MORE POSTS 
 

Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens

Breakneck boredom: an old time Star Wars fan's thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

They put me on the news to talk about Star Wars

More from Steve Sansweet on Star Wars and gay marriage

Carmine Infantio has died

I can die happy: I've been interviewed by Dungeons & Dragons

Star Wars Episode 7: All My Children?

What JJ Abrams needs to really succeed with Star Wars 7

Star Wars: The Old Republic is gay--on one planet at least

Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Reminiscences about West End Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Here's the biggest Star Wars news of 2012

Stephen Quinn interviews me about Star Wars on CBC Vancouver

Star Wars: modern myth or global franchise?

Parents turn child's 1st birthday into extended Lucasfilm/Hasbro advert

Me reading from A Long Time Ago

Highlights and lowlights of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI

Grown men (mostly) dressed up as Lando Calrissian

Beggar's Canyon Toys offer Star Wars toy "restoration" service

Blog's t-shirts banned by Zazzle

Will the real David Prowse please stand up?

LaserSaber: Unlicensed, dangerous and yours for only $99

Is this the future of Star Wars?

Is Star Wars link bait?

Dissent not tolerated at the Prequel Appreciation Society

TSOT discovers its nemesis

Comme des idiots: Star Wars teams up with poncy fashion house

US Christian activist attacks SWTOR for being gay

Yodaphone--the latest product pitch from Star Wars Inc.

Attention tortoise-fanciers: do you like Star Wars?

History of Star Wars as related by a bot

Is Star Wars a travesty of science fiction?

Luke Skywalker and company on the Muppet Show

Yoda now shilling instant soup in Japan

Commander who?

$6000 for a toy you can't even play with

Star Wars underwear

Retro Star Wars decor in my son's bedroom

Phantom Menace 3D: Now With Plot

Star Wars and disco: the forgotten love affair

Will Muschamp: What a guy!

Oi, fanboy: grow up! A reply to Darren Franich

 

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Entries in Cory Doctorow (2)

Friday
Feb152013

A Long Time Ago reviewed by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing

Boing Boing co-founder, novelist and internet advocate Cory Doctorow has given A Long Time Ago a terrific review. I'm struggling with the urge to type this in all caps with several exclamation marks...

From the review:

A Long Time Ago is a thoughtful, funny, and beautifully written story of the role that Star Wars played in Van Ert's life, shaping his destiny as he was raised by a USMC-deserting draft dodger and a runaway Texas beauty queen in small town British Colombia. Like me, Van Ert saw the first movie as a small boy, and thereafter principally experienced it through toys, records and merchandising tie-ins. His critiques of the Kenner action figures are both scathingly hilarious and bang on, and that's pretty much a microcosm for the whole book.

By Van Ert's own admission, he's not the biggest Star Wars fan that ever lived. But Star Wars was a gateway into other nerdy passtimes -- comic collecting, Atari home systems, coin-op video games, Dungeons and Dragons -- and he does an excellent job of tracing the curious ways that the specific nerdiness of his (and my generation) shaped his intellectual and personal pursuits.

He explains how he fell away from Star Wars fandom after the third movie, forgot about it until the "special editions," and experienced his first rumblings of anxiety about the destiny of his nearly forgotten but warmly remembered passion. He nails the prequels -- fish in a barrel, but still -- and then ties it all into a story of personal development that's sweet, hopeful and wistful.

Boing Boing: A Long Time Ago, sweet memoir of growing up Star Warsish

Tuesday
Sep112012

How do I get Cory Doctorow to read my book?

I would really like Cory Doctorow to read my book. I think he would like it. He might even review it on BoingBoing, which would help matters enormously. Even a complimentary tweet to his 250,000 followers would be a boost.

Why do I think Mr Doctorow would like my book?

(1) He's a middle-aged old-time Star Wars fan, like me and all the other 35-45 year old husbands and fathers out there I wrote this book for. He's always featuring Star Wars tidbits on BoingBoing. The films were clearly very important to his childhood, just as they were to mine. So he'd get this book.

(2) He's Canadian. This doesn't matter very much; Star Wars is an international phenomenon. But the book is a memoir about growing up in the '70s and '80s—something that he and I happen to have both done in Canada. I think he'd relate.

(3) It's self-published, independent and (in e-book format) 100% DRM-free. He's a champion of this sort of publishing. (Although he'd probably prefer that I give it away. I have given away over 200 copies through KDP Select, but the book isn't currently free.)

(4) People tell me it's good. Not people with the literary credentials of Cory Doctorow, admittedly, but still...

Unfortunately, there are some powerful reasons for Cory Doctorow not to read my book, too:

(1) He's supremely busy. Or at least I assume so. Between BoingBoing, the Guardian, speaking engagements, writing books, fatherhood, and the pile of other reading material sitting on his nightstand, he'd probably struggle to fit my book in (even though it's a short and easy read).

(2) My book is self-published. I know I cited this as a reason in favour of Cory Doctorow reading my book, but it's also an argument against. The process of finding a publisher (which often includes finding a literary agent) and getting published tends to have the effect of ensuring at least some modicum of quality--correct spelling (mostly), proper grammar (largely) and a reasonably interesting story (sometimes). These are the reasons I initially hoped to publish my book the old-fashioned way. But after a few rejections and reading many articles online about the terrible economics of traditional publishing, I decided to go it alone. I'm fortunate enough to have a large number of very talented friends--and even a few complete strangers who follow this blog--who were willing to give me editorial and proofreading support. In the end I don't think my book has suffered editorially from the lack of a traditional publisher at all. But Cory Doctorow can't know that. Does he really want to invest a few hours in a book that hasn't been vetted by the traditional process? Considering how limited his time is, it may not be worth the risk for him.

(3) He'll likely never find out about it. The two things you lose by self-publishing are editorial support and marketing. I think I've managed to replace the editorial support, as explained above. Marketing is harder. I do what I can by means of this blog and social networks, but it's a slog. My wife's in marketing and my sister's in public relations. Both have helped me a lot with things like press releases and marketing campaigns. I've definitely reached some audiences. But I haven't reached Cory Doctorow, despite my efforts. I've submitted stories from this blog to BoingBoing a few times. Most recently I submitted my Keener promo pamphlet--something I really thought BoingBoing would like--but I've had no response. I suppose I could just e-mail Cory Doctorow, or mention him in a tweet. But how many e-mails does he get in a day, never mind tweets? 

You have probably figured out by now that Cory Doctorow is not the only reader I'm talking about here. At least when it comes to reasons not to read my book, you could safely swap Doctorow's name out and almost anyone's in, including your own. We're all busy, we're all a little skeptical about self-published works, and we're all hard to reach without big marketing campaigns. Getting anyone to read my book is a struggle. Thank you to all of you who have.