On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes.
Welcome to the July 28th stop on the blog tour for Finding George Washington by Bill Zarchy, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts/interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
PRINT, SCREEEN OR AUDIO?
A fellow I know contacted me recently to announce that he was near completion on a book about the danger to public safety posed by one of the state-regulated utilities. It’s his first book, and, since I have self-published two of my own books (with much consultation and reliance on other people’s expertise), he wanted to pick my “expert” brain.
He implied that money was not a big problem, and I advised him (1) to have his book professionally edited, and (2) to hire a consultant, as I had, to help him navigate the vagaries of indy publishing. “I’m not your guy,” I told him. “I have long depended on the kindness of strangers.”
“Well, I don’t know about an editor,” he said. “I had a friend look it over.”
Oy, I thought. I’m sure that will enhance readability.
“One thing I’m sure of,” he added. “I don’t wanna have anything to do with Amazon.”
“Oh? Who’s gonna sell it?”
“You know. Bookstores.”
“Okay, but are you sure you want to cut yourself off from the world’s largest bookstore? Some people only buy there. What about an e-book?”
“I don’t know anyone who reads e-books.”
“Well, it’s a vast audience. Much larger than everyone you know. More e-books are published each year than print. You’d be surprised,” I added, knowing that he would be.
“And you can often offer your e-book version more cheaply than print, making it accessible to more readers.”
I don’t know what’s happening to his project, but I wish him well. I’m often asked questions like these by prospective authors.
The most common question: do I prefer whether readers buy my books in print or electronic form? The truth is, I couldn’t care less. Eyeballs is eyeballs, as the expression goes. I’m trying to reach readers, tell them a story, engage, amuse, or move them. I don’t care how they take in the story.
Okay, I do have a slight preference for print books, but mainly from a sensory standpoint. I grew up in the house of an author (my dad, Harry Zarchy, wrote and published over 30 books on hobbies, crafts, and the outdoors). We cherished and honored books. I love how my books look and feel, and I want to share that superficial glow with my audience. I want them to handle the books and feel the paper and admire the covers and design. Books smell like knowledge. But reading is about taking in words, and I don’t care how those words are displayed on their path to tickling your optic nerve.
Snarky readers sometimes assume I prefer to sell paperbacks. After all, they reason, the cost on paper is three times the price of the Kindle and other e-versions, so I must make more on each paper book. But that’s not the case. It all depends on your deal. And it’s none of your business.
For me, the medium dictates the reading method. If I’m reading a paper book, I need good light, even if that means turning on a lamp indoors during the day. I need to keep a bookmark handy for paperbacks (or use the dust cover when available), and I often need two hands to control ornery, new tightly bound titles, resisting their urge to snap closed and lose my place. On the other hand, a book never crashes or runs out of battery, and it’s a universal platform, requiring no special equipment.
Obviously, an e-book reader (like a Kindle) or tablet (like an iPad) usually illuminates itself, indoors and out (though direct sun might prove to be too bright). Some screens are glare-free, some need to be shielded from hard reflections.
If I’m just using my iPad for reading, battery life is no problem. And one iPad weighs much less than several paper books I might otherwise stash in my luggage for an extended trip. But if I’m also using the iPad to play movies on long plane flights, it could run out of battery before arrival at an intercontinental destination, so it’s nice to carry a power bank. Thank goodness most airlines now offer many free movies on long flights.
Some e-book tools are hard to beat: the ergonomics of the page turn are flawless; it feels just like a paperback page flick. Controlling font type, size, color, and spacing enhances readability and can add to the fun. And, when I have Internet available, I use the Look-Up function all the time, constantly cross-referencing new words and names of people, places, and events in the text.
There’s no Look-Up equivalent in print, except searching for words on my phone, with a paper book sprawled across my lap. The danger is that checking a single word or name on my phone can often lead me down an hour-long rabbit hole, whereas the Look-Up search results are much more focused and limited.
Let’s not forget one more method of reaching eyeballs, or, uh, earballs — audiobooks. I don’t easily absorb verbal information. I’m not a good auditory learner, so audiobooks have never appealed to me. But once I published Finding George Washington, many folks asked whether I was planning an audiobook release. “I just don’t read books anymore,” explained a friend. “I listen to them.”
I’m working with an actor/sound engineer friend now, hoping to release the audiobook version this summer. I’m excited about what I’m hearing. The delivery is clear and precise, and the reader has created distinct voices for all the major characters. Listening to these chapters professionally performed is exciting! It’s so gratifying to hear my words come to life!
Now I wish someone would make a movie of Finding George. I am SO ready for it.
About the Book
Finding George Washington
A Time Travel Tale
by Bill Zarchy
Published 19 November 2020
Genre: Historical-Time Travel-Baseball Thriller
Page Count: 284
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.
Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.
Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.
Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.
Currently on sale in eBook format (all retailers) for $0.99 USD!
The General sat back, bone-weary, enjoying the rest. He then examined his drink.
“Beer, you say?” he grinned tightly. “Very watery, isn’t it?”
We quickly ran out of things to say. He marveled at the cans.
“Such bright, beautiful metal! They appear to be made of gold and silver.”
After a while, inevitability reared its ugly head. “Young man?”
“Please call me Tim, General.”
“Timothy. Could you kindly direct me to the privy?”
“Sure. But I’d better show you how to use it. It’s all changed since your day.”
“That won’t be necessary.”
“Well, there are plumbing devices to learn.”
I took him on a tour of the bathroom. I was sure that, even in wartime, the General had always washed from a basin filled with warm water by servants. He had probably never seen running water in a sink, much less a shower.
At the basin, he gleefully grasped the left lever and twisted, then stuck his hand under the tap.
“Oh my! It’s warm. No, it’s hot! Who heats this water and puts it into this pipe?”
“The water comes from a tank, where it’s kept hot by burning a fuel. Here’s where you sit, General.” I showed him how to lift the lid and the seat and mentioned the protocol of closing the seat after use. He eyed the toilet suspiciously.
“And this little magic lever on the side blows water through and makes it all go away,” I added.
“Where does it go?”
“Just … away.”
“Is it magic, Timothy? Like the cold box?”
“No sir, just technology.”
He was curious, yet his shoulders slumped with each new revelation, his apparent displacement in time and space beginning to weigh on him. He needed help.
He looked at me with a tight smile. “I fear I must rest. I hate to impose, but is there somewhere I could lay my weary head?”
I smiled. “I know just the place.”
“And perhaps something to wear that is a bit less formal than my current attire?” He looked down at his high boots and filthy wartime clothing.
About the Author
Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.
Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.
His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.
Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.
Bill Zarchy be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|July 19: It’s Raining Books||July 19: Rogue’s Angels|
|July 20: Andi’s Book Reviews||July 20: The Obsessed Reader|
|July 21: Straight From the Library||July 22: Our Town Book Reviews|
|July 22: Don’t Judge, Read||July 23: All the Ups and Downs|
|July 26: Fabulous and Brunette||July 27: Novels Alive|
|July 28: Westveil Publishing||July 29: Travel the Ages|
|July 29: Author C.A.Milson||July 30: The Avid Reader|