my reader. But I also want some truth in what I write--the kind of truth that can only be expressed in fiction.