Books

First venture into ebook-ville

Original cover art for One Easy Piece

My first foray into ebook publishing is now available from Kindle. (Other formats will follow once I figure out the formatting differences.) This ebook version sells for $2.99, which is more or less three dollars. You can find it by typing either my name or the book’s title into the Amazon / Kindle search space. (The capability of this WordPress Theme to create hot links seems broken.)

One Easy Piece was my first published novel; it came out in late 1982, before I had finished work for the MFA degree from Iowa, which I received in December of that year. It has been out of print for just less than forever, although in its day it sold very well. It’s been a while, but one word sticks out as common among the newspaper reviews of its day: harrowing. Yes, I think it is harrowing reading.

For those of you not regular readers of this blog, you will notice a slight name difference between my first five published books and the more recent two, from Don Merritt to Donigan Merritt. Donigan is my middle name, and prior to 2000, I wrote under the contraction of that name: Don. That goes back to my beginnings as a writer in journalism, when my byline was Don Merritt. To distinguish between both my journalism and the novels published in the Eighties, and my writing post-2000, I returned to using my full name. That’s why you can find novels by me under both Don and Donigan Merritt. (This confused the publishing folks at Kindle and it took them a few days to sort it out and finally put up the novel.)

One Easy Piece was originally titled “The Devil You Know,” which is the novel’s epigram — few of the original titles of my books have made it all the way to publication. The basic idea, or theme, of this novel came from a program aired on “60 Minutes” back then about wife abuse and a look into the lives of women hiding out in a “safe house.” What most intrigued me about the story was how many of the women were forgiving of their abusers, how many had returned to the man, or would return. My wondering about this eventually lead to the story of this novel. Conversations with three women who had been abused by husbands or boyfriends constituted the bits of pieces that created the characters here.

For reasons I do not understand, one bit of the word processor formatting did not translate into Kindle: paragraph indenting. In the Word version file sent to Kindle, the paragraphs were indented in the standard 5-space format, but appear on the reader without those indentations, so it looks like a “European” publication, where paragraphs are typically not indented. Otherwise, it looks pretty much like what I sent.

I have not earned a dime from this book in a very long time. Even the production company that held film rights to the novel for more than a decade has dropped it. So I want to thank you in advance for each two bucks I may now get from it. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Finally, here is a bit from the back jacket flap showing a photo of what I looked like when this novel was published. I don’t remember the me then. There is also the last bit, continuing from the front inside flap, of the editor’s description of the book.

Back inside jacket flap

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14 replies »

  1. Excellent, Don. These electrons will be winging their way onto my Kindle momentarily. Glad you did it!

    • I did submit a description, which I essentially copied from the inner flap of the book jacket, but I don’t know where it goes or where to find it. Kindle did say that some elements of the submission can take two or three days to appear.

      When I have the brain energy for it, I am going to figure out how to convert Piece to the iPad format, then Nook. This is damn near more work than writing the thing in the first place.

      I have not yet decided when or if I will go through the process for my second novel. But I am in the process of reverting the Hatch Trilogy to its original one volume version, and I will submit that also to Kindle and elsewhere when it’s done. But this is far more than just typing … it is trying to recreate the original one volume version that became three books.

      I did quite a bit of editing on One Easy Piece.

  2. Good luck with your immersion into the virtual book world. I read a couple of .pdf’s on my iPad, but the feel of the book and smell of paper and ink was missing. I am not worried about that, or am I going to be too nostalgic. I want to move forward with the world, but I think I am keep my “real” library as long as I can. You never know when the power grid will go down.