Nov - 29 - 2010
Fiddler’s Green is now in stock and shipping from the Rabbit Room store. I couldn’t be more pleased with the final product. It looks, feels, and smells fantastic and I can’t wait for readers to open it up and trip through its pages. I’ve signed about 400 copies in the last 24 hours and they’re being shipped out to patrons across the country (the world even). Until my hand wears out, all orders from the Rabbit Room will be signed. Get yours before the carpal tunnel syndrome sets in.
If you haven’t read The Fiddler’s Gun yet, check out the Fin’s Revolution Bundle that includes both books plus a digital version of The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters.
If you’d like to read it with your book club check out the special bulk pricing of the Fin’s Revolution Book Club Bundle (includes 10 copies of both books plus the digital version of The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters, custom bookmarks, and discussion guides) or the Fiddler’s Green Book Club Bundle (10 copies, custom bookmarks, and discussion guide.)
If you’re just looking for a few to give as gifts this Christmas, there’s also a Fiddler’s Green gift pack available (5 copies).
The book will be available to bookstores nationwide on December 7th and Amazon will start shipping theirs around December 15th. If you want it sooner (and signed), the Rabbit Room is the only option (and my preference, of course, since artists make much more from Rabbit Room purchases than they do anywhere else.)
I hope you all enjoy the book. Merry Christmas! . . .Read the entire post
Nov - 08 - 2010
The presses are rolling, the binders are binding, the box-packers are box-packing, the--you get the idea. The good news is that the wait is almost over. Fiddler’s Green is on the way. The books will be delivered next week and the Rabbit Room store will begin shipping them out to patrons immediately.
If you missed the chance to become a patron, never fear, pre-sales are now open and will begin shipping out after the Thanksgiving holiday. The book will be available December 7th from Amazon and bookstores nationwide. Bookstores are unlikely to stock it unless you ask for it, though, so don’t be shy, let them know you want to see it on the shelves.
And just in case you’re not convinced, read what Sarah Clarkson, author of Read for the Heart had to say about the book. Then head over to the Rabbit Room store and secure yourself a copy.
“Fiddler's Green is the sort of story that sated all my desires as a reader. I wanted adventure, and the fiery Fin Button and her intrepid crew whisked me away on an impossible quest. I wanted keenly described, colorful lands full of adventure, and this tale sails into foreign ports and castles, follows knights and pirates from dungeon to high sea battle. Most of all, I wanted the sort of story that would sail me deep into the regions of the soul, and this tale took me right there, filling my heart with the haunting music of the Fiddler's Green. With Fin, I was invited into a beauty that offered a glimpse of redemption, and a step down the road that will take me home. Keen in insight and imagination, redemptive, and epic in scope, Fiddler's Green is a book to be savored again and again.” . . . Read the entire post
Oct - 10 - 2010
Fiddler’s Green is the end of a story that began a long time ago with a map and a buried treasure. You may recall that I buried my family's Christmas presents in the woods one year, giving out maps so they could find them, and how that was the genesis of the idea for The Fiddler's Gun. But that's not the map I'm talking about. The real map was nothing more than a faint outline in the mind's eye. It was a fleeting vision of a young woman--an American revolutionary named Fin Button.
Over the last ten years, I've trusted Fin's lead and followed her into some strange and wonderful places. I tried my best to keep up and she always kept a few steps ahead, always confident that she knew just where she was going. And like any good map should, she beckoned me toward a fair and hidden place and bade me dig.
I spent most of this year digging, not with a spade but with words. And now that the treasure chest, Fin's story, has been unearthed, and dusted off, and carried out of the wilderness, I'm honored to announce that it's time to start handing out keys so you can all see what's inside. . .Read the entire post
Sep - 29 - 2010
[Note: September 25 - October 2 is Banned Books Week]
Some ten or fifteen years ago, I called home to see how my parents were getting along and Dad told me the town was in an uproar over a book called The Giver. There was a movement afoot to have the book banned in the school system and as one of the little town’s most respected preachers, he’d been called to appear before the school board to deliver his own arguments on whether or not the book ought to be left on the shelves.
