Monday, October 23, 2017

A Tale of the Grenada Raiders on Amazon, GooglePlay, iBooks & GoogleBooks

A Tale of the Grenada Raiders, Amazon Digital Services LLC, 2017. Available now as an eBook on the Kindle Store, in softcover from Amazon, on Apple iBooks, GooglePlay, and on GoogleBooks. Coming soon as an AudioBook. 

In commemoration of our blessed dead 34 years ago in Operation Urgent Fury, I publish my war memoir, A Tale of the Grenada Raiders

Twenty six years in the making, I wrote the first stanzas of this highly personal chronicle of Rangers at war in 1991, after I resigned from DEA. 

The manuscript evolved over the decades. I long called it Learning the Language of Nightmares. Then I called it Idioms of Dreams. As I went to print, I decided to title it A Tale of the Grenada Raiders: Memories in the Idioms of Dreams, because that is what it is. 

This memoir is difficult to classify, but at its foundation, it is an eyewitness history of Rangers during the invasion of revolutionary Grenada in 1983. 

Brian Donovan sent me this snapshot of Chapter 2, which you can read free on GooglePlay

I returned to the manuscript over the years, lacquering on meaning, until health challenges two years ago scared me. That lit a fire under me, and I finalized the manuscript feeling the hot breath of the Reaper on my neck. 

I have long lived on borrowed time. I should have died many times over the years, and I recount several of those moments in this very strange book about war. I do not believe that luck is the reason that I am still alive to write these words. 

Few of us can foretell the future, but I know that the Big Ranger in the Sky has a plan for me, and my purpose in this incarnation is not yet complete. 

Publishing this book is part of His plan, and I did not want to die without publishing this manuscript. Now it is done. It is a milestone for me. And the Reaper is that much closer on my trail. He will catch me soon enough. 

A Tale of the Grenada Raiders recounts what it was like to go to combat for the first time as a young Ranger, and I make some of the Rangers from my unit famous. They needed to be immortalized. 

For me, combat was very much an initiation, and a critical factor in the evolution of my personal mysticism. 

I served with giants, some of the Rangers that I served with played critical roles in American special operations in later years. Some of those Rangers are still serving, one of them at the pinnacle of the Special Operations Command. 

Tim Latsko sent me this snapshot of page 123, available free on GooglePlay

Lushly illustrated, you could almost call A Tale of the Grenada Raiders a picture book. Rangers love photographs, mostly because we were not supposed to take photographs, so these photos were also individual acts of rebellion. 

As every person named in the narrative had an opportunity to review the manuscript before publication, the consequence was a deluge of corrections and additional information. My Ranger brothers caught many errors.

I use the real names of the protagonists, and I include photographs of them all. The events transpired precisely as I recount them, with a couple of exceptions that I address in captions to photos and later, in the forthcoming anthology Tales of the Rangers

As the narrative grew, I had to split off bridge chapters connecting Ranger stories to Snowcap stories into a separate book, so the companion memoir The Rosetta Stone of Memories will be published in 2018. 

The Rosetta Stone of Memories is mostly complete. I need to polish it, to shellac its deeper layers of meaning, and I need to curate photos and documents that I collected as the years went by. 

Many of the stories that Rangers told on our secret Facebook pages, on SOCNET, and on over the years, are now captured for eternity in Tales of the Rangers, the third volume in the trilogy, which is forecasted for publication in 2019. 

Tales of the Rangers is the book that the Ranger community actually wants. It is an anthology of Ranger oral histories that Rangers recounted over campfires deep in the North American rainforests of the Olympic peninsula since the early 1980's. 

Tales of the Rangers is now up to 777 pages, and I estimate that it is 75% complete. It will exceed 1,000 pages when I finalize it. I may end up publishing it in two volumes. Many Rangers contributed testimonies. Tales of the Rangers is their book, written by them. I am just the messenger. 

