LATEST UPDATE: October 30, 2020
When I took on The Trans Asia Endeavour book project, I reckoned that if I printed 150 copies and sold all of them, I’d be rather pleased.
It hasn’t turned out that way.
Since pre-sales began in February and through eight months of the pandemic, almost 900 copies have been sold. Emotionally and logistically, I was not prepared for such an amazing response. Given that the First Edition was just supposed to be a short run showcase product, the print order has had to be substantially expanded, again and again. Finally, I decided to hard cap it at 1000 copies; that’s all there will ever be of the First Edition, any orders beyond that will be for the Second Edition.
Speaking of… I have secured a deal for several thousand advance copies of the Second Edition (less color, lower quality paper, possibly different cover). Exciting times as this venture has grown much more than I could have imagined.
Still, small consolation that my project has joined the esteemed company of many professional authors whose books have been massively delayed by COVID-19. Once again, my printer has bumped The Trans Asia Endeavour down the schedule. The good news is that I have finally received the proofs, an important step in the process. I’ve been diligently reviewing them; there is some necessary color correction and, of course, a final proof read of the entire text.
Full disclosure: in regards to proof reading, one delay is entirely my fault. As I reviewed a particular 26-page chapter, I decided to do a re-write of that section. I was never content with it and therefore gave those pages more attention, lest they forever annoy me like a dead patch of grass on an otherwise green front lawn.
But damnit, man, when will it arrive, you ask? Rather than serve up dates that keep getting bypassed, I feel it’s better to notify y’all when significant milestones are reached. The next landmark will be the returning of the proofs with my changes, and then the final approval of the modified proofs.
As for other milestones, for those who ordered the personalization option for your copy of the First Edition, IT IS TIME for you to please email me the message that you’d like me to pen! There are three choices:
1) Send me what you’d like to have inscribed in my mostly legible penmanship. Kindly keep it to one or two phrases, as I’ve got hundreds of personalizations to do. Carpal tunnel here I come!
2) Author’s choice, i.e. I sign whatever message takes me at the moment. Like the Chef’s Choice at a restaurant, it’s a gamble that can either pay great dividends or result in midnight trips to the bathroom.
3) No message at all, just author signature.
Using the Contact Form, please respond by December 9 with your choice of personalized message, or aforementioned Option 2 or 3. If you ordered two or more copies, please be sure to include the desired message for each book.
As I have stressed since April, if you feel the delays have become unacceptable and wish to cancel your order, I will of course provide a full refund. No cancellations to date, and for that I am beyond grateful for everyone’s patience and support. Any questions or thoughts, feel free to contact me.
UPDATE: July 19, 2020
In these past months, I’ve spent much of my time by volunteering to deliver high priority prescriptions to assisted living facilities, to seniors who are self-quarantined at home, while also making deliveries for local veterinary clinics. I decided that my Ducati Monster 796 was the utterly illogical but perfectly sensible choice for these missions.
I chose wisely. Many of my deliveries go to folks who are hard of hearing, but with the Desmo roaring and the Termignonis spitting fire, there’s never any doubt in their minds that, yes indeed, here comes Jeff with the medication. My favorite comment came from an 87 year old woman who challenged the Monster to an indoor duel against her electric mobility device. “I’ll whup your butt if we race from my kitchen to the living room!” she declared confidently. I forfeited on the spot.
I’ve been mightily impressed by the attitudes of these elderly people. Fearless, brave, and armed with a lifetime of common sense and perspective, none of them are cowered or frightened by all that’s transpired, even though they are the most at risk. Defiant and determined is how I’d describe the lot of ’em.
News on The Trans Asia Endeavour: I’ve been in frequent contact with the printing company during these past weeks. Just recently, they announced that they were resuming operations at 75% capacity. That was the good news. Less encouraging was the unsurprising information that they have months of backlogged orders that are competing with a flood of new orders, all to be prioritized by urgency, importance, and size.