Now, having grown up in this town and having had to defend myself regularly from such questions as “Why you always readin’ them books?” and “Them books got good pictures?”, I have to admit that I was a bit shocked to learn that someone else was actually reading. The fact that they had then decided to ban the book was far less surprising to me.
Then it occurred to me that I didn’t know which side of the issue my dad would be arguing for. I had suspicions, though. My parents are great people in a million ways but when I was growing up, they were incredibly suspicious of secular culture. We weren’t even allowed to listen to Christian rock music because there was an outside chance that Petra was as evil as Journey. I’m not kidding. They did come around as we got older (Beat the System was the first vinyl I ever bought), but when I heard about this book-banning business I instantly relived those old suspicious days and my hackles went up. . .Read the entire post
Sep - 16 - 2010
You don’t have to spend much time around the publishing world to hear the term Print-on-Demand (POD). It’s a process in which books are digitally printed as they are purchased rather than printed in bulk and stored until sold. For a publisher who only intends to sell a few copies it’s a convenient option. That convenience comes at a price, though. The quality of POD a book is notably sub-par offering very few options for paper color, paper weight, cover stock, cover coating, size, etc. And on top of this lack of creative flexibility, a POD book will often cost as much as $10-15 to print leaving very little margin for an author or publisher to make a living.
From the inception of the Rabbit Room Press, it was pretty clear that Print-on-Demand wasn’t the direction we wanted to go. I think it’s incredibly important that the physical book be as well-conceived and well-designed as the writing on its pages. I want to create things that are as beautiful to hold and look at as they are to read. That’s something I couldn’t achieve with current POD technology. . .Read the entire post
Sep - 07 - 2010
One question I'm asked all the time is: "Why do you publish your books independently?" I wrote a few posts about this last year but with the new book in production (and a lot of new readers) I think it's worth revisiting.
The primary factor in the original decision was the problem of genre. If you've read The Fiddler's Gun, think about it for a minute. What genre would you put it in? Young Adult? Historical? Adventure? Literary? Women's Fiction? Is it a book for boys? For girls? Is it Christian fiction?
See what I mean? You're probably thinking, wait a minute, it's all those things, it's a book for everyone. But from the standpoint of a publisher whose job is to market and sell books, that poses a big problem. For instance, what shelf would you say The Fiddler's Gun belongs on in the bookstore? . . .Read the entire post
Sep - 05 - 2010
Now that there’s a new book on the way, I thought it was only fitting (and necessary) to revamp the website. Take a look around and be sure to check out the Fiddler’s Green page where you’ll find the newly unveiled synopsis of the book.
The manuscript itself is going through its third round of edits and an early review draft has been sent out to a chosen few for feedback and the option of providing endorsements for marketing purposes.
In other news, Evie Coates and I have been meeting for the past couple of weeks to talk up the new cover design and the work she’s done so far is fantastic (see the end of this post for a peek.) She’s finished most of the border that frames the cover (like the first book) and it’s almost as if she reached right into my brian and pulled out exactly what I’d been imagining. . .Read the entire post
May - 21 - 2010
I know a lot of folks were disappointed that The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters was kept to a print run of only 100 copies. To be honest, I didn’t expect to enjoy the project as much as I did. It took on a life of its own during the writing, providing a couple of fun story arcs and what was, for me as a writer, an enjoyable way of getting to learn more about my characters and explore their lives in ways that didn’t make sense within the context of the novel. What I was left with in the end was a little book that I really loved but had, unfortunately, committed to a limited printing of only a hundred. Well, I told myself, I’ll release the digital version a little later and folks can read it that way.
