'Runaway Empire' Manifesto: entry #1 / by Andrew Yorke

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On the afternoon of December 14, 2012 I decided to write a book dedicated to the victims and families of the Sandy Hook shootings. I didn't tell too many people in the beginning, because I was honestly afraid that I may not have been able to see it through to completion. Life is crazy and unpredictable, and I felt that I was playing with fire on so many levels.

Two years later, I find myself both relieved and nervous that I never gave up. Because of the often-unorthodox nature of independent publishing, the preparation of this novella is not as big as I would like, nor did it follow a sense of order that I would strive for in later projects. Xteamartists (the company I co-founded which subsequently helped bring this book to life) has been working for the last six months on making this book available not only in paperback, but also in several e-book formats. Many independent authors choose to use services such as Createspace, Xilibris and the like. However, there are too many irregularities with the presentation of both formats that made me uneasy. I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to presentation, and I am fortunate enough to be working with a number of talented folks at XTA. Because of this, we have been publishing our work on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes store completely on our own. For the record, it's not impossible.

The upside to this: we have more control. The downside: it takes a bit longer. 

But as of a few weeks ago, we have finished 99% of the preparation. Now, we are waiting until either next week or the week after to spend the remaining amount of funds we collected from our successful Kickstarter campaign on a press release and maybe a couple of adverts on Facebook or Twitter. Because thousands upon thousands of books are published every year, it would be very easy for this one to completely disappear from everyone's radar. It really is insane how many things are published every year. I had no idea until a few years ago. 

I am hoping the press release, along with a continued good word-of-mouth (which we have thankfully received) and the world talking about Sandy Hook on its two year anniversary will help promote this story and what it aims to do (proceeds will be going to the non-profit organization Sandy Hook Promise).

For the next couple of weeks - or perhaps the next month - I plan on writing up a few blog posts. It might be about how I feel, or it might be about something related. But I am going to just be honest, and recall what I can about this unique experience in hopes of enticing fellow authors, as well as good samaritans, to not be afraid of using their skills for the potential betterment of those in need. It's a hell of feeling, knowing that you've given your all for something that is beyond you. I know it's cliche and I'm sure people will judge me for saying this, but there's no other way - it really is an honestly humbling experience that I will repeat in the future.

On a last note, I would like to invite everyone who comes across this article to not only check out a private excerpt of Runaway Empire, but also check out the music that inspired it. You can hop on over to 8tracks if you'd like, or you can check it out on Spotify.

And what the heck, I'll show you a couple of photos. These are images of the many resources I used in researching the subjects and themes of the book. I know most people would not have put so much effort into the planning and execution of a novella, but I really enjoy the immersion process with every project I'm a part of. Call me crazy. Call me weird. But it's what I do, and I suppose I should be damn proud of it. I found these images in books, magazines, and a lot of websites. I then put an artsy twist on the presentation and then slapped them on the wall, alongside a number of other articles that helped pave the way. By the time all was said and done, I had accidentally created a kind of mural on an entire wall of my apartment. But I'll show that later on down the road. 

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Until next time!