I’m sure you all thought I had given up posting to this blog… but in reality I was dedicating my time to a NEW VENTURE and simply didn’t have a moment free to type.
A few months ago I alluded to a great idea that would set the book world on its edge… and wow… did it EVER!!! On October 12th Shari Sanford from The Paperback Exchange in Belmar, NJ and I threw the first annual Belmar Bookcon!!!! Filling Pyanoe Plaza with 24 authors… all either self published, or published by small independent houses… PLUS 4 Independent Publishers! The world of PUBLISHING is changing… and we felt it was time to educate the world about it.
Years ago when a self published author came into one of my bookstores suggesting I read their book and perhaps place it on my shelves… I would barely give them the time of day. I’ll be honest… I looked down my nose at them. My view was if they couldn’t get a book agent or publisher interested in their cancer survival story… then why would I be interested??
Being a sucker for sob stories I would upon occasion read one or two of them. It was rough going. Misspellings, no continuity, major grammatical errors, lost train of thought, dull as dish water. Ugh! The more difficult part was returning the book and telling this person who just spent the past 7 years of their life writing this tome that ‘although the story is compelling, I suggest you hire a professional editor to put the final polish on your book’. Inevitably they would reply that their 2nd cousin once removed on their father’s side is an avid reader and THEY edited the book… and besides, there were already 1,000 copies printed and sitting in their garage. OY!
One day… one magical day… this all changed!! A man named Keith Smith walked into my Princeton bookstore and asked us to take a look at his book. His approach to the desk was different than most. Most authors were sheepish and shy, Keith was not. Well dressed, attentive, and sure of himself… he waited for a paying customer to finish their transaction and walked confidently up to the desk. OK… it didn’t hurt that he was ‘easy on the eyes’ either.
He proceeded to tell my daughter and me about his story… notice I said his STORY… not his book. By the time he was finished my mouth hung open and I couldn’t wait to read his book… Men In My Town. It’s a true unsolved crime which happened to him as a young man in Rhode Island. I devoured the book in one evening!!!
Keith returned to the store a few days later. As I handed the book back to him and placed an order I remarked, “I smell movie rights.” The only disappointment I had was while he recounted his story to me verbally, he mentioned a few things that were not in the book, which I felt needed to be added. But as usual, the books were already printed.
My view of self publishing changed that day. Some AWESOME books were being written and regular John Q. Public would never know about them. It took a few more years for me to get my life in order and begin to trumpet these wonderful books. Along the way I have stumbled across The Bronze Horsemen written by David Mallegol… about the domestication of the horse, Ridiculous by D.L. Carter, a Regency Romance I would NEVER have picked up to read but absolutely LOVED and Sweet Tea by Wendy Decker, a great story about a girl dealing with her mother’s mental illness… just to name a few.
Of course all of these books are available through your favorite online bookstore… HOWEVER… I would prefer you help out your local Independent Bookstore and order it from them. If you don’t know who that is… may I direct your attention to Indiebound.org. Simply type in your zip code and ta-dah… your local stores pop up. This is also great for when you are away from home
If all else fails… or you want to save some time… call Shari at The Paperback Exchange… 732-681-6829 and she will gladly ship you a copy. PayPal and all credit cards accepted.
NOW for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!
I have made the commitment to read TWO books a month that were either self published OR published by a small Independent Publishing House and review them on my other site… Unique and Novel. Join me over there if you are looking for something new and different to read. I promise you these are books you won’t ever hear about unless read my blog!