Coming Soon…
My First eBook

Dateline: 11 March 2014

Nine years ago (2005) when I started this blog, the essays I wrote here were more carefully thought out, and I think there was more passion in them. My purpose in writing back then was to introduce and discuss Christian-agrarianism from the viewpoint of someone with a family who was putting their Christian and agrarian convictions into action. The essays were a celebration of Christian-agrarian life, without being dogmatic.

After the first year I felt compelled to compile the essays into book form, and that’s how my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian came to be. I believe I’m correct in stating that my book was the first book ever written that focused specifically on Christian-agrarianism. 

At this point, I don’t know of any new books that focus specifically on the Christian-agrarian life and worldview (someone can correct me if I am wrong on this). There are certainly other people out there who have the knowledge to write such a book, but they either lack the passion, or the time, or the resources to get the book into print. I look forward to reading and recommending such a book if it ever comes about.

My hope was that Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian would be picked up and sold by some Christian booksellers, and that it would serve to challenge modern Christians to consider things they had never considered before, and to think in ways they have never thought before. 

The only Christian book seller that sold it was Rick Saenz at Draught Horse Press, for which I was very appreciative. The mainstream Christian book sellers had no interest in it. So the book was kind of an “underground” publication, read only by a relatively few people. But the feedback I’ve gotten on the book over the years has been very endearing. The essays really resonated with a lot of readers. You can read some feedback on The Book's Amazon Page (and thank you to you who have posted reviews!).

My first (and only) printing of the book (I think it was only 1,000 copies, maybe less) is now almost gone, and I’ve decided to edit and reprint it as an eBook. Anna Hess, over at Walden Effect, has been encouraging me to start producing eBooks for Kindle (she has produced 25 Kindle books), and she has given me some good advice on how to do it.  So I guess it’s about time I got my feet wet with eBook publishing, and this reprint is a good opportunity to do so.

It has been awhile since I’ve read my own book and, in trying to get the old computer files properly formatted, I have read it several times. I’ve also done some editing, and I’ve added an Epilogue Update chapter to the back.

I edited the book to remove words and phrases that just didn’t seem right anymore. One edit was to remove the phrase, “The Lovely Marlene,” when speaking of my wife. It will now read just, “Marlene.” The reason for this change is not that my wife is less lovely (on the contrary, she grows more lovely and dear to me with the passing of each year) but because of an incident that happened when I was putting the book together back in late 2005.

Two people suggested to me that I should get an endorsement quote for the book from at least one person (for the back cover). Both suggested a well-respected Christian blogger down in a southern state who lived an agrarian lifestyle. I contacted him and asked if he would be interested in reading the book, and consider giving it a recommendation. He agreed to give it a look.

A short while after getting the manuscript, he sent me an e-mail and said he did not want to endorse the book. That wasn’t any problem. After all, people have reputations to maintain and I can understand why a mainstream Christian writer would not want to be associated with a book that could be considered somewhat “radical” or “fringe” in it’s contra-industrial assertions. But the man wrote something else that totally blew me away.

He ended his e-mail by writing (I am paraphrasing), “I don't understand why you would insult your wife by referring to her as “the lovely Marlene.”  

I thought about that question for a very long time. It confused me to no end. And, frankly, it upset me. I thought I had clearly written about my wife with love and respect, and the only comment about the book he had was to accuse me of disrespecting my wife. 

Beyond that, I was taken aback by the format of the accusation. Why didn’t the man simply explain that “the lovely Marlene”  seemed like a pejorative statement to him, and that I might want to reconsider using it? That would have been helpful.

I struggled with this matter for awhile and finally dismissed it all as just being “his way.” Some people come across as rude without meaning to be. Maybe it’s a Southern thing. Maybe he was having a bad day. Or, maybe the guy just loathed me and my little book. :-) Whatever. Life goes on.

But this little episode came back to me as I was re-reading the essays and looking to do a little editing. On the outside chance that there might be other people who think that referring to my wife as “the lovely Marlene” is a pejorative statement, or that, perhaps, it is overly sentimental, I have removed it.

