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text 2017-07-20 07:56
East Van Saturday Night - submissions, round two

 

East Van Saturday - four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.

 

The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I've self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn't going to achieve what I wanted.

 

What do I want?

Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you're not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.

 

Why? Because it's now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody's doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.

 

In the past six months I've submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you're comparing it to.

 

Consider:

- publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.

- part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,

- you must provide details on how you're prepared to market your book,

- in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,

- they won't let you know they received your submission,

- you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,

- they won't let you know if they reject your work, they'll just shred it, using "a secure process".

 

Okay, so it's not that difficult, it's just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance - and that's without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.

 

To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies - that's my tax money.

 

And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?

 

One thing.

 

They're the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you're an indie author you're a joke, if your traditionally published you're accepted by the literati.

 

Not that I'll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.

So here we go again.

 

East Van Saturday Night - four short stories and a novella, are to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you'll never take East Van out of the boy.


Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the "summer of love"), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to "boomers".

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

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review 2017-07-11 18:57
THE PROCESS Review
The Process (is a Process All Its Own) - Peter Straub

I believe my review of Peter Straub's latest novella, The Process (or, as it was originally titled, Hello Jack, which I much preferred!) is the first on Goodreads. I feel so honored!

 

Folks, I spent forty bucks on this book. It's a limited, signed edition and was published by Subterranean Press. They do good work, and this is no exception. This one is beautiful, and so nice to hold! Do I regret spending that much money on a ninety-page novella? Despite my 3-star rating, I would answer that question with an emphatic NO. Peter Straub is one of my favorite authors, and this is his first release of new fiction in seven years. And it's signed! No regrets here.

 

Despite Straub being one of my favorite authors, I must admit I've not read anything of his that was released after Floating Dragon. I haven't read the Blue Rose trilogy, or The Hellfire Club. Nothing. Nada. So reading this — a work released in 2017 — was a bit jarring because, naturally, Straub's voice has changed as he's gotten older. His language seems a bit more concise now, which is great . . . but this novella totally lacked the atmosphere of his earlier stuff. His '70s and '80s novels oozed with mood and feeling; Straub always put his strange and puzzling locations to good use. Here, he doesn't. Bummer.

 

This little story concerns itself with Tillman Hayward (a Straubian character name if there ever was one!), a fictional serial killer from the 1950s. Apparently this guy has appeared in a few other novellas by Straub, but I have not read those. For the most part, this story remains in the head of this guy — often referred to as "Tilly" — and I must say he's pretty darn creepy! I thought his association of words with smells was fitting, creative, and very well written. Unfortunately, at seemingly random moments Straub jerks the reader away from Tilly's first person narration and plunks said reader down into the happenings of other characters. Those moments bored me to tears, and I found myself racing through the pages to get back to what Tilly was up to.

 

Like all Straub stories, this is a bit of a challenge. It's a horrific mystery of the highest literary order. I cannot pretend to have totally gotten everything that was going on, and I'm sure that's the point. But it's a bit of a mess. I finished feeling more confused than anything. I will reread this . . . maybe soon? For now, though, I will give it three stars. I liked it, but it could have been so much more.

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