DIY Publishing & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Ten years or so ago our friends Joyce and Larry sold their house for a 5-wheeler and a camper and have been on the road ever since, driving regularly through Mexico and making at least one trip deep into Central America. They can do that not only because they’re nervy as hell, but because (IMHO) Larry has no problem opening the hood of his vehicle, figuring out the problem and getting the right fix. I am in awe of people in command of their tools… firmly in the driver’s seat of their ambitions.

But here I am looking under the hood of book-publishing, up to my elbows in grease, learning the art of getting the novel off my computer and into the hands of eager readers.

In “Out of the Office: Fast bikes, slow food, and the workplace wars” (The New Yorker, 6.22.09), Kelefa Sanneh reminds me of that classic book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.” Life is best experienced off the main highway, but that takes hard work and the ability to keep your vehicle in good repair.

Yesterday I uploaded “Passion & Peril” (tweaked cover, tweaked margins) to Lightning Source, one step closer to allowing my book to be ordered at Barnes & Noble. I shake my head at the obsessive attention to detail that the process requires. Is it worth it? Must I always travel the byways? Can’t I just pull out my Mastercard and wake up in LA?

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