Archive for the ‘Waterfront Digital Press’ Category

The Literary Life

Monday, July 27th, 2015

In the 1950s and 1960s, I grew up in Westchester County, thirty minutes from New York City (think Don Draper in “Mad Men” for the  typical train commute), and I was the son of a book publisher 9k=living in the center of the literary world.  My dad would have frequent parties with other book publishers including Sol Stein, the founder of Stein and Day; Max Schuster of Simon and Shuster; Jovanovich of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Nat Wartels, the founder of Crown; luminaries such as Bennet Cerf of Random House; and many others whose names have receded into the mists of publishing history.  I remember the parties and the characters, they seemed larger than life and enjoyed every aspect of living with great emphasis on fine food and drink.  After all these years I forget many of their names, but their companies (such as Sterling) live on, now owned by larger corporations which have changed the publishing world and which, no doubt, in fifty years will in many cases have disappeared as well.

The literary life itself has changed.  As a society we do not cultivate great writing; we really don’t.  I am not sure if great writing is still possible.  And this is not because of technology, but in spite of it. More people are writing more books more easily than ever before. There are more writer’s groups,  more writing courses, more “How to be a Best Selling Author” seminars, and more access to getting books published than in any previous moment in history.  So the problem with the lack of great writing is actually neither access nor time to the tools and the profession. The problem, as far  as I can determine, is with the times in which we live.

There is much focus on commercial success and seeming relevance that it is rare for those who read to take the time to cultivate great writing.  Great writing takes time. Great writing takes  rewriting.  Great writing does not ensure commercial success.  The recent release of Harper Lee’s  “Go Set a Watchman” is a case study that proves why there is little if any great writing or great publishing at this moment in time. “To Kill a Mockingbird”  is a great book, it has withstood the test of time.  It will still be read fifty years from now, more than one hundred years after it was published. But I doubt that even five years from now “Go Set a Watchman” will be read. It is not great writing. It was not meant to be published; it required rewriting.  The rewriting is what created the timelessness of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.  The editor took time, months of back and forth with Harper Lee, hundreds of hours of thought and comment from both editor and author.  This could never happen today.  Both publisher and author can not  take the time to have a book percolate. There is too much financial gain or loss at stake.  And besides, is anyone other than a few literary critics or erudite publishing industry or academic specialists going to notice the flaws in books not truly gestated, not truly edited, but published for great financial benefit?

I write books myself and they are well written. One, “The Twelve”, has sold more than 500,000 copies. My authored books however are not great writing.  I was not motivated to write a great book. I hired an outside editor. I had a wonderful editor provided by the publisher. They did as good a job as the time and money allocated justified. Readers have enjoyed my books, and I receive wonderful compliments from them. For some my books have changed their lives for the better.  They are good books, just not great.  In the fullness of time my books are unlikely to survive.  Only truly great works of art survive.

I recommend that those of you interested in writing strive for greatness. It will not be easy, there will be distractions. You will have to find great editors and you will have to pay them.  You will have to allocate time. You will have to be unattached to the financial results.  You will have to cut back on your social media and dedicate all of your creative energy to the book itself and not the marketing. You will have difficulty finding a major publisher. But if you write a truly great book, your words may live forever.

Now, that would be a true literary life.

Water

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Water is the most important resource for life on planet earth. Without water there would be no life. Period.happy face

The first human beings created settlements with close proximity to rivers and lakes. Fresh water was key to survival.

California is presently experiencing a three-year drought. It has not rained this year at all here in Southern California, and we are currently enjoying warm Santa Ana conditions with no likelihood of rain for several weeks. Water reserves are low and there is likely to be water rationing later this year if there is no rain or snow in the mountains. Perhaps with the rest of North America experiencing extreme cold and storms there is not much sympathy for Californians, but the possible shortage of water could become a serious  issue not just for California but other areas throughout the world within the next several decades. Many pundits have opined that the real wars of the future will be over water rights, not oil and gas.

In thinking about water I connect with the wonderful beach walks I take almost daily. The ocean seems vast and limitless. It is not. We have found ways to pollute our oceans and their viability is not assured either.

