All Hands On Deck.
If you’re at all like me, Dear Reader, you want people to know and appreciate the work you do.
More than six years ago, I set out to become a serious writer. If you read this blog regularly, you already know about the ups and downs, the travails and triumphs, of that journey.
A big victory is scheduled for eleven days from now, when my debut historical novel, Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation, will be published.
It’s hard to express how gratifying that will be.
Me, an author. Who’d a thunk it?
But that’s only the beginning.
The Dirty Details
Publishing, Gentle Reader, is a business. It relies on income from books sold to make it all worthwhile. My publisher—Noble Creature though he is!—did not get into it solely for cheap thrills. He is looking to make a profit.
“Profit” is a word that a novice book writer is not justified in breathing. Only established authors, represented by New York agents and published by the Big Four, dare hope to make enough in royalties to cover the cost of incidental writing expenses (conferences and such), let alone repay the time and effort they put into their work.
I do not fall into the Stephen King category. So you might say this “Literary Lion” thing is a mere ego trip. You might even say that my book, though published under a traditional contract by a traditional publisher, is essentially, in some way, a vanity proposition.
So here’s the deal, Friend: I need your help to make Price of Passage a wildly successful book. Don’t just buy and read it yourself, but also please mention it to every intelligent reader you know. If they enjoy historical fiction, this is an excellent specimen. If they never read historical fiction, this is their perfect introduction to the beauty, and the value, of the genre.
Besides simple word of mouth, I need your help in finding book clubs, book stores, and libraries where I might make a presentation and perhaps sell a few books. I am based in Madison, Wisconsin, but can travel under the right circumstances. Or I can use Zoom to make presentations to distant groups.
In short, Fair Reader, I want you as a willing co-conspirator. I have a newsletter for co-conspirators. It’s called The Haphazard Times because it comes out on no regular schedule—only when there’s important news to pass on. Consider it the official club organ. The Haphazard Times is where you’ll find upcoming events, marching orders, secret codes, etc. It will help you be a good co-conspirator.
Fill out the orange box at the top of this page, and then reply to the confirmation email which will be sent to you. That way you’ll be in on all the fun of a Major Literary Campaign. As a bonus, you’ll receive Steam, Sparks, and Iron—a brief, bite-sized look at a nineteenth-century explosion of new technologies that impacted the characters in Price of Passage.
Do it now.
Thanks for your help.
Larry F. Sommers, Your New Favorite Writer
Price of Passage
Norwegian Farmers and Fugitive Slaves in Pre-Civil War Illinois
(History is not what you thought!)