Downstairs in my kitchen

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Out of writing and into publishing

For the past couple of years, I've been working with my friend Jim Beckett to write a novel about a writing and the dynamics of the current publishing world. It is now it the last stages -- out of writing and into production. We have the cover done and here is what it looks like.


The proof copies will be done soon (tomorrow, I hope) and, assuming all is well, it will soon be out in paperback (304 pages) on Amazon and CreateSpace. We will be making it available in ebook form on Amazon and distributed through Smashwords -- they get it into the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, the Diesel eBookstore, Kobo, PageFoundry, and  Baker & Taylor.

We have chosen not to distribute through bookstores, because that would raise the price. Bookstore distribution requires a markup of 40% and I know I wouldn't want to pay that sort of price. The paperback will be $9.99 and the ebook we are still debating how to price. Actually that is untrue -- I am waffling on the price is what is happening.

The book runs about 96,000 words, which is substantial, though not huge by contemporary standards. But it is long enough to tell the story. A number of people were happy to tell us where we fell short in earlier drafts and some major rewrites addressed those shortcomings. It is a story of an overeager book editor, an actor, a publisher, a brilliant but reclusive writer and the problems that  mix brings.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Print books

I still love printed books and I know I am not the only one who does. So I have released the short book Two Stories of Sailors and the Sea in paperback. This volume contains two short stories about quite different sailors, and their interaction with the sea.

It isn't available through bookstores, as we wanted to keep the price low and bookstores need a high enough price to discount. But you can find it for only $5.99
at Amazon and CreateSpace. Of course it is also available, more cheaply in ebook form at Amazon and Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, and Diesel.

I hope you enjoy the books.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting around

It's important to get around in style. When I was downtown the other day, just across the street from the Kampot Province Economic Affairs Office, I took this photo. You often see these pony carts at the market. Along with motorized transport, these carts, and some pulled by water buffalo are still very much in use.

An ordinary trip downtown can provide a fair amount of inspiration .

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rainy day blogging and publishing

Sunday was a lovely rainy morning. It is easy to get my writing done on a rainy day. It is cool then and there is something about the rain that makes my thoughts seem to go deeper. Perhaps it is just that I am less distracted by things outside the window.

Thanks to those who responded to the story about the creative assistant. Pat confirmed that it was a Tokay gecko. I have to find out if this one is a mongo Tokay or just on the large size of normal. Uncle Steve reminded me that Carlos Castenada was taught divination with lizards and suggested that I not limit the new friend to the duties of an assistant. That merits investigation as well.

My apologies to those who tried to leave comments and found that they couldn't. I didn't realize that this software defaulted to letting only registered users leave comments and that has been fixed now.

Other things going on... My coauthor Jim Beckett is taking his turn on the final draft of our novel THE INVENTION OF CLAY McKENZIE, which we will be publishing in ebook and paperback. The publishing empire grows and FLOAT STEET PRESS now has four paperbacks out through CreateSpace. The first two were THE LEGEND OF RON ANEJO and FLOAT STREET NOTES, then we published an adult crime/suspense story A BURGLAR IN MALAY
by Kurt Dysan, a fellow traveler in these parts, who has been writing for years but need encouragement to publish.

Most recently we republished my friend Javaid Qazi's collection of short stories called

Unlikely Stories: Fatal Fantasies and Delusions


This first published by Penguin Books in 1998 and had gone out of print. The editors returned the rights and now it is available again, as is a single story in ebook format called THE KING OF PATIO WORLD
All of the paperbacks are available in ebook format as well. We are still
working on getting them linked together but all are available through Amazon. The ebooks also find their way into Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo, Sony, iTunes and so on through Smashwords and you can always find the books in almost every ebook format there.

This will build up slowly. It has taken most of a year to get to this point, but there are many good things in the works. And SE Asia is a wonderful place to work, even if now I need to go into town and muster enough Khmer words to get someone to find and fix an intermittent problem in one of the motorbikes.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

A New Creative Assistant

Everyone knows that writers need all the help they can get, so I was pleased to find that a local has volunteered to help me with my struggles. It is good to have someone who not only appreciates the struggle of making art but also has an extensive knowledge of the local environment.



I don't know my new assistant's name, or even if he or she has one (yes, the CV was a bit sparse in places but there have been remarkably few applicants and this one seemed of good character and rather fearless -- two admirable qualities). Perhaps some of you could make a suggestion. Now bear in mind that this is a rather large lizard and I doubt some cutesie gecko name would be appropriate or appreciated. Since the pay for this position is paltry, showing the proper respect will prove important in retaining our first staff member here at Float Street Press.


The new assistant has many virtues, not the least of which is being somewhat indifferent to gravitational forces. I can only hope that this provides a certain immunity to depression.

So any names that come to mind would be appreciated. And despite the rather distinct coloration, management here has already discounted "spot" as being too saccharine. But I look forward to your ideas.