Monday, July 20, 2020

Straight From the Mouth of Thriller/Noir Author Lee Matthew Goldberg

The Inspiration Behind Slow Down

By Lee Matthew Goldberg

Slow Down is being reissued with a new publisher so it was written a long time ago. I’d been fired from my first job after college at a production company that was quite abusive, and I put that into the
start of the novel. I heard the song “Yellow” by Coldplay and imagined if many people had the same tattoo of a yellow circle. Without a job, I would write every day in the park, and it made me realize that writing was what I wanted to do full-time.
After finishing, I sent the book out to agents but it really wasn’t ready. So I stuck it in a draw and wrote a different book that landed my agent. We tried sending Slow Down out, but editors found the main character too “mean and unsympathetic”. It wasn’t until we found an indie publisher that liked the book for that very reason. It was exciting to have Slow Down be my debut and now three novels later, it’s even more exciting for it to be re-released and find a whole new audience. 
The theme of the novel is that the characters are moving at too fast a pace and will have to slow down to save their lives. They exist in a wealthy, Hollywood bubble that rewards them for their bad behavior. But the novel is a love story too between the two main characters, Noah and Nevie. To be together they must give up all the glitz and fame and escape to a place where they can just live simply. The question is, Do they make it out alive?
About the Book
How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick’s Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good.

Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.

Here’s what readers are saying about Slow Down!

“Slow Down is a frenetic first novel…full of unedifying characters scrambling for the elusive, perhaps imaginary, brass ring.”
Publishers Weekly
“Lee Matthew Goldberg writes like a young Bret Easton Ellis doing a line of uncut Denis Johnson off the back of a public urinal. Memorable in the best possible way, also mostly illegal, Goldberg’s Slow Down is a mad man’s tour of Manhattan’s vices, follies, and ultimate betrayals.”
–Urban Waite, author of The Terror of Living and Sometimes the Wolf
What would happen if one of Raymond Chandler’s 1940’s femme fatales were to join forces with one of Jay McInerney’s enfant terribles? Lee Matthew Goldberg wrings every delectable trope imaginable out of this mashup while still managing a fresh spin. A writer to watch out for.”
–David Kukoff, author of Children of the Canyon
“Slow Down starts fast and gets faster quick, gunning through yellow streetlights on its way to a full collision with your shattered soul. Lee Matthew Goldberg takes on the American Zeitgeist in this stunning debut.”
–Stephen Jay Schwartz, LA Times bestselling author of Boulevard and Beat
Slow Down is a brilliant rush of a work charting the rise and fall of Noah and other pretentious losers. Savor this book.”
Foreword Reviews
“Dark and hard-boiled writing that grabs you by the throat. Slow Down is one of those rare novels that’s so good you want it to go on forever!”
–Nick Pengelley, author of Ryder: An Ayesha Ryder Novel
“The plot takes off…there’s no denying it’s fun to watch rich snots destroy themselves.”
Booklist
“Goldberg’s portrayal of the New York demimonde is one of the book’s strengths and brings to mind Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero. He also succeeds in marshalling a complicated plot.”
CrimeFictionLover.com

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3dmv8UU

About the Author 
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming, along with his Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LeeMatthewG
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leemgol
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg

Friday, July 17, 2020

Straight from the Mouth of Memoirist Marilea C. Rabasa

Putting pen to paper is a journey that leads many of us to unexpected levels of self-discovery, full of delights, surprises, and sometimes, dismay. Often I feel confused or I want answers to a particular problem that is getting in my way. And when I write about it, the mud often sinks to the bottom and I can see things more clearly. Writing becomes a clarification process.

Sometimes I start a piece, and by the time I’ve finished it, I’ve answered some questions. And oftentimes I change my mind about some preconceived notions I had been unsure about. Writing down my thoughts is a way to shine a light on things that had been hidden—things that perhaps, upon writing about it, become ready to see the daylight.

In Lillian Hellman’s wonderful collection of remembrances she wrote in 1973, Pentimento, she points out how artists sometimes paint over what they had painted before. They changed their minds; they “repented.” It’s sort of like, as she said when she described the term “pentimento,” so too in literature, she adds, “my old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing, and then seeing again.

Many times I’ve written stories that ended up nowhere I had intended. I thought I wanted to write about one thing, but ended up writing about something else. Sometimes another story is unearthed in the process. It’s a real excavation process, as we mine our depths often coming out so much richer in self-knowledge than we were in the beginning.


