Yesterday Blurb announced it will publish the paperback edition of Mary Tillman’s Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman on July 31. It is the first project for the San Francisco-based do-it-yourself publisher with a “name” author. Leigh Haber, who was Tillman’s editor for the hardcover published by an imprint at Rodale Press in 2008, was brought in as Blurb’s paid consultant to rework the paperback with Tillman and her co-writer Narda Zacchino.
As part of its just launched Blurb for Good program, the publisher will donate $1 of each book sold to the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides resources and educational support to veterans, active service members and their dependents.
In Boots on the Ground, Tillman tells the story of her son’s retirement from professional football to join the Army Rangers after 9/11 and serve in Afghanistan, where he was killed by what turned out to be friendly fire. Blurb decided to announce it was reissuing a revised book now, because in it, Tillman addresses how General Stanley McChrystal, recently fired by President Obama for disparaging remarks he made about the administration and the military leadership in the Afghanistan war, was central in the military’s cover-up of their son’s death.
Blurb’s Boots on the Ground will be published two weeks before the Weinstein Company distributes The Tillman Story, a documentary narrated by Josh Brolin that details Pat’s story and exposes the military propaganda machine that was responsible for the cover up.
“I believe even more now than ever that the Tillman story is an important one, and seeing a screening of the documentary drove this home even more powerfully,” said Haber. “When Mary told me she hoped to make the book available again to coincide with the film's release, I knew it was a great fit for her to work with Blurb. Blurb’s platform enables both POD and offset for larger runs – so no matter what the response is to the paperback release, Blurb can support it. I also knew Mary would appreciate Blurb’s ability to make a donation to The Pat Tillman Foundation for every book sold through the Blurb for Good program.”
“Her goal in all of this is not commercial,” said Blurb founder Eileen Gittins about Mary Tillman. Although under the Blurb business model the authors will receive 100% of the profits from the book; Blurb’s contributions to the Pat Tillman Foundation will come out of an internal fund the publisher set aside for such projects.
Gittens explained the purpose of the Blurb for Good program: “Books can often be great catalysts for fundraisers and great catalysts for social causes to get their stories out.” When Rodale reverted rights back to Tillman for Boots on the Ground at Dusk it gave the author the opportunity to revise the books as she saw fit, which she did while working with Haber. Blurb calls Haber a “curator at large” and Gittins hinted that the long-time book editor has a few more projects she is working on with Blurb.