Translation: The best they can tell me is that the book should print no later than September. Whether that’s September 1 or September 30, they cannot say. While it’s another delay, at least there is now a very rough timetable. I know they are working as best and as hard as they can, and since I’ve always been pleased with their professionalism, I’m sticking with them instead of looking elsewhere.
As I have previously stated, if the delay is unacceptable, please contact me if you’d prefer a refund for your pre-order. I am grateful to all who have expressed continued support and patience.
UPDATE: April 15, 2020
Greetings to everyone,
I hope this finds you in good health, good spirits, and also what I find myself frequently needing: good perspective.
Several weeks ago I received an email from the company that’s producing both the print and e-book editions of The Trans Asia Endeavour. No surprise, they were suspending operations indefinitely due to the COVID19 outbreak. Since then, I’ve been frantically scrambling to find a suitable replacement printer who had yet to send home its workforce. It was a fool’s errand, of course.
Finally this past week, I stopped spinning my wheels and surrendered to The Inevitable: there’s no sidestepping the reality that the book, which was scheduled to ship on April 24, will be significantly delayed beyond that. The moment I have any updated news on printing/shipping estimates, I’ll get out the word as quickly as possible.
My sincerest apologies to everyone for the delay. While I’m frustrated and disappointed by this setback, I realize it is an insignificant problem when compared to what our communities are facing.
To that point, I’ve decided to shift my obsessive focus to something more productive. I am currently in the Los Angeles area, where my family has a long history of working with senior citizens. A longtime friend of my parents recently reached out, inquiring if I’d be interested in volunteering to deliver high priority prescriptions to assisted living facilities and seniors who are self-quarantined at home. It’d require excellent knowledge of the region and a vehicle capable of safely scything from one location to the next. In short, a tailor-made mission for a motorcyclist.
I jumped at it. Since then, I’ve been overdosing on the friendly waves of isolated elderly folks who smile at me from inside their front windows. Yup, it’s good perspective. And in my free time, I’m trying to procure a few final pieces of equipment that will allow me to create a mini-studio, in order to commence recording of the Audio edition of The Trans Asia Endeavour.
Again, my apologies. If you have ANY questions or would like a refund for your purchase, please don’t hesitate to reach out using the CONTACT FORM.
Best wishes to all,
UPDATE: February 26, 2020
Individual product pricing for The Trans Asia Endeavour is now available.
Two new bundles to choose from:
Need a custom bundle? Use the CONTACT FORM to tell us what you need!
A close relationship with the printer of The Trans Asia Endeavour has granted some unique opportunities for those folks who want something a little extra special. These are the first ten books that come straight off of the press and bindery, as verified by the printing company, and are the only copies that will ever be numbered. ONLY 3 BOOKS REMAINING.
THE NAZGUL – Books #2 – #10 off the press and bindery. Your personal Nazgul (you’ll get one of The Nine, not all of The Nine) will be numbered, signed and personalized by Sauron himself, errr, by the author. Your names shall be immortalized in the Dedication Page. $80 – $110 (Books 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 SOLD)
THE HIGHLANDER – There can be only one! The very first copy off the press and bindery. The Prize will be numbered and signed with a personal message by the author. The book’s Dedication Page shall be inscribed with a glowing description of your virtuous nature, for all to see. Included are two extra First Edition copies (signed, personalized), plus the ebook and Audio versions.
UPDATE: February 4, 2020
THESE BUNDLES (2/4/2020 – 2/11/2020) ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Visit THE STORE to check out the latest offerings.
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED + EBOOK – $45
The First Edition is a limited print run, featuring high quality paper, color photos, graphic design and hand drawn maps. When the First Edition sells out, it will be gone for good. This bundle also includes the ebook. Mailing list subscribers will receive a special coupon code to receive a free audio version and complimentary personalization (your message or author’s choice) of your signed First Edition.
