Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book Release Limbo

I am in Book Release Limbo. What is BRL? Well, it’s that time between releasing your book and hearing reviews on it. It’s a bad time, let me tell you. Symptoms are increased anxiety, increased food consumption (usually cookies), checking email constantly, staring at the wall, depression, doubt, and a desire to freak out.

You see, being in BRL, you don’t know yet if people like your book, or if it is total crap. People have said good things about my website, which my husband and I worked like mad to finish (he’s a genius, BTW). That’s gratifying to hear. And they are saying good things about my book readings on Youtube (other than that the picture is a little dark), so that’s positive. But what about my book? I can’t help but wonder. Do you love it or hate it? Worse, are you only indifferent? What, what, what?

Excuse me while I go lose my mind…

I could have the best website and the funniest, most entertaining videos in the world, but if the book is bad, the book is bad. I won’t know this, though, until people have time to actually get it and read it. And with everyone being so busy in this day and age, that could take forever!

I find myself relying a lot on family and friends. Thank goodness I have such a supportive group to get me through this time. It’s nervewracking! It doesn’t help that my ego seems to have the toughness of a bubble.

So anyway, I just wanted to warn you that if you plan to publish something, just be prepared to go through BRL. Before the big event, make sure to get plenty of comfort foods, gather with family and friends, prepare your happy place for frequent visits, and hope for the best!

Good luck!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

Yeah, right. I wish. In today’s society, that’s pretty much all we do. It may seem shallow, but this snap judgment is actually linked to a survival mechanism, especially in the past when we had saber tooth tigers and giant sloths. But even today (when our biggest predator is other people), in order to stay alive, a person has to make quick decisions about any new stimulus or object. Is it safe or dangerous? Can I stick around or should I get out of Dodge?

Nobody wants to end up getting eaten.

Well, the same goes for book covers. In the publishing world, the book cover is very important for drawing in potential buyers. That cover has to look good, it has to grab people’s attention. A picture of a grasshopper probably won’t pull the potential reader in. Have a grasshopper with a top hat and cane…now that might do something for people.

Which doesn’t say much for our taste.

I would rather that people judged things by what’s on the inside, whether we’re talking about another person or a book or whatever. I would rather we didn’t have war or pain, too. But, like everybody else in this challenging world, I want to survive. So I’m going for that eye candy cover.

I’ll admit it, I judge a book by its cover. I figure that if the outside is dark or spooky or eerie or weird, that the story inside will appeal to me. However, just to show that I’m not too terribly shallow, I will also pick out books with plain covers. Usually, though, those books are already proven classics, recommended by someone else, or I am desperate for something to read.

So here’s my advice: If you plan on self-publishing your own book, pay the money to have someone who does this for a living make your book cover for you (unless you also do that kind of thing for a living or you’re an artist who knows how to do stuff on the computer). Case in point… I asked my sister to do a drawing for my book as a potential book cover. I love the drawing. Unfortunately, as novices, we didn’t get the dimensions right, plus we had to scan it into the computer and it lost clarity in the process. The colors probably weren’t as bright and vivid as they need to be in this shiny, happy world of ours, either. In the end, I went with my publisher’s book cover, which I love, too, and I put my sister’s drawing on my website (see my homepage). All was not lost. Now I have two great pictures to represent my book.

To sum up… Pick a good cover for your book, be kind to strangers, and keep it green.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Churlish Churro

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made churros… I, myself, have wanted to try my hand at making them for a while now. They’re a simple food, basically fried dough rolled in sugar. A Spanish treat, they sounded like just the perfect thing to make for our annual pumpkin carving event. Unfortunately, as I was about to find out, they can also be lethal weapons.

Okay, so here’s the story. I should warn you, if you’re looking for something about my book or about the writing process, you won’t find it in this blog (a nice break, hm?). No, this is about my near-death experience with the churlish churro.

Cue dramatic music…

I’ve had the recipe to make churros for a long time but finally decided to give it a try recently. It was a Saturday and we had planned that day to carve our pumpkins and drink fresh New England apple cider. But, of course, we needed something to snack on. Pumpkin carving is hard work.

