Patty Rodgers

For all those novel writers out there.

I suspected that things like this were out there, but I didn’t realize that they would be so reasonable. will publish your book “on demand.” It’s surprisingly affordable; a $500 set-up fee if you only want to be a paperback writer. Being a child of print-culture, I wonder about the stigma attached to self-published books (though there have been some great ones in the past, including Jane Austen).

The deal actually looks fair; you retain full rights, and it is non-exclusive, meaning that if a publishing house wants to pick it up, you can sell it again. They also list your book with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., so that you could end up on bookstore shelves if you create a buzz. Of course, they also have a buzz creating service to help you out. The break-even point appears to be around 100 copies, for a medium length effort, if the copies were ordered directly from the xlibris site, or 200 through a retailer. Many of the online writers could make this number easily, I would think, from their site traffic of faithful followers. Not me though, I barely rate ten or so fairly consistent fans.

Paging through some of their offerings, I had to chuckle at P.I.G. [Petrified Intestinal Gas]: an inflated life story. But why give the ending away in the blurb?

His time is full of fun with living his life at its fullest with swimming, running, giving musical performances, topped by a heightened awareness of the beauty of life as a gift in itself, not related to a deity or other religious entity, thus creating his own form of ‘religious’ atheism. A tragic surfing accident happens to cut his joy of life short.

Something tells me I read better stuff online for free.

What lead me there was the newly published Passionate Spinster— The Diary of Patty Rogers: 1785. This is a new diary edited by Dr. Marilyn J. Easton. Her announcement on the C-18L list is better than the online blurb:

I would like to announce that I have published the diary of Patty Rogers of Exeter, NH. The original of this diary is at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester. Patty was the 23 year old daughter of Rev. Daniel Rogers of Ipswich and Exeter and her diary covers the year of 1785 when she was in love with the first principal of the Phillips Exeter Academy. When the diary was first discovered, its flowery style made it seem like fiction, but I have tracked down all the references and her story is undoubtedly real. I’ve added information about the town of Exeter and the Rogers family using local sources and Daniel Rogers’s diaries. She’s a lot like a Jane Austen heroine, or like Jane herself and it’s awakened me to the truth in the Austen novels in a brand new way. As a social psychologist I have found it fascinating and I wish some of you would read it and let me know how it fits into what you know of the 18th century! There isn’t much primary source material from American women of that era and I think it’s an important glimpse of a real young woman. Who says that how people conducted their flirtations isn’t important!

So, if you’re interested in the flirtation habits of the 18th century, this seems like a great source. After my recent engagement with the diaries of Mary MacLane, I’d be really happy to read more musings of a young girl. I may just have to order this one.