Leadville or Bust by Chris Chaney is now published on Amazon for Kindle. I'm working on getting a print version out there and will update as soon as I do.
If you've not been following the progress of my book please don't read past posts :) I've made numerous assertions over years that the book was almost done, almost ready to publish, etc, etc. There are a lot of reasons its hasn't seen the light of day until now. For those who have been following my progress I'll give you the briefest summary as I possibly can :)
Let's jump forward instead.
At the beginning of 2013 my family moved back to Kentucky from Colorado. Earlier that fall I had DNFed during my first Leadville attempt. I'd been a regular bike blogger since early 2009, and I had been chronicling my journey toward the red carpet at Leadville. When I failed to cross the finish line the stakes went up a bit. I got into the 2013 race through a qualifier, and then we moved 1,200 miles east.
I kept writing; even then I knew I was going to take my blog posts about the Leadville saga in my life and turn them into a book. The hitch was that I hadn't finished...and who wanted to read a book about a quitter? So I had to go back.
After the 2013 Leadville 100 I came home and wrote up the final chapters of what I thought was going to be a quick self-published Kindle book. And it should have been. However, I got caught up in trying to go big with the book. I tried to shop it to publishers. I looked into vanity presses. In the end it came back to this being a DIY project from start to finish. I couldn't beg friends and family to read the drafts and give me constructive criticism. Without investing money I really didn't have there was no way I was going to be able to get the book published as I envisioned it.
So there it sat on the hard drive of my computer in a file titled: LOB FINAL DRAFT.doc. I'd decided there was little else I could do. I was too close to it to see any glaring flaws and it was my darling baby book. How could I kill it? Believe me, I debated it. But I had too much invested emotionally and too much time put into it to delete that file and everything else in the folder with it.
A week or so ago I was driving somewhere and doing my typical daydream thing where I fantasize about my life being exactly how I want it to be (in those fantasy daydreams I'm a writer living modestly but comfortably) and it occurred to me that the book was doing no one any good sitting in that folder on my computer. So I decided to publish it via Kindle and through Amazon's print-on-demand service. At least then I could share it with those who are/were interested and I could have a physical copy of my book on the bookshelf. Maybe then the demon imp on my shoulder would just shut the hell up.
It took a week because I'm so easily distracted from everything. Finally, one night I was sitting in front of the TV watching not much of anything and I grabbed my laptop and started the process. To get it onto Kindle was fairly easy. I had a great cover design that a good friend had come up with for me a few months ago when I thought I was really going to go through with publication so that was no problem. Once the Kindle was away I started working on the Kindle print-on-demand beta service. I thought that would be easy and that was what I wanted, but once it finally went through I realized I couldn't offer reduced price author copies. I went back and looked and apparently you can only do that through CreateSpace. So as of today I'm waiting on the CreateSpace review process and then it will be live.
And now I enter the truly nebulous space of promotion. I have no good idea how to promote my work as I have presented it to the world. I've shared on social media. I beg those who say they will buy the book (or already have) to review it. Beyond that I'm flying blind. In the whole scheme of things that's okay. This book was more for me than for fame and glory. I'd love to be able to make a living off of writing, but I never expected that this book would be the one to thrust me that far into the limelight. It's just not that kind of book.
So for my long time fans and Dear Readers I give you a finished product...finally. And I apologize for not being more decisive years ago. But then that's totally in character for me.
If you do buy the book in any format please go back to Amazon and give me a review. Be honest and constructive, but please leave something.
Thanks in advance and in the end for all of your support and interest. This has been a great book to write. There have been some really memorable moments in the acts that I ended up describing in the book and in the writing itself. I'm somewhat numb right now to how I feel about suddenly having the book on Kindle. I think I expected more emotion and fanfare.
In the end I hope people enjoy the book and take something positive away from it. The journey for me was rough, but somewhere along the way, despite my failures, I discovered there is a strength and tenacity in me. Maybe not a punctualness necessary to be a mountain bike racer or successful author, but definitely something solid under the flab.