Thursday, June 15, 2017

Popular Woodworking Article Published

One of my avocations is building furniture.  Recently, with the assistance of my friend Jeff Fleisher, I built a pantry shelf in what is known in woodworking as the Greene & Greene style, an Asian-influenced Arts & Crafts style of furniture popularized by the Greene brothers in early 20th century California.  We wrote an article about building the shelf for one of the major woodworking magazines, Popular Woodworking.  We're proud to announce that the article appeared in the August 2017 issue of the magazine.

The Greene & Greene style pantry shelf featured in the Popular Woodworking article

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Landscape Photography Book Published!

My most recent book, Creative Composition for Landscape Photography, has now been published by  It's available in both paperback and Kindle editions.  This work was a lot more difficult than my previous books because of the large number of photographs--170--included.  This posed particular layout challenges in both the paperback and Kindle editions.  You can find the book here.

The cover for the paperback edition
Because of my love of photography, I found this book particularly fun to produce.  If you have a chance to look at it, I hope you'll like it and I look forward to receiving your comments.

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 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, 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.  


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 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 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