SADDLEBAGS (2 FIRST EDITIONS, SIGNED) + 2 EBOOKS – $75
Two signed copies of the First Edition; one for yourself and one for that friend who always has grubby fingers. This bundle includes two ebook versions. Mailing list subscribers will receive a special coupon code to receive a free audio version and complimentary personalization of both signed First Editions.
EBOOK + AUDIO BUNDLE – $20
Ebook lovers, I can’t quite give away the Audio version, but I can do this. While regular pricing will be $15 (ebook) and $20 (Audio book), with this bundle you get the ebook and Audio versions for just twenty bucks!
UPDATE: January 21, 2020
PRE-SALES BEGIN IN EARLY FEBRUARY. This will be a First Edition limited print run, featuring high quality matte coated paper, heaps of photos (color and B/W), graphic design, and some hand drawn maps. When the First Edition sells out, it will be gone for good. The Second Edition, due out later in the year, will be more like a traditional travel novel with thinner paper and fewer if any photos.
Most humbling is this: the mailing list has grown to almost 500 people from 22 different countries. For your wonderful support and encouragement, here are some tokens of my gratitude for any subscriber who pre-orders the printed First Edition:
1) A complimentary digital copy of the book.
2) A complimentary audio version (format TBD) of the book.
3) I will sign your printed copy, and also…
4) I will personalize your printed copy with a short message.
Once the pre-sale begins, this offer will last for 10 days. To avoid intense hand cramps and/or carpal tunnel syndrome, I cannot offer it forever.
For Ebook lovers: there will be an announcement in next week’s email regarding a special offer for you. Have no fear, you will NOT be forgotten.
UPDATE: January 20, 2020
UPDATE: January 13, 2020
Cover design is almost complete, hope to unveil it next week!
UPDATE: December 19, 2019
Originally I wanted to initiate the Pre-Order process during the second week of December, but I have decided to bump it into the new year. The commencement of the holiday madness has convinced me to be patient and let the furor die down. Right now, I have scheduled Pre-Orders to begin late-January/early February.
Between now and January, you can expect heaps of info on pricing, bundles (print, eBook, audio) and a few other surprises.
Also, by pushing it into the new year, it has allowed me to work with a local artist who is going to create some hand-drawn maps. I am thrilled to be adding this element to the book.
UPDATE: November 17, 2019
I’m now in the process of carefully editing the entire book, while also sending layout ideas to my graphic designer. Once we settle upon a design template, it will not take him very long to lay out The Trans Asia Endeavour.
UPDATE: October 25, 2019
Lots of info to share today, let’s hop to it. I’m thrilled to say that the book is now about 90% written! I will quickly pour some Mongolian icy river water on that news, as I know that the final ten percent is the hardest (like all projects, right?). Still, I’m quite pleased with the progress, and I’m eager to get it completed so that the book can enter its next stage- a comprehensive, final edit.
AUDIO BOOK NEWS! As mentioned last time, I have confirmed that there will be an audio version of The Trans Asia Endeavour. A few things I want to emphasize: I don’t know what format the audio version will take (possibly a podcast in segments, possibly a more traditional audio book), and I can pretty much guarantee that the audio version will be released after the printed and eBook versions have gone on sale. Some hefty unknowns there, but there is one piece of news I’m happy to share:
Anyone who is subscribed to this mailing list and who pre-orders a printed copy of the book, is going to receive the audio version for FREE. That’s one of my thank yous to everyone who’s been so incredibly supportive.
I know that there are folks who only plan to buy the eBook version. You’re not forgotten! All I can say is, there will be a smokin’ deal on the audio version when you purchase the eBook. If I can find a way to give the audio one to you, I will, but no promises.
Thanks as always for your encouragement and support.
UPDATE: October 17, 2019
I know, I know, no excerpts for the last two weeks. I’ve been tirelessly organizing the Appendices, which has been more challenging than organizing my garage. While I am keenly aware that bike selection, bike building, equipment selection, logistics lists, all that juicy stuff is critically important info to many readers, I also don’t want it to bog down the narrative. I’ll touch upon these items during the course of the book, but unless there’s some sort of public outcry, the detailed minutiae will go into the Appendices.
