Cornfield Meet

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Collect All 21! Expanded Edition is back in the Kindle Store

Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek - Expanded Edition

Click to visit the book’s Kindle Store page, which includes a preview.

I got a lot of encouraging feedback in July of 2011 when I expanded Collect All 21! for a digital edition. Unfortunately, while the folks at my digital publishing company were great to work with and did a bang-up job converting the book and pushing it through various channels, they had to make the difficult decision to close their virtual doors earlier this year, ending the availability of the Expanded Edition.

After thinking things over for a bit and pestering some very patient and understanding friends for advice, I decided to go ahead and tweak a couple small glitches and make the Expanded Edition available again myself through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

It’s available for all Amazon Kindle devices and apps, and here’s the write-up from the Collect All 21! Kindle Store page:

Opening that first Darth Vader figure and putting him in a Landspeeder. Imagining a snowy elementary school playground as the wastes of Hoth. Seeing Return of the Jedi on opening night.

Moments like these – and a galaxy more – make up more than three decades of “Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek.” Author and first-generation saga fan John Booth takes the reader from a childhood packed with Star Wars guys (never “action figures”) and Christmas wishes both fulfilled and unrealized, through the years when the trilogy lay dormant to the mainstream public’s eye, and into an age of seeing George Lucas’ universe as an adult while exploring it again as a parent.

Collect All 21! revisits the late 1970s and early ’80s, in all their bad-haircuts-and-Atari glory, then moves beyond those decades and nostalgia to explore the evolution of the Star Wars saga and its fandom.

This expanded electronic edition also includes interviews with Star Wars cast and crew members reflecting on the saga’s impact from both first-generation-fan standpoints and a career spent bringing the universe to life on-screen.

Named by Topless Robot as one of The Ten Greatest Non-Fiction Star Wars Books, Collect All 21! is a love letter from a self-aware geek written under the sometimes harsh light of hindsight, softened with understanding. It captures the innocence and wonder and infinite possibilities of what it meant to an eight-year-old to Collect All 21!

“Like a nostalgic walk through your childhood and growing up geek.”
– WIRED magazine’s GeekDad

“The feeling of childhood magic that pours from its pages will have you reflecting on how much of an impact the Wars have had on you.”
– Topless Robot

“I never thought I’d actually get that Time-Travel Belt, but reading this book is almost better.”
– George Krstic, writer, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Motorcity, and Megas XLR

I’ve also decided to keep the Kindle edition at it’s three-dollar price – which means, yes: More book than the print edition, for less money.

Additionally, it’s available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, so if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow it for FREE.

And hey – Star Wars Celebration VI is coming up fast, so why not start getting psyched up now?

July 1, 2012 Posted by | 1970s, 1980s, Books, eighties, geek, science fiction, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing, the holidays, and “Collect All 21!”

Without a doubt, this has been an interesting and adventurous and challenging and rewarding year in all sorts of ways, from relaunching “Collect All 21!” to Penguicon to the Towpath Marathon.

And, oh yeah, there was that thing where I was thrown headfirst into my freelance writing career.

“Roller coaster” doesn’t even begin to describe this ride.

I’m lucky to have a supportive and loving wife whose full-time job provides us health insurance and a measure of stability. Lucky to have the friends and contacts and encouragment to prevent full-on panic from day one.

There are, to be sure, fantastic pluses. I cannot possibly overstate how much I love working from home, and how much I’m enjoying the variety of editing and writing projects and assignments I’ve been offered. If this was only about the work, hell yes it would be totally worth it.

But it’s not just about the work: It’s about seemingly endless uncertainty, unpredictable pay schedules, the constant search for more projects, and the wrestling with budgets and tax puzzles. It’s about finding joy in earning just enough to no longer qualify for unemployment but still wincing at a monthly bill calendar that doesn’t care whether I get paid next Tuesday or in six weeks.

Still, I remain optimistic that by the time the one-year anniversary of my job cut rolls around in late March, I will be able to look back on it as far more of a promising beginning than a harrowing ending.

That said, it has not been an easy lifestyle adjustment, and with work slowing down as 2009 closes, Jenn and I are far more budget-conscious this holiday season than we have ever been in our 13 years of marriage.

What I’m hoping for this month, then, is to get a little holiday support for “Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek – The First 30 Years.”

I have 27 copies sitting here in my office, and I would desperately love to send them all off to good homes for the holidays, so here’s the deal: Shipping for a nickel.

