“Texas Pride,” redux.

So, I finished my first chapbook the other day.

Satisfied with the proof I made by hand, I took a digital copy and a fresh, unbound hardcopy of the book and its cover to a nearby FedEx Office. A few minutes dorking with their setup and deciding on paper for the inside pages as well as the cover, I went to work, and arrived with this:

The brightness of the pics wash out the color of the cover, which is sort of a light gray cardstock with blue flecks. I printed up my proof using a piece of gray “parchment” cardstock, but they didn’t have anything like that at the FedEx place.

I probably could’ve saved a few bucks by not going with a color cover, but what the hell.

Yes, the story is still available for sale at Amazon.com as an “Amazon Short,” but I figured this was a neat way to pimp Counterstrike. As such, I’ll be offering it as a “con exclusive” at next month’s Starfest convention in Denver. If I have any leftovers (a safe bet, I’d imagine), I may bring those to Shore Leave in July, but I’m still considering something different for that con.

Anyway, it was a fun little experiment. If it does well enough and if there’s sufficient demand, I may print up some more, but since the idea is to have something “special” for book signings, cons, and whatnot, I don’t think I’ll be setting up a printing press in the garage or anything.

Thanks once again to Allyn Gibson (tiggerallyn), who provided me with a kick-ass template, which I was able to customize a bit for my own use.


Chapbooks and stuff.

For a while now, I’ve been contemplating putting together a chapbook, something small and inexpensive that I could have on hand for book signings, conventions, and so on. With the able assistance of tiggerallyn, I now have the tools to create such things. Now that I’ve got this part figured out and have run a few tests to make sure I know what I’m doing, I’m contemplating what the first chapbook will contain.

Any Star Trek fiction is out, for obvious reasons, not the least of which is that I don’t own any of that material.

I have a couple of original stories in various genres I’ve written that haven’t been published and which in fact may suck all sorts of donkey balls. One of the stories in particular defies classification, but might well find an audience at conventions, as the protagonists are geeks just like me, you, and most of the folks attending such functions. I need to rewrite a couple of sections, though, before it was “ready.”

Then there are a few stories I’ve had published which haven’t had that wide a distribution. With Counterstrike‘s release fast approaching, I’ve considered making a “limited edition” version of “Texas Pride,” a short story I wrote a couple of years ago and which spins out of some things referenced in The Last World War. Since the short is available on Amazon.com for 49 cents, if I went this route, I probably wouldn’t print very many copies at all, but it might be a nice promotional item for the new book.

So, for those of you who A) like and/or collect such things; and/or B) give a damn about the stuff I write – what say you? Any thoughts or suggestions on the matter?