If you haven't checked out, give it a once (or twice) over.
I am still on the road--literally, just sitting here on I-95 outside of Providence in the third lane--which means no treasure again Monday, but it shall return thereafter (we only have two slots left anyway!)
A Million Little James Freys (or, He Ain't the First)
Would anyone have noticed James Frey if he hadn't hit the big time (the biggest!) by gaining the endorsement of Oprah? Probably not--along with countless other memoirists who threw some artificial flavoring into their story. It is the money that draws the attention.
So--if you're writing a memoir, either be honest or don't plan on selling many copies.
This entire mess happened not too long ago to similar fury. Remember the memoir SLEEPERS by Lorenzo Carcaterra? Mr. Carcaterra gained quite of a bit of notoriety over his memoir of growing up in Hell's Kitchen as a child and serving time in a horribly cruel and sadistic detention center. The book tells the story of four youths and how they were repeatedly abused and raped, essentially the slaves of the disgusting guards that worked there. The second half of the book deals with how the boys got revenge on the guards once they were adults.
The book was a bestseller, making the NY Times bestseller, Publishers Weekly and others. It soon became a movie with Brad Pitt, Dustin Hoffman, et. al.. It was a compelling, excellent story, and all true!
Okay, not all true.
Okay, apparently not true at all.
Once the movie went into production (keep in mind, having Oprah bless your book is the only thing better than having Brad Pitt star in the movie adaptation of your book) people started nosing around to see if the story was true. Apparently, there were no court records of the supposed trial that took place in the memoir, as well as no proof the kids were ever in detention--and in fact, some people say the detention center never even existed.
First, thanks to all who have sent me well-wishes on my tour. It has been going fairly well, considering the weather in the northeast lately. Nothing like trying to sell a book when the weather stinks and everyone is still trying to pay off their holiday expenses.
But who am I to complain?
In case you haven't seen this article regarding online publishers (POD), it is worth checking out. It's hard to imagine, but this article profiles the big PODers (iUniverse, Authorhouse, Xlibris, etc.) as well as some I have never even heard of! How many are out there?
In some cases, their opinions/conclusions differ slightly from my personal opinions of these houses--at least the ones I know. But for the most part, they seem right on.
One thing to note is that the "entry level" packages are all starting to look similar in size/offerings and cost--a big change from a few years ago.
As for their rankings, iUniverse steals the top spot once again (with Authorhouse always one tick behind.) Virtualbookworm is on the rise and Xlibris is down to seven (though it's hard to imagine they are still being considered at this point: the only people to outprice PublishAmerica.)
I am an author and instructor, in that order (for now.) My debut novel (which debuted in the midlist) was released by Penguin Putnam in 2004 and my second novel was released early 2006.
As for this blog, it has been profiled in many online magazines, blogs and news stories, including the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Boston Globe, the Dallas Morning News, the LA Times and Publishers Lunch.
To answer the deluge of questions I have been receiving from publicists: I'll review pretty much anything that is good--but it better be good, or I'll never look at another one of your books again. Then I'll hunt you down. Fiction preferred (no fantasy or young adult, go easy on the science fiction.) Non-fiction should be memoir, humor, self-help. Definite no-nos: cookbooks, textbooks, porn, books without verbs. And it must be POD (no small presses.) Otherwise, email with pitch first.