Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PW and NY Agents Sink to a New Level!

"Excuse me Mr. Konrath, is that a Kindle in your pocket?"

The war in the publishing "revolution" reached new heights today when a scathing article penned by Publishers Weekly essentially accused bestselling author and indy publishing guru, JA Konrath of resorting to "scheme" tactics by signing a new book deal with Amazon-Encore. In a blatant and curious attempt to fully discredit Konrath as a legitimate author, PW sighted falling sales and "a book no one wanted," as the reason behind the new deal with the electronic powerhouse. PW even went so far as to back up their argument by interviewing one New York agent who refused to reveal his or her true identity.

"It's not necessarily clear that big corporate publishing is well structured to help low midlist authors with rapidly reducing print runs in an environment in which overall print sales are falling week by week," expounded Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. "I think what Joe [Konrath] did is valuable in that he saw there was an opportunity to create low-priced content and bypass the system."

Yet one of the agents interviewed, Scott Waxman of the Waxman Agency, must be a visionary who views that same "system" as, well, failing. He fully admitted to even starting his own new publishing venture entirely based upon the new Indy Model. "If you have an author with a platform who can sell books, we're happy selling 5,000 to 10,000 copies," says Waxman about his Diversion Books. "While Diversion isn't paying advances, it's not taking everyone who comes in with a manuscript. This isn't self-publishing...You get real publishing support. I know you don't get that with self-publishing. This lives in between."

Konrath who was quick to respond to this less than kind, blatantly biased, article raises the possibility that PW might owe him an apology. But by the looks of it, PW is simply making a weak play at holding at bay a publishing revolution which is clearly making its presence known in the Big Apple. And like Konrath says, any kind of publicity is good publicity, especially when it's being written by a nose-bitten douchebag.

As a novelist who has published with the biggies and the Indy Presses (no I haven't self-published...yet!), my agent, Janet Benrey (a brave Brit who wishes not to remain anonymous) recently asked me if I would like to make a return to big publishing one day. My response was this: If they want to pay me a major six or seven-figure advance, keep my book in print for seven or more years, offer me 50% on E-Book publication, and 25% minimum on trade paper and/or hardcover, if they want to market the hell out of it, if they can guarantee they won't discontinue the imprint, be taken over in a consolidation, if they promise to abide by the contract and not "cancel" it, and finally, if they'll kiss my perfectly carved Planet Fitness ass, than sure, I'll think about it. Janet's response? Well, she couldn't stop laughing.

Oh, and the link to Konrath's response and the PW Pulitzer Prize Winning article...click here!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amazon.com: Moonlight Falls (9780981965406): Vincent Zandri: Books

Amazon.com: Moonlight Falls (9780981965406): Vincent Zandri: Books

Saturday, May 22, 2010

JA "Jesus H" Konrad's Sermon on the Publishing Mount!

What did the cassette tape say to the eight-track tape?
"We've replaced you, you are obsolete."

What did the CD say to the cassette?
"We've replaced you, you are obsolete."

What did online downloads and yah, pirating, say to the CD?
"We've replaced you, you are obsolete."

What did the E-Book say to the Big New York Print industry?
"We're about to bury you!"

Check out JA "Jesus H" Konrad's newest sermon on the future of publishing hot off the cyber press at the Huffington Post!!!

PS. Yah, I made up the Jesus H thing....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In this Corner, the E-Book; In that Corner, the Hardcopy!

Everyone's a critic....

Is it really really E-Books versus Print? Much like an inevitable global confrontation between good and evil, is the future of publishing really setting the stage for a war of reading mediums? Or can print and E-Books live together in harmony? Check in this Sunday at "CMash Loves to Read" book blog hailing from out of my old stomping ground, Providence, Rhode Island. I'll be ranting and raving about this very topic while you cure your hangovers with coffee, eggs, bacon and home-fries. Hey, the little state likes to do big things. And Providence rocks. And I used to party with Mayor Buddy Cianci back in the 80s!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Do I Write All Day????

Lots of people assume that because I'm a full-time writer, I don't work. Nothing could be farther from the truth.I'm a workaholic. In many ways, nothing is more important to me than working, writing. Just ask my two ex-wives. They'll tell you what a self-important jerk I am! (Sex is important too, but that's for another blog!)

In any case, check out the three things I do everyday, no matter what in this guest blog for Crazy for Books!!!

Oh, and win yourself a free copy of Moonlight Falls while you're at it...What the hell!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Remains. An Excerpt.

October 2, 2008
Albany, New York

In the deep night, a woman sits down at her writing table. Fingering a newly sharpened pencil, she focuses her eyes upon the blank paper, brings the black pencil tip to it.

She begins to write.