One of my prime complaints against digital books, however, is that they require a certain sterility of design due to the limitations of the software and hardware that they are read on. It is true that the final worth of a book is found in its writing, in its words, and that’s not something that’s significantly altered by a font or a page margin. I really felt though, that part of the charm of The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters was in its design...Read the entire post
Mar - 24 - 2010
A few months ago I entered The Fiddler’s Gun in the competition for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. There were initially 5000 entrants in my category (Young Adult) and last month I learned that the book made the first cut and was in the top 1000. That was fun and a bit encouraging but I didn’t give it too much weight because the top 1000 is still so far from anything remotely remarkable that it wasn’t worth bothering over.
Yesterday they announced the books that have moved into the Quarterfinals (top 250) and I was much more excited to learn that The Fiddler’s Gun made this cut. The judges based their decisions on the first three chapters and you can click here for their critiques and download the chapters and read them for yourself (and leave your own review.)...Read the entire post
Jan - 30 - 2010
I’m happy to announce that The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters has finally gone to print. I approved the proof on Friday and the presses are rolling. The book is a collection of sixteen letters and other documents that detail some of the further adventures of Fin Button during the course of the events recounted in The Fiddler’s Gun.
If you followed the “Letters to Peter” feature on the site, some of this material will be familiar to you but it has now been edited, expanded, and bound in one volume. Who is Wilberforce Octavian Albemarle III? What is the mystery of the Boot Snuffler? And what is the Baker’s Grail? These letters hold the answers.
Also, included is a sneak peek at an excerpt from Fiddler’s Green.
This special companion to The Fiddler’s Gun is being printed in a limited run of 100 signed and numbered copies. Each of my Tier 2 Patrons will receive their copy in the mail, free of charge. The remainder will be for sale, exclusively at the Rabbit Room store and when they’re gone, they are gone forever (though I do hope to make a digital version available at a later date.)
Here’s a look at the introduction...Read the entire post
Dec - 08 - 2009
Most folks should have received their copies in the mail by now. I hope you are all cozying up in a chair by the fire and getting to know Fin, Peter, Jack, Knut and all the rest. If you’re a Tier 2 Patron, though, you might be thinking, “What about that Letters to Peter Companion book I was supposed to get!”
Never fear. It’s coming. I ran into a bit of a delay in getting them printed but they will be on their way just as soon as possible. I like to think that the delay is fortuitous in the end because the book, titled The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters, isn’t something that would be terribly informational until one has read the larger story in The Fiddler’s Gun itself. So hopefully...Read the entire post
Dec - 07 - 2009
Several folks have asked when The Fiddler’s Gun will be available on the Kindle. The answer: soon, very soon. I spent the weekend working on it and I thought some folks might be interested in the process.
When you create a book for print, the final digital incarnation that gets sent off to the printer is a .PDF file. A PDF displays the book precisely as it will appear in print, each page blocked off perfectly with header and footer, page numbers, the whole kit and kaboodle. What you see is what you get. In a perfect world, eBook readers would be able to display this PDF file and things would be a lot simpler.
The reality is much different...Read the entire post
Nov - 30 - 2009
Today an 18-wheeler pulled up and delivered a pallet load of fresh, crisp new copies of The Fiddler’s Gun. After ripping open a box I breathed a huge sigh of relief. There were no printing errors, the paper weight and color was spot on, and the rough-cut edges look great. After doing a rather longish happy-dance and passing a few out to friends, I loaded them up in the truck and brought them home.
First thing tomorrow morning I’ll be shipping the first copies out to my generous patrons and by the end of the day I hope to have filled all the pre-orders as well. I can’t wait for folks to get their hands on the book and I look forward to hearing your thoughts after reading. I hope you’ll laugh. I hope you’ll cry. I hope you’ll stay up past bedtime to read one more chapter. And when it’s over I hope you’ll trust me when I tell you that the best of Fin’s story is yet to come.
If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, they are on sale exclusively at the Rabbit Room Store.Read the entire post
Nov - 24 - 2009
Great news! I spoke with the printer this morning and the books are being loaded onto a truck right now. They should be here by Monday at the latest which means that patron’s should have their orders by the end of next week and pre-orders will ship out right behind them.
