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Cheap wine book update: 1 chapter to go

The next to last chapter, “How to buy cheap wine: The basics” was sent to the editor this morning. All that’s left to write is the final chapter, “How to buy cheap wine: Advanced course,” flesh out the winespeak dictionary, and fine-tune several short essays that will serve as appendices. That will include a very clever bit about wine labels (because, of course, no sense in false modesty when I’m plugging the book)..

Which means we’re on schedule for publication around Labor Day. Which also means that will be when the Wine Curmudgeon hits the road to promote the book. I already have three events scheduled – the Kerrville wine and music festival over Labor Day weekend, Grapefest in Grapevine, Texas, a couple of weeks later, and the American Wine Society annual conference in Sandusky, Ohio, in early November. That one will be fun – talking and tasting about cheap wine.

Those of you who pledged on Kickstarter will receive your premiums as soon as possible after publication. The book will also be for sale on the blog, as well as the usual on-line suspects. If you want to talk about an appearance, or have any other questions, including the Kickstarter premiums, send me an email.

Kickstarter, wine writing, and a Cheap Wine Book update

The Wine Curmudgeon has been remiss in updating the cyber-ether on the progress of the Cheap Wine book, which was scheduled to appear sometime in the next six or eight weeks. That’s not going to happen; call it the vicissitudes of book writing in the 21st century. How was I to know the city of Dallas was going to jackhammer my street while I was working on the second chapter?

The good news is that the book might still make the July 1 Kickstarter deadline, and will certainly be out this summer. Oddly enough, I did some quality work on the airplane when I was travelling to and from Denver over the weekend, which I take as a good sign. Who can write on an airplane? I’m about a quarter of the way through the manuscript, and it’s very nicely done. No point in false modesty here, is there? A sample:

We assume our betters know better. Ask an American about football, and they’ll have an opinion, and it doesn’t matter if the only thing they know about the game is that each team has 11 players. Ask them about politics, and they’ll have an opinion, and it doesn’t matter whether they vote or aren’t sure who the vice president is. Ask them about wine, on the other hand, and you’ll get a blank stare. “It’s too complicated,” they’ll say. Or, “That’s too fancy for me. I drink beer.” Or, my favorite, “I don’t know wine. What do you think I should drink?”

As part of this, I wrote a story for Palate Press, the on-line wine magazine, about funding wine writing projects tthrough Kickstarter. In the article, I talked a little about my experience, but focused on two of the most successful efforts, Alice Feiring’s natural wine newsletter and a series of on-line wine guides written by Lisa Talarico.

The Kickstarter model, transformed into some sort of author’s co-op, might well be the future of book publishing, given that there doesn’t seem to be much of a future for book publishing. Like-minded writers get together to finance each other’s efforts, much the way farming co-ops work. Interestingly, a Kickstarter spokesman declined to be interviewed for the article; I think alcohol-related projects are a touchy subject for them.

Update: Final day for the Cheap Wine Book

This is the final day for the Kickstarter fund-raising period, and the project still needs $2,500. Thanks to those of you who have contributed, and you can still help by passing this link to friends who see a need for what we're trying to do. Or, as one contributor wrote: "This is going to be the best way to get the word out to everyone
about how wine should really be appreciated."

If you haven't contributed, know two things: If I don't raise the entire $8,000, I don't get anything, and I probably can't do the book. Second, you can contribute with a pledge of as little as $25. That gets you a copy of the ebook (and the second edition), which means all you're doing is buying the book before it comes out.

Here are the links that explain all:

• The Q&A explaining how Kickstarter works.

• The Kickstarter link.

What the book is.

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