Today I received the message below from a longtime church friend. This friend and her family switched from the church I still attend to the other large UU church in Houston during "The Troubles" that served as the initial inspiration for Earthworm.
She ordered the book directly from iUniverse, not from one of the big online vendors. It seems that iUniverse and Strebor have a deal with the same printing company. This news makes me wonder (and another friend has expressed the same thought) whether it's a sign that I should reach out to Caleb Alexander. Networking is usually a good thing. Also, his novel takes place, at least in part, less than two hours' drive from my fictitious college town of Santa Cecilia.
My other impression is that this right-cover-wrong-text foul-up will not happen to very many buyers of either Mr. Alexander's book or mine. iUniverse's model is on-demand printing, so it does not print and cover large numbers of copies of a book at one time—unless somebody orders a lot of copies. I'd be really surprised if the 20 copies I ordered for next week will have the same problem, but you'd better believe I'm going to check them before I try to sell them.
Did it, done it, waiting for release date.
I have signed off on the interior, cover, and pricing for The Earthworm That Blows No Trumpet. iUniverse says it's usually 15 to 20 days between approval and availability.
You should be able to purchase the hard copy or e-book around the first week of June. It won't be in your neighborhood bookstore, but you can order it through iuniverse.com, amazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com. If you search by author's name, I recommend using the whole name David Bruce Collins, because searching by just David Collins gets 224 hits, and I'm not responsible for all those books.
The one book currently on Barnes & Noble that I did actually write still has one review from 2001, and it's a five-star review. No, I didn't write the review, but I give it five stars too. ;-)
My Publishing Services Assistant at iUniverse sent back the correct book block last Thursday, and they fixed almost all of the errors that I had found. Fortunately or otherwise, I this the opportunity to read through the entire block again, and I found almost as many errors that I missed the first time.
As a rule, it's difficult to proofread one's own work reliably: Having a second pair of eyes on the job is always helpful. Sometimes it's even more difficult to find that second pair of eyes, unless one is willing and able to pay. I'll be paying extra for the second set of corrections, but not enough to break the bank.
iUniverse has plenty of ways to break one's bank. The company does many things I like, and a few I genuinely don't like. Yesterday one of their marketeers called from the noisy call center in the Philippines, inviting me to take advantage of a service that would get my novel reviewed in Kirkus Reviews and two other publications. Sure, a good Kirkus review can provide an invaluable boost to a book's sales. Sure, it also costs $3,499. Does that money guarantee a positive review in Kirkus? I do have scruples about such things.
I just sent iUniverse the proof forms for the book block and cover. In my proofreading, I found a couple dozen things I wanted to fix or change in the interior text, ranging from a missing close-single-quote to entire subordinate clauses. I also substantially revised the sloppy back-cover copy that I had originally submitted.
So that's yet another small step for Earthworm in the direction of becoming an actual book you can hold in your actual hands. If you're lacking actual hands, maybe the electronic version will work better.
A novel in which an assortment of UU's get to be heroes: Priceless?
I also still plan to re-publish A Small Town for Its Size, as I'm sure I have stated previously on this blog, with a few dozen errors fixed.
So it's been almost two weeks since my last blog activity. Some writer, eh?
Very soon I should receive a new set of cover mockups for the upcoming novel. I imagine that they will include assembled bits of the photos that I sent to iUniverse, rather than an assemblage of stock photos. I took a picture of some Texas prairie land back on 28 February, while my HAUSmates (1) and I were holding our Annual General Meeting (2) at Sky Farm (3). I also took a photo of a UU flaming chalice, which in this case is actually the heavily patinaed oil lamp used at First UU Church, Houston.
I took both photos with my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4. The photos are blurry, especially at 300 dpi, but there's an artistic blurriness about them. I didn't get the sunset that I wanted, because there was no sun that day, and hardly for a week in either direction.
Once the cover design is set, I imagine that the next step is galley proofs, but I don't know for sure, and I don't currently have access to the material that iUniverse sent to outline the whole process. When they send the galley, I'll have some time to look it over & probably catch some errors that I've managed to miss over the past two years.
Footnotes (getting my Infinite Jest on):
(1) HAUS stands for Houston Access to Urban Sustainability, which is Houston's only housing cooperative, as far as I know. We have two houses inside Loop 610, within fairly easy reach of the MetroRail Red Line. It is not a student co-op, but some of our residents are students, some are working in the service industry, and some have office jobs.
(2) Annual General Meeting is what it sounds like: a meeting of the general membership of HAUS that occurs every year. We managed to get 20 of our 25 current resident members, plus several HAUS alums, to this year's AGM. I got to give a presentation on taking public transit as sustainable transportation, including how the new Metro route structure will change (for the better, I earnestly hope) the whole public transit picture in our beloved H-Town.
(3) Sky Farm is the rural Austin County outpost of the Crossley family, the leading lights of Houston Tomorrow. Its postal address is in New Ulm, Texas, but it is closer to the town of Industry. The house at Sky Farm, where we had our unspeakably wonderful meals, is a marvel of contemporary architecture (oddly, no photos on the Facebook page). The meeting portion of the AGM took place in the Conference Center, a repurposed temporary classroom structure with composting toilets.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.