Impact Publications sent me the typeset PDFs of the book and the pocket guide. I’ve spent the last week parsing through all the pages (206 and 64 respectively) to clean up a few typos and page numbers. I also had to catch up on some minor program changes that have happened since I first drafted the manuscript. I was afraid that I’d have to write a major update to one or two areas but the legislation has barely started the process. Otherwise, the book’s lifestyle advice is timeless! From this point on, changes will go on the blog and in the hopper for the second edition.
The book and the pocket guide should go to press by mid-March and be ready for distribution by mid-April. The distribution is handled by National Book Network, which stocks every military exchange worldwide. Impact and NBN both do extensive marketing on military bases before the release date, so the book and pocket guide won’t be on the shelves until August. However they should also be in Amazon’s pre-order system by May.
Impact just sent out a new military catalog featuring the book and pocket guide on pages 2 and 5. They’ve also posted my author’s bio on their website. In about six weeks Impact will have an idea of the market’s initial response.
Now that I’ve had a run through the typeset versions I’m going to forward them to the major contributors on Early-Retirement.org for their comments. Even if mistakes got past me, I doubt they’ll get past these guys.
While the contributors & Impact are working on the book & pocket guide, I’m going to make the rounds of the financial press. I’ve been interviewed a couple of times over the years (see the link under “For the Media”) and I’ll contact those journalists again. I’ll ask for an interview now, a pre-release review of the book, or some other type of publicity. I’ve had a couple instructor tours at military training commands, so I enjoy the public speaking and the chance to spread the news. If you’re a journalist or a blogger who wants to scoop the competition, please contact me.
Next I’ll start talking to the Transition Assistance Program staffs on Oahu’s military bases. If you’ve never seen these islands then it’s surprising to discover the large military infrastructure: Schofield Barracks, Hickam AFB, Kaneohe MCBH, Camp Smith, Fort Schafter, Tripler Army Medical Center, Pearl Harbor, and a huge population of Reservists and National Guard members. I want to become more familiar with how the transition staffs would use the pocket guide for their servicemembers and what other topics or tools they’d like to see. From there I might be able to work up to the state’s Veterans Affairs office.
Finally I’ll make the rounds with the managers of the island’s military exchanges. I need to learn more about how they market their authors, and I’d have fun with a book signing or some sort of presentation.
The lessons I learn on Oahu will be applied to a national book tour of the top ten military bases. Of course that tour would be on my own dollar. All royalties will still be donated to military charities, but a tour gives me a way to write off some expenses against the royalties to reduce the taxes that I’d have to pay on them. Plus I haven’t seen some of these places in years.
Once the books and pocket guides start selling (hopefully flying off the shelves!) we’ll finish choosing the first round of military charities. The first royalty payment should be distributed by the end of 2011.
When I started writing “The Military Guide” I thought I’d end up self-publishing. As the months went by, that option got easier and easier– today there are several established self-publishing businesses and another dozen startups nipping at their heels. However I’ve never had a “real” job, and Impact has taught me a tremendous amount of book design, marketing, and sales that I’d never have figured out on my own. I’m looking forward to the rest of the journey!
Next week I’ll resume blogging more excerpts from the book’s appendices. They’re way more detailed than the chapters, and they have an in-depth analysis of several important financial topics: the effects of inflation, saving pay/promotion raises, why REDUX is a bad deal, asset-allocation considerations for investing when you’re getting a military pension, and the present value of a military pension. I suspect there’ll be a sea story or two as well.
Let me know what topics you’d like to learn more about, or ask a question here!
Help choose the military charities receiving donations from “The Military Guide” sales
More military charities for “The Military Guide” royalties
Book covers for “The Military Guide” and the pocket guide!
Book update: printed by March 2011
Writing and publishing
“So, Nords, how did you start blogging?”
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