So I start making the recipe along with the help of my 3-year-old. He loves anything to do with cooking - he actually starts to salivate when we pass the aisle in the grocery store where they display their cooking utensils (he’s also constantly ‘borrowing’ mine). Anyway, the first part of the recipe is easy. Bring water and salt to a boil, then add flour. Stir it up until you make a ball. While you let it cool, heat up a half-inch of oil. Easy, peasy. I was loving these churros…

Then the problems began. I didn’t have a pastry bag to use to push the dough into the oil, but I did have a frosting decorating tool. So I carefully shoved some dough into the small tube and put on the cap with its handy-dandy plunger. I was set to go! When the oil was hot enough, I pushed on the plunger so that the dough would drop into the oil and begin to fry. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, frosting decorating tools are not made for pushing dough. After some heavy-duty shoving and grunting on my part, the front part popped away from the plunger and fell into the oil. Immediately the dough inside began to sizzle and cook while the plastic began to melt. While frantically trying to scoop the mess out with tongs, I thoroughly mangled the plastic part. So much for my frosting decorating tool. Into the garbage it went.

So now what was I supposed to do now? Well, I thought to myself, I could just roll up the dough and put it in the oil. It sounded easier than using a pastry bag. Why didn’t they recommend that in the first place? It was a mystery, but I started the process and soon the little rolls of dough were cooking up quite nicely. My 3-year-old was watching from about two feet away, standing on the little green stool he uses when he helps me in the kitchen. About a minute after I’d put the first churros in, one of them popped, spraying us with hot oil. It was only a little bit but I thought maybe my child should remove himself from the vicinity. He heartily agreed.

Okay, back to work. I had returned to rolling up some more churros when another one popped. More oil spattered about, but I was okay, if slightly singed. I decided to stand a couple feet away while they cooked and continued to roll up more churros.

That’s when the big one hit. One of the churros literally exploded. First I heard a tremendous popping noise (like a firecracker, gunshot or atomic bomb), then felt hot oil spattering the top of my head. "Ow! Ow! Ow!" I cried out in pain. It kinda hurt, you see. I dashed away from the stove to what I hoped was safety. When I turned to see the damage, there was oil EVERYWHERE! Oil on the ceiling, oil on the floor, oil on the cupboards, oil on the door. The churro itself was lying on the floor by the dishwasher, which is about five feet away. There were even bits of churro on the ceiling. My churro had become a deadly missile.

Oh, crud.

Have you ever tried to clean up oil? It’s not easy. Normally I would’ve started sobbing and cursing and maybe shouting for my husband to help me, but I just went into the bathroom and began to douse my head with cold water. Then I returned to the kitchen, my head dripping - I still had to turn off that burner. I made a few false starts - with some stutter stepping and some bobbing and weaving - but finally I was able to dash up and turn the thing off without slipping in the oil and knocking myself out. Then I slowly proceeded to clean the entire very messy, very slippery mess up.

Pumpkin carving, I decided, would have to be delayed until tomorrow. My children accepted the news gracefully, bless their little souls. Instead of churros, I would have to make chocolate chip muffins. They don’t explode, or at least they haven’t in the past. It turned out to be a good decision, both in the delay and in the muffins, as it was a lovely day on Sunday, even though my head still burned in places.

So where did I go wrong? I have decided that by rolling the dough, I was allowing too much air in the mix, creating air bubbles, which then expanded and popped once heated. I never saw that coming, I tell you.

As I write this, with my head still sore in spots, I sit here thinking…What if I were just reaching in with the tongs to fetch a churro when the explosion happened? I would’ve gotten oil all over my face, maybe even a churro up the nose. Even worse, what if my little boy was still standing on that stool? He would have been terribly burned.

After my little incident, I could have complained and been grumpy for the rest of the day (which is my typical m.o. when something goes wrong), but this time I simply was grateful that it hadn’t been worse. Maybe I’m finally growing up. Or maybe I was still in shock.

My husband, who had been downstairs at the time and hadn’t heard a thing, told me that from now on, if I want anything fried, to stick to Dunkin’ Donuts. He may be right. For now, I must say adios, my churlish churros, and muchas gracias for not taking me down with you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nobody Knows The Troubles I've Seen...

