Early in my career as a newly minted lawyer who did not wish to practice law, I interviewed with an HR firm whose president told me immediately that he did not have a position for me, but that he simply wanted to meet me because my cover letter and résumé intrigued him–because, he said, I seemed to be a true Renaissance man. After spending a generous amount of time delving into my background and my career aspirations, he told me that he would contact me if he could find a place for me in his organization. Not long thereafter, I took a position as an academic dean at a small post secondary school and began my life as a full-fledged academic from which I never looked back, I am very happy to say. But that corporate president who paid me a compliment and provided a rare opportunity that I was too green to appreciate at the time has always stayed on my mind. I mention him here because he came to mind as I review the fruits of my Summer 2011 publications: a book of poems, a book of speculative fiction short stories, and an intellectual property book much more in keeping with my past publications (to say nothing of my research agenda). My two-page resume has grown to a nine-page curriculum vitae since the time of my unorthodox interview, but I think the president who wanted to meet the unusual young lawyer and who is now no doubt long retired would have approved.
These are my first forays into self-publishing. I’ll have something to say about my experience with the process–including an honest assessment of the benefits and liabilities of going it alone–in future blogs. My prior seven books are all from traditional publishers; this summer, however, I decided to try a different tack after an amicable difference of opinion with a major scholarly book publisher on the length and price point for my law-related book. My intellectual property book is intended as a reference guide to the law of copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets of primary interest to authors, artists, librarians and others interested in a quick, accurate guide to both the law and process for obtaining copyright, trademark and patent protection. But it is also aimed at a general audience and I wanted it to be both relatively brief and inexpensive. I may yet decide to write a more detailed, critical book that examines recent case-law and delves into the subject with greater depth so as to make it of greater interest to scholars, and I would not mind such a book being sold at a price approaching $100 as it would be primarily purchased by libraries. That is not the purpose of this edition of the book, as I wanted the general public as well as libraries to be able to buy it and use it as a one-stop resource for under $20. I also wanted the book to be available in eBook format for substantially less than $10. That left me only one option: self publishing.
Since I was going to spend the summer preparing the book for final publication, including porting it to different eBook formats and doing all of the editing and indexing myself–a taller order than most people realize, even for a seasoned author–I decided to do two additional trial runs with collections of some of my fiction and poetry to test the waters. I have written poetry and fiction for as long as I can remember. Much of it was lost over the years, but more than enough remained for several books. I selected some of my favorites after some very light editing and released them as inexpensive eBooks. I also released them as paperbacks primarily to test the process prior to publishing my intellectual property book. They represent 37 years of writing and it felt very good indeed to reconnect with my original roots and with the type of writing that has always been as natural and vital to me as breathing.
As usual, I spent all summer at my computer. But I am pleased with the result. Reviews are not in yet, but I am hopeful that my readers will not be disappointed. Please click on the book covers below for additional information or visit my web page at http://www.victordlopez.com.