I’m a-thinkin’, three main categories:
The Motorcycle (selecting the bike, subsequently outfitting it)
The Gear (selecting luggage, clothing, tools and spares)
The Travel (logistics, visas, border crossing info, trans-continental motorcycle transport)
Suggestions? Comments? Let me know.
Next week I’ll be sharing excerpts about two border crossing incidents. One of which involves Angry Swiss Dude assaulting the bike as he tried to let the air out of my tires, while the other details “Interrogation Room X” where I answered questions for many hours upon first attempting to enter Russia!
Spoiler: there was no waterboarding involved.
I continue to be amazed by the growth of the email list, my continued thanks to all who are showing such enthusiasm and encouragement. If you have interest in the book, I strongly encourage you to sign up, as email subscribers are going to get some nifty exclusive perks once the pre-orders begin.
UPDATE: October 3, 2019
Just a quick note: CONFIRMED, there will be an audio version of The Trans Asia Endeavour! I received no less than 73 requests for it, thanks to everyone for their feedback!
UPDATE: September 29, 2019
As you can see from the photo below, I’m combining old school with new school: that’s an 1891(!) first printing of Advanced Lessons in English Grammar, along with the ubiquitous MS Word. I shall leave no resource underutilized as I strive to make this a story you’ll enjoy reading and of which I shall be proud.
Because I didn’t begin posting lengthy recaps of my misadventures until about the two thirds stage of the trip, I have now completed the book through the end of my expedition. I’m now working my way from the start of my Trans Asia Endeavour; all told, I’ve completed about three quarters of the written portion of the book.
I am still uncertain if there will be an audio version. If you’re a strong proponent, speak up and use the contact form or the comments below, or sign up for the email updates.
UPDATE: September 19, 2019
It’s been a decade since I’ve focused on my own original writings. After so many years of editing the works of others, it’s been a real joy to find inspiration in my travels and adventures.
Progress has been very good; the book is now two thirds complete! That’s the advantage of all the note-taking and writing I’ve done during rest days throughout this Trans Asia Endeavour.
Let’s talk book dimensions: I’ve had lots of input on this subject already, ranging from “just do a small paperback, your stories don’t need photos” to “do a huge coffee table book with 400 pages of photos and a gold leaf cover!”
Outside of the coffee table book suggestion, the most consistent feedback I’ve received is: don’t make it so large that it can’t be tossed into a backpack, briefcase or purse for reading on the airplane or at the coffee shop.
Aside from the printed product, YES, there will be an eBook as well. Audio version… that is still up in the air, it’s a 50/50 proposition at this point.
Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Suggestions? I’d love to hear them. Use the contact form or the comments below, or sign up for the email updates.
UPDATE: September 14, 2019
Yes, there is going to be a book. My sincerest gratitude to everyone who has encouraged me, it has been very humbling.
Yes, there will be a subscription email list. You can sign up using the form at the bottom of this page, or in the top right column. I swear on the patron saint of motorcycle adventuring, I will never share your email with anyone, ever.
Yes, I will still be posting excerpts on Facebook, but starting September 18, email subscribers will get first access to excerpts and the latest news about the book, which will include a pre-order option.
If you’re enthused for this project, I modestly request that you spread the word (ie share), because even though I make my living as a freelance editor/writer, I’m an abject failure at self-promotion. I’d rather visit the dentist, or worse, ride in the sand, than market myself.
Because I have worked extensively in the worlds of publishing and journalism, I am very familiar with the assembling, organization, and art direction of magazines and books. I am eager to translate those experiences into a final product that people will enjoy reading.
When will it be out? Well, it is already over halfway completed, that’s the advantage of writing on my rest days as I’ve been riding across Asia!
Warmest regards to all,
Jeff / Backpacker Moto