Upload included in book list, “Indie Science Fiction – October New Releases”

Hey Goodreads members… Help “Upload” find its audience! Vote for it on the Goodreads list, “Indie Science Fiction – October New Releases“. And if you’re not already on Goodreads, you should be. It’s a great way to connect with authors and fellow readers, and to discover new books.

Thanks to Goodreads author Bennett Gavrish for creating the list!

Finally available on Nook Books!

For those of you with Nooks, now there’s no excuse — you can finally purchase “Upload” straight from Barnes & Noble, via Nook Books.  This is an especially important distribution channel, because B&N is the default bookseller over at Goodreads.  The blurb for “Upload” hasn’t shown up yet, but fellow authors at Lulu assure me it’s just a matter of time.

So far, Barnes & Noble has been the slowest of the booksellers, by far.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve searched for “McClelland Upload” at least once each day, to see if it had finally made it through whatever process they have for reviewing and releasing eBooks from Lulu.  I was shocked this evening when the search results consisted of one book, and it wasn’t “Upload: Etherpunk“, which, by remarkable coincidence, was co-written by one Nigel McClelland.  I repeated the search, double-checking to make sure I was on the right website, and it worked again.  Then I hopped over to Goodreads, to make sure their ISBN-driven link works, and it does.  All’s well.

Now it’s time to consider running an ad on Goodreads, which would be my first real attempt to promote the book, outside of spreading word of its publication among friends.

Couldn’t ask for a more rave review!

“Have you ever found a book so different and intriguing and just plain good that you wished you were the first person you knew who read it? That’s this book! I finished it a week ago and I am still thinking about it. Riveting from start to finish and guaranteed to make you think. You won’t sleep til you finish it. Get this book!”  –David Gill

Earlier this morning, I saw this review on Amazon from an old college friend, and I’ve had a goofy grin ever since.  Couldn’t ask for a more rave review.

Refining the Print Edition

Fresh delivery from Lulu.com today: Draft copies of the new 9″ x 6″ trim size (Amazon doesn’t do the 8.5 x 5.5 Digest trim size), with a new font on the font and a blurb and link to uploadthenovel.com on the back. This new print edition will have its own ISBN. I’m working to get it finalized in time for my book release party at the new Century Guild art gallery in Logan Square!

“P.S. My Dad finished Mark’s book, and really liked it!”

When you publish a book, you put it out there for the world.  Or rather, the English-speaking world, in my case, but that’s still an awful lot of people, and I have no control over who will choose to read it.  As an abstract fact, I know this and am comfortable with it.  Excited about it, actually.  The image that initially comes to mind for me is of a total stranger in a bookstore picking up my book, glancing at it, and maybe even skimming the first few pages.  I stand at a distance, watching, hoping to catch some hint of their reaction.  Then my mind jumps to another imagined scene: I’m on my morning commute, on the Blue Line, and I suddenly notice that the book being read by a fellow train-commuter isn’t just any book — it’s my book.  There it is: the cover of “Upload”, and the curious feeling of wondering what scene they’re in the middle of.  (Now that so many commuters read e-books, the odds of my spotting someone reading my book went from extremely low to essentially zero, which is a little sad.  It has also been pointed out that the move away from physical books, with their publicly visible covers, also makes it harder to hit on bookish girls on the train.  “I see you’re reading Heidegger,” you say, holding your copy of “Being and Nothingness” such that it cannot be missed.  This exchange just can’t happen if you’re both reading from nondescript e-readers.  Now it’s, “I see you’re reading a Kindle”, and being fellow Kindle readers just isn’t much of a conversation-starter.)

The concept of sharing the personal investment of my writing with an unpredictable, unknown audience is something I can easily get my head around.  What I didn’t see coming was this, at the bottom of an email from an old friend:

“P.S. My Dad finished Mark’s book, and really liked it!  I just gave it to him Saturday night.”

I know this friend of mine has a Dad, and I vaguely recall meeting him once or twice in high school.  But now his Dad and I have a somewhat intimate personal connection: he’s read my book, including all the moments that are secretly glimpses into my own mind, my own life, my own fears.  Now, if I meet him, I’ll be thinking, this guy read my book.  I’ll be wondering what sort of preformed ideas he has about me, and in what ways I fit them — or don’t.  And, if the story made a lasting impression on him, we’ll actually have a fairly meaty topic for discussion.

It also means his Dad read the naughty bits.  Since I know he enjoyed the book, I’m unlikely to feel judged on this point, but there’s still a degree of awkwardness here, more for me than for the reader.  But what happens when I meet someone who didn’t particularly care for the book, and perhaps even found aspects of it offensive?  Am I ready to stand proudly behind my artistic expression to someone I know?  To my own Dad?  To my Mom?

Towering far above all of this is the joy that comes from knowing my friend had enough interest and faith in my novel to give a copy of it to his Dad.  I poured a whole lot of myself into this book — time, philosophical reflection, emotional release.  I’m not typically a very open/sharing person, and there’s something profoundly thrilling and uplifting about a friend of mine sharing my work with his own family, and having it be well received.  I feel like I’ve participated in my own community in a way that’s entirely new to me — like my art has the potential to put me in touch with my own friends in ways I couldn’t have anticipated.

Download “Upload” Direct to iTunes and iBooks

For all you iPad, iPhone, and iPod users, Upload is available via iBookstore.  Click here to view information about the eBook and purchase it through iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781300206705.  You should also be able to download it directly to your iOS device.  At the time of this post, here are the latest instructions from Apple:

iBooks includes the iBookstore. Tap the iBooks icon and your bookshelf appears. In the upper corner, tap the Store button and the bookshelf flips around to reveal the iBookstore. From the iBookstore, you can browse books by title, author, or genre. You can also view featured books as well as books available on the New York Times bestseller lists (United States only). Tap on a book to see more details and download a free sample. When you buy a book, it will automatically appear on your iBooks bookshelf.