A “Pre-Announcement” for My Next Book: The Boring Patient

So what the heck is a pre-announcement? Well, it is really a call for help as I continue to explore self-publishing. I am looking for advice, help, crazy ideas, and thoughts in general from the library community on how we can best use my next book, The Boring Patient.

What’s The Boring Patient about? It is the story of my journey with cancer. Here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter:

Dear Heroic Noble Inspiring Cancer Survivor

Boring Book CoverThe first line of the first pamphlet I read after my diagnosis of cancer told me I was a survivor. I didn’t have to be cured to be a survivor, I guess just be breathing. This struck me as a pretty low threshold. But as you have probably already found out, there are a ton of stupid metaphors and assumptions around cancer.

Take “fighting cancer”…yeah, that’s what it feels like to lie in a bed asleep for 16 hours straight…fighting. Or, I love it when folks tell me I’m heroic. If anyone was given the choice to take drugs to extend their life wouldn’t they do it? That’s not heroic, it’s common sense. I hope, like me, you have made the brave decision to try not to die.

So what’s in here for you? I hope some comic relief. Seriously, humor has been the best medicine– other than, you know, actual medicine (that’s Seth MacFarlane’s joke I stole). You’re going to hear a lot about the importance of a “positive attitude.” Screw that. You have cancer and could die from it. Feel free to cry, scream, piss people off, and flip the bird to God (he can take it). I do have to tell you, however, that gets very tiresome after a while. Tiresome not for everyone else, who cares, but to yourself. So why not confuse everyone and be happy…besides they all have to laugh at your jokes now.

For those who regularly read my blog, the book is a lot more than just a compilation of my cancer related posts, but has the same spirit.

Anyway, back to my call for help.

We talk a lot about how libraries can be friends to authors. Can we use this book to demonstrate that? I don’t have the ability for a multi-city speaking tour, but I have Skype and I’m always open to good ideas. Would this be a chance to publish the book serially with a chapter a week on library websites? Maybe team up with a newspaper and a public library? Let the creative juices flow.

Right now the plan is to publish this as both a reasonably priced paperback and ebook (with possibly an audio book to follow) as I did with Expect More (more on that soon), my previous self-published book on librarianship for non-librarians. 5”x8” and 145 pages.

Thoughts? Use the comment section below, or email rdlankes@iis.syr.edu

6 Replies to “A “Pre-Announcement” for My Next Book: The Boring Patient”

  1. Hi Dave,

    I know this is not a direct answer to your question, but I’ve been reading about the successful experience an author named How Howey had with publishing his book WOOL in installments via Kindle Direct — one of those unexpected success stories — now released in hardcopy and paperback.

    You may want to give this a read — Wool keeps popping up..


  2. Dear prof. Lankes. If you really consider ‘going serial’ on library websites with your new pre-print chapters AND thinking of expanding your reach to the old country, our Faculty Library of Arts & Philosophy at Ghent University in Belgium would be very willing to offer you an online platform to do so! It would be an honour to be able to give back something out of gratitude for challenging me as a librarian and as a human being. Let us librarians carry your words further out! More info on our library: http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/saschel/setting-up-a-new-faculty-library-of-arts-philosophy. Good luck with the project!

  3. I should be clear that this is not a textbook or library science text. It is really a memoir with a little information science thrown in.

  4. I’m loving finding new – and some familiar – authors to read on NoiseTrade. A fabulous system for linking Authors directly with Readers. Readers can tip Authors for their work or read for free. Multiple platforms for publishing to different eReader devices and you can link to hardcopy versions at traditional trade publishing companies.

    I’m reading Cory Doctorow at the moment, and his recommendation is if I like his book (“Pirate Cinema”) to buy a hardcopy for my local library. That’s exactly what I’ve done. DRM free publishing needs to be made accessible and I think the NoiseTrade model is doing that really well so far.

    As a budding student Librarian, I would be recommending NoiseTrade as a place to visit online for my reader community, – and with a wink, suggest they buy one for us – if they like it and only if they can afford it.

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