Dear Mol,

I’ve been dreaming about you again. I don’t think a night has gone by in the past few weeks when I haven’t seen your face. Our face, I should say. The face is always in my head; implanted in my memories. The dream is nothing new. It’s thirty years ago again. It’s October. I’m walking close behind you through the tall grass towards the woods. Your hair is loose and long. You’re wearing cut-offs, white Keds with the laces untied and a red T-shirt that says ‘Paul McCartney and Wings’ on the front. You’re walking ahead of me while I try to keep up; but afraid to keep up. Soon we come to the tree line, and while my heart beats in my throat, we walk into the trees. But then comes a noise—a snapping of twigs and branches. The gaunt face of a man appears. A man who lives in a house in the woods.

Then, just like that, the dream shifts and I see you kneeling beside me inside the dark empty basement. I hear the sound of your sniffles, smell the wormy raw earth, feel the cold touch of a man’s hand. You turn and you look at me with your solid steel eyes. And then I wake up.

We survived the house in the woods together, Mol, and we never told a soul. We just couldn’t risk it. Whelan would have come back for us. He would have found us. He would have found mom and dad. Even today, I know he surely would have. He would have killed them, Mol. He would have killed us. In just five days, thirty years will have passed. Three entire decades and I’m still convinced we did the right thing by keeping that afternoon in the woods our secret.

When I see you in my dreams it’s like looking in a mirror. The blue eyes, the thick lips, the dirty blond hair forever just touching the shoulders. My hair is finally showing signs of grey, Mol.

I wonder, do you get gray hair in heaven? I wonder if Whelan’s hair burned off in hell? I wonder if he suffers?

All my love,

Your twin sister,

Rebecca Rose Underhill

Exhaling, the woman folds the letter neatly into thirds, slips it into a blank stationary envelope, her initials RRU embossed on the label. Running the bitter sticky glue interior over her tongue, she seals the envelope, sets it back down onto the writing table. Once more she picks up the pencil, brings the now dulled tip to the envelope’s face. Addressing it she writes only a name:
Molly Rose Underhill

The job done, the woman smiles sadly. Opening the table drawer, she sets the letter inside, on top of a stack of nine identical letters-never-sent. One for every year her sister has been gone.

Closing the drawer she hears her cell phone begin to vibrate, then softly chime. Picking it up off the desktop, she opens the phone, sees that a new text has been forwarded to her electronic mailbox. Fingering the in-box, she retrieves the message.

Rebecca is all it says.

Punching the command that reveals the name and number of the sender she finds “Caller Unknown.” The sender’s number has been blocked. Closing the phone back up, she sets it down on the desk. That’s when the wind picks up, blows and whistles through the open window.

“Mol,” she says, staring out into the darkness. “Mol, is that you?”

Book Marketing Buzz

Book Marketing Buzz

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's now six months since the release of Moonlight Falls. Six months and my sales are not only going strong, they are increasing as my global audience grows. Virtual tours and social media blitzs have definitely helped the cause. So have the efforts of my indy publisher, RJBuckley. So much so that I have signed a new deal with a larger, medium-sized publisher for a new book The Remains (see how that works?). But all marketing efforts aside, it's the book that has sold itself. What's the attraction to Moonlight Falls? No one, as far as I know, as been prepared for the ending. No one, no matter how astute a reader, has been able to guess the "Who Dunnit" of the story. The answer doesn't reveal itself, until the last page, so for those who are about to read, no cheating!

If Moonlight Falls had been published by one of the major houses that published my previous books, it would already be off the big chain store shelves. Many of the independents would have made their "unsold book" returns as well. But because this is electronically based publishing (E-Book and POD Trader Paper), I'm still in the game and will be for years and years to come. In a word folks, indy publishing is the gift that keeps on giving.

In keeping with the new world publishing order, I've been keeping up with the blogs of thriller writer JA Konrath who has become the Messiah of Indy publishing. While his model is the self-published one and mine, the traditional submission/acceptance model, I nonetheless see myself seeing the light in his writing and publishing philosophy, and it's only a matter of time until I upload one of my unpublished manuscripts onto Kindle. Yup, for the first time ever, I will self publish my own novel. There, I said it. The novel is a dark suspense thriller called DEAD MAN, which I've recently been Tweeting.

Stone House Ink, is convinced they can make The Remains an E-Book bestseller, and I believe them. After all, making bestseller lists is often a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the publisher. In preparation for its release in early to mid June of 2010, I'm going to take a cue from my boy Konrath and offer up a FLASH MOB sell-off of Moonlight Falls in order to up the Amazon ranking to perhaps the top 500...Looking to take part in what amounts to a kind of fun experiment? If so log onto the superstore site at 9PM tonight EST and click on a Kindle or even buy a paperback (see the link below). Then join in on the discussion of whodunnit. I guarantee no one will know the answer until getting to that crucial final page. Anyway who does guess (and we're going on the honor system here people!), will get a free autographed copy of the novel....

Want to see more of what Moonlight Falls is about?
Check out the film noir Trailer:

Then, if you like what you see, and ONLY if you like what you see, perhaps log onto Amazon at 9 tonight EST and buy up a copy of the book. It will blow you away and then some. I promise.