On the other hand, there’s a bit of bad news as well. There’s going to be a short delay before the companion book,The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters, is ready to ship to my Tier 2 Patrons. Don’t worry, though, they are coming, and frankly the book will be a significant enjoyment only after you’ve read The Fiddler’s Gun anyway, so it all works out in the end, right?
It’s hard to believe this ...Read the entire post
Nov - 13 - 2009
Now that the book is done, I've got a few things going on. The first is finishing up The Fiddler's Gun: Letters which should be off to get printed and bound before the weekend is up. The second is getting the book formatted for the Kindle, which is a giant pain in the butt bascially requiring that I undo all the meticulous typesetting and design work I did for the printed version. Then there's the matter of an audiobook.
I've been kicking around ideas for recording the audio version of The Fiddler's Gun but haven't come to any conclusions. I'd like to do something a little more interesting than just a typical recording and a CD but I feel like the perfect idea is still out there waiting for me to find it. Below are some of the options I've considered. Your input is welcome, I'm interested in hearing your comments...Read the entire post
Nov - 21 - 2009
Jenni Simmons at The Curator magazine recently wrote a great review and article about The Fiddler's Gun. Here's an excerpt:
“I’ve stated before that I loathe reading most accounts of history – dry textbooks, facts, and such. But the grand scope of reality, I believe, is that we dwell in history framed by a much bigger story written by One greater than us all. Great books like The Fiddler’s Gun give a lifelike voice to the historic characters on whose fictional shoulders we stand. We peer into Fin’s story through the eve and eye of The Revolutionary War. There’s her best friend Peter LaMee, her foe Sister Hilde; humor, romance, betrayal, grand ships, swearing sailors, pirates, gallows, Red Coats, Tories, and the hunger for American independence. Though within the epic framework, Fin just craves acceptance and love, to be an orphan no longer – to belong.
She has the endearing, headstrong spunk of Swede Land (Peace Like a River), which sometimes...Read the entire post
Nov - 13 - 2009
[This is an interview I did a few weeks ago with Matt Connor for The Rabbit Room (www.rabbitroom.com).]
The Fiddler’s Gun is the first in a two-part series, a Revolutionary War tale that’s “not a children’s story,” as Peterson explains.
Here in our latest Rabbit Room interview, we go inside the independent publishing process, the story line of The Fiddler’s Gun, and the hidden classic known as Burger Wars.
Rabbit Room: What’s the timeline on the book’s release?
Pete Peterson: The official release date is December 1st, 2009. I’ll be shipping out orders to my patrons as soon as I receive the books from the printer, which should be a bit sooner.
RR: Let’s start with the basics of The Fiddler's Gun. Can you tell us the genesis of the idea? ...Read the entire post
Oct - 26 - 2009
After an uncountable number of hours agonizing over details, the cover for The Fiddler's Gun is finished. I printed up laser proofs and sent the files off to the printer earlier this afternoon. Thanks to Evie for the gorgeous artwork and to Brannon McAllister of Portland Studios for putting the final tweaks on the design. The result is pretty awesome.
Check out the Artwork Page for a better look.
Oct - 12 - 2009
I’ve got one final meeting with Evie Coates this week before we finalize the cover design but it’s finished enough that I’m unveiling it here publicly for the first time (you’ll have to read the rest of the post to get to it--because I’m wily).
She’s done a fabulous job of conveying the look and feel that I envisioned so many months ago when we first spoke about it. I don’t think I could possibly be happier with the final artwork and it’s a real pleasure to finally let people see it. ...Read the entire post
Oct - 22 - 2009
My eyes are about to explode. For the past weeks it seems I've done nothing more than stare at my computer screen all day. A large part of the reason for this possibly eye-exploding activity has been typesetting.
