One of the things that I planned for the e-book version of Not Your Usual Bushrangers was a handy set of hotlinks to the footnotes, so rather than waste it, these links are now online as a freebie. Please, now read on.
|Tom Roberts' Bailed Up, one of the clichéd|
items that is trotted out far too often.
So I am jumping in on the e-book thing.
I have something like fifty print books to my name, published over 40 years, but I am getting on, and I want to say a few things before I get too old and boring. So I have gathered up all my research notes, and come up with 27 titles that I may well write. Probably 20 of them will get done, and if they sell as print books for $40 each, I will get $4, eventually. I can sell them as e-books for much less. and still get the same return.
I plan to publish them all as e-books, as a series, with titles starting Not Your Usual... First cab off the rank is to be Not Your Usual Bushrangers, and it is an attempt to get away from the usual five or six. That one is definitely suited to the curriculum, though I am writing for adults rather than children: I am targeting the teachers and the parents. Some of the other books I have in mind will be less relevant to the curriculum, but they will all be packed with good yarns, and links to more information.
And I am publishing them myself, as e-books, through the Australian Society of Authors, which does the hosting and marketing for a 20% commission. They will be in mobi, epub and pdf formats, with no DRM,and the ASA is working on a way of selling site licences to school libraries. I can sell for $5 and still get $4 each time, and much faster. They will have ISBNs, and I will be open to print publishers picking up any of the titles. If they don't, I am hoping to put a dent in their sales, and make them match me in the e-book game.
If others follow suit, my initiative might just be a game-changer, but my plan relies heavily on the honesty of ordinary people. I will have more to say about this on a dedicated page on my writing site.
Moondyne Joe: after his
escape, he dressed himself
in marsupial skins
The simple fact of the matter is that bushrangers were almost as common as bushflies and more of a nuisance, but most of the detail is buried.
I will have to deal with the career of the Kelly Gang briefly, but only to show how they were defeated by technology. Hall, Gilbert, Dunn, Morgan, Gardiner, Moonlite and Thunderbolt are all overdone, unlike Sam Poo, the Chinese bushranger, and Black Caesar, our first-ever bushranger (except the ones in January 1788, who are in there as well).
The whole idea is to inject some new life into an area of discourse which is sadly stultified. If others pinch my ideas, I will have won. That's what writing is about, really: changing and enlivening the content!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In January 1806, Fitzgerald fled from a gaol gang. The next day, Henry Kable's farm at Long Cove was robbed of clothes, food, a handsaw and a musket. A man who looked like Fitzgerald was seen nearby, and people drew their own conclusions.
On Wednesday last John Fitzgerald, a character well known in the colony for a number of years past, was accidentally drowned abreast the King's Wharf. The body has not yet been found.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 27 September 1817, 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2177483
(The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 4 October 1817, 3, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2177497/493520)
Not Your Usual War Poems; The ones that don't get read on Anzac Day, but should.