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So this morning I was early for my regular express train, but too late to get on the semi-express train that I sometimes take – the semi-express leaves ten minutes before the express and gets me to Stamford five minutes after the express usually so, so I almost always shoot for the express, even if it means I have to wait in the car longer – so I had about five minutes to kill. I turned on my backup Sony notebook so it would be booted when I got on the train – the PowerBook, with it’s awsome instant wake feature, is still in transit, on it’s way to Apple for another round of repairs – and I decided to take a look at a new book that Steve recommended: Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters, by Adam Barr, which is about a programmers ten-year experience while working at Microsoft – it might sound boring to you, but I could use the perspective of a company that actually makes software, instead of debt, as a business model. I had ordered it from Amazon a while back, but I had other books in the reading queue before it, so this was the first time I opened the book to read it. Seems there’s another book in there! The cover is right, but the inside holds Pilare the Vampire: The Untold Existance, by Angela S. Fenyvesi! It even has her dedication and copyright information – the cover simply doesn’t match the pages inside the cover. That’s when I noticed that iUniverse publishes the book and it suddenly made sense.

I only know of iUniverse because I’m currently working on my own anthology of short stories and I plan to publish with iUniverse. What anthology, you ask? If you’re actually asking me that, I haven’t met you in person because I think everyone I know has heard me talk about the manuscript I’ve been proofreading for almost forever and a day. I’m on my third pass through now, and I’m already on my fourth red pen, making me wonder if I shouldn’t just ditch the whole thing, but I’m still plugging away at it. I’m toying with calling the finished book YesterGeek, by R. L. Santi, but I might publish as R. L. Andolini – either way, it’s going to be an Italian pseudonym! The anthology is actually a collection of retro-Rants from my childhood on through to the end of high school. Some of the stories are from my actual life and others are embellished a bit – a couple are completely fiction – but a bit of it is inspired by my own experiences. I still wanted it to be fiction – almost no one’s real names are used, in the stories that started in reality – and it has been a fun project to work on, actually. It’s felt like an extension of this site, which is always easy to write for, but it will be available in a more traditional form.

Anyway, iUniverse is a publishing company for novice authors like myself: they’ll publish anything, if you pay them for the publishing. There’s different levels of service that you can pay for, the cheapest option being where they simply publish your manuscript, to the most expensive option that offers copy editing and peer reviews. The highest level of service also offers marketing opportunities and pre-printed copies, which is why I don’t think I need to bother with the extra expense. With all of the publishing options, iUniverse gets you a library of congress entry and an ISBN number. This means you’ll be able to order the book from a brick and mortar Barnes and Noble or find it online at bn.com or Amazon. Since the books published by iUniverse are expected to have limited circulation – like my book probably will! – they use a “print-on-demand” method of distribution: when a book is ordered, it is then printed and delivered to the customer, within a week. This is why it didn’t really shock me that I could have the cover from one book and the insides of another – this one copy just got misprinted and sent out. If the demand for a book escalates, they will begin to pre-print the books for quicker shipments, but they usually stick by the print-on-demand methodology.

I would say that this is pretty ironic, that the publishing company that I plan to publish with has screwed up the only book that I’ve ordered from them, but Chuck would yell at me for it. Chuck, being an official irony detector, keeps me from incorrectly calling things that are simply “curious” as ironic – our high school english teachers would be proud! – so I’m not going to call it ironic. So there! I am going to give iUniverse a call later today because I do want the original book, and I really don’t want to try to explain this to Amazon. iUniverse should have no issues with it, since the book is brand new and the problem is pretty obvious, once you see the the first page and the cover. Should make for an interesting phone call at any rate.

I’ve got to go get back to proofreading… *grumble*

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