It was time to seize our power back.
For me, it was time to brush up on my Photoshop skills, and dive headlong into the frigid waters of the world of book publishing and all of what that means. I can tell you what it means: if you ever used your microwave by just pressing the 2 or 3 to automatically cook food, this was a parallel to my decades use of Microsoft Word. Just type words and boom, you have a letter. Now, however, I had to learn special formatting techniques, font styles depending on the paragraph, and how to insert page numbers and NOT insert page numbers. You're probably like me, you've read thousands of books over your life but never really looked at one, how it was laid out, numbered with roman numerals and THEN arabic numbers, and alternating odd with even pages, and on and on. Endless rules, and when you get them right, you have a beautiful creation to show for it. When you don't? Well, let's not go there, why ruin a lovely day?
We decided to first republish a slightly revised version of our Ladybug/Honeybee book, where I added a few more illustrations and embellishments. We are very proud to announce that The Revised Second Edition is now available in Kindle and paperback, as well as audio, through Amazon all under the Woodthrush imprint. And we are finally seeing some royalties. That said, here's a warning to those who think they will write the great American novel and get rich, you most likely will not. You most likely will make some gas money, if you're really lucky and clever and your book is somewhat interesting. But there is truth that self-publishing is the way to control your royalties, as few as you may get.
Our next rescue was Going Dark, a longtime favorite of readers, practically unavailable on Amazon and priced ridiculously high when it was listed. Who would pay $800 for a paperback? Even if it was written by Guy McPherson, our favorite doomist cult superhero?
Here is the before and the after. You tell me which looks best.
Shortly after republishing Going Dark, Guy completed his newest book, Only Love Remains: Dancing at the Edge of Extinction. I had to work hard and fast to get it finished in paperback form and then in hardback form. Working with Bookbaby, we launched the hardback version in a week! We have already shipped several copies to Alaska and California in anticipation of Guy's upcoming speaking tour in April.
The image on the cover was a labor of love.
I wanted to insinuate the Starfish story, without being overly literal. If you don't know the starfish story, it is about a small child tossing stranded starfish back into the sea to save them. An adult passerby stops. looks at the thousands of starfish stranded and clucks his tongue at her/him. "Why bother? You're never going to make a difference."
The child raises his/her hand to toss another,
"I will for this one," and flings the creature into the water.
These two children are young friends of mine from Belize that I asked to toss some rocks. The starfish were photographed at my sister's home in Florida, and the island across the bay is from a photo I took while on Rakino island in New Zealand. Compiling these three elements was fun to do! I used Procreate, which I found much easier than Photoshop or Illustrator.