Announcing “Casualties of the (Recession) Depression” on Amazon Kindle!

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My book, Casualties of the (Recession) Depression is now available in eBook format… on Amazon Kindle, is US $9.99 (Paperback edition retails at US $20).

Although Casualties of the (Recession) Depression is about middle-class America, the experiences narrated in this book, along with the issue of recession, hunger, joblessness, homelessness…are experiences and issues that have no geographic boundaries. They are global. Especially in today’s world economy. Therefore, this book is applicable everywhere. As I write on the front cover: “They could be you. They could be me. They could be anyone.”

Here’s who will find added value to buying a copy of Casualties of the (Recession) Depression:

  1. Civics and humanities students/teachers – this book would be perfect suggested reading for the class.
  2. If you are involved with your own organizations, in the fight for hunger, this book would be a good one to use as collateral material for your cause(s).
  3. If you are in government, this book would be good reference/collateral material for your political platform and/or constituency.
  4. If you are involved in your religious community and work with community outreach programs, to fight hunger and homelessness, this would be a good book to raise awareness in your congregation/religious programs.
  5. If you work in the field of hospital administration, social work or advocacy, this book would be an interesting (and valuable) reference to have.

Some of the Amazon customer reviews are on the right sidebar of this blog site.

I hope that you’ll give it a read!

Cheers,

— Heather

A Writer’s Dilemma: traditional publishing or self-publishing?

Until recent years, I always believed the traditional publishing route was the only way to go.  I knew that it would entail sending out query letter after query letter and, inevitably, would be followed by rejection letter after rejection letter.  I knew that it would most likely take some time – perhaps years – before a positive response would be forthcoming. I would need to hire a literary agent, if I ever had a hope in hell of having my manuscript read by a publisher. Nevertheless, I envisaged a day when one of New York’s finest publishing houses would give me the thumbs-up.  I imagined the process, the kind of advance I would get, and what the contract would entail.  Would they want a one-book deal or a three- or five-book deal?  Most importantly, I would be published!

Times have changed.  Writers are increasingly favoring the self-publishing route. There used to be a stigma attached to what was once referred to as “vanity press.”  Not so much, anymore (although there are a few publishing purists who still curl their lips in disdain at the mere thought of  a self-published book or – gasp! – an Ebook!). But, with the advent of social media and publishing vehicles like Kindle Amazon and lulu.com – many writers are opting to eliminate the “middle man” and take control of their own publishing destiny.  Not convinced?  Frankly, I’m still in a quandary, myself.

Here are a few of the pros and cons in the traditional publishing versus self-publishing debate:

SELF-PUBLISHING

The author becomes the publisher (no middle man) and, as such,  she/he has to do all the work (proofread and edit the final text, provide camera-ready artwork, marketing and distribute the book – and provide all the funds to publish the book).  Yes, companies like lulu.com (for example) can market and distribute but you will inevitably have to pay the tab.  A hefty tab, at that.

Pros:

  • Control. You control the process and have full rights to your manuscript.
  • Time. You could easily have a book released in the space of six months.

Cons:

  • Money. You have to pay for everything and will only recoup your costs if the book sells – well.
  • Contacts. You don’t have the benefit of a publishing house’s experience, contacts and networking capabilities.
  • Time. Ahhh, there’s that Time issue again!  You will be spending a lot of your time marketing, distributing, filling orders, and so on.
  • Market  Saturation.  The market is saturated with low-quality books because so many people (who are not really writers) are publishing their own books or Ebooks. The end result:  self-publishing still gets a bad rap – like it or not.

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING

Most larger publishing houses will not even look at a manuscript unless it is represented by a literary agent. Smaller or independent houses may possibly accept unrepresented work, but don’t hold your breath.  Expect to get rejection letters.  Don’t let rejection letters fill you with self-doubt. Keep trying.

Pros:

  • Money.  You will get an advance (ranging from a meager amount to as much as seven figures).  You will get a percentage of sales.
  • Effort. The publishing house will handle the whole process.  They have the resources to promote your book – well.
  • Credibility. To be published by a major publishing house is a good thing – really. Whether you like it or not, perception is important.

Cons:

  • Money.  You will have to pay the literary agent a percentage (usually 15%) of  your advance, as well as a percentage of the sales.
  • Control.  You are at the mercy of the publishing house.  You lose some or all control over your manuscript, including title, cover, content  – depending on the fine print in your contract.
  • Time.  It will likely take a publishing house anywhere from 12 – 18 months to publish your book.

Clearly, it is extremely important to research your publishing options further and think very carefully about which route you want to take.

As a writer, this is one of the most important decisions that you will make.

Personally, I am still torn between the two but am leaning towards the self-publishing option.  My main issue is Time.  The time is NOW!

Here’s wishing all of you the best of luck!

Cheers,

h.f.t.g.

Image via   Llamatastic.com.