For $15 – that’s cover price plus five pennies – per book, I’ll sign and cover shipping for “Collect All 21!” anyplace in the U.S. (With apologies to international buyers: I’m ridiculously thankful to everyone in the seven other countries who has purchased my book, but I can’t ship overseas for less than $12 – but if you’re interested in one of these signed copies at that shipping cost, by all means get in touch!)

All you need to do is drop me an email at booth (at) – there shouldn’t be any problems at this point getting these sent out in plenty of time for the holidays.

And if I do manage to ship out all 27 of those copies, I’ll keep taking orders for signed copies at the nickel shipping rate through Dec. 24, although obviously I’ll have to place my own new order, and those won’t be mailed out in time for Christmas. (Think of it as commemorating the 32nd anniversary of Kenner’s famous Early Bird offer for Star Wars action figures in 1977.)

And hey, if you’re buying (or hoping to receive) a netbook or one of the several electronic book readers out there this year – well, “Collect All 21!” comes in a PDF format, too, which I’ll happily send your way for just $5. (I’ll admit up front that I don’t know the specifics about which readers handle PDFs best and which might require file conversion, or how that conversion will look on each reader.)

If you’d prefer to order regular unsigned copies through Lulu or Amazon or Barnes & Noble, that support is also greatly appreciated, and I sincerely hope you enjoy the read.

I have no illusions that my independently-sold books will ever replace a full-time salary, but I am hopeful that these sales can at least cover a bill or two, or be responsibly set aside for taxes (yet another golly-gee-this-is-fun facet of the freelancer’s life).

I’ve gotten encouragement from far-flung corners and surprising voices since updating the book in April, and I am deeply grateful and appreciative to every person who has bought it, blogged about it, reviewed it on Amazon or Goodreads or Lulu shared it with friends and family or just dropped me a note to say it sounded kind of neat.

If you’re one of those people who has purchased or recommended “Collect All 21!”, heartfelt thanks one more time from my little corner of Ohio, and if you know a Star Wars fan, or another former 1980s kid, or just a generally geeky type, I appreciate your spreading the word, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or your blog or wherever.

I’d walk through carbonite for every one of you.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, running, science fiction, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And now for something completely different: Star Wars. And baby birds.

The new “Collect All 21!” front and back covers have finally replaced the outdated versions that were hanging around on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, despite the fact that they’ve been shipping the revised edition for almost a couple months now. It took a little prodding – and a couple frustrating days where there were no cover images at all except the customer-submitted pics I posted out of desperation – but it’s fixed now, and that makes me happy. (Not as happy as say, if a few dozen orders were to be placed tomorrow – but happy nonetheless.)

And don’t forget: I’ll be at the Akron-Canton Comic Con this weekend with a nice supply of books on-hand, and they’ll be cheaper than ordering online!

Speaking of Star Wars, I got a nice surprise in the mail today: My friend Samantha who works at  Positively Cleveland sent me a Fanboys DVD. I finally saw the movie earlier this month since it never made it to a Northeast Ohio theatre (funny, of course, since, oh, it’s about a bunch of guys from Ohio and, oh, the writer is from Ohio and grew up here, and oh, the town’s name, “Shandal,” is a none-too-subtle anagram of Ashland, which is all of an hour from here). I enjoyed the movie more than I was prepared to: It really never reached its full potential for either greatness or suckitude, but being a first-generation fan, I was probably a little more forgiving of its flaws, and I’m looking forward to watching the extras and listening to the commentary track.

Finally, here’s your daily baby robin update – and looking at their development, I fully expect to find the nest empty any day now:

Quit touching me! Mom, Theodores pinching! Im tellllllling!!!!

"Quit touching me!" "Mom, Theodore's pinching!" "I'm tellllllling!!!!"

June 25, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, photos, science fiction, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A day worth saving like an old proof-of-purchase

I had a hard time getting myself to sit at the computer this morning, since I spent an awfully humongous chunk of yesterday parked in this very chair and obsessively clicking and revisiting sites in wonderment and gratitude, and I’d like to spend some time with Jenn before she has to go to work, but …

Yesterday ROCKED.

Both Rebelscum and TheForce.Net posted stories about the new Collect All 21! revised edition, and Rebelscum added the info to its Jedi Journals database. I also added a fresh plug in the R’scum forums, which got some attention from fellow Star Wars fans – particularly the always-awesome Vintage Collecting gang.

Then stuff started happening:

For starters, the first few advance copies I ordered arrived in the mail, and They. Look. Sweet.