Recently I’ve been discovering that there is more to publishing a book than simply publishing a book. There’s really a lot of busy work to do. I have to take orders for signed copies, actually sign the copy and finally, send it out via snailmail (it’s terribly taxing, but I do what I can for my peeps). Then there are these blogs that I need to produce two or three times a week. I have had several demands asking when my next blog is coming out (it’s been about 4 or 5 days since my last one). Okay, maybe it was just one person doing the demanding, and maybe she didn’t exactly demand. Perhaps I made her read, "When’s your next blog coming out, Kristina?" in front of a bunch of people, or else I’d egg her car.

It’s possible I might have done something like that.

It gets even crazier…

Over the last couple weeks, I have had to spice up my amazon account (I had to create my profile and pretty up the page where my book is displayed). First, I had to apply to become a member of AmazonConnect. That sounds simple, right? Well, things got messed up and disconnected or whatever, so I had to email them to find out what’s wrong. Luckily they fixed the problem quite quickly and I was set to go. Then I had to find a decent picture to put up there that I haven’t yet used (I don’t have that many good ones of me where I can say, yes, that looks like me and not a pile of manure). On top of that, I had to write yet another bio (though mostly I just refer to my website bio so I didn’t suffer too much on that one). After that, I attempted to talk about my boring interests. Who really cares that I like photography? Anybody? I can’t imagine why… I’m not sure that I even care.

I’m also editing my next book in the Anaedor series (Book 2), which is actually getting a bit tedious being that it’s about the 100th time I’ve gone over it. And I’m still finding problems. However, on the plus side, the revision process has helped me prepare for a workshop that I’m doing on writing (yet another thing to do, wahhh!). What has been much more fun has been starting work on my next book series (I’ll give you a hint — it’s not about rocks).

Somewhere between eating breakfast and losing my mind, I’ve needed to contact my hometown and alma mater newspapers/newsletters to hopefully publish a blurb on my book, which I wrote myself so that I could make my life sound completely fascinating. Basically I lied. No, I didn’t - I’ve truly led a fascinating life (in my head, anyway).

And then there are my three children who apparently want to be fed at regular intervals. Plus I must attend to their schoolwork and book fairs and open houses and doctor’s appointments and illness (from September to June it’s just one long stretch of it), not to mention bills to pay and yardwork to do. Soon the leaves will need to be removed from my yard. They don’t do it themselves and I can’t just let them stay there because we need a pile of them for our annual leaf pile/s’mores party. Ah, well. It will get me outdoors and give me some much-needed exercise. I am turning into a potato.

I find myself multi-tasking a lot. While talking on the phone, I clean. I even clean the phone. Just a minute ago I got up to see why my 5-year-old was crying. Since the kitchen was on the way, I made sure to grab my snack dishes and drop them off. I knew by the sound of his crying that he wasn’t terribly hurt (or at least was still conscious) so I figured I had a second to accomplish this task. Currently, my 3-year-old is half-lying in my lap, rolling back and forth, saying, "I’m still getting hungry." It’s 4:30 so I told him that he would probably eat a big supper then. He doesn’t like this answer, but eventually he wanders off in search of food. Boy this multi-tasking is hard work!

What I really need is a secretary. But I can’t afford a secretary. I make, like, a dollar off each book I sell (if that). I could sell 400 books (which would be fantastic) and only make $400. That’s why publishing companies reject so many books. If they don’t think you can make them big bucks, you’re not worth the time and money. It’s frustrating, but understandable - though only if you’re a saint.

So what’s my point in all this? I don’t really know. But it sure felt good to vent! Now I better go find my 3-year-old. I think he might be stuck in the refrigerator.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How Can A Person Be Original When Everything’s Already Been Done?

There’s a reason I’ll never be the next Shakespeare or Tolkien. They beat me to it. You see, I think I could have created great works if only I’d been born at an earlier time. Okay, so maybe not. But I tell you it’s awfully hard being unique in today’s age.

Look at the fashion world. Every twenty years, they recycle a look. The only way you can be unique in fashion today is to paint your outfits onto your body - ha, ha, ha. Oh, wait. That’s already been done.


It’s a real dilemma for us wannabes. And one I have no answer to. I thought I was being quite original with my book idea. But really, I suppose if you look at the theme, it’s been done. I’d like to think that I’ve added a unique perspective with a unique character, but probably not. Other people have told me they think it’s a wonderful and unusual story, but I paid them to say that.

