A message from the president of South Mountain Publishing

Sorry for the delay in updates lately. My graphic artist/designer  and I have been busy, busy getting the book ready for print. A few weeks ago, I decided to forgo the self publishing route through Lulu (the company I used for my first book), and instead to go with Lightning Source, which is a subsidiary of distributor giant Ingram. So why go with Lightning Source? For one, it’s a way to cut out the middle man. LS works directly with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc,which means I make a better profit on per-book-sold. Not that I’m looking to get rich off of this endeavor (or even make money), but in theory I can recoup my production expenses faster. The differences between Lulu and Lightning Source probably wouldn’t be much interest to anyone outside of the self-publishing biz, but here’s a link that explains it better than I could:


Essentially, Lulu and Createspace (and countless other self-pubs) work directly with authors, whereas LS works with publishers. There are many bigtime publishers who take advantage LM’s print-on-demand services, especially if they are not dealing in high-volume titles. But I would suspect that the majority of LM’s “publishers” are actually just the authors, like me.

So begins my journey from author to (micro) publisher. I am in the process of setting up South Mountain Publishing as a sole proprietership. I even have a logo, courtesy of Jeff Compton:

Jeff insists that this is only a temporary logo, but I think it looks pretty cool! I like how he made the “M” look like a mountain range.  For the final version down the road, Melissa thinks we should turn the “S” into a Snallygaster. Now that would be pretty awesome.

The cover (see below) and formatted manuscript have been sent off to the printer. Baring any technical issues, we should be getting a proof back by the end of next week. Nothing beats holding the actual book-all put together- in hand. Very exciting. I’ve got some local press stuff that I’ll be posting in the next few weeks.

I was about to post the final cover, but decided to hold off for now. I’m often lamenting about how, in the age of  information overload and hyper-viral marketing, readers/viewers see all the good stuff before the product launch. It’s as if we fully experience the media before actually experiencing it. There’s something to be said about the element of surprise. See, here I go again on another “get off my lawn” rant. Okay, back to the Weather Channel.



Published in: on August 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Beware the Snallygaster” cover art

Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Editing is no fun…

But it really is the difference between a bunch of words and a (hopefully) decent story. Rubber meet road.

Published in: on July 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kicking off the fundraising with Kickstarter

For the next 30 days, I will be raising money to help fund my new book through “Kickstarter.” If you feel so inclined to throw some change in my tin cup, it would be most appreciated. If not, maybe you know some generous folks who support the arts? Feel free to send them the link. Thanks 🙂


Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Initial feedback from my editor:

“It flows very well except for a few spots, and I think I know how those items can be repaired. The problems are few and minor.”
No mention of re-writes, so that’s promising. I’ll make the changes this week and then it’s tweak time.
Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Snallygaster sans papercuts

Just a quick announcement that my first book, Snallygaster: the Lost Legend of Frederick County, is now available as an e-book (ibook?) on Itunes for $4.99. Although my wife Melissa enjoys her Kindle, I have not jumped on that bandwagon yet. I downloaded the ibooks app to check out the quality of the electronic conversion of the book, and I have to say, it looks pretty sweet. You can even sample the first few chapters for free. Anyway, here’s the link for you tech-minded Snallygaster enthusiasts:


And as always, you can get the old fashioned paper copy here:


Published in: on July 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Every monster story begins with an egg…

Okay, so maybe calling Beware, the Snallygaster a monster story is a bit misleading. I wouldn’t call my book a monster story, per say. Unless, of course, you’re really into monster stories. If that’s the case, then yes. Monster story all the way. Buy ten advance copies. But I digress. Tonight, I want you to meet artist/animator/illustrator Meghan Boehman. Or at least meet her egg. Pretty, isn’t it?

Meghan is a Frederick native currently studying at Rochester Institute of Technology, which means she’s 1. very talented because RIT is one of the best art/design schools in the country and 2. probably been to a Wegmans before the one opened here in Frederick a few weeks ago (woo hoo!) Meghan is doing the cover and three illustrations for the book. I couldn’t be more excited about our collaboration. Writing is such a lonely process that it’s great to bring a partner into the fold once all the words are in their right place. Anyway, Meghan was kind enough to allow me permission to preview one of her illustrations for the book on the blog. You can check out Meghan’s animation at http://www.vimeo.com/24088627

In the coming weeks, I’m hoping to post an interview with Meghan about her process.

Back to that egg. Is it getting ready to hatch? What’s in it? Hmmm. Time will tell.

Published in: on July 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Welcome to my blog

Over the next several months, I will be providing updates/news/etc. related to my forthcoming self-published middle reader (8-12) book, “Beware, the Snallygaster.” Over the weekend, I finished my third (and hopefully last) draft. The manuscript has been sent off to my editor and I expect to get her notes back in a few weeks. In the meantime, here is a short synopsis of the book:

For generations, the people of Middletown Valley have told tales of the Snallygaster- a mysterious creature that dwells deep in the caves of South Mountain. Some say it’s a myth. Some say it’s real. But this Halloween, best friends Holly and Peter are finally going to get to the truth behind the legend…if it doesn’t get to them first!

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm  Comments (2)