Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Update

It's been too long since I posted anything new here, and now I intend to update this page on a more regular basis.  I started this particular blog to have a place to post general news about what I'm doing with my various projects - especially the writing projects. 

My last update here included links to various sites and blogs around the web that reviewed my book: Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late.  There have been many more positive reviews since then and I can now report that Bug Out sold out the first print run and continues to sell well.  The paperback edition has been on Amazon's Top 100 bestseller list in the "Outdoors and Nature" category for 158 days (as of today), as well as in the Top 100 books in "Current Events."  It has also consistently been in the Top 5 in the two sub-categories of  "Survival Skills" and "Disaster Relief." 

This interest in the subject matter of Bug Out has led me to a contract for a follow-up book that will be completed by July.  This one will go into greater detail on certain parts of Bug Out that had to be condensed for the original book.  The new book will be my third survival-related title to be published by Ulysses Press.  In the meantime, I have finished the second book I contracted to write for them: Could You Survive?: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Got Out Alive, and it has been edited and revised and is now in the layout stage to be made ready for publication early in 2011. 

In addition, while working on this new survival book in the coming months, I am simultaneously working on a novel that should be of interest to many of the same readers, as it has some related themes.  This will probably be my most challenging project to date, due to the nature of fiction writing vs. researching and writing non-fiction.  It's something I really enjoy though and look forward to seeing through to publication.  

The books are keeping me busy, but I'm still working on my Tiki 26 catamaran project from time to time and hope to launch it sometime next year.  Occasionally I will even find time to update the blog about the project, as well as my Scott's Boat Pages blog, which is still somehow attracting a fair number of readers.  Due to the interest in the book, Bug Out Survival is of course my most popular blog, and has now reached the level of over 25,000 page views per month, though once again, I don't update it as often as I would like.  You may also noticed that I have temporarily removed the "photography" link from my main navigation bar in my home page, but this will be back soon.  I will soon launch a new photography blog detailing my journey to learn more about DSLR photography, specifically with my Nikon equipment.  With the recent release of the new D7000, I am now delving into videography as well, and will be posting about my experiences and writing gear reviews.  I also plan to use videos hosted through YouTube and similar sights to demonstrate some of the how-to topics of my other blogs and to document some of my future adventures on the new catamaran, etc.   

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Online Reviews of Bug Out

Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late has been well received in the online survival and preparedness community.  Here are some reviews from related blogs and websites:

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"275 Wilderness Bug Out Locations for Your Family:  We always talk about Bug Out Locations in the abstract: “I’ll grab my bag and go” Go where? “The wilderness” is not an answer. If you don’t have a specific location you are unprepared. Bug Out contains a detailed list of 275 prime wilderness Bug Out Locations."  Read the full review at: Survival Cache

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"Williams hits all the right buttons, as far as I’m concerned, with his approach to disaster planning. Like any survival manual or guide, read “Bug Out” with a grain of salt. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to surviving a disaster, and some of Williams’ premises or advice might not work for your situation."

But the book does give solid suggestions for surviving a potential disaster, and reading it may make a difference in your survival planning!  Read the full review at Survival Common Sense.

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"This is a really great book if bugging out is in your plan for SHTF. I don't blow smoke, and if it sucked, I would tell you. It doth not suck! This book isn't a "how to", it's a where to. It's plum full of great info on lots of good places to go when SHTF. I can tell you that a lot of research went into this book."  Read the full review at:  Keep It Simple Survival

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"Williams manages to speak to the novice as well as the seasoned survivalist.  Bug Out is divided into two parts: Basics and Locations.  It begins with what kind of bag you should consider and builds from there; encompassing clothing, food, shelter, gear, vehicles, and more.  Part two divides the continental U.S. into eight regions and offers bug out locations as well as region specific weather, resources, hazards, and recommended equipment.  Technical information along with his personal experience is expertly woven with basic information so that this book builds on itself."  Read the full review at Lure of the Horizon.  