And then I got some print and download orders through Lulu;  and then at least a couple orders went through on Amazon (A reminder: I’m unsure about Amazon’s practice of updating the POD source files, as mentioned in the note at the bottom of my announcement post.). And then traffic to the blog started spiking, relatively speaking. My little Cornfield Meet cracked the Top 100 (No. 78 – woohoo!) of WordPress’ Growing Blogs list for the day.

All this was encouraging and steadying and humbling and adrenaline-inducing, and it was, I admit, difficult to re-focus for a short freelance assignment I was working on, but I managed to get it done amidst the constant clicking and refreshing.

By day’s end, Collect All 21! had its best sales day ever; I got a couple requests for signed copies once I get a good supply of books here at home (including one from Australia!); I’m working on lining up a podcast interview about the book; and I received an invitation to attend and sign at a convention.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m certainly not replacing a full-time salary with these boosts, and I’m still pushing hard for every freelance assignment I can get – I had a very promising phone call this morning – but to everyone who’s visiting, subscribing, ordering, downloading, emailing or sharing the link love, this space is woefully inadequate for expressing what your support means.

Thank you.

April 23, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, Current Affairs, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Collect All 21!” – New, improved, and stays crunchier in milk!


Reviews, excerpts, podcast readings and more “Collect All 21!” information here.

Order it from Lulu, or from Amazon, or from Barnes & Noble.

Okay: The milk thing I made up.

But I am psyched about announcing two awfully cool changes to the book! First, the most obvious:


This is the new kick-ass cover by Kirk Demarais, creator of the awesomely time-stealing Secret Fun Spot, artist behind this inspired cinematic family portrait series at last year’s Crazy4Cult show in Los Angeles, and author of Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company, Makers of Pranks and Magic for 100 Years. (His book’s currently unavailable, but Kirk’s been running a fun retrospective this month of old pre-packaged gags. Have fun. Don’t get sneezing powder on your hands.)

I found Kirk’s blog awhile back and took about three seconds to get totally sucked in. Realizing we probably had some common interests, I sent him an electronic version of Collect All 21! and asked if he’d consider doing the cover of a revised edition. As you can see, he stuck to my original concept – not being artistically inclined at all, I was giddy when Kirk said he liked the homage to Kenner’s old Star Wars Proofs of Purchase, because I at least felt like my idea was good, even if my execution was a bit clumsy – but made the final cover totally his own, upping the old-school feel with the black backdrop, the textual echoes in the title, and the twin silver bar graphics. And I love the subtle nod to the CMYK offset printing process used in packaging, with the tiny slivers of magenta and cyan around the blue-and-white logo.

I told Kirk all this in a probably way-too-hyper email after he showed me the reworking, but this is his well-deserved public thanks: This. Is. AMAZING!

You have to look inside the book for the second Collect All 21! upgrade: It’s a new foreword written by David Morgan-Mar, of whom I’ve been a fan for several years now.

When I went looking for an independent voice to add an opening to my book, I wanted to find a fellow first-generation fan with a little, you know, Geek Cred. So, let’s see: David’s the creator of “Irregular Webcomic” – the hugely hysterical multi-layered comic which introduced me to his work – and the Star Wars prequel/roleplaying mashup webcomic “Darths & Droids.” He also writes and playtests GURPS roleplaying games, and for fun he’s done stuff like design computer programming languages for orangutans and evil necromancers. He’s got a Ph.D. in astrophysics, too.

So I sent him an email, and after getting a positive response, a PDF of the book. In return, David sent me an incredibly nice note about just plowing through Collect All 21! in sheer enjoyment. Within a week, he’d crafted a foreword that had me grinning for days and left me stunned at the wonder of living in a world where I can type to a guy I’ve never met, and who’s literally on the other side of the planet, and we can share similar experiences about growing up in the original Golden Age of Star Wars. (That goes for Kirk, too, by the way, minus the “other side of the planet” stuff, although we’re still several states apart.)

You’ll also notice that I tweaked the back cover slightly to match it up with Kirk’s design and incorporate a quote from David’s foreword.

I’m excited about sort of re-launching the book and reaching people who’ve either held off on buying or who haven’t heard about it lately because, well, I haven’t been talking it up much for the past few months. (Want to pass the word along? Here’s a PDF press release.)

Big, huge, massively supercolossal thanks to Kirk and David – and to everyone who’s supported me by reading and buying Collect All 21! since last July!

April 20, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, Games, geek, Ohio, Science, science fiction, Web/Tech, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


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