5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Friday, March 23, 2012

Featured Indie Author: Jesse Sublett (ex-Punk Rocker "The Skunks")

Jesse Sublett on Indie Author News

Featured Indie Author on Indie Author News is the Ex-Punk Rocker (The Skunks) Bassist Jesse Sublett who re-released his Crime Novel Rock Critic Murders as a 25th Anniversary Edition.

The Book is not just a book - it comes with photos, artwork, music and videos and it is interactive to use.

The new edition is available at the Apple iTunes Store for iBooks 2.0 - A sample can be downloaded to your iPad. [see links at the end of this post] Jesse plans other versions downloadable on Smashwords. You will find updates at this place once released.
The Book has been self-published with Apple iBooks Author 2.

About the Author

Indie Author News - Jesse Sublett
When Jesse Sublett first became a published author back in the late Eighties, the time lapse between the publisher accepting a finished manuscript and the book-launching party was about two years. Here's one measure of how much things have changed since then: He was impatient with that Apple tech because he'd been trying to publish his book for two days. It took another two days before all the problems were solved and the book appeared on the iTunes store for sale. Not bad.

And Jesse Sublett wasn't just publishing a book for an average e-reader, but a book with music, video, and tons of photos and art. Traditionally, if you told a publisher you wanted your book to be accompanied with some kind of music delivery device, like a CD or something, it was like asking for a book tour on the moon. As recently as three years ago, Jesse watched a panel of publishers at South by Southwest Interactive subjected to the righteous wrath of a room full of bloggers on this very same subject.

You could say it's been a long, strange trip for an ex-punk rocker and DIY writer/musician/artist.

Jesse Sublett: "My first knowledge of the upcoming release of iBooks Author 2 came just after New Year's Day. I killed time between then and the Jan. 19 release date proofing the text of my first novel, Rock Critic Murders. I also uploaded a digital version to Amazon for delivery to Kindle and various other e-readers, including the iPhone and iPad, pricing it at $2.99 – about the cost of an order of breakfast tacos. The delivery process with Amazon was clunky, too. The interface is non-intuitive and support is less than satisfactory. Ideally, you can get your digital book up on the Amazon site in a couple of days, although my first one took over a week, and I'd give its support a C-minus. In the end, you get a digital book: text and graphics. Compared to the soaring experience of an enhanced iBook, Apple's rivals give you a flightless, song-less bird."

Indie Author News - Rock Critic Murders 1 (Jesse Sublett)

About the interactive Book 'Rock Critic Murders'

Martin Fender, a bass playing blues musician, semi-legendary in Austin, Texas, moonlights as a skip tracer and trouble shooter in the Live Music Capital of the World in the mid-eighties and nineties. Drawn from the experience and adventures of musician/author Jesse Sublett, the Martin Fender novels take the reader through the back alleys and smoky clubs and joints of this unique time and place. Real musicians like Johnny Reno and Lou Ann Barton make cameo appearances. The gritty, absurd, often amoral world of struggling musicians, drug dealers, drunks and groupies blend to make a musical noir with a blues back beat.

Indie Author News - Rock Critic Murders 22 (Jesse Sublett)
There are extras almost everywhere you look. All chapters, for example, feature a photo or one of Jesse's surrealistic color drawings, plus about half of them include either a video interview with a personality from the Austin music scene, including many of the musicians and or writers who are caricatured in the book; or there is a song that is mentioned in the book.

Indie Author News - Rock Critic Murders 27 (Jesse Sublett)
Other illustrations and/or other additional media widgets are sprinkled through almost every chapter. The book begins with a video introduction by Jesse. The last two chapters are special added media chapters. There are a couple of additional interviews, plus a video of Jesse Subletts's band, The Skunks -- Austin's first punk band, still loud and proud 34 years later -- from a gig just last summer. Also there is a clip of Jesse playing solo from a recent gig, and there is a playlist consisting of all the songs that appeared previously in the book plus some other, newer songs that were not included earlier.

Indie Author News - Rock Critic Murders (Jesse Sublett)
Indie Author News - Rock Critic Murders 24 (Jesse Sublett)

Reviews of the Book (Excerpts)

- "You are truly in for a treat when you read anything written by the wonderful Jesse Sublett. A true polymath, the author delves into this first book in the Martin Fender series with great wit and sophistication melding his expertise as a musician, writer, and artist with his love of noir to create a wonderfully vivid tale that transports you straight into a classic time in Austin's vibrant music scene. This iBook version is wonderfully updated and includes fantastic video commentary, classic music clips, and artwork by Jesse, truly an Austin legend.[...]" - MHF (iTunes Store)

- "[...] This book shows off all the bells and whistles of Apple's new iBooks Author app, but in a way they probably had not intended. Lots of great looking babes, Austin night life scenes, bands, birds, streets, stages, and etc. You don't have to be a hardboiled crime fan to love this book, you only need a pulse." - Loetta (iTunes Store)

Links to the Author and the Book

Link to Jesse Sublett's Blog

Connect with Jesse Sublett on Twitter: @Jesse_Sublett

Link to the Book on iTunes with downloadable sample

Link to the Book as "text-only" on Smashwords

Please, leave a comment for Jesse at the end of this post and let us know what you think about the idea of an interactive book like this with Words, Photos, Music, and Videos.


Daisy:) said...

Fantastic book- get it!

jenniferlaurens said...

Can you share with other indies how you formatted the interactive qualities of the book please? Much appreciated.

jessethebassman said...

Hi Jennifer, I think I may have replied to you already via Twitter, but as the story explains, this was all done using the iBook Author 2 app. This app is for publishing for the Apple iPad. First you download the app from the Ap Store, then you have to learn the program. It's not difficult, not terribly difficult, anyway. Making things even easier since I published this book, a book about how to use the app has been published. In case you knew this already, to answer your question is a little hard to explain, but the app provides several templates to choose from, and each of these has sections and page templates to choose from. These have placeholders for the different media types, some of which require you to drag a widget into the placeholder, and then you drag or insert the media on top of that. There are certain requirements for media, which may involve converting media files. That's not hard. The hardest thing for me was realizing that I had input such large files and should have compressed them first. As a result, Rock Critic Murders is pretty hefty, at 2 GB, which means it can take up to an hour to download to your iPad, depending on your broadband speed. Next time -- I am using smaller files!

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