About the Author

Marilea C. Rabasa is a retired high school teacher who moved west from Virginia eleven years ago. Before that, she traveled around the world with her former husband in the Foreign Service. She has been published in a variety of publications. Writing as Maggie C. Romero, Rabasa won the International Book Award, was named a finalist in both the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and the USA Best Book Awards, and earned an honorable mention in The Great Southwest Book Festival, for her 2014 release, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  She lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a number of years and now resides in Camano Island, Washington. Visit her online at:  www.recoveryofthespirit.com 


About the Book

Addiction is a stealth predator. Unrecognized, it will grow and flourish. Unchecked, it destroys.

Marilea grew up in post-WWII Massachusetts in a family that lived comfortably and offered her every advantage. But there were closely guarded family secrets. Alcoholism reached back through several generations, and it was not openly discussed. Shame and stigma perpetuated the silence. Marilea became part of this ongoing tragedy.

Her story opens with the death of her mother. Though not an alcoholic, it is her inability to cope with the dysfunction in her life that sets her daughter up for a multitude of problems.

We follow Marilea from an unhappy childhood, to her life overseas in the diplomatic service, to now, living on an island in Puget Sound. What happens in the intervening years is a compelling tale of travel, motherhood, addiction, and heartbreaking loss. The constant thread throughout this story is the many faces and forms of addiction, stalking her like an obsessed lover, and with similar rewards. What, if anything, will free her of the masks she has worn all her life?

Read Marilea’s inspiring recovery story and learn how she wrestles with the demons that have plagued her.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Straight from the Mouth of Author David Armstrong: "It's All About Timing"

Name: David Armstrong

 

Book Title: The Rising Place

 

Website: therisingplace.com

 

Buy book: The Rising Place by David Armstrong

 


Shortly after I completed my second novel, The Rising Place, I read an article about a film premiere by a Mississippi director/producer that was being held in Jackson, Mississippi, not far from my hometown of Natchez. As I read the article about his film, I was struck by the similarities between my novel and what his movie was about.


I got the crazy idea (or so it seemed, at the time) that Tom (the director) just might be looking for an idea for his next film (This is what I mean by “crazy”—directors and producers are always inundated with ideas and scripts!).


So, I got in my brand new, Mercedes Benz (yeah, right—actually, it was an old Toyota Tercel) and drove to Jackson with my polished manuscript, The Rising Place, in hand.

After the showing, which was well attended, Tom stayed and answered various questions from audience members. I didn’t ask Tom anything; I was waiting for my chance to meet him, personally, and pitch my manuscript for his next film.


Well, after all the questions and answers were finally over, and Tom was leaving the theatre, I cornered him before he made it to his waiting car and introduced myself.

His natural response was, “Who the hell are you, and what the hell is that you’re holding in your hand?” (Film directors and producers, I’ve noticed, use the word, “hell,” a lot—must be a Hollywood thing.)


I told Tom my name, that I was an attorney, former Natchez mayor, and that I once ran for the U.S. Congress.


Tom was quite gracious and replied, “So, what the hell am I supposed to be—impressed, or something?”


“No,” I told him back, “but I do think you’ll be impressed with this manuscript I brought you.”


“I doubt it,” Tom informed me, “but, hell, why not. Give it to me, and I’ll try to read it on the plane when I fly back to L.A. It’s a helluva long flight back, you know.”

So, I handed Tom my manuscript. He got inside his friend’s BMW, and they drove away into the night, without even honking goodbye (which is the polite thing to do in Mississippi).

A whole year passed. Then, one night, I got a phone call from Tom (When he told me his full name, it didn’t even register with me.). “Hey, David, this is Tom.”


“Tom who?”


“Tom, from Hollywood. I finally finished reading your manuscript, and I loved the hell out of it!”


“Great!” I said.


“I want it to be my next film.”


“Great,” I told him, again. “I never doubted that. So, Tom—how much you gonna’ pay me for it?”


And that was the start of an eighteen-month collaboration between Tom and myself for the filming of The Rising Place. The film won sixteen film festival awards and opened in both L.A. and New York before going to DVD.