I told you a few weeks ago, that due to budgetary concerns I had decided to typeset The Fiddler's Gun myself. That's not quite as self-deluded a proposition as it sounds. I've done some print design in the past on student newspapers in college, and later teaching kids to design their own newspapers at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch (we even used InDesign CS3). So choosing the do-it-yourself route wasn't quite the stretch for me that it might be for others. I hadn't ever designed a book, though, so I had a lot to learn.
The first thing I did was...Read the entire post
Oct - 12 - 2009
A while back I took a tour of the Lightning Source facility in LaVergne, Tennessee hoping that I might use them as the printer for The Fiddler’s Gun. After sitting down to talk with a representative and looking at all the services and products they provide I’ve decided to go elsewhere. It came down to price and quality.
First, let’s talk about price.Read the entire post
Oct - 04 - 2009
I did another happy dance this week. The proofread is done!
I got the manuscript back from the proofreader and went through it to review the changes and was pleased to discover that they were few, far between, and all minor. So I accepted the corrections and, voila, the text of the manuscript is now finished. Complete. Hard to believe.
The next step is typesetting. I had hoped to hire a freelancer to do this for me but it was way outside of my budget. All is not lost however, I have some design background and I’m no stranger to...Read the entire post
Sep - 23 - 2009
I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the past that The Fiddler’s Gun will be published by the Rabbit Room Press and I know some people are wondering what that means. Let me try to shed a little light in that direction.
The book was originally intended to be released the traditional way by selling it to an established publishing house that would fund and oversee all the editing, design, marketing, and distribution. About the same time that I was going through the long process of making that happen, my brother and I began... Read the entire post
Aug - 18 - 2009
Allow me to beg forgiveness for the lack of updates in the last couple of weeks. I haven’t had a day off in about a month and most of those days have been 10-14 hours. Things will calm down in another week or so and I’ll be back to work with regular letters to Peter, updates on the publication process, and anything else I can think of, not to mention finishing up the edit of The Fiddler’s Gun.
In the meantime, head out to your local bookstore and buy a copy of my brother’s new book, North! Or Be Eaten. Better yet, head over to the Rabbit Room store for an autographed copy and buy with the knowledge that more of your money goes to the author when you buy there than when you buy from the corporate fat cats.
The book is fantastic (as is only proper, it’s a fantasy after all) and I couldn’t be more proud of the kid brother upon whose head I used to sit and laugh.
Aug - 02 - 2009
I’ve had my hands full lately. I’m working 10-11 hours days, seven days a week at the old day job, and I’m trying to find time to edit and get a printer lined up in the few hours of the day I have left. Though it goes slowly, it goes well.
I’m about 2/3 done with my edit and so far I’m quite pleased with all the changes. There have been a few scenes added, and a few deleted, and a few trimmed down or expanded. As a whole the manuscript is far stronger now than it’s ever been and I can’t wait to get it out there so people can read it.
I’ve had discussions with a couple of printing companies and it looks like I’m going to end up going with Quebecor. They come highly recommended, I like their prices and, after inspecting a example book made to my desired specs, I’m satisfied that the final binding and printing will be a high quality product that I’ll be proud to put my name on.
The next step is to get all the paperwork filled out and set up a Rabbit Room Press account with them. Then it’ll be a matter of getting the edit finalized so typesetting can begin. I’m aiming for a December 1st release, which seems a long way off until I consider all the work I’ve got to get done in order to make that happen.
Stay tuned, I hope to get another Letter to Peter up sometime this week as well as the next chapter of The Wander Beyond
Jul - 22 - 2009
While following a link from Nathan Bransford’s blog, I found this article from The Brooklyn Rail about the future of the printed word. It’s a fascinating reflection of what I talked about in yesterday’s post. The logical evolution of the publishing world is the emergence of small presses that serve niche markets with a trusted and high quality product. Here’s an excerpt:
“What must be a dramatic realization and spell the death of print for corporate publishers (and some in the media) is not that anyone can publish a book in this day and age, but that any unheeled upstart can publish a better-written, better-designed, and more worthwhile book better than Random House. They’re doing it all the time.
