Where In The World Is Arkoe Missouri?

Dear Readers,

After six years researching and writing the book on Hezekiah Rasco, finishing the novella Brothers Such As These, and tinkering with a Kindle short called The Oppressor Project, you would think I would be too tired to tackle another writing project so soon. I guess not.

A few weeks after I completed the Kindle short, I found myself longing to dig a big deeper into the History of Arkoe, Missouri, the rural community near where Rasco committed his first murder, and the community in which I presently live. So, I went back through the Rasco research file and pulled out the snippets of information I collected, and put them into a new research notebook. Then I started plotting time to head out to Northwest Missouri State University to access their wonderful newspaper archive on microfiche. I would need only to browse approximately 139 years of daily and weekly newspapers for obscure mentions of the little town. I'm still digging, but this sort of "data archaeology" is what I like to do, so it's not so daunting a task.

Google Books has played a huge part in the initial research, as have the digital archives of the Missouri State Historical Society and the State of Missouri vital records online, and especially the vast amount of information located at the Nodaway County Historical Museum archives here locally. Through those digital sites I have been able to review reference books that would otherwise be unavailable without physically travelling thousands of miles. Several museums around the country have also made their digital collections publicly searchable, which has aided me greatly in following up obscure references and links to the people who played a significant part in the founding and development of this town. Angela Fares, the senior information manager for BNSF, has provided many helpful links and some information about the railroad that once ran through the town.

The book on Arkoe is far from completion at this point, but I hope to make it available in early 2014. You will notice that I have added a new page to the tabs above. The History of Arkoe Missouri will highlight excerpts from the book as it progresses. The Town of Arkoe's Facebook page will also highlight some of the information gathered. I encourage you to visit the page. The final title for the book has yet to be decided.

Thank being said, it's time to get back to mining Arkoe data from the annals of history. I hope you enjoy the other books, and I look forward to bringing you the next one.


First-Time Self-Publisher

Self-publishing is a truly unique experience, and despite the somewhat sharp learning curve for an author self-publishing for the first time, CreateSpace has made the overall publishing process fairly simple, particularly by integrating the publishing direct to Kindle for e-reader purchases.

After nearly a year of angst over whether to try and secure a traditional publisher or go the self-publishing route, I finally settled on publishing through CreateSpace. A few of my author friends had already taken the plunge and seemed to find the publishing venue quite helpful. A few others set up their own book imprints and simply used an independent book printer to print copies for them.  For my first two books, and being a complete novice on the marketing and distribution issues associated with book publishing, I felt CreateSpace would suit me better. So, as of June 2013, my first two books were published there.  You will find links to those books by clicking on the page tab for the book you wish to read about. If you click the book cover on that page, it will take you to that book's location on Amazon.

I learned several things in the process of publishing these two books.  First, the next book I publish, which will eventually have many photos, will be created in MSWord .doc format and will contain text-only. This will permit me to upload it for e-reader more quickly. E-reader formatting isn't overly welcoming of photos or special formatting, headers, footers, footnotes, page number, or extra line spacing. So, likely I will place hyperlinks within the text to an online page here on the blog where readers can go and look at the pictures associated to it as they read or once they have completed the text. This will save a great deal of time in reformatting for the e-reader. Eventually, I hope the e-reader formatting process will allow for easier inclusion of pictures to make the e-reader experience more dynamic.

After I have the fully edited text-only document completed for the e-reader, having edited and spell checked it to death, I will save that file with a different name on the computer, then go back and edit and reformat it, adding in my pictures, along with footnotes, for the print edition. I will also include any special formatting, like bold type, italic, extra line spacing, page headers and footers, and text wrapping around the pictures, which looks nice and balances the page better. Then I will upload the file for print publication on CreateSpace.

There were a lot of other things I learned working through the self-publishing information found on CreateSpace and the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) sites when I took the plunge and uploaded my first file. I would recommend, if you are an author considering doing this, go and read their formatting guidelines first as will save you some frustration that naturally comes with learning a new thing.