Saturday, March 16, 2013

Goals and my Book

I am one of those people that like to set goals for myself. Some of them I seem to achieve easier than others. Revising my book and getting it published again though has been a hard goal to achieve.

The original America's Long Distance Challenge was published in 1990.  It took Trafalgar Square, a division of Penguin Books in New York, nearly 1 1/2 years to take it from my typewritten manuscript and box of photos to a book. Few of us had home computers back then. I snail mailed the package in the fall of 1988. This was after I sought out a publisher willing to take on a horse book, which isn't known for being a money maker. The 8000 copies sold out but normally had some available even though the book was considered "out of print". In 2000 I found another publisher to take on the book and update it but it was in an entirely different format, like a Journal, and was called the Endurance Horse Daily Planner. Amazingly they sold out but I wasn't happy with this product and didn't renew my contract.

Every few years I would dig through my box of returned photos and such and think about doing it all again. One winter I put it all on the computer and saved it to a CD. Then it all went back into the box again. I checked into some self publishing avenues but the costs were all out of my reach. The box remained untouched for some time and the last couple of winters I have played with the chapters on the computer and tried to figure out how I could afford to do this again, on my own.

I finally decided to sell some advertising within the book to raise some seed money to get it started. The idea worked. And my project flourished as I edited and updated every chapter. I found new photos from many friends and organizations, I added these to many of the ones that were in the "box". I scanned about 250 photos some of which had been given to me by the late Charles Barieau for the first book. Charlie always used to take the AERC Convention photos as well as Tevis and many of the early day California and Nevada rides. I also had many good ones given to me via email and Facebook. Hmmmm Facebook can be useful for something!

Thanks to today's technology I was able to choose a publishing service that enabled me to produce not only a hard cover book, but also a soft cover book AND then convert it into an Ebook that would work for a Kindle or Nook! I had choices and could offer the reader choices. I emailed the entire manuscript, along with 240 images. The galleys or proofs were also all emailed. I designed my own book cover too! That was fun really as I had a lot of good photos to work with. I wanted the cover to reflect the different aspects of distance riding. I wanted it to be as unique as the material between the front and back cover!

The book will be available through major online retailers,, also from the publisher, and I can obtain copies and sell them also. I just ordered a bunch to fill the orders I have received and to also have at rides when people ask for them. This new edition won't go out of print like the old one as it is set up as a print on demand. People from anywhere can order it and it will appear in their mailbox like magic! Technology can be pretty cool!! And thank you everyone who helped make this dream, this goal, a reality!!