Walter Rhett

Charleston writer publishes new free e-book, “From the Front Porches of Charleston”

In Perlo on December 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm

National blogger, Charleston writer, Walter Rhett, has published a new 149 page e-book. “From the Front Porches of Charleston:” The Election of Barack Obama is a free special edition e-book, available at lulu.com by clicking through the private acess code, http://www.lulu.com/content/5282127 .
In a recent interview, Rhett discusses the book’s development, its main themes and insights; its writing, editing, and publishing. Here’s part one.

Q: What sets “From the Front Porches” apart from other books that will be written about the Obama campaign and victory?

wr: First, “From the Front Porches” is not a book about the campaign. It’s not about politics; it doesn’t follow the campaign trail. “From the Front Porches” is a book about the American legacy. It records the open converation America conducted and draws historic parallels. The free e-book celebrates Obama’s election, viewing it “from a Charleston porch.” The book is unique; its views, voice, and history from Charleston make it original.

Q: Since the election, everyone seems to have developed products to capitalize on Barack’s success. There are tee shirts, mugs, plates, and biographies for sale. Why is your e-book free?

wr: First, as a history teller, I wanted to craft a quality, first class book. Then I wanted the book to be widely available to folk everywhere. I wanted the book to have high value and long reach.

Secondly, I didn’t want income “differences” to prevent people from connecting to Barack’s victory. I didn’t want the celebration of Barack’s victory to be a decision in the market place. Freedom means we have an unimpeded choice. This e-book allows everyone to preserve the moment in their hearts and memories. People of all backgrounds, incomes, ages, genders, ethnic groups, and parties may consider the election’s historic terms.

The e-book is a gift that celebrates the expanded possiblities of the American dream. To paraphrase Barack’s victory speech, “America is a place where all things are possible, the dream of our founders is alive in our time; an answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, that we are the United States of America.” That’s the essence of the book.

Q: Why an e-book?

wr: The book has over 100 photo pages. Many of the photos are from Barack’s own photostream, including Jackson. Several appeared on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers. There are over 100,000 photos of Barack online; many of the best photos were shot by community photographers in different cities and towns, at different times, and were available only for non-commerical use. I came to realize as editor that these photos were more candid and intimate. They preserved the excitement of his rallies. They framed Barack’sdevotion to his family and Michelle. These photos are a one-of-kind look at Barack through the images the eyes of an incredibly diverse community of American photographers.

Printing color is expensive; “as is,” the book would cost forty-seven dollars! Hard copies have to be shipped and stored. They can be lost, damaged, dog-eared, and be affected in tens of ways. A digital e-book, in PDF, preserves the photos and text, broadens public acess, and eliminates distribution, storage, marketing, and retail costs! Digital web publishing is innovative; lulu.com is experienced and reputable. Their site puts the book before a national and global audience.

You can download it now. It’s only available by using the direct access code, http://www.lulu.com/content/5282127. Share it with others. Give it as a gift. This special, commemorative edition, “From the Front Porches of Charleston:” The Election of Barack Obama is free.

(Part two of the interview tomorrow.)

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