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"As a city dweller in a large apartment complex, with no funds for a faraway retreat just yet, I have become concerned it will not likely be safe in our area if things were to fall apart with no place to go.  This is the first book that gives concrete information on bugging out.   It gives me hope we can make it out of here if we need to.  This book is definitely a keeper."  Read the full review at The Apartment Prepper's Blog.

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"What if you’re faced with rapidly rising flood waters? Maybe it’s a threat from a forest fire. Or you need to clear out in the face of an oncoming Category four hurricane. What do you do then? Where do you go? What do you pack? How do you get food, water and other necessities beyond civilization? Bug Out helps answer those questions.

No matter what part of the country you live in, find out what you need to know about escape routes and how to get the additional info you may need. Find out what gear and supplies you’ll need to survive. Then practice. Go camping. Scope out travel routes and places to escape."  Read the full review at

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"The premise is that something happens that makes you need to head for the woods in a hurry, or 'bug out.'

Scott devotes the first third of the book detailing what to take and how to prepare. The rest is a description of places to go throughout the lower 48 states — national forests, swamps, mountain ranges, river basins, islands.  Here Scott calls into play his ample experience camping in places ranging from the River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho to Everglades National Park, Florida. The book also addresses how to survive when you get to your wilderness hideout. Again, Scott calls on ample experience."  Read full review at: The Enterprise-Journal

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"The author of “Bug Out” knows about the topic firsthand. More than 20 years ago Scott Williams “bugged out” himself, making a 2,500-mile solo sea kayak voyage across the Caribbean.  That was before the term 'bug out' came into vogue. Williams referred to that sort of travel as 'checking out.'" Read the full article at The Enterprise-Journal.

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"The book is divided into two parts,the first half can apply to any country.. These sections cover the Fantasy and Reality of living off the land, citing survivor experiences such as Chris McCandless, Martin Price, Kayak bill, Jim Corbett, Eric Robert Rudolph and Tom Brown. Noting a perspective of needing a balance between a naked native adept and the overburdened recreational outdoorsman when it comes to equipping yourself for bugging out and trying to dispell the myth that all you need is a knife to survive in the wild."  Read the full article at Urban Evasion.

Book Review: And the Rain Came Down

And The Rain Came Down is a novel I probably would not have discovered had it not been for becoming an acquaintance of the author through an online discussion forum of things of mutual interest, as well as becoming friends on Facebook.   When I opened the book and read the first paragraph, I knew this was a novel I wouldn't put down until the the end. 

And The Rain Came Down

S.A. Bailey tells the story of Jebediah Shaw in a matter-of-fact first person style that has you believing you're reading a non-fiction narrative. His descriptions of the people and landscapes of East Texas are so real you know he's writing from first-hand experience as a resident of the area. Having lived in the South most of my life as well, these characters and their hidden world of drugs and corruption beneath the surface of sleepy small towns scattered through the rural countryside and woods are all too real to me.

S.A. Bailey knows the territory, as evidenced in descriptions such as this: "Bear Wallace, my partner and oldest friend, lived way outside of town, near the county line, down a dirt road no one with any sense would venture unless they knew they were welcome. It just looked foreboding, as if it were always autumn, the long dirt driveway leading off the blacktop shrouded beneath the thick canopy of age-old oak and pine, toward a dark whirlpool where the ghouls of young nightmares never left."

But As the Rain Came Down is so much more than just evocative descriptions that make you feel like an outsider catching a glimpse of a dangerous corner of America that at times seems like another country. The story takes you in from the first page and leads relentlessly into the downward spiral of deeper and deeper trouble that Jeb gets himself into in his quest to bring home the bread and make a life with some sense of normalcy and stability for the woman he loves. Torn between two worlds - that of the soldier who can never really come completely home from a war that changed him forever, and that of the man he wants to be for her - the man he knows he never really can be, Jeb will do anything to give her what he thinks she wants. The further he goes down that path, the more elusive his goal becomes. Once you're caught up in Jeb's story, you won't be able to escape any more than he can, and you won't put this book down until you're right there with him at the conclusion of this wild and dangerous ride.

