Monday, February 7, 2011


I need some help with getting into the publishing world. Any ideas.

Cass, it almost seems criminal not to record these experiences you've had. I enjoy reading them. Publishing is so crazy and always has been. I've been working/messing with it seemingly forever, with limited or no success. I started Airborne Press to publish a children's book that my brother had written. And, it kind of evolved from there. I have had enough experiences about writing that I could write ten books. I go in these book stores and am blown away. Who is writing these books and who is reading them. Well mostly, nobody is reading the majority of them. And, for those who have a need to write, we have such a celebrity driven culture, it is super discouraging. Madonna writes a book on parenting, people are lined up for ten blocks to get a copy. You and I, even if we have it published, couldn't give it away.

The above is my realistic and discouraging view from experience. What somebody has to do is write out of their own need and decide what they want to do. For instance, for me, I mostly give away my stuff. Since I have a few resources, once it is ready, which I hire somebody to set up, I print just enough to give away and for Amazon. I tried publishing for Vietnam vets. It was a disaster as all Vietnam vets have things to say but with two that I worked with closely, attempting to edit their stuff was disastrous. What I do now is always buy lots of copies once they have published and give away.

It is mostly about marketing anyway. I've had an agent. We got to be great friends but she really didn't do much for me. I got a nice bite from UNC press on a memoir that my brother and I did but they wanted to take out mostly the very stuff that was important to me in particular and so said no. When I was at Leavenworth, I actually wrote, as I told you I think, this fictionalized account of my time in Vietnam. Of course, it was based on real guys. I sold it to a paperback publisher, Manor Books. Actually went to NY and met the editor. He said, "we'll publish as much of this sort of stuff as you can write." I thought I was off and running. Never heard from them again. They got sold, went out of business or something. And, they were a pretty big publisher, 200 titles a year. I still remember how impressed I was because they had dome a biography of Anwar Sadat, much in the news now of course.

Because I am a self diagnosed ADD and based on my own personality, once I have written anything, I do something with it and then forget it. I keep up about 8 blogs. In fact I have one called, More Writers Than Readers. Also, I put a lot of stuff on a site called, It helps me with my needs. The last thing I put on there were three short stories which was a small book. I made them free but could have charged. You might want to check it out.

Cass, I've written a book here. I guess what I saying is that you have to decide what you want to do with your writing/experiences and charge. You have had, in a sense, more experience than me in terms of marketing your cartoons and it is all pretty similar really. I would like to use enough of your story to explain the cartoon on the AP website. My niece is the webmaster. I pay her to keep it up. We get about five thousand hits a week which isn't much but for a noncommercial site, pretty good I think, especially as the hits are so consistent.