Sunday, April 26, 2015

So far, Booktrope has worked out very well for me. The way it works is that editors, proofreaders, cover designers, and book managers (who sell the book in various ways) post their profiles/qualifications on line. Then the writer contacts the ones he/she likes to ask if they'd like to join the team for the writer's book. I posted the manuscript online so they can tell what they're in for. Right now, I have all four positions lined up with people I think are highly qualified. While the editor is working on the manuscript and the cover designer on the cover, the book manager and I have been discussing ways to publicize the book. She is encouraging me to get on as many social websites as possible. I'm already on Facebook, and have two blogs, this one and one for the Samurai Detective Series (
So I signed up on Twitter, and I'm still puzzling over what people who aren't famous use it for. I don't know how to restrict myself to 140 characters. I looked at the Twitter site for John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, a very successful YA book and less successful movie. I ran into a blizzard of posts like, "My wife and I are getting dressed for the Time 100 Most Influential People gala," and "Kanye West is entertaining at the Time 100 Most Influential People gala. He's a genius."
OK, enough of that. I get sick retyping things like that. Eventually we're all going to wind up like the Kardashian family, except for those of us who aren't strikingly beautiful or handsome. (The rest of us will just be their followers.)
I'll try to post more often here because the book manager says I have to do that to attract more followers. We'll see.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

some good news

Here at last is some good news. I should have posted earlier that Dorothy and I found an editor who gave us some work. This person edits the successful Grosset & Dunlap "Big Head" series. It got its nickname from the cover art. Each book is a biography, and the artist portrays them with "big heads" that make them easy to spot. The books are paperbacks, aimed at a younger-grade audience, and most importantly sell like crazy. Anyway, they're branching out from biographies into places and events, and we were assigned a very desirable subject: the Great Pyramids.
    We recalled years ago reading that the two most popular subjects for young readers were Ancient Egypt and Dinosaurs, and we told an editor (jokingly) that the obvious title would be "When Dinosaurs Roamed Ancient Egypt."
     Anyway, the editor liked what we did, and "Where Are the Great Pyramids?" is scheduled for publication this fall. We were assigned two more titles, and are hard at work on them.

Even better news is that I found somebody who liked my YA novel "Come Sit By Me." Since this book has a school shooting as its back story, publishers and editors and agents ran from it like vampires from garlic. The great fear is, I assume, that there will one day be a school shooting and the shooter's locker will be opened to find that he (they're always male) had been reading "Come Sit By Me."
The fact that this is a topic that is probably discussed in every high school, and most grade schools, in the country means nothing to the publishers.
Having given up finding a publisher or agent, I began to look into businesses that have what I call a new paradigm for the publishing business. I wasn't going to pay for having my book published--that's a very old paradigm called vanity publishing.
No, this company brings together authors, editors, designers, and "book managers" on projects. Everybody is given a share of the profits (providing there are profits). That gives everyone on the project an incentive to do well--a piece of the action, you might say. What's in it for the author? Well, first of all, my share of the profits is 30%--much better than any publisher ever gave me. And secondly, I am finally assured that the sales people involved will actually try to sell the book. I will keep you all posted on how it goes.