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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.



- 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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text 2017-01-26 07:01
Stigma of self-publishing denies good authors critical acclaim

 I want you to take a look at some research I've done and see if you come to the same conclusion I do.


Lets start with two novels I reviewed that are written by local Vancouver authors.

The first is The Continuation of Love by Other Means by Claudia Casper.

It has one, two-star review on Amazon.com, which I wrote, and two reviews on Amazon.ca, one of which is also mine, averaging three stars.


Lucky by Kathryn Para, the winner of the second search for the Great BC Novel, has two reviews on Amazon.ca, one mine and one that appears to be by a personal friend who "visited her at home". The average is four stars. On Amazon.com Lucky has five reviews (including mine) for an average of four stars.


Not so stellar I'm thinking when you compare them to my latest novel, The Local Rag which has seven reviews on Amazon.com (none of which I wrote, paid for, or pleaded with friends to review) for an average of four stars, and one on Amazon.ca of five stars.


So how come both these women are getting paid reading gigs and interviews with main stream media and I'm getting nothing?


Upon further investigation I discovered local poets who are garnering the same acclaim with the local literati but zero with Amazon reviewers. Some didn't even have their books available on Amazon or at the Vancouver Public Library.


I'm not disparaging these other local writers and I'm happy for their success, even though it would appear, at least on Amazon, that my latest book is more popular then theirs.


So what's the difference between them and me?


One thing. They all have traditional publishers.


Sure, their publisher may be some small press operating from a barn just north of Nowhere, Saskatchewan, but these authors didn't self publish. One way or another they got their manuscript accepted and published by a bona fide (?) Canadian publisher who's likely getting significant grants from the Canadian government just for existing.


I've traveled the submissions route before and it's like living in suspended animation. You send out your manuscript and wait at least six months. By then maybe you've heard something, maybe not. You decide to continue to wait or accept that the recipient of your work is not even gracious enough to let you know they threw your manuscript in the garbage, and you move on.


You have no idea what's going on, you have no control over the process. You are, in a word, powerless. No wonder so many authors choose to self-publish their work.


Unfortunately, you're very, very unlikely to receive any critical acclaim if you follow the self-publishing path and that's because there's a stigma attached to self-published books and regrettably it's deserved.


With the increasing ease of self-publishing and the complete lack of gatekeepers self-published books have become an anathema to the serious writer. It's estimated Amazon carries 37 million self-published titles, up 438% since 2008. Most of these books are terrible or mediocre at best. Finding a well written, good story among all this dreck is near impossible and every one has come to realized it including credible publishers, agents, reviewers and even readers.


For me to self-publish another novel is futile. I'll garner a handful of positive reader reviews, fewer sales and that's it.


So I'm going back to researching potential publishers and submitting my manuscripts, the first being East Van Saturday Night, four short stories and a novella.


It's deja vu all over again only this time I'm older (not necessarily a plus), smarter (at least in this arena) and a far better writer.


It's time for real critical acclaim and credibility as a writer - or not.


Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs




Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at



Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books



Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ


Cover Art of books by self-published authors at



More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin


View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/


Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music








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