"Roundheads and Ramblings"
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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

September 2010

The Doors Are Open!

For the past six weeks, I've spent most of my free time working on plans for an on-line book launch.  This involved creating two separate websites -- one for my own publishing company, Katzenhaus Books, and one for the launch of Beyond All Price  One has  12 pages, and the other has 24, so there were multiple opportunities for things to go badly wrong.  And of course, they did.  Whole sites crashed, or had to be remodelled.  Links were forgotten, spelling errors cropped up, colors did weird changes, and pictures disappeared.  But this morning, at 5:50 AM, I pushed the final "publish" button, and everything popped into place.

Am I tempting fate here?  Probably, but the websites have now been running for almost four hours, and I'm starting to breathe again. (No, scratch that.  Our pest control person just wandered into my office, sprayed something unidentifiable under the desk, and set me off on a coughing fit.  I'm pretty sure it will keep the bugs out of my office, since it's close to driving me out, too.  Let's just hope it works equally well on any lurking computer bugs.)

So what will you find if you visit?  Well, over on the Katzenhaus side, you'll be able to read a plot summary of the book, several reader comments left on the book's Amazon page, and one full-scale review.  There are also pictures of many of the people who appear in the story, and some of the locations where it takes place. Beyond All Price may be a novel, but it's based very closely on the real life history of Nellie M. Chase, a Union Army nurse.  The pictures are all accurate. This website is the business side, and it concludes with the order form, where you can get your own copy of the book, in either trade paper or e-reader versions.

The party, along with the fun stuff,  takes place over at the website named for the book.  We have a joke of the day, a quote of the day, and the film clip of the day.  There's a logic puzzle, and a couple of other things to make you smile.  Fourteen of my "bookish" friends are joining in the fun by contributing interviews and articles, so you can read something besides my own chatter about my book.  (Actually, out of the fourteen, I've only met two of these writers: the others are internet friends who generously agreed to help with the party.  I'm overcome with gratitude!) Obviously the refreshment buffet is a virtual one, but it offers you pictures and recipes of the food Nurse Nellie would have prepared for you if she could have been here.  Finally, we finish  up with a chance to register for some door prizes and get in on a gift to charity.  Since a party like this one didn't cost me much (other than time and a few more gray hairs), I'm donating 10% of sales to my favorite charity, Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, which provides free eye and hearing care for people who  cannot afford it.  Nellie, I think, would be proud.

I do hope you can find time to stop in and visit.  The party runs continuously from now until 10:00 PM on Friday, so please come by any time you're free

Eight Reasons to Love a Virtual Book Launch

 It's an  introduction to a new book that:

(1) doesn't' require you to get dressed and travel anywhere -- just log on to the website;
(2) doesn't require you to be on-time; it lasts for three days;
(3) tells you a joke or two, but doesn't expect you to laugh;
(4) lets  you meet famous writers, but doesn't force you to listen politely if you don't like them;
(5) offers you interesting food -- with no calories, just the recipes;
(6) lets you register for door prizes, but you don't have to be present to win;
(7) provides interesting new information -- painlessly;
(8) lets you investigate the new book without forcing you to buy it (although I hope you will!)

I sent out almost 400 invitations to the upcoming virtual book launch.  At least 10% of those who received them have sent back apologies, citing reasons like being out of town or having to work.  Uhhh . . . you do realize, don't you. that it's all on-line?  The website will be open starting at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 15. You can stop by any time, day or night.  You don't even have to change out of your PJ's.  Just go to http://www.beyondallprice.org and take a quick look.  Linger as long as you like if you find something interesting. Leave whenever you want.  Come back as often as you like.  It's not all that hard, folks.