Congress holds up ‘Vagrant Kings’ publication

By R.E. Graswich

The only thing standing between “Vagrant Kings” and the printer is Congress.

The proofs are corrected, the index is completed, the new covers and spine finished. “Vagrant Kings: David Stern, Kevin Johnson and the NBA’s Orphan Team” is ready for its leap into the marketplace as a physical book.

But there’s a little problem. An important part of the process involves the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data system. That’s the basic bibliographic information that allows libraries and vendors to identify, buy and sell books.

It’s routine. And essential for readers.

And with the U.S. government closed, the CIP Data system is off duty. As the Library of Congress Website noted, “All inquiries and requests to the Library of Congress web-based services will not be received or responded to until the shutdown ends.”

So while billions of dollars in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, debt obligations and other critical transactions await resolution, also stalled are authors eager to get their books to market.

Luckily, a preview e-book edition of “Vagrant Kings” became available on Amazon and Apple iTunes/iBooks in September.

People are able to download my insider account of how the Kings became the most transitory franchise in major league sports history. E-readers don’t rely on Congress.

The e-book has enjoyed a terrific reception. But the job won’t be finished until the physical edition rolls off presses – not just in Sacramento, but around the country.

I’ve got an exciting partnership to talk about with “Vagrant Kings.” But like so much else in our country, that announcement must wait for the U.S. government.