Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blog Stuff: Singing for my supper...

"GoogleAds, Tam? Tip Jars? Spinoff blogs? What's going on?"

Okay, here's my cunning plan:

About five years ago, Oleg and I kicked around the idea of a book (or an ebook) that would combine his gorgeous firearms photography and my keyboard diarrhea into something with prettier pictures and less technical reading than the stuff from Collector's Armory, but more facts and more detail than the typical Salamander or Barnes & Noble coffee table book. For the last several years, though, talk is all it was; I just couldn't find the time to actually write.

With my recent transition from Merchant Of Death to Unemployed Bum, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I have a small monthly stipend that is large enough to keep a roof over my head and my cupboard full of Ramen Pride, and get some actual writing done. Most of what goes up at The Arms Room (except for the Sunday Smiths filler) is a sort of condensed book format of what the book will eventually feel like. I'm also finally making some progress on Better Killing, Incorporated, which has been percolating in my noggin for the better part of a decade now.

I'm hoping that by singing for my supper here at VFTP, the tip jars and AdSense will keep me from having to sell too much stuff before I finally go look for something low-stress and part-time that will leave me the time to finish the first project up and find a publisher. With any luck, I'll not have to go punch keys on a cash register 'til September or so. To those of you who have contributed (Amazon's tip thingy keeps it anonymous, so I'm not sure who you are,) a sincere "Thank You".



(...and a PS: I've got three swords I was about to list on eBay, all from Museum Replicas. Good carbon steel, never sharpened or sparred with, all in excellent shape. With the news from eBay yesterday, I'm all in a quandary. Do I boycott in righteous indignation? Anyone want a Gothic Bastard Sword, Swept-Hilt Rapier, and brass-hilted Dark Ages Sword? I've got a sword belt for the rapier, too. $150 ea, or $400 takes the trio, plus actual shipping costs... I figure I'll try here first before holding my nose and going to fleabay.)

37 comments:

7.62x54r said...

Skip the publisher. http://www.lulu.com/

Tam said...

Yeah, but how do they do with hi-res photographs on glossy paper?

Joe Allen said...

Lulu is cool for self publishing, but they don't do glossy paper, and if you have one page in color the whole damn thing's got to be in color making it cost a bloody fortune.

Unfortunately, probably not appropriate for your project.

BTW, what's with the change in MOD status?

Joe

7.62x54r said...

I don't think the resolution would be a problem, although I haven't looked into glossy paper. I wouldn't think the difference in color vs. b&w would matter when it comes to firearm photographs, unless you're planning on some "urban cammo" stocks or something.

Tam said...

Half the point of the book is Oleg's lush color photographs of classic rifles & pistols. There's already enough stuff out there with dull, lo-res B&W pictures. This isn't meant to be that kind of book...

Anonymous said...

Yeah Tam, what happened to your MOD title? Is CCA in financial straits or did the Patriarch just do something stupid?

Chuck@PodunkOutpost said...

Have you considered MOD consulting?

Between GunBroker, AuctionArms, eBang! and gun shows, I'll bet there are some buyers who might be interested in an expert opinion from time-to-time.

Heck, I've found an auction that I could use an opinion on...

Divemedic said...

Do you have pics of the swords?

Tam said...

Anon 12:03

Mostly burnout and personal issues. It was all voluntary and amicable.


divemedic

I can take some.

Kirk said...

Well good luck on the new direction. I hit the tip jar, go get a good steak to get the process started...

K

Say said...

"With my recent transition from Merchant Of Death to Unemployed Bum"

I was unaware you were no longer there. Guess that explains why I havent seen you the last two times I was in.

-SayUncle

Anonymous said...

"Mostly burnout and personal issues. It was all voluntary and amicable."

Thanks for the update, Tam. If you wind
up in another shop as a MOD, let us know so we can come harass you and buy stuff.
:)

D.W. Drang said...

I look forward to purchasing Better Killing, Inc.
One of many things that bugged me about Diamond and the way the left gushed over him, is that his thesis isn't new: Carol Cipolla published Guns, Sails, and Empires in 1965 (ISBN 089745071X) and it covered the same ground, minus any information about mitochondrial DNA, of course, and also (thankfully) minus the reverse cultural snobbish of the West-hating western academic.
Watching the History Channel's show on the the Little Ice Age and Maunder Minimum last week, I await someone writing a writing one of these books which points out that part of the reason Northern Europe exploded was sheer survival--it was cold, they had cabin fever on a continental scale...

Who is..... Carteach0? said...

How about pre-press sales of the books?
Kinda like a speculative litterary venture.

I'd be happy to pre order myself, but you gotta know that would boost the pressure to perform like crazy.

Matt G said...

Carteach has an idea, Tam.

But it would require you to commit, and how. (Skeeery!)


7.62x54r, Tam's book would be more of a virtually-tactile immersion in gun pr0n than a technical manual. We've all got copies of Small Arms Of The World-- Tamara's proposed publication would be a right turn from that. It would give the reader a feeling for the personality that surrounds these tools that she and I (and you, I'll bet) love.

Oleg does more than just take photos that are high resolution and in-focus. He composes them, plays with light and shadow, plays with saturation levels and washed backgrounds...

It changes the entire emotional response to his images.

Add in Tamara's razor observations and thorough research with good writing and the odd personal observation, and...

You've got Something Completely Different.



(Operators are standing by. Copies can be obtained for three easy payments of $39.95...) [/Time/Life]

Homer said...

Boy, talk about double edged swords and all that: more Tam for us, less income for Tam. Having pulled the pin myself once before, I understand burnout.

BTW, when you reach your limit and rejoin the army of wage slaves, you might consider foregoing the cash register thing; you're too good with a keyboard to waste that talent. There are people who pay other people to write, y'know.

