Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Handplanes Book Available in Europe

My recently-released book on handplanes in woodworking--Choosing and Using Handplanes: All You Need to Know to Get Started Planing by Hand--is now available in Europe from Amazon.  It will be priced there in Euros or British pounds.

I'm proud to report this expanded availability and hope the book will be well-received by European readers.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Killing the Beast

I'm working, albeit deliberately, on a sequel to The Hero of Gucci Gulch.  Called Killing the Beast, it features plenty of murder and mayhem just outside the halls of Congress and implicates leaders at the highest level.  Who are the murderer or murderers?  And who or what is the beast of the tale's title?  That, of course, is the mystery that drives the action in this coming book.

I'm on chapter 22 now, with another few chapters yet to conceive. As is usual with mysteries, mine at least, even I don't know how it will end or the culprits will be found out. But that's the fun of writing!

Like The Hero of Gucci Gulch, now in production for an audiobook, I'll be releasing via Audible.com when it has been published, sometime later this year.  I'll announce it here when it's available.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Update on My Audiobook

As I mentioned previously, I began the process of converting my first novel, The Hero of Gucci Gulch, into an audiobook.  I'm pleased to report that I received seven auditions for the narration before I made a final selection.  I could have gone with any of three of the narrators.  The one I chose, A. Bran Peacock, has both the voice and the interpretive skills that will bring my novel to life.

Over the next several months, he and I will review his initial performance to identify any pronunciation and performance issues.  After that, he'll narrate the entire story.

I'm hoping the fully-narrated novel will be ready for release sometime this fall.

The Hero of Gucci Gulch, a murder mystery set on Capitol Hill, features a public interest lobbyist as amateur sleuth.  It's an easily read novel with a lot of action that I think will translate easily into narrated form.  When it has been released by Audible.com, I hope you will agree.

Highland Woodworking Now Carrying My Book

I'm pleased to report that my recently-released book, Choosing and Using Handplanes: All You Need to Know to Get Started Planing by Hand, is now being sold by Highland Woodworking.  They are a fine family-owned and operated company that sells a wide array of tools and other resources for woodworkers at their Atlanta store and via the web.

If you are interested in purchasing the book from Highland Woodworking, here's the link.

It's gratifying to have my book being carried by such a major internet vendor as Highland Woodworking.  

Norm

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Creating an Audiobook

Recently, I decided to investigate releasing my novel, The Hero of Gucci Gulch, as an audiobook.  Frankly, it's something I never thought could be possible.  I imagined the process as being too expensive, or something I'd have to narrate myself with equipment and skills I don't possess.

Still, I came across an invitation from Audible.com to check out their service, called ACX.  I was surprised by what I found.  First, there are tens of thousands of what Audible calls "producers" willing to narrate books, far more than there are books ready for narration.  Second, while you can certainly pay high fees to have your book read by a well-established producer, you can also arrange to pay for narration by splitting the royalties obtained from sales on a 50-50 basis.  If you are able to negotiate that kind of arrangement with a producer, it makes the whole project affordable and, hence, feasible.

ACX allows you to specify the kind of voice you want for your book, including gender, age, regional accent and voice quality in a wide range of  types.  This is very helpful in letting producers know what you are looking for and narrowing down the potential producers from the thousands available.

So, I signed up (free) and created a profile on ACX and uploaded a short piece to be used by prospective producers for auditions.  ACX then notifies me when their auditions have been posted and I can listen to them and decide which is right for my book.

So far I've received three auditions and am expecting at least one more in the next couple of days.  I'll wait a week or so, then select the one that seems best for my book and start negotiations on terms, that is, whether we can agree to split royalties or whether I need to pay a per hour of narration fee to go along with that.  My book is estimated to be 8.1 hours long when narrated and I offered to consider payments of $50-100 per narrated hour.

I have some work to do yet.  I'll need to make notes for the producer on the pronunciation of key words and on the accents I want for key characters.

What will this do for sales?  Frankly, I have no clear idea.  But given that Audible.com is very popular and publicizes its offerings well, I'm hoping that sales may be good, even if the asking price is low.  In any case, it seems to me that it's worth taking a shot at it.

Have you written a novel or a non-fiction book that's suitable for narration?  If so, I encourage you to check out ACX at acx.com

Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Book on Handplanes in the Woodshop Released!

My newest book, Choosing and Using Handplanes, has just been released.  Intended for the beginning and newer handplane user, its 90 pages include nearly 100 color illustrations.  In this book, woodworkers will learn:
  • The types of handplanes, names and functions
  • The first planes you should get
  • How to set up and adjust your planes
  • How to sharpen your plane blades
  • The kinds of sharpening stones
  • The different bevels you’ll want on your blades
  • How to hold your work for planing
  • The body positions that work best
  • How to determine the direction to plane boards
  • How to plane cupped, bowed, and twisted boards
  • How to plane end grain
  • How to buy and restore old planes
  • How to store and care for your planes
  • Sources of new and used handplanes
  • How to solve handplane problems
Choosing and Using Handplanes is now available from Amazon and CreateSpace.

For woodworkers who are hankering to learn how to use handplanes, I think they'll find this a useful guide.

I used CreateSpace to publish it, which automatically also posts it to Amazon.com.  It's a very easy way to publish.  It only requires a properly formatted pdf file.  I chose a glossy cover (which I photographed and designed myself) and color interior on white stock.  The photos and drawings (nearly all of which I made myself) reproduced quite nicely; the color was faithful to the originals.  I'm very happy with the result.  Now my attention is focused on marketing it to the thousands of woodworkers around the world!

Norm

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Publishing on Amazon

I've been chugging away hard on my newest book, Choosing and Using Handplanes.  This is a book for woodworkers who are relatively new to the use of handplanes that describes them and how to set them up for effective use.  My plan is to publish the book as an 8-1/2 X 11 inch paperback and also in a Kindle edition. 

I wrote the book section-by-section in Word, then pasted it into Microsoft Publisher for laying out the 99 photos and figures in a pleasing format.  I am now only lacking the foreword from having a complete text.  Once I have that in hand and know my final pagination, I'll finish the Table of Contents, convert the book to pdf format and upload it to Amazon.  The cover has already been designed, so that will get uploaded at the same time.  So the hard work has been completed on the paperback version.

Not so the Kindle version.  Kindle books are best submitted in Word format, which means I had to convert the Publisher file back to Word.  Unfortunately, that process stripped all the photos and figures out of the book and they will have to be re-inserted.  Also, for some reason the sections of the book were saved in Word in the sequence in which they were originally written, not their final sequence in Publisher.  That meant I had to do a lot of cutting and pasting to get things back into the correct order.  Then there are the headings to establish so Word will create a Table of Contents that Kindle can use.  And hyperlinks to add; I didn't need those in the paperback version, but I want the Kindle edition to be as user-friendly as possible and that means adding links to resources and to various points in the book to which readers might want to jump. 

It'll take a lot of work to get the Kindle version finalized and submitted for publication review by the folks at Amazon.  Kind of makes me wish I had taken the time to study Adobe's InDesign program, which I believe would have generated a mobi file for Kindle without all the extra steps.  Next time, I promise.