When my editor at Stackpole Books told me that the release date for my book “Florida Breweries” would be April 1, 2014, I hesitated. After all, I have been known to write an April Fools’ Day post in years past, and I didn’t want readers to get confused.
But it’s no joke. It’s official. It’s here.
I’ve had a lot of questions from folks interested in buying or stealing a copy, so here’s a FAQ to answer some of those. (Some of it is boilerplate copy from the promotional material. I’ll put that part between quotation marks).
Q: What is “Florida Breweries”?
A: It’s a book.
Q: I know that. Tell me more details, you smartass.
A: “The craft brew revolution has spread south. This all-new guidebook profiles 66 of the Sunshine State’s breweries and brewpubs. Entries include each brewery’s story, styles of beer brewed, tours, and special features. Author’s “Pick” on the best beer to try at each site. Special features on beer chains, beer in theme parks, container sizes, and beer festivals”
Q: What makes you qualified to “Pick” the best beer to try at each site?
A: Nothing. It’s just the beer that I tried during my visit that I most enjoyed at that particular time. Feel free to disagree.
Q: You really visited them all? Like, in person?
Q: Why are there only 66 chapters on breweries? Florida has more than that.
A: That is true. The short answer is “deadlines.” You can read more on this in my interview with Central Florida Top 5. I tried to make it as current as possible, but the Florida brewery scene is in such an exponential growth mode that I would still be writing the book if there wasn’t a deadline. My editor was gracious in allowing me to extend the deadline a few times, but he really wanted me to finish it. There’s a list of 40-plus breweries in the back that have not opened/did not open by deadline. Can I say deadline again? Deadline.
Q: OK, how can I get a copy of this?
A: There are a few options.
- Buy it online at StackpoleBooks.com, Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.
- It should be available soon in some bookstores. If you see it in one, let me know.
- Some of the breweries and bars in Florida will have them in stock. Cigar City Brewing in Tampa and Copp Brewery & Winery have ordered copies, I know.
- If you see me, I’ll likely have a copy or 200 in my car. Just ask.
- Show up at one of the signings.
Q: Signings? Where?
A: Your best bet is to check my presumptuously sounding Amazon Author Page, where there is a calendar that I will keep updated. Also, I will do occasional “pop up” signings at venues that I will announce on the Beer in Florida Facebook page and Twitter account as far in advance as possible. Also, if you’ve already purchased a copy, bring it along and I’ll be happy to sign it.
Q: I want to buy one of the very first copies from YOU! How can I do that?
A: The book launch party will be Thursday, April 3, at Copp Brewery and Winery in Crystal River, where I live. I don’t want to stray too far. I’m nervous.
Q: I don’t live in Florida, but I would like to have an autographed copy in case you ever become famous beyond your allotted 15 minutes. How can I get one?
A: Again, a couple of options.
- Buy a copy and hire a private detective to track me down to sign it. (Tip: Print out the picture above to help the gumshoe spot the bird).
- Be patient. I plan on making signed copies available to ship after the initial hubbub settles, if there is in fact any hubbub.
Q: I really, really, really want you to sign books and/or do a presentation at my beer joint. How do I arrange that?
A: Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to buy bulk copies at wholesale for either a signing or to sell at your shop, contact Sarah Wolf at Stackpole Books, email@example.com, or call her at 717-796-0411 x126
Q: I’m a representative of a major/minor/barely noticeable media outlet, and I’d like to interview you for/have you appear on/become a guest host for my show/network/blog/world domination group. How can I arrange that?
A: For now, send me an email at the above address.
Q: Wait, no one’s mentioned the cost? How much will I need to fork over for this?
A: Suggested retail price is $19.95. Some of the online outlets offer a discount. At the signings, for now, the SRP will be the cost. If a venue has purchased copies for resale, I want to support them so buy from them first. I should have copies of my own for sale if the venue doesn’t, or if they run out. Cash is preferred.
Q: Who is this “Gerard Walen”?
A: “Gerard Walen is the author of ‘Florida Breweries,’ a former editor and writer for the New York Times Regional Media Group, and a contributing writer for Beer Advocate, All About Beer, and Paste Magazine. Born in Tampa, he lives in a little house in Crystal River, Florida, a stone’s throw from the Withalacoochee River, where he can often be found on his deck enjoying a locally crafted beer.”
Q: Weird name. How do you pronounce it?
A: Jurr-ARD WALL-in. Or if you’re a pirate, GerARRRRD Walen.
Now we shall go to the mailbag, which really shocked me when I found out I had one.
Dear Gerard, Do you have a publisher? Do you? DO YOU??? – Stustin Jange
Why, yes, Stustin. The publisher is Stackpole Books out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. “Florida Breweries” is not their first foray into chronicling a state’s beer scene. They’ve published several, including Colorado Breweries by Dan Rabin, California Breweries North by Jay R. Brooks, and Indiana Breweries by John Holl and Nate Schweber. You can find them all here.
Dear Gerard, Are you available? – The Ladies
Dear Gerard, I want and will buy your book, but I feel that you might need more money to support your travels throughout the state because there’s only so much room at the top for us billionaire authors. Is there a way to help? – Keven Sting
In fact, there is PayPal “Donate” button on the side of the home page here. Thank you for asking, Keven.
Dear Gerard, Will there be a second edition? – A New Florida Brewery That Did Not Make It In The Book.
Dear ANFBTDNMIITB, Stay tuned.
I am extremely grateful to a lot of people who helped me along this journey. I hope to see you soon to thank you in person.