Last October we ran a story about Goodloe Byron, a local author (and designer of snazzy book covers) who was giving away copies of his first novel, The Abstract. Not just a few copies, but all of ’em—10,544 to be exact. (That’s a lot; most first novelists can only dream of selling that many copies, even if he or she is attached to a big publisher.)
At the time, Byron figured that he’d be done off-loading all copies of The Abstract by January 2008. He was about six months off. Byron writes in an e-mail that at last weekend’s Crafty Bastards fair, he finally handed off his last one:
The Zero Dollar Tour is over, long live the zero dollar tour. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, last September a friend of mine and I loaded up a truck with four thousand copies of a book and went around handing them out for free, mostly to vagabonds. We went to Chicago then up to Seattle down to LA, back to Chicago etc. The heap of books has dwindled down regularly since then to basically nothing, and now down to nothing, proper. Last Saturday I was going about my DC rounds when I heard there was an arts and crafts fair out in Silver Spring. After several hours of sitting on the curb and offering helpful information, the final book, # 10,544, was handed to a young lady to whom I shouted “Damn you! Just take it”, a less romantic conclusion than I had anticipated. So now, at last, the jig is up and the books are gone.
But for anybody itching to get hold of a copy, a second printing is planned. Byron has mocked up four new cover ideas for the new edition, and he’s inviting folks to e-mail him with their preference.