Now on sale: All Hopped Up and Ready To Go

Okay friends, today is the day. It’s October 26, 2009, and All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 is now officially published, in the United States, by the venerable W.W. Norton. Yes, I’m proud. I’m really proud. I never worked so hard on anything in my life and seeing this massive project finally come together, in print, complete with photos and a wonderfully cool cover, feels like one of the major achievements of my life. At some point in the next few days, I may even raise a glass to its publication.

But hey, I ain’t too proud to beg, or at least to ask loudly: Friends, readers, and mere first-time visitors to iJamming!, I would like you to go out and buy this book. For one thing, it’s really good. (Check the introduction here. Or read this review.) For another, it’s incredibly good value – just $18.95, before any discount, for a 460-page book that spans fifty years of musical history and took almost five years of my life. CDs still officially retail close enough to that price. You’re lucky to get an interesting bottle of wine for under $20. A meal out costs twice as much, if you’re lucky, and you’re hungry again within a few hours. Books, on the other hand, take weeks to read, fill your soul, and last a lifetime. They also look good on your bookshelf. And some of them go a long way towards getting you laid.

This is what I do for a living.

Buying a new book, then, says lots about your personality… but it also says that you’re willing to support the writer. And let me not beat about the bush on this: I don’t get paid for blogging. I don’t get paid for hosting the iJamming! Pub. I certainly don’t get paid for tweeting (and nor should I). I get paid for writing books. It’s what I do for a living. And if I’m going to continue to do it for a living, hopefully for the rest of my life, and feed my family in the process, I need to sell enough books to justify a publisher’s faith in the next one. It’s that simple. So I’d like you to pause here, and consider not whether you will make the investment, but how.

Personally, I’d love it if you bought All Hopped Up and Ready To Go from your local independent bookstore, because they too need your business, and I’m all about the little guy (and girl), especially in an era where big box stores and online retailers can out-discount them. But I happen to like Barnes & Noble, for a number of reasons, and I’m perfectly happy for you to buy the book from them, as well. And hey, I’m not immune to the attractions of either. In short, I don’t mind where you buy it from, who you buy it for, or how many times you buy it, I just ask that if you’re reading this post because you know me and/or you respect my writing, that you pause over your cursor long enough to figure out how you’ll buy my new book. I’ll thank you for it when I see you. Seriously.

I’ll be in New York City again for a couple of readings this week: at KGB Bar on East 4th Street in Manhattan on Tuesday October 27, and at Word on Franklin Street in Brooklyn on Wednesday October 28. Both are free and should be good fun; hopefully I’ll see some of you there. (Addresses, times etc. are here.) I’ll be doing a couple of radio interviews while I’m in the City as well, including one with my good friend Matt Pinfield, who may remember that he helped physically move me into NYC from New Jersey back in the summer of 1988. At that point, I didn’t imagine I’d ever be qualified to write a book about Gotham’s music history, let alone one as ambitious as this. Life takes you places you don’t expect. I’m hoping it will take me plenty more unusual places yet. And I’m hoping to write many more books about those journeys along the way.

Thanks for your support. The All Hopped Up and Ready To Go home page, with links to reviews, readings, playlists and the unexpurgated Introduction to the book, can be found here. British friends and readers, you’re exempt from real harassment until its publication by Omnibus Press on February 1, 2010. You’re welcome, however, to pre-order the book or pick it up on import. Cheers!

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