May 12th, 2013

Evening Anchorage


Yeah!  Weekend is here and I'm taking advantage of it.  Also will be on vacation for the next week.  The prospect of not having to get up and go to work at an ungodly hour seems most inviting.

Yesterday I drove to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to give a little presentation on self-publishing.  Some months earlier I had been contacted by a young lady involved in a co-ed version of Scouting.  She was working on a "merit badge" equivalent, and had to organize a group to meet and speak on a particular topic.  She chose writing.  She got three presenters to agree to be there and gathered a small group of folks interested in writing.  What I did not know is that the young lady herself is a very accomplished writer, having participated several times in NaNoWriMo, and with several unpublished books to her credit.  She's at the age (or younger) than I was when I first discovered the Horatio Hornblower stories and was then inspired to write the first version of what has now become The Stone Island Sea Stories.  Definitely an advantage for her to be starting out in this age of computers, internet, and the web.  Who knows?  If those things had existed when I was in my teens, I may have written and published many, many books by now.  On the other hand, I think the years since I first wrote the original version helped me refine and improve it immensely.  Remembering what I had written then makes me realize that a lot of it was pretty lame.

Packaged up and mailed a copy of Beyond the Ocean's Edge to prof_yaffle yesterday.  I was somewhat shocked at the cost, roughly equivalent to the cover price of the book.  Now I seem to remember that last summer when I did a similar give away, that someone commented about ordering a copy from Amazon and paying roughly $4.32 in shipping to the UK.  So I went to the post office expecting to pay somewhere around $5 or $6.  Media mail within the US is just under $3, so I figured double the amount wouldn't be bad.  And based on that, I've been saying that I'll include shipping to anywhere in the world for the cover price of the book.  It has donned on me that a lot of the big companies that ship tons of stuff everyday often get discounts from the various shippers.  Sometimes they'll even offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.  That might be why anteros_lmc was able to have a copy shipped for such a reasonable price, and it cost me roughly 5 times as much to ship the exact same thing.  What all this means is that I can't offer to send overseas for the cover price anymore.  (If it's a contest/giveaway, no problem, but...)  I haven't yet figured out at what point I'd break even, but it looks like I'd need a bit extra for shipping costs.  So, anyone wanting a copy, it would probably be worth it to order direct from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or maybe Outskirts Press.  For any of the three, shipping would probably be cheaper than to have me send it.  If anyone would want an autographed copy, well then we might consider the extra required for shipping as being worth having the signature.  Anyway, if anyone outside the US does want a copy direct from me, contact me and we'll work something out.

This coming Thursday, I'll be back into Idaho, speaking at the Coeur d'Alene chapter of the Idaho Writer's League.  This energetic writing community has just started their own Facebook page.  The easiest way to find it... go to my web-site, click on the Facebook button, and search through my "likes."  Speaking of Facebook, I'm hoping to grow the number of "likes" for my page.  I'm thinking of offering a prize as the number hits various levels.  I might award something to the individual that is the tenth or fiftieth like or something like that.  I might also hold a drawing and select a winner from amongst all likes when a certain level is reached.  Right now I don't have a clear cut plan, but it is something I'm thinking about.  Primarily I'd like to see the number grow a bit.

About all for today.  Hopefully with the time off this coming week I'll get a few more things posted.
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