Friday, January 20, 2006

An interview? Little old me?

Yep, sure enough. The very cool and wise Jenna Glatzer interviewed good old POD-dy Mouth over at her fantastic site,!

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!)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

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.

You can find many of the details from the oodles of Amazon reviewers who slammed the book.

The point is--once again--that the book was a compelling memoir (very hard to believe unless it was true!) but horribly ridiculous and outlandish as fiction, which it apparently was.

Your memoir doesn't have to be wild or extreme to be compelling. Dave Eggers penned a memoir that really has little about it that is amazing (despite the title) but it's written so well that you can't help but admit the story is wonderful.

The moral? What is the harm in being honest in your memoir? Nothing. Like your mom told you when you were a kid: "Everyone will like you best if you just be yourself."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The 2006 Online Book Publishing Review

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.)