Wednesday, July 27, 2005

On the book front

Final preparations are being made for the printing of When Towns Had Teams. As most of you have noticed, I’ve been posting less on my blog (s). Much of that has had to do with the inordinate amount of things required of me as an independent publisher.

In forming RiverVision Press, my goal was to create a small press that has the capability to produce and distribute books about Maine that other presses might be apt to pass over. The story of town team and semi-pro baseball in Maine and the players and towns represented is one such project. There are many other similar stories that need telling. I’m in the early stages of planning my next book, which will be the big release of 2006 by RiverVision, as well as exploring releasing a nonfiction book by another Maine-based writer. I have a few ideas and will probably call for manuscripts later in the year.

Having said all of that, it is absolutely overwhelming taking on the role of publisher, in addition to being a writer. I recognize why others shy away from it. Not only do you have the manuscript to polish and get ready for the printer, you have all the other responsibilities from marketing to distribution and the other endless tasks that running a small enterprise requires.

I’m quite pleased that I’m nearing an agreement with a printer (a Maine-based company, btw) and I am confident that the book will actually be available in September (hopefully the first week) for shipping.

I’ve already received several pre-orders of the book, which qualifies the buyer to a hand-numbered and personalized copies of When Towns Had Teams. I have completed a mailing to many of the former players and others that I interviewed. From that mailing, two mail orders were sitting in my mail yesterday.

I made several phone calls to book sellers around the state and most independent book stores are eager to carry my book. Some, like L.L. Bean, require that I have my book carried by a large wholesale distributor like Ingram. There is a smaller Maine-based distribution network that I was given the name of that I’ll need to check out.

As you can see, I often end up with more tasks then there are hours in the day. If I didn’t need to grab four of five hours of sleep, I know I could get more done, but being the weak creature that I am, I do require some sack time. Oh, and did I mention my responsibilities to the Twilight League? Needless to say, I’m a bit busy of late, but I’m very encouraged by where I’m at project-wise. Finally, I can see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel and When Towns Had Teams is going to be a book that I’m proud of and I think others are really going to enjoy. BTW, it’s bigger than I thought it would be. I haven’t done my final layout, but my calculations based on the technical support provided by the printer have the estimates of a book that will be around 300 to 310 pages. With the original photos that I’ll include and the wealth of historical details, as well as the great stories of a wonderful group representing the last great generation, I think it’s certainly a value at the current price of $17.95.

I’ll continue to provide details as they unfold, both here and at the RiverVision website.


asfo_del said...

Congratulations! How exciting it must be to see it all coming together!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. You must be thrilled to almost have that book in your hands.

If you're still looking for a printer, you may want to check with Will-Dale Press in Bowdoin. I hear they do excellent work. Janet Galle's TWO FARMS book of Maine essays and columns was printed there. Just a thought.

Good luck!
-timothy j. lambert