"Sonic Phantoms" paperback edition soon available
At long last, it looks like there will be an actually affordable version of the Sonic Phantoms book composed by Barbara Ellison and myself. Amusingly enough, it was a friend who relayed this information and not my actual publisher - on whose total uselessness, more in just a moment.
Describing the contents here won't do it justice, so I advise checking out the official link to the book. Suffice to say that this does represent me working at my hardest, and will surely be meaningful to any of you that were affected in the past by my writing or music. The themes that Barbara's practice encouraged me to follow here, such as apophenia / pareidolia and its role in making "composers" out of us even when we are "passively" listening, have since found their way into much of my other work and lent it a kind of scientific legitimacy that it was occasionally missing.
Despite working with a terrific co-author and editor on this project, Bloomsbury themselves did everything in their power to make me regret getting my hopes up about contractual employment with an august and respected publishing house. The B'bury marketing department never lifted a finger to promote this work. The decision to price the initial hardback printing at nearly $90 was suicidal, and as a result my first royalty statement from them (received only days ago after being lost in their system for months) is barely enough to buy dinner with. By comparison, one 1,500 word article that I wrote for the music mag of an energy drink manufacturer earned me three times as much. And even my first book, released by a drunk buffoon who once tried to "curse" William Burroughs when uncle Bill wouldn't loan out some "shotgun painting" art for a book cover, earned more before this cockroach scuttled to Thailand to torment his liver.
Anyway, though this should be obvious by now - whenever I have control over how my work is released, I will NEVER offer it to the public at a "luxury" price as Bloomsbury did with this first batch. The only reason I did not just immediately distribute a free .pdf / .epub of this is because it would be very obvious who did it, and there probably could be some legal repercussions.
I'll have more to say on this at a later date, but in maybe a more constructive manner aimed at prospective authors. For now, if you consider yourself one of those, I strongly advise remaining skeptical of established publishing houses and instead learning the mechanics of self-publishing. To my mind the only reason to even be involved with these 3rd parties is because of their (supposedly) superior marketing and promotion faculties, coupled with their again supposed ability to pay on time. Otherwise, the considerable turnaround time involved with fitting into the publisher's schedule, as well as the need to not offend their puritanical sensibilities, can really make these ventures not worth the effort. "Mileage may vary" from one organization to the next, of course, but this is nonetheless something to consider.
Thank you for your attention.