It’s depressing, I tell you. I even tried hard to avoid having my book resemble anything close to the Harry Potter books. I hated the idea that people would think I was trying to ride J.K. Rowling’s coattails by copying her work (though technically I am doing that just by including her name in this blog - oops). The same thing could be said about all the authors I’ve read over the years. What I write is going to be similar to what they have written, simply because we have a similar way of thinking (yes, there are a lot of us out there who think strange things). Anyway, there are certain themes (good vs. evil, courage, growing up) that are hard to go without when you are writing in a specific genre, or writing anything at all. It isn’t easy to avoid similarities. There were times when I just had to say, forget it - do what feels right!

So I’m going to have to accept that I may never come up with anything truly unique. It’s a hard and bitter pill to swallow. Or maybe I should look at it from another perspective (I like manipulating reality to make it look how I want it to look). No one will ever write a story exactly like mine. And maybe I did something worthwhile that will affect someone in just the way they needed to be affected. Or, maybe certain themes need to be repeated for each individual and for each generation for us humans to finally fully understand them. Why not? I do so like that explanation much better than thinking I’m just a sheep, a drone, or a drudge.

In the meantime, I will keep on writing, searching for that elusive twist… Just don’t beat me to it, okay?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Celebrity Isn’t What I Thought It Would Be…

The other day I was at my two boys’ open house for school when I was recognized. "Aren’t you a writer?" the woman asked, bless her heart. I stared dumbly at her. "You were at Jeremy Robinson’s book reading, right? You’ve got a book coming out, right?" I continued to stare at her. "You’re not a writer?" she said, less enthusiastically now.


Yes, folks. That’s how I handled my first instance of being recognized. When I finally managed to say that yes, I was a writer, she brightened again, glad she hadn’t gotten it wrong. Of course, then she said to my son, "Your mom’s a celebrity!" I then proceeded to turn bright red. She was just being funny about it, but I had no idea how to handle the whole thing. If I ever become better known, I guess I won’t have to worry about fame going to my head. You know, getting arrogant, getting cocky. Not when I am stunned to immobility and become unable to speak when people approach me.

When I think about my future as an author, maybe getting fans, being recognized once in a while, I always imagine myself coming across as gracious and witty, clever and wise. Instead, I say, Guhhh…Sigh. Fame isn’t easy. But I shall try to handle it the best I can and maybe practice in the mirror what I should say if anyone ever recognizes me again. In a way, I hope they do. We all have are dreams of appearing on Letterman or Oprah and just wowing everyone with our sense of humor and insight. But in a way, I hope people don’t. At least not until I have something else to say besides…well, you know what.

So, if we ever meet, please be patient with me. I am not at my best socially. But I do try. Maybe this time I will manage to say hi without looking like a deer caught in headlights…

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Curse of the Galley Copy

I got my galley copy the other day and let me tell you…it was great! I loved seeing my work bound between two covers. It made everything seem so real, like I was finally a real writer. So I picked up my solid, very real book. I viewed it from different angles, held it up to the light, bit it to be sure it was solid gold (oops, not that last part). It was a glorious experience. All that hard work had finally paid off. I was an author.

And then, I made the mistake of starting to read it…

Oh, dear, I thought to myself as I read along. Did I use the word ‘exceptionally’ too much in this paragraph? Is rear window spelled as two words or is it all one word? Why am I seeing this all now? Why not when I was editing it, for the love of Pete!

That’s the curse of the galley copy. Really, once you have your galley copy, you should only be looking for big mistakes - glaring errors. Because any changes from that point on cost the publisher money. And no one is going to spend money because the author is freaking out about her word choices. And I was definitely freaking out. I e-mailed my publisher at midnight the day I received my book - I couldn’t sleep. "Can I make any changes at this point?" I pleaded. "They’re all very small. Not very noticeable. Except to anyone with eyes, that is!"

He said no. Actually, he clarified that no. Unless it’s a big one, he wrote, don’t sweat it. Easy for him to say. He’s not the one with his name on the book! This is my baby! And my baby wasn’t absolutely perfect! What was I going to do?

Okay, I do have a point here. Make sure that when you are done editing, you are done editing. Maybe it’s different when you’re dealing with big publishing companies, but for the little presses, every penny counts. If you’re self-publishing, as well. Though maybe you have the money to fix the mistakes. That’s great. But as my publisher pointed out to me, I could spend forever fixing mistakes, and then my book would never get published. He had a point, even thought it was one I desperately wanted to resist. But, for the sake of money and my sanity, I didn’t.

