Every month or so since my book came out, I have been Googling "Biking Illinois" to see what comes up. Though it seems like a total ego trip, searching the Internet has turned up some interesting stuff, including reviews I never knew were written. Here's what I found today:
- My own site to promote the book is listed second by Google (Trailmonkey's Illinois Biking Homepage is first). Considering that "Biking Illinois" is a relatively broad phrase, that makes me very happy.
- Peoria Journal Star outdoors columnist Jeff Lampe mentioned my book on June 6 in a collection of briefs. It only gets three sentences, but it's in the first paragraph.
- Several Illinois libraries have my book in their collections, including Edwardsville, Glenview, and Winfield. I also learned that my Dewey Decimal System number is 796.6309773. I didn't know they went past three decimal places.
- An e-mail acquaintance downstate posted a message about my book on SIU Cycling's message board (I knew that part). Someone from Murphysboro responded that he had bought the book (yay!) and was planning to do the two rides that start in Olive Branch at the foot of the state. Nowhere to go but up from there, I guess -- just work backward through the book.
- My book is available all over the world. While it is tedious to scroll through all the bookstore links, it is pretty cool to see the book for sale on Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Dutch Web sites (and that doesn't include any of the Amazons -- France, Germany, et al). Of course, this is purely vanity; I don't expect any international sales for this type of book.
- Unbeknownst to me, a long review of Biking Illinois apparently ran in the Lincoln Daily News on May 24. And best of all, it is positive (actually, no one has really criticized the book yet, at least in print). To my surprise, the review even mentions two road rides (more on that below).
- And finally, it looks as though the copy of Biking Illinois that Doug Goodman of the Rockford Register Star used to write my first review was given away to a lucky reader one week later. On a very creepy note, the same article mentions that Carl Becker died on April 13. Fortunately, that was not my grandfather, but a different Carl Becker (though I realize as I write fortunately that those who knew the other Carl Becker would not agree).
One other item didn't make it online: a brief review in Chicago Athlete's June issue. My sole complaint about that review is that it focuses on the trail rides. I think the best part of my book, the part you can't find anywhere else, is the road rides. Those required much more research than the trails did, but thus far few people seem to appreciate them. I know a lot of people believe that roads are too dangerous for bicycling, but give these rides a chance. You probably won't see more than five cars on some of them.