Unfortunately, I naturally assumed that selling the book rights to a publisher would be a cinch since there was already a great film out about the story. Boy, was I wrong! Most publishers weren’t interested because they couldn’t acquire potential film rights, as well. The rest seemed to be put off by the epistolary, writing style that I used (where letters tell the story, as in that wonderful novel, The Color Purple). Anyway, I never could find a publisher. So, I stopped trying and wrote another novel, The Third Gift, which will be released this summer, in addition to four screenplays.


Fast forward several years. I decided to try to sell The Rising Place, again, and was blessed to find a great Indie publisher, The Wild Rose Press, that loved it. The novel was released on April 27th on Amazon, and my editor at The Wild Rose Press and I are busy editing The Third Gift, before its upcoming release.


As I said above, it’s all about timing….

 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Straight From the Mouth of J. Richman Author of A Man's Late Night Thoughts

A Man’s late night thoughts did not start as a book. In the beginning it was a daily journal that I wrote each night I wrote a review of my days active and added my reaction and if I learned anything. I put that into a very short thought.

Then strange things happen. If during the day I would hear a odd word I found myself forming a raw thought that was a reflect of my past and that word---I made a note and placed the note by my computer and held in place by a plastic chunk of dog poop
From time to time late at night I review those raw ideas and started to rewrite them. Clean them up and shorten by removing unnecessary words---many of these were reworded a dozen times over time. Some were crap, some were great---I started to share these with friends and my kids---and when they added up to over a 100 I stared to think ---book---now 344 original  thoughts
These thoughts were about forgiving our self and others for deeds that could only fit into a nightmare.
Many were observation of screw ups that all men yes all of us do, but do not express our inter reactions. but should. Many our negative thoughts  come from the actions and words of other people that effect us---guilt trips that a boss or wife or so call friends try to give us, lesson is we do not to go—not required trip.
Forgive your self---few other will. One can say to yourself or other—that was before I knew better.
When women read the 344 thoughts and they gain knowledge of their man’s thinking and can change their reactions to how they handle problems in a way that will not further hurt their man and make every far worse.
At the same time many of the thoughts will give insight to all ladies problems and perhaps alter their life and how they think of themselves. Can I unwound you—Can you unwound me
Every man and every women or every teenager will like them self better after reading these thoughts

About the Book 

A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS by J. Richman is a creative and life-affirming collection of ponderings that expose the deep thoughts and feelings of a man who has lived a life full of diverse experiences and challenges. This uniquely constructed compilation of more than 300 reflections focuses on several areas of living, including intimate relationships and acceptance of human frailty, as well as the author’s internal conflicts.

A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS homes in on the complications inherent in intimate relationships from the opening pages of the book: “Problems accrue when we confuse how a woman looks with who she is.” Richman brings the perspective of a mature man to the lessons on love presented in the book, including, “Exploitation of another depreciates both parties,” and “The reason we fall in love with flawed people is that that’s the only kind of people there are.”

In addition to offering a brief study of intimate relationships, A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS probes human frailty and offers readers guidance in accepting this fact. “We must learn to be strong enough to be gentle,” brings into focus the need to deliberately work at treating people well. The author also encourages readers to show self-compassion when dealing with their own baggage: “Sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond the wreckage of our lives, but we must! Take heart! We are more than our mistakes.”

In A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS, Richman further challenges readers to take the reins of their lives when he says, “Name those things that you would do if you had no fear then do something about it.” He offers words of caution regarding political rhetoric: “Beware of politicians who whip up emotions to make us suspicious of others unlike us.” And rounds the book out by sharing his internal conflicts: “The world has bent me more than I have bent it”; “too often my logical mind and my emotional mind are hostile enemies”; “every time I look in the mirror, I expect to see a younger man.”

A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS began as a series of notes that Richman wrote to himself. “I found that if I do not write out my true, and often painful, thoughts and feelings, I do not deal with them.” Richman wishes a book like this one had been available when he was a boy because the knowledge enclosed could have assisted him in navigating his teenage and young adult years. He hopes A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS will assure men that they are not alone in their quiet musings. For women, Richman believes the book will provide a window into men’s unexpressed emotions.

BUYING LINKS:

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2RVEoqX

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/3b7HaRo


About the Author

Richman is the author of A MAN’S LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS, a collection of thoughts about life, relationships, and humanity.

Richman’s work history includes his service as an undercover intelligence officer in the US Air Force; later, he established a thriving business in real estate investment. For 16 years, Richman owned and operated Modify My Mortgage, a company that worked with homeowners to prevent foreclosures. His business success allowed Richman the time to pursue his passions, which included serving as the president of Nova, a workshop that provided work and life skills training for clients with disabilities; cofounding A Way Across, a drop-in center for teenagers with emotional and substance abuse problems; and fundraising for several more public service groups.

