Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Year in Review


This year had a very light travel schedule compared to previous years, being home in Hutto more than I'm used to, partly because of the economics of the times and partly because the uncertainty of my mother's health made planning too much unwise. In fact, of the "Days Elsewhere" a sizable chunk was spent up in Amarillo on visits with her, and then during her funeral. In spite of that, a quick look at the map shows that we covered quite a bit of ground on our limited schedule. As usual, the map only shows locations where I spent the night in 2008, and only if the town was large enough to make the list of the top 10,000 cities of the world that's included in the OSXPlanet application. Small towns like Meadows of Dan and Cherokee aren't listed even though they deserved it.

I can hardly complain. My days were filled this year with important events for me.

In February we went to a NANPA event at San Destin in Florida and took the opportunity to drive the coastline, seeing the Katrina damage and recovery efforts, ending that trip near Galveston where Mary Ann took photos of birds and alligators. It was a lucky thing we did that, considering what happened later.

My attempt to have a dealer table at Aggiecon was changed at the last moment when I found that I had a chance to win the Darrell Award in Memphis on the identical weekend. I chose to attend there, and had the most memorable experience accepting the award for Best Novel for Emperor Dad. It was a great feeling and a great help in selling the books afterwards. I changed the book cover to reflect the award.

After Roswell or Bust came out, I hit the road for a tour of New Mexico, visiting book stores and hand-selling the book to various places. I need to do more of that! Even when a store doesn't buy, I meet so many nice people that way.

A second NANPA event gave us a few weeks in Colorado.

Extreme Makeover was published, but with family events and a low budget, my hopes of making a trip to northern California to sell the book was delayed for this year. Maybe soon.

And then Hurricane Ike arrived, and we were there. It was a crazy few days, but with memories for a lifetime. I learned just how great twitter was for reporting news events. As we go places and do things, I'm constantly considering how to put the color and events into 140 character tweets.

I published Lighter Than Air, and the Archon trip to St. Louis became just the first stop on an extended fall trip to Michigan and the East in search of Fall Colors. I visited Upper Peninsula bookstores telling them about this novel based in their area and made a few sales. The trip continued south to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains, returning back to Texas via the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Publishing took most of my time this year, and I'm learning so much about what has to be done and how to let people know about my books. Highlights are:



I can already tell 2009 is going to be crazy.

2 comments:

Chris Meadows said...

I just found out that you'd put your books out in Mobipocket format after all. Good for you! In the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, I shelled out $4.14 for Emperor Dad at BooksOnBoard and have it on my reading device of choice right now.

(You should know, though, that the DRM encryption Mobipocket offers is nothing more than a fig leaf these days. It would be better to offer it unencrypted, making it more convenient for readers with unsupported devices, and save the extra cash that adding DRM costs.)

Henry Melton said...

Thanks Chris. The DRM issue is strange. I can get more visibility and greater readership with DRM than without it. Various online storefronts will carry it and promote it if they can have it in DRM'd format.