Anyway, while I’m trying to get the third novel written, I’m still trying to get someone to notice the other two that I’ve written. To that end, I’ve entered Augustine Agenda in the New England Book Festival, the New York Book Festival, and the London Book Festival (I hope the book does well, but basically I did the last one just so that I could say I did it. I’m going to be an author whose work has appeared at the London Book Festival. See how cool that sounds?).
I had a few other ideas for “getting it out there”, but they’re not panning out so well. I saw a group online called simply “Books For Soldiers,” which looked really interesting to me. What they do is take books and magazines (no pornography) that are in good shape and send them to soldiers who are stationed overseas. If you want to donate money to their cause, it’s really easy. They even take PayPal, which is great. But if you want to actually want to send them books, you have to become a registered donator, and then they’ll send you want lists. Then you ship directly to the soldiers yourself. That’s a great thing, don’t get me wrong. And if anybody wants to do that, God bless and more power to you. But it seems very involved and time-consuming to me. I wanted something where I could just send X number of copies in to them and they could send them as they saw fit. I’ll keep looking, because I think that’s a great idea, and there’s probably somebody out there that does it. If anyone knows of a group that does, please let me know, because I’d be more than happy to send a box of books to them.
Another thought I had was to donate them to my local library, and look at other libraries from there. Now before I write this down, let me make something clear. I’m an author. I write books. So bookstores, libraries, and the First Amendment are three things that are near and dear. That having been said, I read the guidelines at my local library for donating books. The guidelines used to be
- Set box/bag/stack of books on counter.
- Say “I’d like to donate some books.”
- Librarian says “thank you”.
- Say “You’re welcome, have a nice day”
- Go on your merry
Not anymore, dear friends.
Now, it seems that the lawyers have gotten involved. I read someplace in the guidelines about authors who self-publish having to sign a Notarized affidavit releasing the library from liability from any damage their books might cause.
I write paperbacks, mostly because CreateSpace doesn’t have a hardcover option. I can’t imagine how much damage, outside of a papercut, my books could do. I suppose the corners might be a little bit sharp, but I’m sure that with the proper protective equipment, they wouldn’t be too much trouble, either. I guess I could put a sticker on the cover telling readers to wear their safety glasses when reading my stuff.
I’d like to say that I understand where they’re coming from on this one, but I really don’t. I guess the only scenario I could think of would be if someone wrote in their book that “So-and-So is a such-and-such”, because if he isn’t, then it’s libel. You see, on-demand publishers – at least the ones I’m dealing with – don’t proofread material for spelling, grammar, or content that could get you sued unless you pay extra for it. You can also pay someone else to do it for you, but my personal choice was to do it myself. So when you read my books, I can honestly tell you that the pre-production was all me.
Back to the point. If I was So-and-So, and John Author libeled me and I really wanted to sue somebody, I’d just sue John Author, not the library. Are you going to sue the paperboy when the headline of the Sunday paper is depressing? But unfortunately we’re living in a litigious society these days.
So on second thought, I guess I really can see where the library is coming from. After all, somebody sued McDonalds once and won because – imagine this – her coffee was HOT.