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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Facebook and Kickstarter get Double Happy

The journey is long and sweet to that day when a beautiful copy of Double Happiness is in your hands. Two quick updates on where it is, and how you can help…


I’ve upgraded the Double Happiness facebook page. Check it out. If you like the way the page looks, or if you like travel books about China, or if you like Double Happiness itself, or if you like me, or if you feel like clicking a button, click to LIKE the page.

Share the page with anyone else you know who might like these things — anyone who is interested in travel, China, teaching or living abroad, backpacking, or a young man’s coming of age in a foreign land.

Let’s get to 100 likes by the end of the week!


And if you don’t like the page, tell me why, leave a comment.


To raise the funds to bring Double Happiness into the world, I’ll be using Kickstarter.com, which, if you haven’t heard of it, is like a superhero that enables the universe of interested souls to be the modern independent artist’s patron saint. Everyone interested in an artistic project pitches in, instead of just one publisher, label, or company. You can be a Patron of the Arts, a modern Maecenas, for as little as $1!

For the Kickstarter page I’m going to create a video. I want to share with the world the original inspiration and current vision for Double Happiness. Do you know of any great video creators or filmmakers who could possibly help me here, even if for just an hour one afternoon or evening? I would be eternally grateful (and able to offer a small amount of money). Someone with either interview skills, videography skills, or video editing skills — or all three! — would be perfect. Let me know! Write your suggestions in a comment below, or email me directly.

Thank you. I’m humbled by your support. Towards Double Happiness for all!

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by Tony Brasunas on March 31, 2013

Book Designers: Who Are They, and Why Would I Hire One?

I talked to two book designers this week. It’s exciting and quite the roller coaster ride going this route — independently publishing my book.

Wait, who did I talk to? Book designers? Am I looking for someone to select the colors of my book’s cover?

Well, yes. But that’s not the job of the book designer.

Book Design is the art and science of laying out the interior of the book, from the title page to the index, and everything in between. A book designer will design the Table of Contents and the Glossary, and, if talented, make the first page of each chapter visually interesting and beautiful. Book designers not only know typography and font pairing, but also typesetting and making the pages look and feel like a book. When you’re in a bookstore and you open to a random page in a book, and the font is appealing and there’s a “running head” telling you the chapter you’re in, and you notice that both the left and right page have the same number of lines, you’re probably looking at a book designer’s work. These things don’t happen by accident.

Double Happiness is going to be a beautiful book, both in print and in e-book formats. That’s been my vision since the first step of this journey. I am a web designer by day, but I’m not going to teach myself book design and risk making a bunch of novice’s mistakes.

What are your favorite visual elements of the books you love? What would you like to see for Double Happiness?

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by Tony Brasunas on March 23, 2013

The Time is Here!

The manuscript is done, and so many other necessary preliminary steps are complete. It’s time to publish Double Happiness!

I will now be regularly updating this space, asking and answering questions, and detailing the road that takes me from a meticulously edited manuscript to a beautiful book in your hands or attractive file on your kindle. I will be hiring a cover designer, book designer, and an illustrator en route to independently publishing.

This labor of love, this journey so long and sweet, is now moving into its final phase. There is still much to do. Follow along with me here if you’re interested in independent publishing or in travel through Asia or in teaching abroad or in China or in simply reading a young man’s tale of fear, delight, and discovery.

A tale of a young American’s coming of age in a faraway land, the book will be titled Double Happiness: One Man’s Tale of Love, Loss, and Wonder on the Long Roads of China.

I would like to take this moment to thank my agent, Susan Lee Cohen of Riverside Literary Agency, for all her hard work, smart ideas, and wise counsel.

I would also like to thank Intuition, that great universal deity that plays such a vital role in Double Happiness, and that has played already a powerful part in this journey to publication.

Thank You!

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by Tony Brasunas on March 11, 2013