I hope that you like A Tale of the Grenada Raiders. It is an idiosyncratic memoir, so some may find it controversial. I am sure that it will have critics, and some Rangers did disagree with some of my recollections during the review period. I address Ranger controversies in the Forward and the Afterward, and in detail in Tales of the Rangers

A Tale of the Grenada Raiders is an unprecedented glimpse into warfare at the grunt level, so readers fascinated by militaria will enjoy it. But it is unlike any other personal account of war that I ever read, and I read many of them. I had no option but to write this memoir in my own way. 

I do hope that those of you who read it will review it, anonymously or not, on its Amazon sales pages, or on GoogleBooks or GooglePlay. If you hate it, you can say so. If you like it, I will be grateful. 

So far the book has garnered fifty 5-star reviews. Yes, 50 reviews. All from verified purchasers on Amazon, all 5-stars. Some of those reviews are very insightful. Thank you, friends. 

In the end, all that a writer truly wants is to be read. Many writers are never read, their words consigned to oblivion. Others are only discovered posthumously. So be it. 

Pete Russell sent me this photo of the softcover ordered from Amazon. 

A Tale of the Grenada Raiders is available in both Kindle eBook and softcover through Amazon. The softcover is published in 8.5x11 inches large format, full color. At 377 pages, the physical softcover weighs 2.4lbs. It is a big book. 

I finally succeeded in getting the book listed on GoogleBooks and on GooglePlay. You can read much of the work for free on GoogleBooks. The GooglePlay eBook edition is listed by Google at $9.99. 

The price that Amazon charges for the softcover fluctuated for a few days after its release. The softcover was initially listed at $64.99, then Amazon priced it without warning to me at $21.99. 

After 90 days at a discounted price, Amazon reset the softcover price back to its list price of $64.99. That is the price for the softcover at this time. Those of you who must hold a physical book in your hands are now charged an extortionate price by Amazon. 

I set the eBook price at $14.99 on GooglePlay as well, then Google decided to offer it for $9.99. 

Jeff Mellinger sent me this photo of pages 183 and 184, available for free on GooglePlay

I apologize for this pricing confusion, but it is out of my hands. Amazon rationalizes its softcover pricing by citing the large format of the book at 8.5-inches x 11 inches, and the number of photographs in the book. As I say, at 377 pages, the book weighs 2.4 pounds. 

The book is also available on iBooks. The iBooks version is $14.99, and it is electronic only, for reading on Apple iDevices like iPads, iPhones and Macs. It is very slick, befitting an Apple product. 

The GooglePlay eBook edition came online on December 15, and Google priced it at $9.99. GoogleBooks offers a large portion of the book for free, you can read much of the manuscript at no charge, and then purchase the remainder through GooglePlay.

For those of you who must hold a physical book in your hands, the Amazon softcover is the only option at this time. I prefer that readers read this book in electronic format. It is not only much cheaper, an electronic format enables you to zoom in on the photos and to search the narrative. Nonetheless, some readers prefer a physical book. 

As I get caught up, I will also release A Tale of the Grenada Raiders in audio format, as an AudioBook. I will read every word aloud myself. 

For those of you who waited for this book, I thank you for your patience. For those of you who read it, I am grateful for your time, for your consciousness, and for your eyeballs. 

Young Rangers died in combat on revolutionary Grenada. I hope that this book is a worthy memorial of them. 

Doc T sends. 

Updated 15 February, 2018.

ETA: Greg Chabot published an excerpt of Chapter 13 in Soldier of Fortune Magazine, and George Hand reviewed the work for SOFREP. As SOFREP is a subscription service, I posted the entirety of the review on my Facebook page.

Ranger Karl Monger interviewed me for The New American Veteran and posted it on YouTube and Facebook

ETA: I edited some facts that changed over time on 15 February 2018. Google does not compete with Amazon in the print-on-demand marketplace. Amazon holds a virtual monopoly there, and the only way to purchase a physical version of this book is through Amazon. 

At the time of this update, the price remains $64.99. I am very sorry about this, but Amazon is in a position to do whatever they like, and they do. 

The cheapest way to access an electronic copy of this book is via GoogleBooks or GooglePlay, at $9.99.