Friday, August 01, 2014

My Little Gumroad Shop Now Featuring "From Mexico to Miramar or, Across the Lake of Oblivion"

It's been a most eye-crossing, shoulder-clenching, but fab-a-roni experience learning how to make ebooks. So far: a batch of Kindles, a few iBooks, two free PDFs, and now a fully-formatted PDF available on ...drum roll… GumroadOh, I luuuuv Gumroad-- mainly because it is so supersonically easy peasy! Really! Well, check out my ebook, a novela-length nonfiction essay, From Mexico to Miramar or, Across the Lake of Oblivion, here (Gumroad) and here (my webpage).
Cover for the Gumroad ebook edition features
the painting "Cazador de Nubes"
by Edgar Soberón

A nonfiction novela about a fairytale: a visit to the Italian castle of Maximilian von Habsburg, Emperor of Mexico. Originally published in The Massachusetts Review (winner, Washington Prize for Best Personal Essay). By the author of the novel based on the true story, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. 
Now you might be wondering, dear reader, why, as a writer, would I dedicate so much time and effort to making ebooks? Isn't that something one's publisher can do? Or, if not, then can't one outsource it to one of those newfangled freelancers or companies, such as CreateSpace or Smashwords? A two part answer: First, though I'll admit the learning curve has been steep (and rocky and muddy and slippery) at times, making an ebook is not rocket science, and I relish both learning and designing. Second, the economist in me sees the long tail, that is, a modest but steady number of sales spread out over many years. In other words, once an ebook is up, it is like a variable interest rate annuity-- which I prefer to keep, thank you very much. In my view, when it comes to ebooks, publishers are taking way too big a bite.

Back to the new Gumroad edition of From Mexico to Miramar or, Across the Lake of Oblivion: It has a different design from the Kindle  (Kindle is plain, no color, generic fonts) and iBook (fully designed and full-color, made with the iBook Author app): it's a PDF download (I recommend opening it in iBooks, if you have an iPad), for a landscape orientation (I mean, turn the screen on its side). And yes, because it's a PDF, I had some fun playing with the fonts and colors. (I suppose Kindle will improve its design options, but I am not holding my breath.) As for that gorgeous cover, which is on all the ebook editions, as well as the CDBaby double audio CD,  check out more of Edgar Soberón's beautiful still lifes here.

P.S. In-progress, coming very soon: podcasts with Rose Mary Salum and the Apaches for Marfa Mondays. Stay tuned.

Your comments are always welcome.