Friday, May 2, 2014

You Can't Buy Reviews Like This

I know.  I've tried.
(That's a joke.)
My book about our first year and a half of life afloat, South From Alaska, was published in Australia, in 2011, by NewSouth Books.  I was very happy with the experience (a contract! an advance! on the shelf in the Sydney airport book store!), and extremely gratified by the reviews that edition garnered.  More about those in a minute.

The downside of publishing in Australia, though, is that ordering the book from outside the Lucky Country can take a very long time, and it carries the exceptionally high Australian price wherever it goes.

In the bad old days of publishing, the book would have been remaindered by now, the publisher would have offered me the plates if I'd thought to negotiate that item in the contract, and that would be that.

In the brave new world of the written word that we find ourselves in, there is another option.  Since the rights have reverted to me (I did think to negotiate that in the contract), I can publish a second edition myself.  Which is what I've just done.
First edition

The Kindle edition is out now, for $5.99 US.  The print edition is coming, just as soon as a proof copy can reach me in New Zealand.

I'm very happy that this new edition will make the book more easily available to readers - as John Cheever put it, you can't write without readers - the relationship is precisely like a kiss, something you can't do alone.

In this second edition I'm also able to address NewSouth's decision not to include photos, which was my only disappointment with the first edition.

Second edition

And now for those reviews (and a couple blurbs):

"A book that speaks to both sides of the brain simultaneously and without contradiction…prose so beautiful, and with such a dose of self-deprecating comic relief, that you yearn to be there with them." - Cruising World

"Litzow is a talented writer…evocative and powerfully visual." - The Age (Melbourne)

"Eminently readable." - The Sydney Sun-Herald

"As a sailor who raised his daughter aboard, I was touched by this book.  Litzow writes from the heart." - Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, sailor and writer

"Mike writes well and with utter honesty about the sometimes overwhelming sense of responsibility he feels when he and his partner Alisa take a toddler to sea. He clearly shows the stress this places on their marriage and how it is balanced by the rewards they and their slowly maturing son reap. Essential reading for anyone contemplating voyaging with very young children." – Lin Pardey, author of Storm Tactics Handbook, Self Sufficient Sailor and Bull Canyon

If you've already enjoyed South From Alaska, consider taking a quick detour to Amazon or goodreads to leave a review and help other readers find the book.

Many thanks, Mike


  1. Thanks for being an inspiration to a soon to be ex-armchair-sailor Dad :)

    1. hey, Stephan, that's great - nothing like giving up the armchair!

  2. Hi Galactics!
    Love the selection of photos in the new slide show! Just fabulous.

    1. Hey Guys - Glad you noticed! I'm kind of amazed that I found time to update them...

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