BryanP said...

Could you post to links on Museum Replicas site for those of us who might be interested but want to be sure we're thinking of the same sword?

Tam said...

Sadly, all three are discontinued. I'll post a pic tomorrow morning...

Don Gwinn said...

A world where Phil Elmore can make a living by writing and yet Tamara has to stand behind a counter doesn't make sense to me.

If Phil can live on his writing, you should be rich by now.

7.62x54r said...

I understand the idea behind the book, my point is simply that a photograph doesn't have to be in color to be good. When it comes to guns there typically isn't a lot of color to them anyway. Regardless, good luck on the project, and keep an eye on self-publishing options. If the technology and pricing improves as much in the next two years as it has in the last, you might have a viable option in 6 months.

BTW, the pictures in SAOTW suck.

Assrot said...

I am an voracious reader of many kinds of books and I've been reading for over 50 years at about an average of 4 to 5 books a month. I'd say I am an experienced reader. My opinion (I know, I Know, its like an ashole, everybody's got one) but still, my opinion is that what you write in "The Arms Room" would make an excellent book and if you were to write such a book, I'd be one of the first to buy a copy. Good luck with the writing. One last comment, reading is much easier, faster and more enjoyable than writing. Writing however can be much more profitable than reading.

Tracy said...

Congrats, Tam, on your transition to bum-ness! Good luck in your writing endeavor. May I also suggest looking into an Amazon dot com storefront, linked from this and your other site?
As voracious of a reader as you are, you could write some excellent book reviews.
On another subject, with your current unemployment, you have lots of time now to start homebrewing. Think of the money you'll save!

Tracy said...

I just posted a short paragraph on my site, about your escape from employment. I also included one of the photos you have made available to your readership. I hope you don't mind; if you do I'll remove it.

Tracy
www.possumliving.blogspot.com

Matt G said...

"When it comes to guns there typically isn't a lot of color to them anyway."

I have to disagree: The subtle distinctions of blue highlights of an otherwise obsidian black old-school Colt or Smith are what truly make it come alive. An old warhorse rifle's stock shows warmth of darkness and mellowing.

I'm a fan of B&W, and shoot in it on occasion with my old analog SLRs. But if you're going to have Oleg Effing Volk contribute to a book, you should give him the best printing that you can come by.

And you're exactly right: S.A.O.T.W. pics do suck.

Sebastian said...

I've read over your entries at The Arms Room. I would definitely buy the book.

Ambulance Driver said...

I'd buy a book filled with Tamara-isms, even without pictures.

Adding Oleg's pics just make it...

...wel, like Playboy; lots of sexy photos, but you can tell everyone you read it for the articles. With a straight face, even.

rickn8or said...

You Brave Rady.

Good luck with the project.

Agree with carteach; it is a way to put youself under tremendous pressure to get the product out the door so that dinero can come in. Just ask Numbah Two Son, whose similar (video) "Two-weeks -at-the-most" project turned into an eight-month sanity-straining ordeal.

I'm looking foreward to buying and reading whatever you turn out. Oleg's photography and Tam's writing has got to be a winning combination.

Promise us just one thing, though. If you find yourself in the position of having to sell one or more of your children to finance your dream, please offer it here first. You got people here that will help, and will treat you (and your babies) right.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is very into Goth and World of Warcraft...would like to view pictures of the swords before I commit. If I bid on your swords, how do you want payment?

Standard Mischief said...

Hmmm, well I've noticed 400-500% more snark for a while now, I suppose that explains the extra blog posts.

The type of book you want to write seems to be an entire book's worth of one type of article that shows up all the time in the NRA's rag American Rifleman. I wonder what it would take to get your stuff "over the transom" and into an editor's hands? If Zumbo can get published in one of the NRA slicks, Oleg and yourself ought to be a shoo in.

Come to think of it, my second favorite gun-blogger seems to be willing to run sidebar ads attempting to get someone into Maxim magazine. Hmmm.

publications@nrahq.org

Draven said...

I missed a post somewhere...

When did you go Bum on us?

Tam said...

There was no post. I resigned at the end of May; I didn't want to make a big deal of it.

Anonymous said...

At least a book about guns from someone like you would have the facts right.

My boys know what I like and so I get the odd "large gun book".

The frustration comes when I have to get out a pen, start marking out the WRONG facts and put in the right stuff! Some of them can't even get the captions right. At least, like me and the rest of us misurp owners out here, you would have the facts right about contents.

Tokarev

Anonymous said...

Brass or steel hilt on the rapier? Been thinking about one of these or a while now. Don't suppose you have a matching main gauche to go with it? And I wish you had an email address to talk about this.

Tam said...

tamslick AT aol D O T com

D.W. Drang said...

"Homer said...
BTW, when you reach your limit and rejoin the army of wage slaves, you might consider foregoing the cash register thing; you're too good with a keyboard to waste that talent. There are people who pay other people to write, y'know.
3:28 PM, July 31, 2007"
Hmmm, articles by Tamara in American Handgunner, complete with photos of Tam by Ichiro...
I'm writing Huntington right now!

D.W. Drang said...

(Clarification: I figure Ichiro's on staff, photos by Oleg and Ichiro might be too much of a good thing for one magazine...)

Trebor said...

I *would* pre-order a book by you and Oleg on 19th or early 20th Century arms, especially if pre-orders get a discount.

I think alot of other people would as well if you could give an exact topic and scope and estimated number of pages and photos. Yeah, that's some work, but by the time you've got the book started enough to send out some proposals, you'll know that much anyhow.

Just make it understood that all "pre orders" are actually considered "donations" if something happens to keep the book from becoming a reality and you'll cut out a lot of potential problems.

Just a thought as a way to raise money to fund the writing before the book is actually published.

Rob