Just this week we published as an e-book, THE DOLPHIN LETTERS: VITAL MESSAGES FROM SEA TO LAND by Muriel Lindsay. Muriel has spent several decades living close to dolphins and has developed a telepathic relationship with the dolphins who have communicated this book to her. Not everyone is going to take seriously the contention that these are in fact letters from actual dolphins, but I believe they are.  And, more importantly, I believe that the messages are indeed vital to the survival of our species. Dolphins have been on our planet a lot longer than humans and they understand both the nature of water and the nature of life. I have sent this manuscript to several noted scientists for their views on the messages conveyed in these dolphin letters, and the responses have been laudatory and provocative. (more…)

Libraries and Global Publishing

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Last week I had the pleasure of addressing librarians at their annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina as the Interior_view_of_Stockholm_Public_Libraryguest of Mitch Davis of Bibliolabs, Mitch is working on a number of initiatives that will enable libraries, if they choose, to become centers for self-publishing. I strongly support this concept and intend to work with Mitch to enable all one hundred thousand libraries in the United States to in effect become book publishers for their author constituents. With projections of up to one million self-published books to be released in the next two years, it is only logical that libraries participate as partners for these authors whose books are, for the most part, likely to sell fewer than one hundred copies.

One of the unique concepts Mitch and I are exploring is the ability to publish these titles as ebooks with distribution to all one hundred thousand libraries as a free or nearly free subscription service. Authors will benefit from exposure of their works to all libraries and can coordinate local promotions with their initiating co-publishing.  Local library costs for ebook self-publishing can be reduced from what existing self-publishing services are charging,  Even low cost Create Space, which Mitch founded and then sold to Amazon several years ago, would be more expensive. (more…)

BE CHANGE: LEADERS ON THE FRONT LINE

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Today November 11, 2013 my father would have  had his  99th birthday were he still alive. Today is also veterans  in theabout-linda  United States. I am  in Berlin, Germany  keynoting a conference on how German authors can reach a global audience. I wrote the following publisher’s note for a new  booklet that  Waterfront Digital Press will be proudly  publishing later this year.  I hope this blog motivates you to learn more about Linda Cruse and motivates you to take action in her programs.

BE THE CHANGE: LEADERS ON THE FRONT LINE

This small ebook gives you the flavor of the important work that Linda Cruse has accomplished over the last fourteen years helping people in crisis throughout the world. Hot spots where Linda has intervened include: Thailand after the Tsunami, Pakistan after the earthquake and Burmese refugees flying from the military junta. Linda has helped tens of thousands of people with her helping “hand up” rather  than ”hand out” philosophy.  Linda’s focus is on bringing  in top business leaders  to  communities  that have been devastated or challenged with poverty and helping the individuals in these communities to create  businesses that will be self sustaining for  decades so that when humanitarian aid programs end the villagers  are thriving and not facing new crises brought about by dependence on others.

Linda is an ordinary person who made an extraordinary commitment to make a positive difference in the world. Linda does not come from  great wealth, was trained and served as a nurse and later  pharmaceutical saleswoman. She saw a need and learned  on site how a small group of people could  make huge differences throughout the world. This short booklet presents just the highlights of Linda’s philosophy and accomplishments.

The primary reason you are reading this book is because I told Linda she had to write it. Not enough people especially here in America (Linda is a Brit) know about her work and the opportunities to participate  or promote Be The Change: Leaders on The Frontline. Not everyone is suited for five days of immersion in a remote African village but everyone of us can contribute.  My hope is that you will share this short booklet with friends and family, business colleagues, business clients and customers and encourage them to share with their networks as well.

Linda has recently affiliated with the World Business Academy based in Santa Barbara, California.  The World Business Academy is a fully operational 501 c3 tax deductible approved organization that has focused  for the last ten plus years on how business leaders can make a positive difference in society. Upon meeting Linda, World Business Academy (WBA) founder Rinaldo Brutoco recognized the synergies that  will naturally evolve  from  Linda’s  Be The Change: Leaders On The Frontline projects being brought to the attention of his existing WBA members.  Part of this affiliation includes the ability for those interested in supporting Be The Change: Leaders On The Frontline to make donations through the World Business Academy. Any checks you send should include  a notation that  funds are to be used to promote and educate about the opportunities Linda is creating though her Be The Change: Leaders On The Frontline projects.

The address to send checks is World Business Academy, 308 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. After reading this booklet go to Linda’s web site www.lindacruse.com and also to the World Business Academy web site www.worldbusiness.org to learn more about how by making a donation you can be the change you want to see in the world.

Thank you for reading and thank you for taking action.

William Gladstone, Publisher, Waterfront Digital Press