First there was Breakfast with Buddha, which I posted about here -- if by first, you mean second, because BwB, now in its 13th (thirteenth,wow!) printing, was actually the second in Roland Merullo's series that began with Golfing with God.
Now comes Lunch with Buddha, which Roland is publishing with PFP Publishing, a small house, and is financing in a social way--via KickStarter that allows friends/fans/family/readers to help make it happen. I love this idea and am participating. You too? Here's a peek at how he plans to do it--and why. Click through to the KickStarter page or to the book's website for the whole story. A very good one. Roland writes:
Over the past 21 years I’ve published 10 novels and three books of non-fiction with well known publishing houses like Houghton Mifflin, Henry Holt, Simon and Schuster and Little, Brown. Thanks to the work and passion of people at these houses, the loyalty of my fans, the support of my wife and daughters, and my ability to spend long, long hours at the work I love, I’ve been able to support my family solely from writing for the past 12 years.
Now, because of enormous changes in the publishing landscape, I believe it’s time for a change in approach. In my case, this means a smaller, more personal publishing house, with the same high quality design work, an energetic publicity program, and, I hope, a good read delivered by me.
The most popular of my 10 novels has been Breakfast with Buddha, a quirky, funny road-trip book with a spiritual / philosophical dimension that has appealed to thoughtful, open-minded people. Just this week Breakfast with Buddha went into its 13th printing — thanks, in part, to its popularity with book clubs and reading groups. I’ve decided to publish a sequel, Lunch with Buddha, with a small Massachusetts publishing house called PFP Publishing. Our publication date is November 13, 2012, with a launch reading already scheduled for November 15th at a great Boston store, Newtonville Books. In addition to putting all available money from our own pockets into this, we’re hoping to raise funds to cover a robust publicity campaign, printing costs, and a modest book tour.
There are several reasons why I’ve chosen to go with PFP and their imprint, AJAR Contemporaries. Their publisher, Peter H. Sarno, has done a tremendous job bringing my backlist (Leaving Losapas, A Russian Requiem, Revere Beach Boulevard, Revere Beach Elegy, Passion for Golf) into print again and as eBooks. They’ve shown great initiative in starting up a monthly newsletter (available by signing up via my website, RolandMerullo.com) and helping me build an on-line fan base.
These days, the larger publishers often don’t have the time and resources to give that much attention to a writer. I understand that, of course. At the same time, I’ve put my heart and soul into my books over these years, gathered a solid base of fans and friends, and the idea of working with an energetic, small publisher and having control over things like cover design, publicity budget, timing and distribution, has great appeal for me, especially with this particular novel.
Both the good people at PFP and I know the business, and we know how difficult it is to gain the attention of potential readers who have thousands of fine books to choose from and a limitless variety of other distractions. But we believe in this book, and believe that, if we can start out with a suitable printing and publicity budget, it will gain the kind of word-of-mouth momentum that is keeping its predecessor, Breakfast with Buddha, selling at over 1,000 books a month, five years after publication.
Join me in making this happen here.