Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Signing on 19 June and Sale to a RC Dragoon

I thought I would be smart and have a book signing on June 19, the Saturday before Father's Day at the largest book store in Ottawa, Chapters on Rideau Street. I forgot however about what happens on a beautiful warm day in June when there are four festivals going on. Everyone was out walking, cycling or touring one of the festivals. Consequently the foot traffic was very light, reminiscent of the volume I recalled on the winter storm day in March. In the end, I sold five books which might be considered satisfactory, considering the volume of people in the store, most of whom I considered not of the right type to ever be interested in my book. I did have one satisfying sale, that to a young female who informed me that she was a radio operator in a Bison armoured vehicle with the Royal Canadian Dragoons and she had just come back from Afghanistan. She seemed keen on buying my book and considered the topic important for her to read about. That was satisfying

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Reader Rewards the Author

I just received an e-mail from the publisher of my book Valour in the Victory Campaign. It provides one of those rare events when I am rewarded by someone who wants to buy one of my books. The purchaser, who lives in B.C., wants to buy it because the book describes a battle that her father went through. It was the capture of Wagenborgen in the Netherlands by the Canadian Scottish in April 1945. She writes that her father never talked of the war (as is so common), but she is trying to gather material to pass on to her children, in remembrance of their grandfather. So my book will go into her collection. She has requested that I sign several books for them. That is some kind of reward for the effort I have made, knowing it will help a family remember something about this veteran/father/grandfather.

Although Valour on Juno Beach was more popular, I have always prefered Valour in the Victory Campaign because it seems to have much more content - there were so many dramatic battles in the last months of the war but they are overlooked as the war was drawing to a close.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Revising "Courage Rewarded" for Afghanistan

I have decided to revise Courage Rewarded, extending it to 2009 and providing a snapshot overview of the Canadian war in Afghanistan. This started because I still found some small errors in the present text. So, while correcting these, the Afghan experience has now captured my interest and I want to provide a more encompassing picture of courage in that context to readers.

On doing basic research, I have been impressed by the intensity of battle that our soldiers have been through, of which I am sure the average citizen remains unaware. Perhaps I can help bring out some of this reality, which needs to be better understood. I have already done quite a bit of important editing on the text of the present book (with the help of an excellent professional editor) but the research on Afghanistan is taking longer than hoped. I hope I may contact one or more serving soldiers to interview them to get a better glimpse into their experiences with the main theme of the book (courage & fear) if I can, but who, where and when remain to be decided. I remains to be seen where this goes.

Book placement in Calgary, Halifax & Fort Henry

I have been told that my book is a "niche" book and so may not appeal to the general reading public. I suppose that is why all the publishers turned it down and I had to resort to self-publishing. However, I consider it a good book, within its "niche" and I think the review in Esprit de Corps Magazine, and the responses to book signings last fall in Ottawa and Pembroke (next to CFB Petawawa) have validated that. So I have been searching for the markets for my "niche." I was therefore quite pleased this week when the book outlets at the Calgary Military Museums, the Halifax Citadel, and Fort Henry in Kingston have all responded readily and agreed to carry the book for this summer season. Good luck and good crowds to them all! I am very encouraged by this progress.