Saturday, August 25, 2012

KISS FAQ - State of Release, Book Trailer & My Mental Health

A bit of a whirlwind time here for me.  Many things going on; many things I have to do; but certainly nothing in offer in complaint.
Right now, of course, the big news is that the KISS FAQ book is slowly making its way out to store.  How is that possible when the release date in many places has the book still coming out September 11 (and some others as September 1)?  Well, it’s a long complicated story that isn’t that unusual in the publishing world, but namely it comes down to this – the editing process that involves not only myself but a certain number of people over at Backbeat Books went so smoothly that the book was able to go to print a few weeks ahead of schedule.  Thus, it was back for shipment to the distributors by the first week of August. 
Naturally, Amazon was one of the first to get it, and they distribute their own books.  They don’t have multiple physical storefronts for people to walk in off the streets to buy books; customers buy online; thus, there’s no need to get a shipment of books from a publisher, then redirect a few copies here and there to multiple stores around the country.  Which leads to why Amazon can have it available for shipment very quickly … and why physical storefronts will try to get books out on the shelves as soon as possible if Amazon has it.  Therefore, KISS FAQ is in stores now, with a release date still set for September.  Nature of the beast these days.  It was funny seeing Amazon immediately sell-out of the book after a day, however, only the next day to report that they had it back in stock.  Makes me think it is moving much quicker than they had anticipated (and with the book now listed in multiple “Hot 100 New Books” lists, KISS FAQ is proving itself fast there).
As I said, it’s a situation that I cannot complain about – I’m already getting several amazingly positive reviews about the book already, even before the real promotion for the book starts in September.  If you’re curious, here’s some links to a few of the reviews already out there:
Mystery writer Bill Crider’s review was the first I saw and really had me glowing with the following quote:  “It’s a book to keep nearby so you can dip into it when you need something to cheer you up.  It’s so entertaining that even non-fans should get a kick out of it.  Check it out.”
Greg Barbrick’s review is also very positive, although he does admit to not going much for the Beatles comparisons I make in the book.
A nice review at bookgasm by Rod Lott for the book:
In addition, this one over at rockrockblog is quoted by my publisher as saying, “So well-written and entertaining that even non-fans will find it interesting.”
To know people who are not fans are enjoying KJSS FAQ as much as the fans emailing me and messaging me on Facebook about how happy they were with it has really made me feel proud of the book.  I can’t say much more on that front, to be honest.
Meanwhile, last weekend saw a group of friends over to film a “book trailer” for the book that was requested by Backbeat Books to post on their website to help promote KISS FAQ.  Working pretty much as the writer/director/producer of the six-minute trailer really had me on edge most of the week, but everyone seemed happy with the results and I am hopeful that it will be used.  If so, I’ll post when it’s available for viewing.  Even if something happens it isn’t used, I’m still very happy with how everyone pulled together to help make it possible, from my wife Jill, to our friend Sarah and her kids, to new friend Corky and of course the big man in fandom himself, Bill Starkey (KISS Army founder), who helped out with the trailer and a podcast we did together afterwards.  Keeping my fingers crossed there.
Finally, I walked into a Books-a-Million this past week and saw my book on the shelf.  There is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing a new book out for the public to discover on their own and pick up to purchase.  That’s really the ultimate high of doing all the research and writing involved, beyond that, of course, of actually having a completed manuscript in your hands.
So what’s next?  Well, promotion for the book is still on-going, especially as the book hits more stores come September.  On top of that, my publisher was very happy with the results of my KISS FAQ manuscript and I’m signed for another book with them to be published late 2013 on a topic completely outside of KISS and music for a change.  I’ve written other books besides those about KISS and as much as I like the band, it’s always great to do something else.  After all, my professional is that of being a writer, not just “that KISS guy.”
Someone asked me about all the hard work involved in getting a book out and promoting it.  Truthfully, I’ve been incredibly busy because of it, but it’s been worth every second of it.  After all, I’m getting paid to write about things I love in a way I want to write about them.  The book is getting great reviews from fans and non-fans alike.  I’m able to get together with friends and family to do fun projects related to it.  My publisher is so happy with the results that they’ve already signed me up for another book.  What could be better?  I can only hope some of those good vibes come across in the book for readers as well.  So far, it appears to be doing exactly that.
Now, back to working on a chapter for my next book.  Geesh, it never ends … grumble, grumble, grumble … Heh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More KISS FAQ book giveaways upcoming!