If there's a sequel to As the Rain Came Down, I'll eagerly look forward to finding out what happens to Jeb next. But whatever S.A. Bailey writes to follow up this great first novel, I'll be waiting to read it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bug Out is Available

I just checked the book's listing on both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites and discovered that it is now in stock and available to ship. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

First Copies of Bug Out Are Here

There's nothing quite like seeing an idea transformed into a finished book. Today the UPS truck arrived with two boxes of books: my author's copies of  Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late  So the idea that came to me last April and had just caught the interest of my editor at Ulysses Press by this time last year is now a published book - certainly making this the fastest experience I've had so far in pitching, writing and publishing a book.

Since my copies arrived here, that means the books are starting to ship from the printer's warehouse, and should be reaching bookstores and online outlets like Amazon any day now.  You can still pre-order the book  from Amazon at the above link to get the guaranteed low price of $10.17 - even though the listing says it has not been released yet - it will be shipping as soon as their first copies arrive. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Update On Bug Out Release Date

Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late, has been scheduled for publication on May 1 for several months now.  I just got an update from my editor that the book will still be available this month, but a slight delay from the printer means that it will ship on May 17 and should be in bookstores on or about May 25. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bug Out Back Cover Finalized

I just received a PDF from my editor of the final version of the back cover for Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late.  Everything is ready to go to press now, so the finished product is right around the corner.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Book Contract

This past week while working on proofreading my forthcoming book, Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late, I have been simultaneously working out the details with my editor for another survival-related book.  A sample has been written and yesterday I received a second book contract from Ulysses Press - something I certainly didn't expect to happen even before Bug Out was released. 

I'll have a busy spring and summer, as the manuscript for this new book is due by September 1, and publication is scheduled for January.  I like the fast pace however, and I'm excited to be working with a publishing company that understands the market and is able to move fast enough on these projects to get them to readers while the interest is there.  In a recent Publisher's Weekly article, Ulysses Press was named among the fastest-growing publishers in 2009, despite the recession that has hurt the industry as a whole.  Here's the full article: 

The indie presses that grew in 2009 benefited from bold decision making


Bug Out Proofed and In Production

I spent much of last week and the previous weekend reading and proofing the PDF version of Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late.  The editors and designers at Ulysses Press did a great job of turning the manuscript into a book, and I found very few errors.  Most of the changes involved swapping out some of the illustrations and correcting captions.  The maps for each region discussed in the book look great as well.  Publication is scheduled for May, so it won't be long now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bug Out Survival Blog Is Now Live

With my new book, Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late complete and mostly edited and revised except for a few details, I now have a bit more time available for other projects while the publisher is preparing illustrations, maps and layout.

One of those new projects is my new blog: Bug Out Survival which I am developing to expand on the topics covered in the book and to provide a place for interaction with my readers who are interested in these topics.  There is a huge interest in survival out in the blogosphere and a plethora of fascinating blogs on all aspects of this subject. Since the launch of the blog yesterday, I've been slammed with hits and it seems a readership is growing by the hour.  Click on the image to check it out, or just go to 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kindle Editions of My Books

Amazon Kindle 2 Wireless Reading Device:

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)

Lately, I've been doing a good bit of research into ebooks and ebook reading technology, mainly because of the growing popularity of ebook reading devices.  With better options for making use of such electronic books, such as Amazon's Kindle 2 (above) and the larger Kindle DX, not to mention netbooks, reading apps for smartphones like Mobipocket Reader and others,  more and more readers are purchasing books in electronic format.