Besides that, I have to say that reading this book again was a reminder to me of how far I and my family have come in nine years. When I wrote the essays back in 2005 I told of my “agrarian vision” to own more land (debt free), to come home and have a home-based business that paid the bills, to have grandchildren and my family around me in later years. This vision was very far from reality nine years ago, and yet, as those of you who have read this blog for many years know, each of these things has come to be. I marvel at it every day.

So, I hope, very soon, to have my first eBook in print. It will be better than ever, and it will be a whole lot cheaper to buy and read. I’ll probably put the eBook version on sale on the first day for 99 cents. Then I’ll sell it at $1.99 or $2.99 after that. 

I’d like to do a bit of a book bomb when this is all ready to go. I’m getting the book re-listed in the browse category of “Christian Books>Christian Living>Family.” If I can sell a bunch of the eBooks on the first day it will spike up in that category and get noticed.  The book might get a “second wind.” That would be fun to see. The book would then, as I noted above, challenge modern Christians to consider things they had never considered before, and to think in ways they have never thought before.

So save your pennies (99 of them) and I’ll be letting you know when my first eBook is ready to bomb the mainstream Christian book marketplace.

Thank you.


Chad Butler said...

I'll be anxiously awaiting the release of your new book and I am quite certain that I will be recommending it to everyone I know...

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Chad,

That makes me happy. :-)
Thank you.

deborah harvey said...

how about enlarging browse listings to include such topics as 'homesteading' or 'back to the land'.?

Warren said...

I'm buy'in one. Too bad that it doesn't make sense to buy a bunch of electronic books.

timfromohio said...

While I fully support your effort to release an "e-book" version of "Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian" know that there are still folks out there like me with no kindle, no crackberry, limited computer skills or knowledge (in spite of the fact that I work as an engineer), who still enjoy holding a physical book in their hands and don't plan on giving that up anytime soon. We're also willing to pay the higher price for the real deal, so please don't go all in on e-books! Also, I'll have been married to my bride for 15 years this July and think she's hot. So I for one was not offended that you referred to your wife as lovely.

Crystal Mary said...

Your ebook sounds great and you saound like a fairdinkum bloke.. I couldn't understand that saying your wife is lovely could be taken the wrong way??? Some people just like to nit pick..NOW, I have too go and look up what an Agrarian is???? I wonder if I am one? Blessings sent.

Anonymous said...

Herrick -

I have the print version of your book, and have read it several times, as have several family members, and we all thoroughly enjoy it. But, I agree with timfromohio above, in that some people (myself included) much prefer real books over ebooks, and are willing to pay for them. So please don't do all ebooks. With that being said, you can be sure that we will (and already have) happily recommended your book, and will be glad to do so with the ebook as well!

As far as the phrase "the lovely Marlene", I see nothing whatsoever offensive there. You've used that term here on your blog too, and in both places I saw that as a very nice compliment toward your wife, and it was quite obvious that you think the world of her! It is impossible for that to be offensive. Ridiculous! Rather than change your phrase, I would look elsewhere for someone better to endorse your book.

Best wishes to both you and the lovely Marlene on your new ebook venture!


Herrick Kimball said...

Thank you everyone for the comments and suggestions.

I happen to like a "real" book much more than an eBook too. But apparently a lot of people are buying eBooks these days. Amazon sells more eBooks than print books.

Besides that, it's a whole lot easier to make an eBook, once you figure it out.

Also, for those who don't already know, Kindle eBooks can easily be read on a computer. You don't need to buy a Kindle.

Magnus Magnusson said...

How on earth could referring to your wife as lovely be considered "expressing contempt or disapproval"? I wouldn't worry about offending someone who is clearly insane.

I vote for you to keep it in there. If you think your wife is lovely it should be in the book for posterity.

regarding the higher sales of ebooks than real books, i notice there are thousands of free ebooks, do those count as sales?

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