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AP, James Ford Seale and Harry MacLean

I was pleased to see the AP piece on “The Past Is Never Dead” (finally) came out yesterday.

It has been picked up all over the country, which has to be good for the book. It might have been better if it hadn’t come out so close to Christmas–the story isn’t exactly a Christmas story, after all–but one is happy with what one gets.      When I first began writing, in the late 1980s, my job was to produce a book, and the publisher was supposed to do the rest. With the internet and the publishing in the state that its in, the author is expected to do a good deal more, and I’ve had no choice but to take up the flag and wave it from atop the hill, as much as it goes against my nature. So I hustle the book, in any way that I can, unashamedly (mostly), realizing that each and every sale counts. Only a very few friends and relatives got free books this time around.

Fortunately, I have an excellent publisher this time around. Basic doesn’t give half-million dollar advances, but it produces a first-class product. And it treats each and every book with respect and dignity. Many of the bigger houses put their time and effort into the “big books,” like Sarah Palin’s, and let the others drift in the current, hoping they catch. Basic takes good care of its books, its authors, and for this I am very grateful.

I’ve been thinking of writing something on writing, so stay tuned.

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