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Getting The Book Out The Door

18 May

The bad news about Future Tom is, I’ve got him so busy knocking out the blog every day, that he barely has time to get the actual book I’m publishing out the door.  I mean, traffic is steadily increasing on the site, including more and more people who I don’t know at all, but the first thing I started doing was getting a book to the publisher’s, and I’m currently very late.

It’s not the kind of publisher where they’re flying a guy out to follow me around bugging me, like when Iron Man was in that movie with Michael Douglass and Spiderman.  They don’t have a lot invested in me, so if I want to sit around and not send them a manuscript, that’s perfectly fine with them.

It’s like that sneaky bastard Future Tom found a loophole.  He said, sure I’ll write something every day, but that’s all I’m going to do.  So now I have to yank his leash a little bit, get the lazy, procrastinating dude who’s not an astronaut off his butt, producing stuff.

So today, I’m going to tell you more about the book and the publishing process, because I need to get Future Tom updated before I call the publishing house and work on that. 

The book is called Half Crazy, and the purpose of it is to get some exposure, raise a little money for future publishing endeavors, and to generally do something decisive about the stagnation that has plagued my writing for ten years.  It’s a collection of short stories and novel excerpts, some of which have appeared here on The Curse of Future Tom.  Other stories will not ever appear online, because if everything in it is online, then why buy the book?

Actually, I like books, so I’d buy yours even if you put it online.  I like paper, and pages.  But I’m supposed to be writing new stuff every day for Future Tom, so the only way I can put in something already finished is if I re-write the hell out of it – which does happen. 

I’ve also reversed the process a few times – wrote something for Future Tom which I really liked, like “Humpty Dumpty And His Girl,” and then decided to put it in the anthology, too.

A warning:  Half Crazy is not for everyone.  I’ve toned down the language and the violence, here on Future Tom.  If you don’t like guns or profanity or casual violence, might want to skip it.  I think when I wrote this stuff, I was in a bit of an angry place.

Half Crazy has its own Facebook page:   http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113573921994568#!/group.php?gid=102830266424718&ref=ts

And excerpts from it are up on my other WordPress site:

http://thomaschalfant.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/novel-excerpt-half-crazy/

The book gets its name from the first story in it, which is around fifty pages and is intended to be the start of a series about small-time criminals.  It includes another half dozen short stories, and excerpts from two more novels.

The idea will be, I’ll start Facebook pages for both of the novels, and when one of them gets up to, say, 10,000 fans, that’s when I’ll publish that one.  Really, if I get that many fans, then someone will probably want to publish it for me.

It turns out to be unbelievably stressful, deciding that absolutely everything which needs to be done to the book is finished.  Every single time I read through it, I laugh at something clever, and then cringe at something I hate, and it’s like Whack-A-Mole.  I could sit there all day, fixing something that makes me cringe, then finding out later that what I fixed caused a glitch two sentences earlier – I used the same distinctive word, and it sticks out like an accidental rhyme, or I realize, I’m calling that character by a brand new name, for no reason.

Not a pro at this, you might say.

The other difficult part is writing the acknowledgments.  Thanking everyone.  You want to make sure you don’t  miss anyone, but on the other hand, you don’t want to sit there for ten weeks, not publishing a book because you’re worried about someone you can’t think of getting mad you didn’t thank them. 

Pretty soon, I’m just going to have to send this thing to them, say the hell with it, it’s done.

At this point, it’s been almost six week, posting something on Future Tom every single day, and it’s been an experience.  Sometimes, it’s very difficult to think of something, and the feeling of posting something I’m not crazy about turns out to be one of my least favorite sensations in life.  It ruins my day.

But when I put up something I’m proud of, and a couple hundred people come by to read it, I can’t even describe it – it’s like a serious addiction. 

An important factor to Future Tom turning into a book deal, to getting this whole thing to work, is spreading the word, and now that it’s been six weeks, and you all know I’m serious, that I’m really going to update this every day, and that it’s going to be relatively turd-free, I would like to ask everyone who doesn’t find it obnoxious to pick your favorite one so far, and share the link on your Facebook page.  Every time someone does that, a few more people come on board.

You also might have noticed I’ve been beating up the Lost page with my out-there theories about the show.  It is amazing how many people have come over from that page to read it, and usually a couple of them stick around, read some more.  I go over there and post the link a couple of times a day, and always a few dozen people follow it back.

The ShitMy DadSays guy just published a book, by collecting tons of fans for his Facebook posts.  We’re talking two sentences at a time, sentences that the guy didn’t even write.  I love the group, and I love the guy, but I have to believe, publishing actual short stories has got to be an easier sell than publishing Facebook posts, originally put up for free.

When I first started this, only a handful of people were showing up, and that’s when it was really hard.  That’s when I felt like the crazy guy at the park, playing the guitar.  Really, that’s exactly what I am, standing here with a laptop case open instead of a guitar case, and you can’t throw money in it, but you can push the link. 

Ironic, isn’t it, ranting a couple of days ago about commercials, then writing a commercial for my own stuff and sticking it right in front of you?  I’ll bet you’re thinking, this would be a lot less awkward, Tom, if there was an underwear model in it someplace.

Anyway, got to get Half Crazy out the door.  If you haven’t read the excerpts and you’re not too easily offended, just follow the link.  You can all be assured, I’ll be letting you know when Half Crazy is available in print.  I’ll have it within two or three clicks of you the second it’s possible to buy it.

 

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