In summary, I will give you an extra bit of advice… If you find any mistakes in my book, blame my publisher, not me.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Publicity Campaign: What the heck am I doing?

My latest project involves trying to get the message out. No, I’m not running a political campaign, I’m trying to sell my book, The Chronicles of Anaedor: The Prophecies (see how I stuck that in there, repeating it yet again? That’s marketing, my friends!). My book hasn’t been published yet, so I guess what I’m trying to do is build up "hype." That’s the latest lingo for getting people really excited. Too bad I don’t have a big merry-go-round. That tends to get people excited. Or maybe I should get myself a posse. People with posses always attract attention. Right now my posse consists of an adult male, 3 small boys, 3 cats (one with an attitude problem) and a fish that refuses to die. Those are my peeps.

Hm. I think I’m going to need to try another tactic.

So I’m heading for Youtube. The place where all us hams can let out our inner hammyness. It’s a great forum for all those talented people in the world to go to express themselves. It’s also where less talented people (such as myself) can go to "hype" themselves. So I am going to release 3 videos on Youtube of me reading Chapter One of my book The Chronicles of Anaedor: The Prophecies (Here’s that title again–I’ll bet you didn’t even know you were being marketed to…that’s just how subtle I am). Instead of a reading, I’m going to call it a video reading. Clever, huh? The hard part is that Youtube only allows 10 minutes or 100 somethings (MB?) per video. So I have to split the reading up into 3 parts. I am also going to release a couple video commercials to advertise the book. I hope they’re at least entertaining. I’d hate to put out boring videos. Doesn’t say much for me, does it?

I’ve already videotaped the book reading. It was an interesting process. Why I decided to do the taping when it’s 90 degrees outside, I don’t know. Here I am, trying to look intellectual (or at least not too dense) and all I want to do is scratch my nose which is itching like mad, push up my glasses, which keep sliding down from all that sweat, and wipe my upper lip because of the aforementioned sweat. Then, when I’m reading the book, I spot a typo. I’ve got to remember where that typo is so I can fix it later! Of course, I’m thinking about this while I’m trying to read the book out loud. Then I hear a noise outside. What’s that? Not a raccoon, I hope. Or a bear. Focus, Kristina! But it’s getting harder. Can bears break through screens? Of course, they can!

Then there were all the kid interruptions. I should have done a blooper reel. Take one. I’m sitting there reading to the camera when my kids, who are supposed to be in bed, decide to come down for a visit. There’s me on the videotape, reading in dramatic style, then saying, "What are you two doing down here? Get back up to bed! Shoo, now. Go on!" I look mad. Take 2. Oops, I forgot to say the title. Take 3. Oops, I forgot to say my own name. Dang. Take 4. Things are going well… Then one of my cats jumps up right in front of me, sticking her backside right in my face. Take 5, and so on…

So, progress is slow. I wonder how the commercial taping will go. Being that I’m the actress (and not a very good one), the sound and light crew, the videographer, director and producer, I’m not going to be able to do that many takes. The end result could be quite interesting. Or end up looking like some amateur production…

Friday, October 5, 2007

Off to the Printers! Or, The editing process stinks.

My publisher sent my book off to the printers yesterday. I feel sick. I am a bit of an overachiever, you see. And the idea of sending off my work, to transform it into permanent ink on paper, freaks me out. I edited the living bejeebers out of that book. Then other people edited it. Then, a person who gets paid to edit it, edited it. So, after making changes, putting back some ‘thats’ that I had taken out because I thought you were supposed to use as few thats as possible, I was done editing!

Then my publisher changed the book’s font and its formatting, too…

Which meant new problems. I suppose everyone else out there knows that Word does automatic hyphenating? Well, I didn’t. So, being the overachiever that I am, I manually hyphenated my work after justifying it. If you don’t hyphenate, some of your sentences will look gappy (that’s an extremely technical term that means lots of space between words). So guess what happened when he reformated the work… Yepper, lots of words in the middle of sentences looking like this: Auto- matically. He was very diplomatic about it when I told him what I’d done. I think his response was, "Huh?" I could feel the sympathetic waves coming off him.

