The History of the Book

Six years ago, I published my first mystery novel, LONE STAR STATE OF DEATH, as a 50th birthday gift to myself. Written and edited four years before that, the book had been through hell 'n back, had received many close calls from traditional publishers who said it needed to be a hot romance (with lots of you-know-what), it needed more action, it needed more of this or that.

It sat on the hard drive of an e-book publisher who dilly-dallied around with it for four years before I finally withdrew it; it sat in the offices of a small  publisher for a year who LOVED it but somehow the file got corrupted there at the last minute, and they ultimately passed on it, without any explanations whatsoever. In the meantime, the book was read (and loved) by friends, other editors, and reviewers.

The old cover

They all wished me good luck with it, and expressed hopes that it could eventually find just the right publisher for it. It did -- and that publisher was me. Luckily, I'd had years of experience working in print shops, doing pre-press and publishing my own newsletters and writing and publishing non-fiction books (under the name Bobbi A. McRae). So I wasn't a  beginner. But publishing fiction was totally different than non-fiction, as I soon learned. Since the book was a PRINT ON DEMAND product, bookstores had to pass on it because the discount wasn't high enough for them -- many required as high as a 65% discount. That was a blow that pretty much killed off sales of the book.

Now and then, I'd ponder publishing it as an e-book, but the technology just wasn't *quite* there yet.

At that time, there was no way I could foretell the future and see the invention of the Kindle, the Nook or other e-readers that proliferate now. There was only PDF, and as much as I loved that format, people just didn't want to pay for a book on a little diskette.

Print versions of LONE STAR STATE OF DEATH are in libraries all over the country now, and in libraries in my home state of Texas. I hope by publishing the new version of the book in e-book format, at a much lower price than the printed version, many more readers can fall in love with my intrepid heroine, Samantha (Sam) Emmeline Slater and come to know the other characters who call Lowell's Crossing, Texas, their home.

Since then, I've published LONE STAR DEATH in e-book format for the Kindle, the Nook, and in a printed paper version (using Print-on-Demand) through Createspace. 

I'm happy to see Samantha and her friends riding again!

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