So how cool is this? A high-school library in upstate New York has added the USB "BookCard" version of the CCLaP novella Life After Sleep by Mark R. Brand to its permanent collection! Now, granted, it's the school where Mark's parents work; but still, I'm surprised and humbled to see that their school librarian would be interested in carrying the book there in its special BookCard form, just part of a special ongoing display they have there right now promoting various works of science-fiction, which you can see in the above photos. For those who missed it the first time, this is essentially our experimental answer to the question, "How exactly do you sell electronic books to drunken audience members at live pub readings in the heat of the moment anyway?," putting together not only three versions of the ebook itself (PDF, EPUB and MOBI for Kindles) but a whole bunch of supplemental stuff too (including my half-hour audio interview with Mark for the CCLaP Podcast, the promotional video we made for it, various critical essays about the book, web links, samplers of other books, and a lot more), and placing it all on a customized credit-card-sized USB stick that's had the front cover of the book screenprinted right on it. We've then been selling these for ten bucks at local bar readings and the like, instead of having to print up and lug around a pile of trade paperbacks like it's usually done.
I'll confess, the experiment has already been a bigger success than even in our wildest dreams; and in fact it looks like just six weeks after first printing them, we're going to have to do an actual second run of the BookCards soon, when originally I imagined that it was going to take an entire year to sell that first batch and only if we were lucky. This is nice enough, but it's especially gratifying to see them being used in ways we never even imagined; and I want to personally thank Indian Central School librarian George DeChant for taking an interest like this, in reality just the first part of a larger order he placed for eventual BookCard versions of all of CCLaP's titles, in the hope that they will help spark the imaginations of his teenage readers. People have been going really nuts for these little things, and I encourage all you small presses and self-publishers out there to think about doing a run of your own; CCLaP's in particular came from a company called Flashbay.com, but there are a whole series of competitors out there as well. Onward, brave future, ever onward!