Photogenic Memory: This is Me released into the world

Photogenic Memory: This is Me released into the world

I am pleased to announce that my first book is today available for my fellow human beings to buy and read.

After years of sitting on my Photogenic Memory stories, waiting for them to hatch into a book on their own, I finally realized that, if I was suddenly eaten by rabid wolverines, these stories would be stuck on a laptop and several hard drives and Dropbox and nobody would ever get the chance to decide whether they were as entertaining as I thought they were.

And so, with the today’s release of Photogenic Memory: This is Me, I I find myself a published author. More correctly, I find myself a self-published author.

There is a difference, of course, and it’s not as negative a brand as it used to be. I would suggest it is quickly becoming a whole new status quo of its own.

Not too long ago, an author couldn’t have a professionally published book unless he or she was able to convince the old-school publishing business that he or she was a sure thing in terms of sales. Of course, the entire industry is designed to stop almost everyone from getting there, and that makes sense by the old rules. Publishing a book, marketing and distributing it and maintaining a catalog of such books is a huge, expensive and risky proposition. It’s also awesome, of course.

I absolutely wanted to go that route, but I will freely admit that I didn’t try very hard.

One lit agent in Toronto showed some interest after a phone call, but I think when she saw the size of the box the manuscript came in, her interest faded. Yes, this was a really big book of stories. The book I just released is only the first half of the original manuscript. (the others will be released this coming summer…)

After picking up my giant box of manuscript from this agent’s assistant, I had the same realization many authors have been having all over the world the last few years: we don’t necessarily need those big companies anymore. They are awesome and it would be great to be pulled into the process, but the truth is, the artist doesn’t NEED them anymore. Not like we used to.

Technology over the last few years has made the means of production truly accessible.

I realized that I, with a brilliant business partner like Mark Hussey contributing his talents, could have a book laid out correctly with high quality graphics and design, send that book out to professional printers (Dwayne Rising at the Goderich Print Shop, to be specific) and have a trade paperback that can at least appear to compete with any other books on store shelves.

But even having that hard copy book hasn’t been the biggest decider for going DIY.

It was also clear to us that e-readers (and more recently tablets), and the markets that have sprung up to satisfy them, would create perfect ecosystems for independent authors to have their ebooks released in the iTunes bookstore or Amazon’s Kindle store, and other such online distributors are growing exponentially.

And using social media, blogs, podcasts or online video, authors can do a really good job marketing themselves as well.

So, while independent authors may not have been considered suitable for the bookstores by the gatekeepers at the big publishing companies, now we can have the audience decide that for us. If our work is any good, or even if it’s bad, as long as it appeals to some group of people who can get hold of it if they want to, that book can be a success.

Clearly, there has never been a better time for the average person to become a content producer, assuming he or she has the ambition, talent and willingness to work with the tool available. With so many ways to produce our work and get it out there to an audience, the barriers to entry for writers and artists of all kinds have pretty much collapsed.

Now, having spent many years talking about all of this, I have finally jumped in with my own independent book release.

Over the next few weeks, Photogenic Memory: This is Me will be available in trade paperback and ebook on this website, as well as on the iTunes and Amazon bookstores.

I hope that you enjoy reading this collection of comical short stories of childhood at least half as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Feel free to shoot me an email, Facebook message or Tweet if you want to share your thoughts, talk about getting your own book out there, or if you want to try to help me fix myself. But be nice. I’m very sensitive…


Randall Lobb




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