Richman enjoys writing and editing at night after allowing his ideas to blossom and expand during the day. The author is married with three sons and five grandsons.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Straight From the Mouth of Dr. Anne Watson Author FLASH! THE SCIENCE BEHIND INTUITION


Intuition For All, But Does That Include People With Learning Disabilities?
By Dr. Anne Watson
So, the question put to me is, “Does everybody receive intuitions, messages from light?
Yes.
Everybody. 
No one alive gets left out of the blanketing of beneficial intuitions sent to them all the time. 
Like radio receivers, we are tuned into the energy field, sometimes called Source, Zero Point Field, the Akashic Field, the vibrational grid. Call it what you will, it is the non-Earthly plane where memories are stored, and from which thoughts and ideas originate and come to us as holographic messages in light. This is all explained in my book, FLASH! The Science Behind Intuition. 
If we pay attention to these intuitions and do as they suggest, we get in harmony with the harmony vibrations these messages send to us, and our lives become easier, “like butter.” But, if we fight them, overrule them, forget about them, or even scorn them, things don’t go smoothly and we end up saying “Darn, I wish I had listened to my instinct” or  “Why is everything going wrong for me?”
When I started to write FLASH! The Science Behind Intuition, I was puzzling about brain behavior in the children I taught who were Learning Disabled. A directed vision came along and in a flash I understood how LD kids could so frequently know the answer to a question or a problem and prepare to get it right, but due to neuronal derailing, get it wrong. The big puzzle of how their brains knew the questions in advance was suddenly solved. Intuitions, aided by a brain process called preafference, prime the brain for what is to come, before it arrives.
The problem with my LD kids (ADHD and Language Learning Disabilities) was not that they didn’t receive the incoming messages, but that the neural pathways being prepared to execute the commands too frequently glitched for them. The neuronal impulse derailed, or shunted off to an irrelevant or dead end spur. Misbehaved. Betrayed.
There are all sorts of things that can go wrong from inception to effection, from thought to action. Think about how these brain states will impact the carrying out of intuitions: anxious brain, busy brain, damaged brain, daydreaming brain, depressed brain, drugged-out brain, fearful brain, “i-mind” brain, lovestruck brain, stressed out brain, pressured brain, tuned out brain, and in the case of LD wrongly wired brain or physically damaged brain, and in severe cases of anencephaly, missing brain. 
Some of these mind states can be temporary, while others are permanent or permanent until (miraculously) cured. Many of these mind states cause, or are caused by neuronal trains that loop or derail, instead of moving forward: they stall, stay in one place, or bounce around from one rumination to another, messing with the focused, alert, and calm state required to be open to intuition.
Therefore, while everybody receives intuitions, not all people can always effectively get in harmony with their messages. This is, unfortunately, true for people with LD.
What to do?
Train the Learning Disabled or otherwise glitching brain to come into a controlled, alert, focused mind state, through meditation and/or EEG neurofeedback training. Train long and hard. Train as if the harmony of the planets rests upon successful individual mind state control, for it does.
Anne Watson is a Canadian author and educator and co-author of So You Have to Go to Court! A Child’s Guide to Testifying as a Witness in Child Abuse Cases with Wendy Harvey. She was raised in England, trained as a teacher, and after starting teaching in Canada at Thistletown Regional Centre School for Emotionally Disturbed Children, she then taught in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and in Palm Beach County USA. Just before beginning doctoral studies in Special Education Psychology at U. of T., she travelled right around the world. Once a doctor, she became a Prof at UBC and later at Trent U., then switched to doing psychoeducational assessments (CSI of the brain!). After 30 years of midnight oil reports and early morning parent meetings she retired to concentrate on writing and art. Her calling is to help people contact their Inner Voice – the Universe – by fast tracking open brain states using EEG devices, some of which can be glimpsed in a couple of scenes in her just finished movie, “A Thousand Reasons.” She has two successful adult kids and one almost grown up granddaughter.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Twitter Link: @Post_Hypnotic

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Straight from the Mouth of Kiran Bhat, Author of 'we of the forgotten world'

Kiran Bhat was born in Jonesboro, Georgia to parents from villages in Dakshina Kannada, India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to more than 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Website  → http://iguanabooks.ca/








 Interview

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author? 

