Honoring the men of First Platoon, especially those who did not return home, was author Glyn Haynie’s inspiration for writing When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir.
Glyn’s new book recounts his experience as a nineteen-year-old in the Vietnam War—the weeks of boredom juxtaposed with minutes of sheer terror. Glyn tells of monsoons, a forest fire and a typhoon. He talks about carrying a 60 pound rucksack and the experience of building a fire base. Running throughout his book are the themes of fear, death, and their fight against the enemy while exhausted mentally, physically— and morally.
“I’m not claiming my year in Vietnam was any more difficult or dangerous than any other soldier that served,” stresses Glyn. “I’m sure there were other soldiers and platoons that had it much harder than we did. I know it was a challenge for all of us.”
Writing this book was the first time that Glyn examined in detail his experiences in Vietnam. Says Glyn, “Over the past 47 years, I had never discussed it with my First Platoon brothers or even my best friend Mike Dankert, who was with me during it all. I don’t know which is more difficult: reliving the events of 1969 while writing the book or sharing my story.”
Glyn points out that in his book, he doesn’t write much about the politics of war. “I did write about how war affects the humanity of soldiers ordered to war and what they have to live with when they come home; the lucky ones get to come home.”
1106 Design was honored to assist Glyn in the important work of honoring his First Platoon brothers. The services 1106 Design provided to Glyn were cover design, editing, interior layout, and proofreading, along with preparation of his eBook and print files. How did Glyn arrive at his decision to self-publish When I Turned Nineteen? Says Glyn, “As an unknown and first-time author, I knew self-publishing was the best way to publish my book and reach as many readers as possible.”
When I Turned Nineteen is available in both print and eBook formats, as Glyn wanted to make sure his book was available to many types of readers in the format they preferred to read.
While Glyn says that choosing 1106 Design was the easiest part of self-publishing, he jokes that waiting was the hardest! On a more serious note, Glyn divulges, “For the first-time author, all stages were equally challenging, with many decisions to be made.” He says that he would self-publish again, especially now that he is familiar with the process.
To market his book, Glyn uses Facebook and his author website, and relies on family and friends telling others about the book. As an aside, we also noticed that Glyn already has 32 customer reviews on his Amazon page, a smart move that is reflected in his relatively high ranking on Amazon for a recently launched book. Says Glyn, “When I’m out shopping with the wife or traveling, I give anyone wearing a veteran’s hat or who looks interested a business card and a bookmark.” What a great marketing strategy.
When asked what advice he had for other first-time authors who are self-publishing, Glyn had two recommendations. The first is to go with print-on-demand (POD). “I chose POD as the fastest and least expensive method to offer print books to readers. POD requires no upfront cost or inventory,” advises Glyn. His second piece of advice? “Go with 1106 Design as a full service professional company!” Thanks Glyn!
Looking back on the experience of writing and self-publishing When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir, Glyn thinks it was worth the time and expense to publish his book. “The platoon members of First Platoon deserved to be remembered for their sacrifices.” When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir is a wonderful testament that honors Glyn’s fellow platoon brothers, and provides us with a glimpse into the year of a soldier in Vietnam. Congratulations on your achievement Glyn.
Book title and subtitle: When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir
Author website: www.glynhaynie.net