Some more upcoming KISS FAQ giveaways coming via the radio:

WRQK-FM (Canton, OK)
in conjunction with Sept. 12 KISS concert in Cuyahoga Falls

MAX Classic Rock (Muncie, IN)
in conjunction with Sept. 1 KISS concert in Noblesville, IN

KCRX (Warrenton, OR)
in conjunction with Aug. 19 KISS concert in Ridgefield, WA

WLAV Tony Gates Morning Show (Grand Rapids)
in conjunction with Sept. 11 KISS concert in Allegan, MO

104.9 The Hawk (Gilford, NH)
in conjunction with Sept. 16 KISS concert in Mansfield, MA

WZXL (Atlantic City)
WMGK (Philadelphia)
in conjunction with the Sept. 19 KISS concert in Camden, NJ

WCSX 94.7 Classic Rock (Detroit)
WHMI (Howell, MI)
in conjunction with the Sept. 5 KISS concert in Clarkston, MI

Sunday, August 12, 2012

KISS FAQ is out in stores already!

Have to admit, there was a bit of a surprise this past week when I got my first copy of my KISS FAQ book in the mail from Backbeat Books.  I knew I would get it soon, but with the preliminary release date being in September, I had assumed it would still be a week or two before I would see it.

Now I hear that the book has been released ahead of schedule to brick-and-mortar and online bookstores this past week!  That's fine by me, and it's a thrill to hear from people emailing me to let me know they have gotten their copy already or seen it in a bookstore somewhere, but it's a bit of a whiplash knowing that the few weeks I thought I had left before dealing with all the publicity is already upon me!

Speaking of which, this is a great photo that a reader sent me of his copy of the book with an early poster-ad for the band that features a very similar pose from the same photo session:

Not saying anyone has to rush out in a buying frenzy at the moment, but I do hope everyone reading this take a chance sometime soon to order the book or pick it up in a store!  If you do, I'd be happy to hear from everyone that gives it a try.  As stated before and in the intro to the book itself, the point of the KISS FAQ is a chance to examine topics that we know all KISS fans talk about at shows or KISS Expos, but rather - if ever - are discussed in the biographies and references guides that have been released over the years about the band.  Even the official ones, which tend to gloss over certain aspects of the band's career. (Understandably so - if you do something really goofy at one point in your career, it's not easy to say in your book, "Hey!  Remember when we really sucked at this?  Let's spend a few pages discussing how we nearly destroyed KISS with this idea!"  No matter how much fans may want to talk about it.)  I think a lot of fans will agree with the topics within the book, although I'm sure there are going to be moments for some fans where they won't agree with what is said about those same topics.  Still, that's the fun of being fans in the first place - the chance to agree or not agree about aspects of KISS.  I'm just a fan just like you and a discussion about all things KISS is what the book is all about.

Main thing though is this:  The KISS FAQ book is out and available for purchase!  With that, interviews on radio stations and other publicity is just around the corner, so the fun is only beginning!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Radio Giveaways for the KISS FAQ book!

Quick note that the following radio stations will be doing on-air giveaways of my KISS FAQ book. I'm only sure of the timing for the first station here, so you'll have to check with the other stations for more detail:

Station: KISM (Washington) - giving away books with tickets to the Auburn show next week!

Station: WFMU (New Jersey)

Station: KJKB-FM (Jacksboro, TX)

Station: KCAL (Redlands, CA)

Station: Island 107.1 FM (Key West, FL)

Station: Power 96 (Albert Lea, MN)

Station: 97.5 WONE (Akron, OH)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

KISS FAQ is hitting stores!

I'll be posting a blog on other KISS-related things this weekend, but just a heads-up that my KISS FAQ book is already up for sale at and should be in stores soon, if not already!

Remember folks, you can buy one $4,000 KISS book or by over 170 copies of the KISS FAQ for the same price!  Sure, the one book is the size of a coffee table, but just think of the stuff you can build with 170 copies of my book!  Make a little fort for your KISS action figures!  Stack several and wear them on your feet as makeshift platform shoes!  Use them as tile for the bathroom!  Maybe even read one!  So many uses.

Seriously, for those searching it out and picking one up - I hope you enjoy it!