Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flacking the Book

Okay, it's been a while since I ran an ad for the Martial Arts book, But What if I Did This!? which is for sale for five bucks on this very site, via PayPal. Just click the button.

Every couple-three months, for at least a while, I am going to flack it here again. Depending on how successful it is, I might put more material up in PDF versions. (I just recently learned how to offer things on that can be sold and downloaded to their reader, the Kindle, and there might be something there, too. I'd rather let my agent and publishers deal with such things, but I don't want to be too much the luddite. The times, they are a'changin ...)

Um. So, for the martial arts book, here's the intro, so that anybody who is interested will know what s/he is in for if they go for it:

Two score and four years ago, as I write this, I donned my first pair of angry white pajamas and walked onto a floor in a martial arts class. That was the first step on a long and winding road that was to become the core of my being -- I can’t recall a month since when I wasn’t engaged either in study or practice of some form of martial art. Even when I was a hippie, the dances were there. The practice has informed the way that I look at the world, and has, at least once, allowed me to keep breathing the communal air when it might have gone otherwise. Martial arts are a big part of what I do, and as long as I can physically continue the practice, will keep doing.

Over the decades, I trained in seven or eight different systems. Some I became passing adept at, some not so much -- arts from Okinawa, Japan, China, and combinations thereof, finally arriving at my current art, which is Indonesian.

I claim no expertise in any of these; nor is this a how-to book from which you will learn how to clean out the local biker bar without mussing your hair. However, after more than forty years dancing martial dances, I have some experiences and opinions, and I hereby offer them up. What I do, how I think and feel about it, and why.

Most of these musings came from my blog. A few from elsewhere. Most of the essays concern the current art, Pukulan Pentjak Silat Sera Plinck. There are some hits on other things.

Maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t know. Maybe you’ll be able to relate some of what I picked up along the way to the art that you do. Maybe not. Almost certainly if you read this book, you will have some martial context into which you can place it -- the market for such things is exceedingly small outside players of various forms of mayhem.

I hope it will be entertaining.


Scott said...

Hey, if you don't want to be too much the Luddite, please put all your out-of-print fiction up at Buying old used paperbacks over the internet just feels wrong, somehow.

Steve Perry said...

Problem there is that such would entail work on my part. Most of my older stuff doesn't exist in electronic form. There are paper mss somewhere out in the bowels of the garage, and I mostly have copies of the 'zines they were published in, but to get them into e-form would require that I find them, scan them, run them through an OCR program, correct the read- errors, and then set up an account and upload them to a server. If I charge two bucks for a short story, which seems to be the going rate among writers I know who do such things, there's not a lot of incentive.

Not to mention that most of those stories were only so-so.

However, I do have a couple that I might put up here, just for grins ...

Some guy said...

Do you think you might publish this in paper sometime, maybe when the economy's better? I think I mentioned before, when you were testing the waters, that this is the kind of thing that would an automatic buy for me. It's just that I hate reading anything lengthy on a computer.

And by the way, I'm still kicking myself because I missed all the possibilities for jokes about the tai chi bang in Carry Dynamite to Tiger's Mouth. How often do you get a chance for that?

Steve Perry said...

I could, I suppose, send the e-file to a POD place like, but I did a price check, and my cost would be twice what I'm asking for the PDF. If I wanted to make anything, I'm looking at fifteen bucks minimum for a perfect-bound trade paper, and that doesn't count shipping and handling.

Be cheaper for somebody to buy the PDF and print it at home.

William Adams said...

Would there be any interest in doing a collaboration w/ a person who would print it and then bind it by hand and ship it to the recipient? I'd have to run the costs, but I suspect I could get it down to something reasonable using media mail.


Steve Perry said...

William --

I don't see how you could manage this for much less than the commercial places. Probably the cheapest way to do it would be using standard letter-sized ink jet paper, which you can buy in bulk, then doing a spiral or brad binding with a cover. If you already have the machines that do this. I don't see how you could perfect-bind it without investing in some expensive gear.( You can get small machines that do it, but then you have to get covers, glue, etc.

Cost of paper and printer consumables and binding supplies would probably be relatively inexpensive, but even with media mail, you are looking at a couple bucks postage, plus the labor costs, and what you'd have is a an oversize book that would look so-so.

Not to mention that there isn't going to be that much demand for the thing -- it's as much memoir as anything, and it's never going to be a bestseller.

William Adams said...

I was envisioning a hand binding which people would find attractive enough to pay a bit extra for.

You can see something of how I bound Okakura Kakuzo's _The Book of Tea_:

or _The River_ (a short story which I did in college) which used a Kangxi binding which wouldn't require duplexing.

So I guess the question is, how many people are there who would like a nice handbound copy in what size and how much would they be willing to pay?


Steve Perry said...

Nice work.

Tell you what, if you want to take a shot at it, you have my blessing. You can email me: perry1966 at comcast dot net if you want to talk about it more privately.

William Adams said...

Thanks! I'll send you an e-mail presently.