There were other spacing problems, as well, of course. I just hope I found them all. I did the spell-check and grammar check yet again. I looked it over one last time. But I just know there’s a typo in there somewhere, lurking, waiting to expose me for the fraud that I am.

So, yes, I’m a bit of an overachiever.

Being an overachiever has its advantages. It means I’m going to do a lot of editing to get things just right. I actually kind of like editing. That is, until I have to present my work to other people in the form of a published book that they paid money for. They’re going to react just like I do when I find typos in a book. Didn’t you spell-check this? Jeez! It’s, like, the easiest thing you can do! You didn’t re-read this! I mean, you couldn’t have! Look at all these mistakes! Where happened to your brain, girl? Did you leave it in a jar somewhere?

Don’t get me started on the actual content of the book. I can’t even think about what people who don’t like it are going to say. That’s why I will probably be heading to my happy place for a while (starting November 1st, when my book’s supposed to be published). I will also remind myself of the concept of the Persian Flaw. The Persians purposely included a mistake in their carpets to show that only God is perfect, and that they, themselves, aren’t trying to be God. So if you find a mistake, I did that on purpose. To show that I’m not God.

I think, by now, that you’ve guessed where being an overachiever has its disadvantages. I’ve been working on mellowing out, but it’s hard. I want to present a perfect picture to the world so that you have nothing to beat me over the head with. But it’s awfully difficult to be perfect when you are searching through a book you have already searched a thousand times, looking for that needle in the haystack. So I think I’m going to just have to take a deep breath and…Pass out!

Remember…When it comes to life and its little foibles, you’d better laugh hard, otherwise you’re going to be sobbing like a baby.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Doing Too Much

Okay, so I’ve told you I’m trying to publish a book, set to come out in November. While I’m doing that, I’m also attempting to raise 3 boys, so that they’ll reach adulthood before they end up killing themselves. School’s starting soon and I’m trying to put together this website. My husband’s doing all the technical work, thank you, dear! But it’s my job to sound interesting and clever.

Let me tell you, it’s not easy.

I imagined myself sitting down and writing amusing anecdotes about my process. And while I am writing about my process, it’s not as amusing as I thought it would be. But I will keep trying. You know what they say about a thousand monkeys typing away…eventually they’ll come up with something intelligible. Or is that one monkey typing for a thousand years?

See how hard this is?

I recently participated in a Writer’s Festival at a mall (see Press for full coverage and a picture to prove I was really there!). Several writers joined the group and most of us attempted not to look too desperate as we sat there with our precious books (well, mine was just a book cover, so I probably looked more pathetic than the others), hoping people would at least notice we were sitting there.

In preparation for the big event, I made up about 30 color posters of my book cover and created a card with the book’s blurb, along with the release date. Then, after I printed out all those mini-posters, I realized there was a misspelled word on it. Agh! To calm myself, I ate some cookies. Then I changed my perspective. Years from now, when I’m famous, those posters will be worth at least twice what it cost me to make them, simply because there’s a mistake on them. Just like old coins and stamps somebody screwed up on! I felt better, then I ate some more cookies.

At any rate, I think I gave out about 4 book covers and a couple blurbs. Success? I’m not sure. My mother took 2 of the posters. I did get my picture in the paper, along with a quote that made me sound more intelligent than I think I really did. The reporter started asking me questions and I started babbling inane, nonsensical answers. He must be a pro, since he was able to find something logical in what I said.

It was nice to get out, though, and do something productive for my book. I’ve heard so many writers say that writing is the easy part, what comes next is the difficult hurdle. I think they’re both hard. I’ve reached a point where writing has gotten easier, but it’s still a lot of work.

I wrote in my first blog that I was going through a small publishing company ( I don’ t have an agent–not a one wanted to represent me and my book. Sniff, sniff. And believe me, I sent my book out to a lot of them. I’d like to think that it’s because the children/young adult fantasy genre is a bit saturated right now, not that my book stinks.

So it was encouraging and heartening to have Breakneckbooks like what I’d done and want to publish my work. They’re small, but they get a lot of submissions. However, the company doesn’t have a big marketing budget, nor do they get into bookstores (bookstores won’t buy POD - publish on demand books - because they can’t send them back to the publishing company and get their money back). Maybe someday that will all change, but for now, we’re just going to have to work our behinds off to make a difference for the little guy, or gal!