Wise friends said they were dumbfounded when I deliberately chose to have “The Last Baby Boomer” released in January instead of December. They thought I was foolish to release a book after Christmas.
They didn’t understand.
In fact, I did release it in plenty of time for Christmas.
And now it’s really ready for sales and promotion. Now, it’s been in the hands of hundreds of readers who’ve affirmed its — and I say this with all due humility — “greatness” and are enthused about telling others.
This from one 5-star Amazon review: “I literally laughed out loud and discovered tears welling up in my eyes at various points. It's really an incredible work of artistic humor writing. Can't recommend it enough.”
See, the first edition is admittedly flawed and chock full of sloppy errors. For that I apologize while begging your understanding.
I could have ordered a editing service for $1,500, an amount which would have caused my wife’s heart to explode.
I couldn’t do it. Getting this book published (in fact, it’s still just self-published, for what little that’s worth) has been the primary saga of my defining failures. Investing even a penny, let alone a few thousands dollars, into getting it printed and formatted for e-books was a harrowing expense.
But I believed in the book. I believed in myself.
What did I do? I opted to be unconventional, brash even.
I included a page one author’s note acknowledging the book’s imperfections, and asking readers who cared to e-mail me any errors that bothered them.
Well it was, ahem, genius.
Readers were generous in their response. Most would just kindly point out when I’d transposed words or typed “his his” on page 229.
The funniest typo, the one everyone caught, was when I typed “Mr. and Mrs. Rodell” where I meant to type “Mr. and Mrs. McCrae,” leading many to ask if the satire is autobiographical.
It is not. Sort of. I consider the main character, Martin J. McCrae, to be an exaggeration of my exaggerations.
By embracing this reader/editing method — let’s call it Wiki-Eeks! — I was able to save $1,200.
I submitted more than 100 corrections to the publisher last month and last week received a “Last Baby Boomer” copy that is as close to immaculate as any self-published book could hope to be.
Now, if you order through Amazon, either e-book or soft cover, you’ll get a clean version, one with a snazzy author picture on the back, too.
Please let me know if you already paid for an error-laden copy and want me to replace it free of charge. I’m happy to do that.
What’ll I do with the remaining 100 copies? I’m discounting them to $10 each to anyone who wants to become a book ambassador, meaning anyone who wants to order two or more copies to give as gifts.
All are signed and noted as “Errata Editions,” errata being the Latin word for books that have the errors noted and corrected, which I do with a pencil for most of the truly glaring typos.
So, arrivederci, Mr. and Mrs. Rodell!
Here’s what one recent reader said of her errata — not to be confused with “erotica” — edition:
“Your book the perfect mix of intrigue and humor. I have Ellen's book as well as Amy Poehler's but they are only for when I am in a certain mood to read. However, your book is perfect all the time because you can read it and get a slice of humor, mystery, adventure, and drama all at the same time. It is a several-genre book and I am loving it!”
After so much doubt and failure, you can only imagine what reading words like that mean to me.
I’ll be signing today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Second Chapter Books on Main Street for Fort Ligonier Days.
Just in time for Christmas!