Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Working On A Dream

The following article is appearing as a series of articles I am posting on the latest rapid changes in the publishing industry that are making book publishing easier for authors.

Permit me to jump sideways.

I was all set to blog about the ePublishing industry, and I promise I will very soon, but I wanted to describe my latest project, an eBook.

There are numerous places to read about traditional publishing verses self-publishing and the eBook and the Tree-book. I might get into all that just to summarize where we are at this point in the publishing world. But not now…not this very moment.

I think I have been reading too much about eBooks lately and the traditional publishing industry’s reaction. I have been an avid follower of Apple’s wild ride. In the last quarter alone, Apple made $1.67-billion in profit on $9.8-billion in revenues. They pumped out 3.4 million MACs and 7.4 million iPhones, all potential eBook readers.

This creeping feeling came over me that I wanted to have an eBook out there. All of a sudden, the feeling popped up and I couldn't avoid thinking about it anymore. All these people running around with eBooks and I haven’t committed any novel-length thing I’ve written to an eBook format. I have no idea what I was waiting for. Or maybe I do.

I think I wasn’t ready for the leap. I needed something that I’ve written that I care a little less about than the works I’ve done in the past. They are my babies. My new babies aren’t done yet. They are in the research stage, the plotting stage, the outlining stage and the fret over continuity stage. I needed a sacrificial lamb.

My first thought was that I should do the exact wrong thing: dash something off and toss it up there (Pretty much what I do with my internet articles). That would be wrong because I was thinking of the eBook as a type of second class citizen to the tree book. Wrong, very wrong. I also have stated that my brain carries all this trivia and accumulated ideas, valuable to virtually nobody, and that the only way I can dump this stuff out and weed out the garden, is to write them down in some organized fashion. This works for a while, until new ideas clutter up the space again. It’s a lot like that annoying closet that refills. With the best of intentions, the closet is radically emptied but eventually the process will have to be repeated.

Ironically I was cleaning out my attic over the recent holidays and came across a box that once held 20 reams of copier paper. Since 1970, I had been following the career of Bruce Springsteen. Whenever I saw a critical review in the newspapers, I would clip the article and then toss it in the carton. Most of the clips concerned Bruce and all are about rock and roll. After 43 years, that’s a lot of clips.

Being a huge Springsteen fan, I had an equivalent amount of Bruce on the brain, so I thought, why not write an eBook about Bruce explaining how I experienced his career over the years. Everybody has a hungry heart; everybody in New Jersey has a Bruce story. I have several because I’ve always been a rock and roll fan and I grew up with his music as my life’s soundtrack.

By emptying out the cranium and the box at the same time I find this eBook flying out of me. The first draft is humming along but organizing and editing this will be nowhere as easy. But it will be fun, tremendous fun, because I love all things Bruce. The relief of cleaning out the closet, weeding the garden, and empting out the brain is amazing and palatable. My wife could be right. There’s probably way too much Bruce up there.

Working title: "Following a Runaway American Dream: A Personal Journal of Experiencing the Bruce Springsteen Phenomenon” I’m not sure what the final length will be but I’m guessing somewhere in the 70-90,000 word range, edited back from about 120,000.

Where it’s going and how to get it into the 9 major eBook format files will be the subject of a future article in this series. I just have to tear myself away from the fun of writing this tome long enough to jot down those thoughts.

Meanwhile…”fireworks are hailin’ over Little Eden tonight.”

(For more information about my writing and my novel, "The Fastnacht League," about the Amish and baseball, please view my website at On Facebook search "The Fastnacht League" for the book page. Read more on the "digital blog" tab on the website; follow me at @gmiller526 on Twitter.)

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