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On Kindle!

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer
"Ships & Shoes & Sealing Wax" - the blog-essay collection - is now available on Kindle for your reading pleasure.

For those of you who have a (dead tree) copy already, or even those of you who go out and get the Kindle version, reader reviews on the site would be MUCH appreciated.

For those of you who want a hard copy - you can still get one in time for Christmas - and I'll make it easy -


Please note, the shipping is for the continental USA only. Foreign buyers, please email me to find out what shipping charges apply.

A book of essays - a little more detail...

book and glasses
So, then. The book.

Why? When? What? How?...

The idea has been bouncing around in the back of my brain for some time - in the age of "status updates" and Twitter, a long and thoughtful essay on a blog is kind of getting left behind in favour of the quicker info fix on the net. A few bytes, here and there, as opposed to long and langourous entries which take time to write, time to read, and a certain frame of mind (I guess) to appreciate and enjoy. I've been actively blogging on LJ alone for five and a half years now, elsewhere for proportionally less (and a new Halloweenish-themed essay went up on StorytellersUnplugged on the 30th, by the way, for those of you who keep track...), and I had a good solid cache of things I had written about in the blogosphere; there were other essays, some of which appeared in a webzine of some description or another, unaffiliated with any given actual blog site; there were a handful of essays which I had written and which had never been published anywhere... as yet. So there was plenty of material to work with. In fact, when I winnowed my main blogs alone - LJ, StorytellersUnplugged, SFNovelists, RedRoom - I came up with an amount of material which came to more than 120 000 words. I knew I had a book here. Perhaps even a series of them.

And from there, we started thinking practicalitiesCollapse )

The first batch of ordered books are packed up and ready to be sent out - but orders are still open, of course - just go here and follow those instructions. Any orders received by the first week of December are GUARANTEED for Christmas delivery. Orders will not CLOSE then - the book will remain available - but just bear in mind the increased postal load and possible delays if you want a copy to arrive in time to be unwrapped on Christmas morning...


book and glasses
Back in the summer I talked about producing a slim volume of essays culled from my regular activities on at least four different blogs (LiveJournal, SFNovelists, StorytellersUnplugged, Redroom) over the last five years, as well as additions from other sources where I had guest-blogged in places, a couple of older but beloved essays culled from the early days of my writing for the Internet, and at least two original essays never seen before and appearing here for the very first time in print and in front of readers' eyes.

Well... it's here.

It's got some forty five or so carefully selected essays edited for the book (as in, even the ones you think you've seen before might be here in a slightly different guise). It's got almost 200 pages. It's got writing that ranges from topics directly related to writing (the art of, the craft of, the philosophy of, and the writing life in general), through essays that reminisce about my life and my childhood and the people I have loved, through essays on places I have been (in this instance, Alaska and California), to simple word-paintings and delicate frames around specific and singular ideas. Some of the stuff might make you giggle. Some of it might make you weep.

The book is called "Shoes & Ships & Sealing Wax" - I am talking about a very special cover for its final edition, still to come. But for now, the first printing is out, and it's a probably going to be a fairly limited one, a special first edition. I may even hand-number the copies as they pass through my hands.

As soon as I figure out how to upload a pic of the cover - currently in a PDF file and LJ doesn't like that at all - I'll do that, but in the meantime, here's the deal.

I'll screen the comments to this post. If you are interested in a copy of the book for yourself or even an extra copy for a friend who you think might enjoy this kind of thing, leave me a note in comments which contains

- your email address (so I can contact you, and so that you might, if you so choose and indicate, be put onto a mailing list for the possible appearance in good time of Volume 2 of collected essays, at present tentatively entitled "Cabbages & Kings" (oh come on, do I have to give you the full quote...? [grin])
- a snailmail address to which you might wish an order sent to
- a name which you wish a book personalised to when I sign a copy, if applicable
- number of copies you want (one is fine, but read on below, before you make up your mind...)

Pricing: you can have a single a copy of the book for $14.95, plus $5 for shipping. PayPal is fine, but if you are using PayPal please add 5% to your total, to compensate for PayPal's bite; otherwise, let me know you want to send a check and I'll email you an address to which it needs to go. But here's the thing - Christmas is coming, and you might well want to hand an extra copy on to somebody else. A second copy of the book (and any further copies) is the offered to you at $12, and shipping remains at $5 unless you're ordering an unwieldy number of copies which require a special box - in which case I'll call out a bless you! and throw in the shipping for free...

And two more very special things. I have two matted and framed photographs

This one (called "Forest Light")

and this one (called "Forest Dream")

For two people who want a VERY special Christmas package, for themselves or for some fortunate recipient, a package of deal of (signed personalised) book plus a framed print of something that I write about with a great deal of awe and absolute adoration in the book, for $100 (remember, this includes book and a ready-to-hand matted and framed photograph). Sorry, but while I am more than willing to ship books all over the world the framed photo offer is good only for the continental USA otherwise the price of postage is likely to skyrocket to absolutely prohibitive levels.

Oh, and just as a heads-up - it isn't there YET but I DO plan on making this available as an ebook too - for the Kindle, and possibly in other formats that fit on other machinery. This, too, should be done in time for Christmas, in case you REALLY want to wait and read the whole thing on screen.

Comments are screened. I look forward to hearing from you.

***INFORMATION*** - several of you in the comments have asked if copies will be available for pickup at upcoming Orycon in a couple of weeks, and the answer to that is yes, they will be indeed. So if you're going to be there and want a copy and want to skip shipping - just let me know in comments that you want one and that you'll be picking it up at the con (so that I know to have a copy waiting for you there). Also, at least two of you are buying MORE than one copy - I am assuming these extracurricular copies are slated to be given away - did you want them signed, and if so, did you want them personalised to anyone in particular? I DO need to know this before I send your copies off to you...

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