Sunday, September 29, 2013

Arbiters of Taste

Long ago, in an era without social media, the editors and publishers of books and magazine determined what we read for fiction and non-fiction. In one sense they controlled what we thought too or thought about, because we naturally think about things we read. It wasn't a monopoly of course. We were able to think about other things but they had a large influence.

The general reading public was the one check on this control. If we didn't like something, we didn't buy it and the publishers didn't make money. If we did, the cash poured in. This part is still true today but there are differences.

For example, because of self-publishing, publishers do not have while the control they had. Oh, they still control what is branded with their name but anyone can publish just about anything they want and get it out there. This, of course, makes it harder to know what is good and what is not. And yet some will argue the self-publishing is better because it is more democratic.  Others will argue that in matters of taste democracy has no place.

Personally, I'm not sure I have an opinion. Sure, I like being able to publish my own stuff. But I really don't want a terrorist manifesto published where young impressionable people will read it. On the other hand, the tight control publishing houses once had is archaic. It does not allow new talent in and preserves the old order when innovation is really needed.

But I think my biggest concern is that self-publishing allows individual to set themselves up as tin-pot dictators. These situations arise when one or more people decides to publish an anthology or magazine and puts out a call for submissions. Suddenly they decide what goes in and what does not. My experience with this is that even stories that have been well received by readers are in fact rejected.

I just have to shake my head in wonder. I guess I'm going to put my faith in the reading public. Money talks and if they download, buy, and read my stuff, the tin-pot dictators can all go to hell.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Trailer

The big news this week is that the trailer for my novel, Aure the Topaz, is out and posted on my web site, Feel free to watch it.

You'll also find it on YouTube and Vimeo.

The end product is different from the script and storyboards I submitted, but different in a good way. The folks creating the trailer clearly know what they are doing and personally, I'd like to shake their hands and thank them for the fine work.

I doubt that will happen as the publisher outsourced the project to some company I'm sure.

Regardless, it is done and turned out great. Now the only thing that stands between me and a release of my novel is seeing the physical proof of the book.

I am promised it is on the way. I have yet to receive it however and October begins in about a week. If we are going to make this deadline, they had better hurry.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I May have Been Too Hasty

A few weeks ago, I was surprised by a flurry of tweets to me and about me which seem to have prompted this blog to receive more notice. I assume my web site saw an increased in traffic -- I have checked the logs on that but it stands to reason since I habitually send people there.

Here's what happened:

As some of readers of this blog may know, I have in the Boston area. So does John Feitelberg. John and I (as far as I know) are not related, although I need to ask about his parents to see if he is related to other Feitelbergs (also not related) that I know about. But that's a sidebar to satisfy my curiosity on the point.

John and I are both on Twitter and are active on other sites. He tried to get the twitter name @feitelberg only I had taken it. John writes too and I guess having someone with the name you wanted, who lives in your area, and does what you do was too much for him. He tweeted on this, saying:
can't describe how much it rattles me that is a writer in Boston
That was last June and it surprised me because what difference does it make that I'm a writer and live in the area? I never got the answer to that and was too busy with edits to Book 1 at the time to pursue it.

Then a few weeks ago I heard from John again only this time he was getting an account for reddit. I, of course, had already been there and took the login name feitelberg. John felt obligated to share this on Twitter.
Signed up for Barstool Reddit and someone already snaked the handle feitelberg. That you again bro, ?
He sounded far more friendly this time. I responded, 'Who me?' which opened the floodgates. The next thing I know I'm getting tweets one after the other from John and his followers. Suddenly, My tweets are being retweeted and I'm the subject of the conversation. Mostly it's praise; John asks to meet me, share a beer, and have me read some of my poetry.

Others want to know more about me. I refer everyone here to my blog and to my web site. Two days later, John blogs about this calling me the most interesting man on Twitter. For the details, visit his blog:

Now a little praise every now and again is nice. Good reviews for my novel (coming out in October now -- maybe) would be nice, but I don't need my ego stroked. My self-esteem is good enough that I know who I am and what I'm about that such hyperbole is recognized and a little strange.

But, as the saying goes, all promotion is good promotion, if it gets your name out there and that's the result here. I've got a lot of new Twitter followers, which is good. But oddly no new followers for my blog, even though some of the last few posts have seen a lot of visits.

So I'm left scratching my head. Did I stop blogging too soon? Should I resume? I don't know, but I can easily test this by writing a few posts and see what happens. I'll do this on a weekly basis now, I think and since Book 1 has been promised me by next month, perhaps I'll have more things to say about that whole experience too.

In the meantime, keep writing everyone.