I bought a copy of my new book, Teddy’s War, from an on-line bookstore! The book exists, it looks good, and anybody can buy it with a credit card. I’ve been working towards this a long time and feel the victory of the moment.
Getting to this point was a little bumpy. The first printing of the book had a publisher’s error in it: a spurious blank page showed up two-thirds of the way through the book. All the words were there so the story was not affected, but following a paragraph at the bottom of one page, the next page had nothing but the header at the top and the page number at the bottom. The text continued on the following page as if nothing had happened.
I won’t offer a book for sale with an error like that.
It took another couple of weeks, but a second printing corrected the error. The publisher was very kind, never questioned that it was his mistake, and immediately ordered a new printing. Woohoo!
I negotiated several copies to be offered through the Los Alamos Historical Museum Book Shop, which is a few minutes from my house, and they placed it with their other books on display and then added it to their on-line store. The Amazon price will be a typical $21.95, but the Museum, as it is a small operation, bumped it to $25.00. After adding tax and mailing it Priority Mail through the Post Office, it costs a little more than $40. That’s more than I expected or wanted, but it is not inappropriate. Using Priority Mail is the big increase, but it is the only option the Shop currently offers.
I am not one to gripe; I am a fortunate author. The Museum Shop is offering my new book right now and that’s a big thing in the age of COVID-19. National distributors, booksellers and publishers are all having a terrible time adjusting to the current book business climate and it has resulted in bookstores suffering greatly. I’m extremely thankful to have a local outlet with an on-line operation. If the cost is too high for an individual, maybe people can buy one together and share the cost. For people who can walk into the museum, the cost is cheaper, but, as one might guess, the museum and book shop are closed because of the virus. It may open by the end of August, but don’t hold your breath, even if you have a mask on.
I see that the date of Amazon offering my book has changed to December 1, so I’m feeling even better.
Meanwhile, I have a number of people reading my author copies and I’ll report back on any reviews or comments that I receive. If anyone wants a preview of Teddy’s War, go to DonaldWillerton.com and go to the book section. You’ll find the first two chapters.
In the past, I’ve asked readers to consider writing a review on the Amazon page. I’m changing my strategy and am now asking people who like the book to show it, reference it, or talk about it on any social media, like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and then mention my website, DonaldWillerton.com. Book reviews are good and I use them all the time, but it means that the shopper is already looking at the book site. I need to get people to the book site first, then have them read the reviews. If told to go to my website, they’ll find a button to order the book from the Museum Shop, as well as a button for Amazon, if they want to pre-order. I’ll make sure that the website always has the latest information.
To help with that strategy, I created bookmarks with all of my website offerings, plus the web address, and included it with each book.
My website also offers the first two chapters of my other published books. I want to introduce readers to the other books I have written. By the way, the book that has created the most notice from readers and buyers is Smoke Dreams, my first novel. If you’re interested in Comanches, Charlie Goodnight, Texas history, or restoring old houses, this is an extraordinary way of reading about them.
That’s my status for the moment. It’s taken four months to go from the final edit to having a publicly-bought copy of Teddy’s War in my hands. I missed the anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, but I’m now up and running for the anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific.
Don Willerton has been a reader all his life and yearns to write words like the authors he has read. He's working hard at it and invites others to share their experiences.