First, a quick note about SILENT AMERICA.
The initial sales wave was absolutely phenomenal — enough to finish my airplane on. Thank you all.
When I got the proof — a week after it was promised to me — I have to admit that I got a little teary there for a second. It is an awesome thing to hold a book you wrote in your own hands — and this one just looked so damned good. You know what it looked like? It looked like a real book, that’s what it looked like.
Immediately upon opening the proof, I realized that I had set the margins too wide. The text close to the spine was readable, but uncomfortably near the binding. I narrowed it down by half an inch, and that knocked the page count up to 272 pages! To receive your copy of Silent America, please determine in advance which wall you wish knocked down: the post office will deliver by crane or heavy lift helicopter, depending on your location.
Now, however, despite all my efforts, I am starting to find myself in the middle of a nightmare I was determined to avoid. I have never had to depend on vendors before, so perhaps some of you can commiserate.
The fact is, my publisher has been overwhelmed and understaffed, and have been a week late, at least, in every step that they assured me would take 24-48 hours. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the first run of books actually started printing today ‘ almost two weeks later than the time they promised me when I first posted that it was for sale. They estimate 2-4 days to print, and 3-5 for shipping. I have put the early orders into rush status at an additional charge to myself, and will chalk that up to Business Sense 101, which I must have slept through in college.
So please excuse the delay. They are on the way. I hope that all of you, who have been so patient with me these past two years, can extend another fragment of patience here.
Many people have asked for autographed copies. Unfortunately, I never touch these books ‘ they are drop-shipped directly to the buyer’s mailing address. HOWEVER, I will soon be doing two things: First, I will be putting out an autographed hard cover as soon as I can, hopefully with a forward by Someone Important. Second, as soon as the Christmas rush is over and everyone has their copies, I will be happy to sign any books that you might have already purchased at no charge, other than the cost of getting it back to you. It is amazing, thrilling, flattering and a deeply humbling thing for me to even contemplate.
Anyway, I’m tired of being a publisher and will soon get back to the writing.
So, we have all kinds of new business to transact. This has turned out so well that I am now going to start writing three new books simultaneously:
THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE, my long-desired book on how to be a good citizen in the 21st Century.
WINGS OF GLASS, an aviation book.
And RETURN TO SILENT AMERICA, which will be where we put the next two years of essays on the War.
Up next, a new essay in the Old School mold: SANCTUARY ‘ hopefully this weekend. Then we start knocking out the new angle stuff.
Nothing would make me happier than doing this full time.
Along those lines’
Somewhere after the first of the year, I would like to start doing some call-ins on talk radio. If you know of any local talk show hosts who might go for this kind of writing, drop me an e-mail.
And now, I must get some sleep. Tomorrow is tape day for my day job, working as editor for SUNDAY MORNING SHOOTOUT on AMC.
Tomorrows guests are Dennis Quaid, and um’what’s his name?
Oh yeah. Michael Moore.
Yes, I’m serious. If LA is vaporized tomorrow around 11am, it will be due to the particle / anti-particle reaction to me either shaking his hand or punching him in the nose, depending on whether or not I can force my rational brain to realize that everyone he endorses ‘ loses.