Saturday, September 13, 2008

Overseas Sales, Western Legend... and an Update!

I keep getting surprised to find readers in Europe! I sold a copy on eBay to someone in Spain, there's a review on Amazon to a guy in Ireland, and Stackpole told me they had an order for five copies from Italy! I've always known the Old West has fans in the Old Country, but it still amazes me to hear this stuff.

A big deal for me - and everyone else in the room - to have Jerome Greene speaking at the last meeting of the Omaha Corral of the Westerners last week. Jerry, retired historian with the National Park Service and the author and editor of NUMEROUS books on the Old West, was in town to present a capsule history of the Sioux Wars to our group. He was also kind enough last year to write one of the "jacket blurbs" for my book, giving it some immediate credibility! It was our first meeting outside of e-mail and a genuine honor to meet a contemporary western legend.


People ask me how the book is doing. Short answer: Great! In its first two and a half months, we've sold about half of the press run which is good for a book of regional history. When we get close the selling out the run, Stackpole will look at a second printing as well as whether they want to do my second book.

Second question I get: Am I gaining fame and fortune on it? Yes and no - yes in that I'm more famous among my family and friends than ever! No in that I've got a LONG way to go before I make money on it.

I once read that authors rarely make money on their book and that's true in this case. I get 75 cents for each copy that Stackpole sells and I don't see a royalty check until the advance that they gave me is paid back. Because Stackpole pays royalties only twice a year, I probably won't see a check until next June.

And that's why I'm trying to make as many appearances and get as much publicity as I can right now. The one way I CAN make money is by selling the book directly to individuals (I get a 50 percent discount from Stackpole) and occasionally finding speaking gigs that pay. This helps to recoup some of my gas money and research fees from the past few years AND the more books sold, the faster I can get the advance paid back and actually get some checks in from the publisher.
So if you know of a speaking opportunity, let me know!

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