I don’t know if I wanted to be an author, really. I just think by disposition I have a lot of things to say, and I use writing as the medium to which I do it. I suppose all of us as artists want to take a medium and use it to make someone who isn’t us fully understand us, to the pulse of our muscles to the cracks of our ribs. I just chose writing because that’s the one I am best at, I suppose.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands? 

Honestly, it’s hard for me to assess that now. I like being a public speaker, and going on tour, and having people show a genuine interest in my book. At the same time, my life hasn’t changed so much yet. The only thing is that I’m just much busier, and that is not something I like, at all.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like? 

A mix! Yes, a mix. I am hybrid published, in that I paid for my publishing, but was vetted by an editor. It was the best option for me at the moment, so I don’t think I have much to say for it. I hope that I keep doing better and building my portfolio out.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?

 It’s extremely close-minded for an industry purporting to want to discover newcomers. People who innovate or have things to say don’t have much space to be published anymore, and so much of that which gets published is too clinical and banal.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you? 

It was very difficult for my parents. They are very traditional minded, and really wished that I took the traditional path, too. At the same time, now that more people are learning about my writing, and I am doing so many events, they are proud of me. I only hope I keep proving myself write.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process? 

Nothing crazy has happened yet; will let you know later if anything does.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid? 

I really like facebook, but that is because I’m a traveler, and I use it to keep in touch with all the people I know. I really like the idea of twitter on paper, but I find it hard to use. I suppose it is because the communicative capabilities of it are endless, and when I see so many tweets not getting a like from anyone else, I feel like I’m cutting my skin into peels and throwing it into the garbage dump


What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about? 

The fires in Australia, the upcoming war with Iran, the CAB amendment in India... God, just too much!

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I guess I just love believing that I am finally getting a book out, and hoping that people will equally be ready to hear what I have to say!

About the Book



The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In, we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.

Like modern communication networks, the stories in , we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2DQIclm

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2Lqe9Fi

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Straight from the Mouth of Author Paul Martin Midden


The Perils and Joys of Publishing

Publishing these days is both a simple and a treacherous thing to do. There are so many tools and resources to create a book, and there are numerous ways to get taken by seeming unscrupulous companies and individuals.

This may sound pessimistic, but I think it is an accurate portrayal of the lay of the publishing land. Let’s consider a few examples:

Traditional publishing: The highly selective system that depends largely on well-paid literary agents, whose success rate, so I understand, is one or two books sold per year. Considering the hundreds of queries they receive, the odds on being one of those is not zero but close to it. And then, of course, there are the publishers themselves, who take absolute control over a manuscript and do with it as they wish. This may appeal to many, but signing one’s book rights away is not everyone’s cup of tea.

And then there is the Wild West of self-publishing, indie publishing, or independent publishing (also called vanity publishing). This is a a growing field and is a doable path for most people. However, there are many choices to be made. Amazon offers a ‘complete package’ to publish a book, as does IngramSpark and others. Other services, such as iUniverse, also offer ‘complete’ packages. All of this can be befuddling to a novice writer, when s/he writer has completed a book and would like some guidance as to what to do next. The guidance impulse is the one that leaves the author most vulnerable.

These services are costly but do have the advantage of providing an array of needed services, often including editing, cover design, interior layout, and the like.

In the absence of these, a writer will have to search out editors, designers, etc. for him or herself. That can be daunting. There are many people who will provide such services for fees ranging from a few thousand to many thousands of dollars. The trouble is that there are few ways to know on the front end how good such people are. There are often reviews online, but if they are on the provider’s website, it is reasonable to assume they have been carefully vetted, focusing on the happy customers. No one brags about their less-than-happy customers.

There are ways around this. Asking people you know and trust whom they might recommend. Asking the provider for references. Doing a ‘trial run’, such as editing a section of a manuscript. All of these can be helpful.

The advantages of doing this legwork, however, is that the writer has maximum control over the quality of his product. This in itself is worth a great deal, and this is where the joy comes in.


/////////////////////////////////////////////////



Paul Martin Midden is the author of five previous novels, each of which explores different writing styles. He practiced clinical psychology for over thirty years. Paul’s interests include historic restoration, travel, fitness, and wine tasting. He and his wife Patricia renovated an 1895 Romanesque home in 1995 and continue to enjoy urban living.