Not having purchased a Kindle reader yet, I downloaded the free Kindle for PC application from Amazon to sample the functionality of it and I have to say I am quite impressed.  A quick search through Amazon's Kindle Store led me to quite a selection of great classic literature that is available for free download.  I quickly added such titles as: Heart of Darkness, Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics), and Walden to my electronic library and gave them a try on Kindle for PC.   Even on the laptop, the readability with the Kindle program is much easier than trying to read books in PDF format on Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Page turns are simple with a click of the mouse or a push on the space bar, and bookmarks and notations can be made in an instant so that you can quickly find key passages.

In addition to all these free classics available from Amazon, most publishers of "dead tree books" are now offering Kindle Editions to go alongside their traditional hardcover and paperback designs. My own books published by University Press of Mississippi are a good example.  Currently, two of them are available as Kindle Editions, and my forthcoming book to be published by Ulysses Press in May will surely be available for Kindle as well.  Look at the cost savings on these two books:

On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean
Paperback Edition:  List Price $20.00,  Amazon Price $15.60

On Island Time Kayaking the Caribbean (Kindle Edition)
Kindle Edition Price $9.99

Exploring Coastal Mississippi: A Guide to the Marine Waters and Islands
Paperback Edition:  List Price $22.00,  Amazon Price $14.96

Exploring Coastal Mississippi (Kindle Edition)
Kindle Edition Price  $9.99

For some reason Paddling the Pascagoula is not yet available on Kindle, (I'll blame it on my co-author, Ernest Herndon) but hopefully it will be soon.

Seeing the advantages of offering books in Kindle format led me to look into producing a Kindle Edition for Astray of the Herd: Observations, Commentaries and Rants from Outside the Mainstream, as well.  I initially published this book through a independant Print-On-Demand system worked out pretty well, but in order to make even a minimal royalty, I had to price it at $14.00 for the printed version.  Now, with Amazon's digital publishing, I have produced it in ebook format and can offer it for just $2.49.  Here is a link to the Kindle Edition: 

Astray of the Herd (Kindle Edition)

Through Amazon I can also offer the same paperback edition as the original for a lower price of just $10.95.  I 'm in the process of preparing that now.  In another post in the near future, I will write about my adventures of publishing both for Kindle and print through Amazon, and provide some helpful resources for readers who would like to do the same.

Kindle and other forms of ebooks are great for people who are voracious readers, are on the go a lot, or like me, need to carry a lot of reference books, guidebooks and other reading material in a small space, such as on a sailboat.  The space savings, cost savings on books compared to printed books and the availability of many free books makes a Kindle reader high on my list of near-future purchases.  Just as the Ipod allowed me to leave the CDs at home, a Kindle reader will certainly lighten my load. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Manuscript Finished

The manuscript for Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late has been completed and submitted to my publisher last week.  There is still much work to do before the publication date of May 1, 2010, as there will be the normal round of revisions and I still have to complete things like the appendices, bibliography and index.  For those who have been asking just exactly what this book is all about, I will include the table of contents in my next post.  In addition, I will soon be launching a new blog to accompany the book and allow me to expand on some of the content within it as well as address related topics.  In the meantime,  you can read the publisher's description of  the book below or go to the Amazon page for it, where it is already listed and available for pre-order: 

Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late

Book Description:

Escaping a doomed city during the first few hours of an impending crisis can make the difference between life and death. The tragic lesson of Hurricane Katrina applies to any large-scale crisis: Don’t hope to wait it out or expect the government to bail you out – just get out. Since natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and civil unrest may be unavoidable and can quickly strip away all the comforts and security of civilization, Bug Out provides the information readers need to make an exit and escape the ensuing chaos sure to befall those who do not know how to react. From pre-planning and mapping out an escape route to preparing gear and supplies for wilderness living in a remote location, this book provides the ordinary urban-dwelling American with information on what to take and where to go to have the best chance of survival. Bug Out includes advice on overcoming pitfalls (like road or gas station closures) that could delay or even prevent one’s escape and provides descriptions of more than one hundred potential wilderness “bug-out locations” in all parts of the Lower 48 States.