A Rossland author has published the first in a series of books about the seven years he spent cruising around the world in a yacht.
Skip Rowland released No Return Ticket on Oct. 4, via Simon & Schuster’s self-publishing imprint Archway Publishing.
“It’s a hybrid publishing company, so I had to make a contribution as well,” explained Rowland. “But they shouldered most of the responsibility and they’re doing the promotion and the advertising and all the rest of that. So it’s a step above being self-published, I guess.”
According to the Archway website, while authors who publish through the company have to pay to publish, Archway offers services beyond simply printing the book, like distribution and marketing.
But as far as marketing is concerned, Rowland has his own wealth of experience. Before he gave up on the 9 to 5, sold most of his worldly possessions and went sailing, Rowland was a manufacturers’ rep, getting products like Krazy Glue, Simple Green and Breathe Right onto store shelves.
To market No Return Ticket, Archway and Rowland have organized a Google Analytics campaign, where users from specific geographic areas who visit yachting sites or physical stores will find ads for Rowland’s book popping up in their web browser. Rowland’s friends are also helping with a gorilla marketing campaign.
“That’s friends of mine, or people that I know in the industry that are doing their own kind of oblique promotional work for me,” he explained. “It’s nice to have friends.”
Some of Rowland’s friends also threw him a party to celebrate No Return Ticket. Rowland is a member of the Rossland Writing Group that meets at the Seniors Centre twice a month, and at the Nov. 2 meeting members threw a wine and cheese to celebrate the book. Rowland had a chance to talk about the book and read an excerpt — thought its hardly the first time writing group members had been treated to Rowland’s storytelling. The excerpt Rowland read from at the wine and cheese was about one of the three times that his ship, Endymion, was caught in a storm. On this particular occasion his wife Denise was aboard, though there was a portion of the trip she missed.
Rowland first boarded the ship in January 1987, departing from California. Denise was meant to leave with him, but she broke her leg on the gangway, and wasn’t able to join him until July 14, 1987 — Bastille Day — in Tahiti. By that time Rowland had sailed across the equator, an uncomfortably warm experience Denise wasn’t entirely sorry to miss. Denise also missed the time the yacht was knocked down. “That’s when the boat just goes over flat on its side and you’re afraid it’s going to sink,” explained Rowland. “And of course I didn’t tell [Denise] about that.”
But though Rowland experienced his fair share of mishaps over the years, he speaks glowingly of the experience. “Being on a boat way out in the ocean can be one of the most peaceful things you could ever imagine. We would see more stars in a night than most people living in cities would see in a lifetime, just because it’s so clear, and so beautiful, and so pure.”
No Return Ticket covers Rowland’s first year on Endymion and his westward journey from California to Australia, and subsequent books in the series will cover the rest of the seven-year voyage. Rowland hopes to release the second book in March.
No Return Ticket is available on amazon.ca and amazon.com, and so far has four five-star reviews between the two sites.