The corporate ideology has run its course in book publishing, which spells the death of print to many. But as evidenced by...Read the entire post
Jul - 21 - 2009
Coming to the decision to publish The Fiddler’s Gun independently wasn’t easy. When I began writing it I envisioned, like most authors, that one day it would be picked up by a traditional publishing house and find its way into Wal-Marts all over America. When it was written and rewritten enough times, the manuscript went out to the major houses and received a lot of good feedback (as well as some welcome constructive criticism) but in the changing climate of the publishing industry, the idea of becoming an independent publisher began to have a strong appeal to me.
The idea of working within a system that valued sales, marketing, and genre definition over quality became distasteful. Don’t mistake that to mean I’m averse to applying changes to my manuscript, I’m not. To the contrary, I’m anxious to change it, to make it better, more appealing. It’s the system that I dislike, a system that...Read the entire post
Jun - 02 - 2009
One of the challenges of independent publishing is that I don’t have the benefit of a promotional team to help generate interest in the book. It’s all up to me, or me and anyone I manage to talk into helping. So I spend a lot of time wracking my brain for ways to put the word out. The result of one such brain-wracking session was to print bookmarks.
Using the character artwork that Chris Koelle did a few years ago I put together a simple 2x6 graphic and a short pitch for the...Read the entire post
May - 19 - 2009
I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with Evie Coates, who is designing the cover, to talk about what direction we wanted to go with the look of the book. I wanted to be sure I was able to communicate clearly what kind of design style I envision for The Fiddler’s Gun so I had some preparation to do. Before the meeting I took a walk through a couple of bookstores looking solely at cover art and noting which ones made me want to pick up a book without regard for who wrote it, what genre it was, or anything else other than ‘the look’. Here are a few covers that really jumped out at meRead the entire post
May - 09 - 2009
After finishing my edit last week, I spent a few more days fidgeting around with the manuscript, re-reading, re-editing, and re-writing various things. I’d written quite a few new scenes during the last few weeks that I felt I should go back and revisit after some time away to make sure they fit together the way I wanted them to and to ensure they didn’t mess up the general rhythm of the manuscript.
I was especially concerned with the last chapter, which had remained almost unchanged throughout the entire evolution of the story. I made some significant changes to...Read the entire post
May - 06 - 2009
I’m happy to announce that Nashville artist Evie Coates will be designing the cover of The Fiddler’s Gun as well as working in a creative advisor capacity to help guide the overall look and design of the book. If you’ve never seen any of her work then get thee to clicking and go visit this link to check some of it out. While you’re at it check out her blog as well, she’s a wonderful writer (eviecoates.blogspot.com).
Evie’s primary field is the creation of assemblages and I’ve posted pictures of a few of my favorites for you. Aside from assemblage though...Read the entire post
May - 04 - 2009
One of the issues I ran up against when trying to publish The Fiddler’s Gun traditionally was the question of market and audience. Who is the intended audience? What market is it aimed at? On multiple occasions I got feedback from both agents and editors that indicated they weren’t sure how to handle the book because they weren’t sure where to aim it. That makes a ton of sense to me because I didn’t write it with a demographic in mind. I wrote it for an audience of one: myself.
I wrote a book that I’d always wanted to read but never had. I didn’t set out to write for kids, or young women, or middle-aged men. I set out to create a world and a cast of characters and narrative that would...Read the entire post
Apr - 30 - 2009
After spending most of the past decade writing, editing, and refining this book it's finally come time to publish it. Time to set it loose on the world and see how it fares.
I can hardly wait to get it into the hands of you, the reader, but I didn't spend years creating something that I love just to rush it out the door in a poorly put together package. I want to create something that satisfies, something that readers will be proud to have on their bookshelves.
I believe in the book and I believe... Read the entire post