Saturday, November 10, 2012


Lawrence P. Gooley

Lawrence Gooley, of Clinton County, is an award-winning author who has hiked, bushwhacked, climbed, bicycled, explored, and canoed in the Adirondack Mountains for 45 years. With a lifetime love of research, writing, and history, he has authored 22 books and more than 200 articles on the region's past, and in 2009 organized the North Country Authors in the Plattsburgh area.

His book Oliver’s War: An Adirondack Rebel Battles the Rockefeller Fortune won the Adirondack Literary Award for Best Book of Nonfiction in 2008. Another title, Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow, was a regional best-seller for four years running.

With his partner, Jill Jones, Gooley founded Bloated Toe Enterprises in 2004, which has published 83 titles to date. They also offer editing/proofreading services, web design, and a range of PowerPoint presentations based on Gooley's books.

Bloated Toe’s unusual business model was featured in Publishers Weekly in April 2011. The company also operates an online store to support the work of other regional folks. The North Country Store features more than 100 book titles and 60 CDs and DVDs, along with a variety of other area products.

2 Responses

  1. victoria says:

    A friend e-mailed your article-very interesting. I considered making my six books available as e-books, but something always held me back. It is difficult to find a place to show-case, but I partake in local events. Most of my stories take place in the Adirondacks except for my first book in South Florida – that one did well as it mentioned many local places.

    What is your suggestion for the most exposure?


    • Lawrence P. Gooley Larry Gooley says:

      What’s best is probably a varied approach (individual signings, group events, social media, and anything you can think of) in order to get your name and your book mentioned in print and digital outlets. As a publisher, I often have to tell people things that they don’t consider in advance: that a book needs to be good in order to sell; it needs to appeal to a potentially substantial audience; and it needs to generate word-of-mouth interest.

      But it’s important to know that even a good book won’t sell if nobody knows about it. That seems like it should be obvious, but it’s often one of the biggest reasons for lackluster sales. Placing a book on Amazon isn’t magical. It will usually generate nearly zero sales, and for good reason: it sits there among millions of other titles. In that situation, why or how would anyone find it unless they were already looking for it?

      An author’s efforts to sell should be continuous … there are far more people out there who have never heard of us or our book than there are who have. An example: one of my books covers the history of a North Country village. I’ve reprinted that book three times since 2004, and each year, within ten miles of that village, I generate many sales to people who have never heard of the book. It’s a valuable lesson I won’t forget. That and foot traffic in brick & mortar stores. The greater number of people who see your book, the greater the chances of sales success.

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