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New Runners Book to Benefit Boston Marathon Victims

Posted Jul 20 2013 12:56pm

Here’s a press release about the 27th Mile which is a book project for which I contributed a chapter. Be sure to pick up a copy if you can.  The proceeds go to charity.  27thcover-220w

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Arlington, MA’s Ray Charbonneau ran this year’s Boston Marathon as a sighted guide for a visually impaired runner. Ray and his running partner, Mike Merino from Texas, finished the race only seven minutes before the bombs went off.

Like many in the running community, Charbonneau wanted to do something to help the victims of the bombing. He’s an experienced independent publisher who has put out three books of his own and helped a number of other people with their own books, so an anthology for runners was a natural choice.

The 27th Mile is a collection of stories, poetry, and articles inspired by running and runners, dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. All proceeds from sales of the book will go to The One Fund Boston.

It’s also is an example of how the Internet makes it possible for people scattered all across the country to get together quickly and organize a project to help other people.

“I didn’t want a typical running book,” said Charbonneau, “filled with training tips or the exploits of champion runners. And while the book does reflect some on this year’s marathon, I didn’t want a book focused on the tragedy. Instead, I wanted something that touches on the reasons why we run and the reasons we’ll be back at the start in Hopkinton next April, something positive that all runners can identify with.”

Charbonneau contacted a number of runners who write from across the US, and they were happy to help. Some are well-known names in the running community, people like Jeff Galloway and Kathrine Switzer. Others are primarily known for their literary efforts, people like best-selling mystery author Lawrence Block and world poetry slam silver medalist Jesse Parent. Cover artists and copy editors also donated their time and effort.

“I’m very happy with the result,” said Charbonneau. “The book is a great reminder of the spirit that first got us out on the roads to run, and the spirit we celebrate every time we go for a run, whatever the distance.”

One of the contributors, 1968 Boston Marathon champion Amby Burfoot, says The 27th Mile, “is not just another running book. It’s varied enough to be interesting, with articles, fiction, and poetry, but it’s focused enough to have a moral, emotional core that will resonate with runners and those who love them.”

Charbonneau started pulling The 27th Mile together in late April, right after the marathon. By the middle of June, the book was completed and available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers’ websites. It can take a year or more for traditional publishing to take a completed manuscript and get it out on bookstore shelves.

Modern print-on-demand and ebook publishing services made it possible to produce the book without any up-front expenses. From day one, every dollar that came in went straight to The One Fund.

“We could have worked with a traditional publisher, but putting The 27th Mile out independently allowed us to get the book on the market quickly,” said Charbonneau. “Since we don’t have a publisher taking a cut and we don’t have to print books in advance, we can donate much more money to The One Fund for each copy we sell. The downside is that the book isn’t out on the racks in many brick-and-mortar bookstores. We’re hoping that satisfied readers help spread the word.”

The 27th Mile is available now, in paperback and in all major ebook formats. For more information, visit your favorite online bookseller or www.the27thmile.com .

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