The Willamette Writers Conference offers opportunities for writers to pitch their work to agents, and I took advantage. Six different agents expressed some interest in my project, but on follow up, none responded. In the political climate of I found so many parallels with the milieu of my novels specifically anti-immigration sentiments, racism, and religious bigotry that I felt it was important to get this work out into the public immediately. Finding an agent and a publisher can take years, so I decided to self-publish as soon as possible. My editor Jill Kelly, PhD, guided me through that process.
I do like the covers a lot. I have a background in photography, I particularly enjoy black and white photographs. Color pictures can hide a host of issues that are exposed when the picture is black and white. There is no doubt that publishing has changed so radically, agents and publishers only take a chance on something the think is a sure thing. More and more people are taking a route similar to yours, including away from Amazon. They are the pound gorilla and do what they want with impunity. I hope you were able to preserve your intellectual property rights for movies, plays, audio book, and foreign sales.
How do you think your book compares to a book published by a major publisher? There are many unethical practices in publishing, which one is the most unbearable in your mind? Now that your books are published, is there anything about them you would like to change? So glad to see you are getting good reviews, Jeff. I celebrate your accomplishments as writer and especially for working with such complex difficult issues of intersectionality.
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Do you have any connections at First Unitarian Church of Portland? Best regards, Sophia. Hi Sophia. Great to hear from you.
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Yes, I'm thrilled that the trilogy is getting a good reception. Glad you used the word intersectionality. Many different issues from the s have resurfaced across cultural lines in our politics today. Yes, I know a few folks from the Unitarian Church here in Portland. They are very progressive regarding social justice.
Be well. Thank you for dropping in Sophia. Jeff has written an amazing book. Are you a writer? Mark: New questions: How do you think your book compares to a book published by a major publisher? Jeff: I believe my books compare favorably to books published by major publishers. I engaged a professional editor, and a professional proofreader you to help improve my manuscript, and I hired a professional book designer to handle the interior and cover of each book.
These are steps I would have had to go through with any publisher, large or small. Editors and designers vary in quality no matter who you are working with. By self-publishing I was able to maintain ultimate control over the final product. With a major publisher I may have been asked to make significant content concessions in regard to the current book market, and a cover design may have been chosen that I had no say in.
I have gotten good feedback on the books so far, and I believe they is equal to many of the books launched by established publishing houses. The difference is that other publishers have distribution connections that I, as a small independent self-published author, do not have. At the same time, while publishing houses can give some help with book publicity, most unknown authors are still responsible for much of the promotion of their own work.
Regarding ethical practices in the publishing world, I am no expert. But as a consumer and an author, I am deeply disturbed by the huge advantage that Amazon represents compared to small independent bookstores. We love our small local bookshops, even our favorite large independent Powells. These businesses are threatened by the incredible reach and market clout of Amazon. Support your local book sellers! As far as changes I would like to make to my books, each time I give a reading, I make minor edits to passages before I present them. In each instance I find wording and phrasing that I think can be improved, especially in light of reading it aloud many times in preparation for an audience.
But the published books stand as they are. I expect all writers go through this same experience.
We continue to learn, the more we write, and our sense of the best way to word a passage improves over time. Some writers republish improved versions of their works, the example of John Fowles comes to mind for his reissue of The Magus more than ten years after its first publication. Distribution is a huge issue, of course.
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I am glad your books are available locally as well as on Amazon. Your experience mirrors that of many authors who choose to publish independently. Besides having more control of your intellectual property you were able to have creative control also. I love the old photos on your covers.
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Tell me more about them. Do you have a blog? This series is done. Are you going to write more? What can you tell us about your next project? Jeff - My partner Ken began collecting old photos and photo albums after he graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in the s. He was focusing on vintage photos of affectionate men. As that genre of photography became more popular and books of those photos came out, it became harder to find them in secondhand shops.
At the same time photo albums became more and more expensive until prices were prohibitive. Please check it out at www.
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This month, Black History Month, I wrote about a black lesbian activists from the s. For my next big writing project I want to explore Native American issues. I grew up in north central Washington state across the Okanogan River from the Reservation of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and in college I won a small grant to make a short film about the native rock paintings and the folklore of the Okanogan area. I have long been interested in what it was like for American Natives who traveled east across the Atlantic to the royal courts of Europe during the early colonial period.
I have also been writing short pieces—short stories and essays, and I am about to start a poetry seminar with Andrea Hollander. Who knows where all these threads will lead. The Details. Bite the urge Valid for travel now through December 29, Plot your twists Valid for travel now through December 31, Eat great, even late Blue Ribbon. Hit the Peach Bar Momofuku. Established by chef and founder David Chang, Momofuku is an American Asian restaurant offering award-winning cuisine and an elegant atmosphere. American Blue Ribbon.
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Friday, October 4, Interpol The Chelsea. Friday, October 25, Lizzo The Chelsea. As they entered, there were gasps of surprise and admiration. We have lived in our house for 11 years, and were lucky enough to have an indoor swimming pool, but recently we realised it was looking a bit tired around the edges.
Because the room is so large, we divided it into three sections: the bar, with built-in karaoke and a space for dancing, a cinema with cosy sofas for us to watch films as a family, and a man-cave corner with a big screen and special chairs with steering wheels for playing F1 racing video games. But the bar is the focal point.
We kept it all a secret until it was finished, then invited friends around for drinks in June. They loved the lights, which we can change the colour of according to our mood or the season — at Halloween we lit the bar up orange. What a good idea for the future! Our sleek bar is made from a hard-wearing laminate and medium-density fibreboard.
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It has glasses of all shapes and sizes and, of course, a fridge full of mixers and wine. I have to admit, I still prefer wine and champagne to cocktails, but we have shelves of spirits and Aimee and Laura are amazing at creating them. Gary is pretty proficient, too. He can be a bartending Tom Cruise from the film Cocktail if I ask him nicely. Faye Watts, 41, lives in London with her husband, Steve, 47, and they run an accountancy business together. Nothing says welcome like a beautifully mixed cocktail, full of fresh fruit and ice and lovingly shaken into a glass.